OPENING NOTES

Cookie Monster makes the big time, Lech Walesa meets the Marlboro Man, Mikhail Gorbachev’s private reunion

June 11 1990

OPENING NOTES

Cookie Monster makes the big time, Lech Walesa meets the Marlboro Man, Mikhail Gorbachev’s private reunion

June 11 1990

OPENING NOTES

Cookie Monster makes the big time, Lech Walesa meets the Marlboro Man, Mikhail Gorbachev’s private reunion

A MISDIRECTED APPEAL

In his bid to unearth supporters for his Liberal leadership campaign, Paul Martin Jr. has left few stones unturned. On May 25, Martin's campaign office sent a letter to front-runner Jean Chrétien urging him to vote for his opponent. The two-page letter, which is written in French, begins: “Dear Jean, we are writing you today to urge you to support, as we do, Paul Martin's election to the leadership of Canada's Liberal party. We are well aware that you need as much information as possible to choose in an enlightened way the man or woman who will lead Canada in the 1990s. While we know that you already share

many of the same beliefs and preoccupations that make us all progressive Liberals, we would like to share with you our reasons for supporting Paul." Martin's press secretary, Daniel Despins, explained the apparent excess of optimism by saying that Chrétien's name was on a computerized list. Added Despins: “We mailed them to all the delegates, and he is a delegate." According to Eleanor McMahon, Chrétien's press secretary, the letter attracted considerable attention when Chrétien's secretary opened it at his Ottawa law office. Although Chrétien himself did not see the letter, McMahon said: “The whole office thought it was amusing. We thought it was rather ambitious of Mr. Martin to court Mr. Chrétien's vote, but we're sure he'll understand we have other priorities." The power of persuasion has its limits.

Lech Walesa and Marlboro Man

For most North Americans, the symbol of Philip Morris Companies Inc. is the hard-living, heavy-smoking Marlboro Man.

Now, with the tobacco industry in the United States under fire from anti-smoking groups, the New York City-based company appears to be trying to set itself apart from its pack-a-day image. To that end, it is launching a series of advertisements that promote freedom in general and the U.S. bill of rights in particular. And the company is paying Polish Solidarity leader Lech Walesa an undisclosed amount to act as one of the spokes-

men for the $70.2-million campaign to celebrate the bicentennial of the bill. The advertisements, which will appear in magazines and newspapers across the United States, quote Walesa as saying: “I’ve read your bill of rights a hundred times and I’ll probably read it a hundred more before I die.

Freedom may be the soul of humanity, but sometimes you have to struggle to prove it.” Taggarty Patrick, a consultant with Philip Morris, said that Walesa, a smoker, has promised to donate his “honorarium” to charity. Freedom has its price.

DANGEROUS

LANGUAGE

One problem that American narcotics agents face undercover in Latin America is the local slang. Now, Francisco Moreno, a linguist at the Pentagon's Defence Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif., is developing a course in socalled Narco -Spanish. Said Moreno: “It is very difficult to get into the drug slang and culture without being spotted as a spy. " He added that if an agent in Colombia were to refer to the police as chotos, or goats, genuine Colombians would recognize the slang expression as Mexican. Words to live by.

THE MAKING OF A MUPPET MONSTER

John Burghardt, president of Toronto advertising agency Burghardt Wolowich Crunkhorn, can take a bow for helping to discover one of North America’s best-loved monsters. In 1968, as a young copywriter at Young & Rubicam in New York City, Burghardt was asked to design a TV campaign for Frito-Lay’s Munchos Brand Potato Crisps. He enlisted the talent of a little-known puppeteer called Jim Henson, who created Arnold, a furry blue creature with an insatiable crav-

ing for Munchos. The agency produced two commercials, but Burghardt recalled that when the client saw Arnold tearing up the set and “snarfing Munchos all over the place,” he rejected the campaign because it lacked appetite appeal. Then, a year later, Henson, who died on May 16, began work on Sesame Street and resurrected the obsessive Arnold with a new compulsion and a new name— Cookie Monster. There is no accounting for some people’s tastes.

A mistress-in-waiting

Carolyn Gammon completed her studies at Concordia University in Montreal a year ago, but officials have not yet awarded her degree. The reason: 30-year-old Gammon, a specialist in lesbian feminist poetry, has asked the university to declare her a “mistress” of arts instead of a master. Said Gammon: “For three years, I have been studying the value of language. ‘Master’ is ironic and sexist and does not reflect my work.” Rose Sheinin, Concordia’s vice-rector, academic, said that at first she did not know what to do about Gammon’s request. Eventually, the petition reached the university’s gender equity committee, which passed it on to the senate. That body set up a committee to study not only Gammon’s case, but the whole issue of what it calls “degree nomenclature.” Sheinin said that if the campaign succeeds, it could open the way for similar requests. Although Gammon described her case as “precedent-setting,” her petition is firmly grounded in tradition. In 1841, the Cobourg Ladies Seminary in Cobourg, Ont., granted a mistress of liberal arts, and in the United States, sister and even maid of arts degrees have been awarded. So far, though, historians have not discovered a spinster of arts.

A playmate’s life after death

For most Playboy models, the centrefold is a brief Hash of notoriety. But not for Canadian Willy Rey. The February, 1971, playmate's appearance led to a short, sensational career as an international model. Then, in 1973, amid rumors of drug use and devil worship, the 23-year-old Vancouverite died of an overdose of barbiturates. But, in a macabre epilogue to her death, Rey lived on as the naked model decorating Playboy Enterprises Inc. 's stock certificates. Now, as part of a restructuring plan, the shares are being recalled. May she rest in peace at last.

A TALE OF TWO TOWERS

If the plans of a British development firm bear fruit, Toronto will find itself playing second fiddle to a small city about 15 km west of Birmingham, England. Donald and Roy Richardson, co-owners of Richardson Developments Ltd. in Dudley (population 200,000), say that they will erect a communications tower called Merry Hill, which, at 2,002 feet, will eclipse Toronto's CN Tower, currently the world's tallest freestanding structure, by 187 feet. The $ 197-million project would complement a two-million-square-foot shopping centre that the Richardsons completed last year. Said Donald Richardson: "We want to put the area on the map.'' It seems that, for the Richardson brothers, the sky is no limit.

HATS OFF FOR AN OLD FRIEND

Mikhail Gorbachev made his first visit to North Ameri-

ca in 1983 when he was the Soviet agriculture minister.

His host for most of the eight days he spent in Canada was Eugene Whelan, then Liberal agriculture minister, who is famous for wearing—and

giving away—his green Stetsons. Last week, when Gorbachev made his second trip to

Canada, the two former ministers met privately to talk over old times. At a luncheon for Gorbachev at Ottawa’s National Gallery, when Whelan and his wife, Elizabeth, went through the receiving line, Gorbachev’s wife,

Raisa, immediately exclaimed: “I know who these two are without an introduction. We have a special place in our home for the hat you gave Mikhail.” Whelan told Maclean’s, “Gorbachev was not

wearing his Stetson, but at least Raisa was wearing green.” For the Gorbachevs, home is where the hat is.