Once again we have had to endure a December issue of “Canada’s National Magazine” without any recognition of the Christmas season except for some of the ads which exploit this sacred season for material advantage. Are we to conclude that the editors of Maclean’s have never heard of, let alone appreciate, the great message of hope that Christmas brings to our sick and weary old world? Surely Maclean’s can recognize the faith and hope of millions of our citizens!
A. G. MACPHERSON, PORT CREDIT, ONT.
CANADA’S NATIONAL MAGAZINE
PETER C. NEWMAN
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Land off passion
I can’t thank Maclean’s enough for giving me the opportunity to experience the touching moods, feelings, words and phrases of Canada’s most gifted writer, Margaret Laurence — Where The World Began (December). Laurence expresses the passion so many of us feel for this land, but in doing so she wrenches even more emotion from my heart (which fairly bursts with pride at being Canadian already).
Her memories have brought back other times, special places, fond imaginings of how life must have been.
Of the myriad of incredible treasures with which Canada’s blessed, surely Margaret'Laurence comes near the top of the list.
SANDY WATSON, SHERWOOD PARK, ALTA.
Margaret Laurence’s Where The World Began made your December issue outstanding. Laurence finds beauty everywhere, even in one isolated dried leaf, a unique image. Reading the nostalgic account of hitching rides on the back of a sleigh, I pondered on why we don’t see frosted moustaches anymore. Have males become so hot blooded that no frost dare intrude? The photography depicting a winter sunset viewed through the branches of a sleeping, gnarled tree was magnificent.
Canada can be proud to have given birth to Margaret Laurence, a writer gifted with a sensitive awareness of the world around her.
MARGERY HUGHES, LONDON, ONT.
About that ffinger
I very much enjoyed Jack Ludwig’s article — Team Canada In War And Peace (December).
However, I must inform you that it was not Alan Eagleson that gave the socalled “single-finger salute television cameras have recorded for posterity.” The single finger belongs to the Team Canada trainer, a certain Forestall who happens to work for the Boston Bruins of the NHL.
Once and for all, please set the record straight. If anybody saw Eagleson waving his finger, it certainly was not during
the Canada-Soviet series as a replay of that certain game will reveal. He only waved his fist at the goal judge. JEAN-PIERRE SMITH, MONTREAL
My congratulations to Jack Ludwig for a brilliantly written article on Team Canada. And congratulations to Aislin for his illustrations, except for the one of Peter Mahovlich. Both Aislin and Ludwig seem to think that Peter fully supported Eagleson in his crusade against the Russian militia. Ludwig called this an assault by Team Canada’s division of padded finest led by the Little Mahovlich. True, Peter can lead the finest, anyone will agree with me there, but that he would willingly support Eagleson in his escapades? Impossible. The cartoon of the Big Bird on Peter’s shoulders hitting a Soviet cop was not true of Mahovlich, nor was it humorous. And I dare any cartoonist to make an adequate caricature of Peter Joseph Mahovlich.
MARY ANN BACKSTROM, EDMONTON
I thoroughly enjoyed the article Team Canada In War A nd Peace by Jack Ludwig (December).
This is an outstanding example of factual, in-depth reporting from behind the Iron Curtain. It is also a warning to us and our government that if we want to hold our supremacy in hockey we should start with our youngsters now; otherwise Russia will produce a whole team of Bobby Orrs.
Give us more reporting of this kind. S. K. WOLCH, EDMONTON
Alden Nowlan’s article — Testimony Of A Tent Preacher (December) — will have little effect on evangelist Floyd Cruse or his followers. The evangelist has departed for warmer climes and the followers are attending other crusades. We, the residents of the Upper St. John River Valley and, in particular, the residents of the village of Bath, have been branded as “WASP underdogs” and worse. Nowlan calls our area the Bible Belt of New Brunswick. He has given us a reputation we do not deserve, a reputation that we will have to refute wherever we go in Canada. We take exception to that.
