I enjoyed Hog Town At The Bat (May 2) but would you kindly explain why Roy Hartsfield is wearing a “defective” cap.
Every loyal Blue Jay fan knows the Blue Jay always faces with his beak to the left. LAWRENCE HULL, WATERDOWN, ONT.
Pictorially it is more effective to have a profile looking toward the centre of the magazine rather than out toward the margin. So we “flopped” the negative and the Blue Jay came up backwards. Obviously we didn’t account for the reader's keen eye.
Mackasey may not be perfect, but...
Being a member of the National Assembly in Quebec since November 15, an anglophone, and a member of the opposition; knowing the frustrations and the tensions of dealing with a government that is already acting as if it has separated from
Canada, I couldn’t help but feel empathy for my colleague Bryce Mackasey in Angela Ferrante’s Politician In Exile (April 4). There was invective in that article and a kind of cynicism so typical of the kind of journalism that so readily enjoys carving up a politician. Perhaps more than anything, this kind of journalism is contributing to a widening of the gulf of misunderstanding that is progressively destroying the national fabric of our country.
Bryce Mackasey is certainly not without fault, but his contribution to expanding the understanding about what is going on in Quebec must be appreciated. As a competitor of his during the election, I know that his being there prevented us from winning a number of ridings. But more than that, since the election, his job has been to try and explain to Canadians across this country that the Quebec problem is a national problem, not just about language differences, and that the need for mutual respect for our differences can be the only solution to the problem.
It would have been too easy for Mackasey to quietly enjoy the privileges of a Minister of the Crown in Ottawa. To have instead come into the political scene of Quebec and having to enjoin a party led by a leader who had made such a total failure of his mandate that he left his party alienated from the total electorate of Quebec, could never be considered opportunistic.
DR. WILLIAM F. SHAW, MNA FOR POINTE-CLAIRE, QUE.
A very young man with a horn
I was filled with great joy when I read Blowing Your Own Horn (April 18) on F raser MacPherson. For a long time now, we
have had the talents of this man hidden in “our own little corner of the world.” I hope RCA records will record many more albums of this man and let the world know of this “Genius of Jazz” that we have in Canada.
I used to live around the corner from MacPherson as a teen-ager in Victoria, BC. Many were the days when we would all be out in the sunshine, doing nothing in particular, and we would hear from the MacPherson household sounds of Fraser practising hour after hour on his horns... scales . . . arpeggios, etc. He certainly has “paid his dues.” I am sure that jazz musicians, like myself, who have had the luck to play on music jobs with MacPherson, are smiling from ear to ear after reading this article—and thinking—“It’s about time!”
WALLY GRIEVE, CALGARY
Big Business is watching you
The Interview with Peter McColough of Xerox (April 18) is interesting as a revelation of the new fascism—corporate fascism. Buried in the woolly, chatty conversation is an unenlightened dogma that says, basically, that the business of all life is business; that big business is the best for all, and that it need only be left alone to do the job for (on?) us. The job is really to turn the world into a consumer’s prison. The new fascism is materially benign; however a prison, whether furnished with “soft mushroom-shade velvet sofas” or plain wooden sleeping platforms, is still a prison nonetheless. I am not yet ready to hand over the key to my cell, for material benefit, to a man who says, paternalistically, “I think the attempt at democratization around the world is misguided.”
By the way—regarding the 68/69 students that the new crop of conservative students “look down their noses on”: I find it interesting that the news stories of the new conservativism run right alongside stories of falling academic standards and poor achievement. I can’t help but wonder if the two phenomena are related.
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PETERS. CAMERON, NIPISSING JUNCTION, ONT.
Doesn't anybody know what day it is?
What is the authority for the statement in Preview (May 2) regarding plans “to celebrate July 1, or Canada Day (formerly Dominion Day)”? So far as I am aware, Dominion Day is still a legal holiday and there has not been any legislation to change the name of that day to anything else. Despite the tendency of this government to abandon many of our traditions simply by using different nomenclature, is it unreasonable to suggest that the purpose of a newsmagazine is to inform?
W. S. THOMSON, OAKVILLE, ONT.
There hasn’t been any legislation on the name change from Dominion Day to Canada Day. The term “Canada Day”is becoming the more conventional description for the July 1 holiday.
The stuff that schemes are made of
Walter Stewart’s essay on Alaskan oil, When Alaskan Oil Starts Flowing . . . (March 21 ) earns Maclean ’s zero points for objective reporting. Stewart says that nobody (certainly that comprehensive category includes himself) quite knows what to do with half the oil from Alaska that will be “sloshing around” by 1978. With the United States currently importing some six million barrels of oil daily, there is little doubt “what to do with the stuff.” It will be used to replace some of the imports and hence help relieve some of the drain on the U.S. balance of payments. It will also help reduce the existing risk to the national security and economy that results with embargoes. The problem, if there is one, is how to do this in the most efficient manner, which includes considerations of the environment and of the economy.