We are not “WASP underdogs.” We are an ethnic and genetic mix. Our ancestors came first from the American colonies and the armies of George III. We have been receiving wave after wave of immigrants ever since. We consider ourselves a cross section of the Canadian whole.
We are not the product of six generations of malnutrition. In fact our nutritionists have gone forth enlightening the deprived people of Saint John, Calgary, the Middle East and India. We prefer to continued on page 14
Your View continued be known as the Potato Belt, rather than the Bible Belt. Some of the potato starch ends up in the backbones of those who produce and handle the potato crop.
Like the other Maritime provinces, we have sent our sons and daughters to become part of the warp and woof of Canada and the U.S. Some of them come back to spend their retirement years in familiar surroundings. When the author of this article felt the urge to probe the history and psychology of revivalism, he bypassed an expert in the field, one of our senior citizens living here in retirement. This man was a contemporary of Aimee Semple McPherson, an earlier Billy Graham or Oral Roberts. Rather than discuss theology with a confused adolescent, Nowlan could have had an interesting and rewarding interview with our man.
Finally, we prefer not to be judged from the driver’s seat of a slow-moving vehicle.
FRASER J. MCINTOSH, BATH, NB
Keep it normal
Surely homosexuality can never be considered normal in human society — Couples by Penney Kome (December). On the long road through childhood and adolescence to mature heterosexual expression, every man and woman faces anxieties of one sort or another. Most people find eventual fulfillment with a member of the opposite sex. Others don’t, or are led to believe they can’t. Why?
What would make a young woman like Pat Murphy, who admits that she is capable of heterosexual love, leave that behind and settle for a homosexual relationship? What possible future can these two have? It would appear that the threat of the “other woman” is always present from Miss Murphy’s remark, “a year and a half and we’re still so much
in love.” I suppose this is some kind of a record in the gay world, but it is just a drop in the bucket in a heterosexual relationship.
The argument that men in society are “studs” and women “super-femme,” and that one simply wants to be oneself, or homosexual, is a flimsy excuse. One has only to look at the majority of marriages to see that most of the men are no Tarzans and the women would have no future in the movies!
No mention was made in the article of the physical aspects of homosexual relationships. It isn’t too difficult to imagine what grotesque encounters they must be. How can any woman possibly develop her sexual and biological potential with another woman?
If homosexuals find it so much of a strain to hide their rather dubious predicament in a “closet,” why can’t they get help psychologically and hormonally and at least make some effort to enter the mainstream of life? Their immaturity as shown by their simply gathering together in groups to cry on each other’s shoulders is really staggering.
MRS. J. C. PELLETIER, QUEBEC CITY
The September issue of Maclean’s contained one of the most unbalanced, prejudiced, opinionated and generalized articles that I have ever read — Radio by Heather Robertson.
Commercial radio listenership has continued to increase. Surely this must mean that a growing number of people are mighty interested in what they are hearing. Though CBC listenership is at a relatively low level the CBC is doing its job from the standpoint of a publicly subsidized broadcasting system because part of its mandate is to cater to minority interests.
It has been my experience that commercial radio stations offer a great vari-
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ety of programming and that there are relatively few areas in Canada where one lacks access to a number of stations. Despite Ms. Robertson’s comment about people not being asked what they think of programming, I can say that thousands do ask about it and if anyone does not like what they hear on a particular radio station they merely tune it out.
Ms. Robertson urges readers to revolt against commercial radio because in her general consideration it is all bad. What presumptuous, unadulterated gall. Tell that to the men, women and teens who listen to Canadian radio for almost 39 million hours every day. Tell that to the thousands of advertisers who are consistently augmenting their radio advertising budgets because people are listening, and buying products and services. Without those same advertisers the variety of programming on Canadian air waves would be confined to the CBC which, by her own statement, has a comparatively minuscule appeal. C. P. HAYNES, TORONTO
Just received my copy of Maclean’s, and what do you know — I’ve made the big time at last. Yes, sir, I’m right in there with Juliette and Adrienne Clarkson being noticed by one of your sweet, incisive, obscure little lady columnists from the Prairies.
Can it really be me? “Unctuous, slithering, stroking, praising, flattering”? And all my best friends have been telling me for years what a nasty, rotten grouch I am. Heather Robertson has seen the real me! Put the Kraft Dinner back on the shelf honey, I’m going to unthaw me a mini-mastodon and swing tonight!
G. BRUCE MARSH, TORONTO
I have read with some interest your Great God Bless America issue (November). I lived and worked with Americans for some 30 years and there are in my view three great myths that the average American truly believes: that theirs is the only democracy; that their revolution enshrined the values of freedom and independence; and that their country is spotlessly clean of colonialism and aggression. Yet no other democracy can be taken into a war without the approval of its parliamentary institutions. Since their revolution, the pattern of American history has been a pattern of support for every tin-pot dictator of the right. I have also lived in two Central American republics and know something of the feelings of their peoples regarding American colonialism.
I want to see Canada remain independent, not only politically but also in continued on page 16
Your View continued the true sense of values. We have a wonderful chance to pick the best from the various peoples who have come to Canada, but let us avoid the mistakes of the U.S. and try to make a Canada where we will be proud to live.
M. P. B. WRIXON, VICTORIA
She didn’t float
I enjoyed Pierre Berton’s article—Floating Down The Yukon (December). I too have spent some lovely hours observing that river though unfortunately I was not lucky enough to observe the spectacular scene by boat.
I did wonder though why he did not include the 40 mile house in his story. To me, it was beautiful in August; some of the old dwellings are still half standing up.
ROBERTA K. COOK, KAMLOOPS, BC
A boring wedding
It’s embarrassing to have Wedding In White so highly touted — Films by John Hofsess (November). It hurts to have the word get around that it’s the best film in Canada for 1972. By implication, there are worse films being made in Canada. This is something we should try to keep quiet, in the interest of national pride.
Can anyone who lived in Canada throughout World War II find that film believable? I certainly couldn’t. The list of anachronisms and inconsistencies would be almost as boring as the movie.
Our Canadian film industry isn’t helped by extravagant praise of amateurish productions. For my money I want more than a stage-play-on-film. ADRIENNE POLLAK, PORT ELGIN, ONT.
The Canada Council As An Endangered Species by Sandra Gwyn (December) — now isn’t that too bad. The Canada Council is an overexcited, frock-coated, Gerber-bred, corrective-shoed, cappedteethed, wig-wearing embodiment of arrested development splashing cocktails around the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
They fawn and reach back into their 25-year school-book careers to tinkle with the international mediocre. On weekdays they write cheques for their morose doctoral buddies who’ve faked an emotional migraine in order to be excused from their already small enough efforts. I don’t expect the Canada Council (or its supporters) to understand this, but all contributions have been paid for by individuals who have mortgaged their personal well-being and never by
one person who would not do so.
SUSAN PETERSON, EDMONTON
It’s a good life
Granted Marian Engel’s article — Fighting Boredom In Cyprus (October) — helps stimulate the campaign against war as a solution to political problems. But in so doing, is it necessary to paint such a drab, moronic portrait of our Canadian UN man on duty? Flow does she propose to color his life? By billeting him in a suite at the Cyprus Hilton?
No one denies that guard duty is monotonous, but thousands of jobs back home are similar. The parking attendant leaning out from a frigid box to collect tickets and fees would love to trade places with the UN lad who can hire a car for a pound and for another pound buy some good brandy. They can live like kings! And Engel speaks of boredom? Bah!
JOAN CORNELL, ST. LAMBERT, QUE.
The Richest Man In Canada by David E. Lewis (December) was one of the most enjoyable articles I have ever read. I hope Maclean’s intends to keep up this style of literature.
DAVE CONWAY, MISSISSAUGA, ONT. ■