Then Stewart fails to recognize the fact that the low petroleum product prices, which Canada and the United States enjoyed for years, existed only because oil companies could find and develop production overseas and transport it to North America at a cost lower than that produced locally. The simple reason for this is the cost of finding and producing. In common with many people who criticize the petroleum industry, Stewart fails to recognize the real problem—a high and increasing consumption of a fuel for which at present there is no known substitute that does not pollute more and/or cost more. It would have been much better to examine some of the trade-offs and considerations that must be reconciled, and work toward a possible solution.
ROY O. LINDSETH, CALGARY
Good news is no news
I read with pleasure Max Saltsman’s column, The Shifting Of Power . .. (April 18) with just one small point of disagreement. He states that “we are in danger of becoming a nation of well-off ‘bitchers.’ ” I feel that we have already reached that point and that the media can assume much of the responsibility. Saltsman quotes a report from the C. D. Howe Research Institute that “from 1969 to 1975, real after-tax income grew significantly faster than in any other country in the world.” As Canadians we should be proud of this fact but I have failed to see or hear this mentioned elsewhere than in Saltsman’s column. On the other hand we have been sated with articles, reports and commentaries on our ills such as unemployment and inflation.
O. N. HUGGARD, FREDERICTON
Basically Max Saltsman’s thesis is correct—the establishment is small “1” liberal, and our parliaments and media have become the forums of contending interest groups at the expense of Canadian unity. But his stress is wrong: any of several groups of interlocking non-national corporations (“with no arse to kick and no soul to damn”) may at any strategic moment wield more real power than any combination of farmers, workers or small business. We all talk, but organized money speaks the loudest. The name of the game is “Divide-and-Rule,” and those employed to shift the scenery have no hand in the script and do not direct its production.
C. CRATE, BENGOUGH, SASK.
Blessed are the rich—only the rich
Having just read Camelot West (April 18) I can only surmise that Suzanne Zwarun does not live in Alberta. We moved here six months ago because my husband was transferred. We expected some sort of Promised Land, having been fed all sorts of exuberant information such as Zwarun offers. Don’t kid yourselves—while some can afford to squander their money on $1,000 toilets (big deal), there are so many more who cannot afford an indoor biffy of any kind! Consider the small farmers who have felt little or none of the wealth Alberta is reported to be seething with. What’s more, housing here is expensive; while we owned our home outright in British Columbia, we now find that we must shell out twice the amount for the same thing (or less).
While good old BC doesn’t have as wide a variety of jobs to offer, we can easily say that our standard of living was higher there. My husband earns more here, but we don’t have money to spare as we did in BC. Don’t get me wrong, I love Alberta (what I’ve experienced so far) for its vibrancy, youngness and wide open spaces. But it isn’t all gold fixtures and T-bones.
JUDY HARVEY, LEDUC, ALTA.
Zwarun has lived in the Calgary area for the past eight years.
More power to Peter Lougheed and to Alberta. I am glad there is at least one place in Canada where the grass is greener. The time is ripe for a more equitable distribution of power in this country. Besides, it is nice to see someone have the jump on Toronto for a change; westerners are not the only Canadians to harbor real and imagined grievances against that city. Toronto has money and attention lavished upon it by big business, the federal government and the Ontario government, leaving the rest of us to scramble for the crumbs. So I, for one, do not begrudge Alberta getting a good solid chunk of cake.
EDWARD A. W. SMITH, HAMILTON, ONT.
Start the revolution without her
In a letter to the editor (February 21) Mrs. J. Cameron described Shere Hite as being a “sex maniac” and accused your magazine of going pornographic. Obviously she has no understanding of the word “pornographic.” It was a clear example that any type of sexual revolution in our society has failed. Sexuality is something intrinsic to human life as a whole and we will never be able to communicate effectively as human beings until we understand our sexuality. Perhaps Mrs. Cameron would classify Masters and Johnson also as “sex maniacs.” It is because of these researchers that cultural myths are constantly being exploded and that women are beginning to lead the lives they deserve to lead. If women wish to remain the subordinate archetype that men have created then I suggest the word “sex” never be mentioned. If Maclean’s has turned pornographic, then perhaps Prime Minister Trudeau will join the Rolling Stones.
RONALD MORRIS, POINTE-AUX-TREMBLES. QUE
I read Allan Fotheringham’s Thou shalt have no other gods before thy government or it’ll fix you good (April 4) and feel that if the CBC’S mandate to promote Canadian unity is construed to mean that the network must endorse the existing political structure, it is at best a license for mundanity and at worst a dangerous infringement on the right of a free society to explore all of its political options. If, on the other hand, the mandate is construed to mean that the CBC should promote understanding between the various regional and ethnic groups that constitute Canada, it is consistent with our democratic heritage and a small step in the direction of genuine federalism.
When a CBC production argues for the independence of Quebec it contravenes the first interpretation of the mandate but not the second. Therefore, to be consistent with our democratic principles, our government should encourage that producer with ongoing debate, not discourage him with some quasi-judicial inquiry.
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