There is so much wrong with Roy MacGregor’s piece on the National Film Board, Theatre of the Absurd (Sept. 18), that it doesn’t merit discussion. With the exception of Peter Pearson, all of the people interviewed by MacGregor were capable of providing worthy and interesting material on the subject. Amazingly, they all came off as shallow, small-minded, self-serving people with nothing of substance to say about their own work or the work of the NFB. Pearson is simply ignorant of what is taking place at the board. He is certainly a bright and talented film-maker but, judging from what he is quoted as saying, he seems to have become a bitter old crank, suffocating in his own perfume.
BOB VERRALL, NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA, MONTREAL
Having just arrived in Canada to continue my study of the National Film Board, I was shocked to read your incredible article. Surely Maclean's must know what all serious students of film know: that the NFB is a truly unique and productive film organization. To suggest that the board is some kind of “sick whale” is simply ridiculous.
JOHN R. SHEPHERD, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, EUGENE, OREGON
Your article on smoking and pregnancy, A Sin of the Mother . . . (Sept. 18), is very timely indeed. Whatever little information pregnant women receive on smoking is usually given in prenatal classes, mostly after their sixth month of pregnancy, obviously far too late. According to a survey carried out in 1977 by the Canadian Council on Smoking and Health, 17 per cent of prenatal courses in Canada do not deal with smoking and health. Of these, 38 per cent said they lacked the time to do so and 19 per cent felt that they did not have appropriate health education materials. To overcome these difficulties, the council, in co-operation with the Canadian Cancer Society, Canadian Heart Foundation and Canadian Lung Association, is presently preparing an instructional booklet on smoking and pregnancy, for distribution through these agencies to physicians and public health units, so that every pregnant woman
will have access to this vitally important information as soon as the pregnancy is established.
KURT BAUMGARTNER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CANADIAN COUNCIL ON SMOKING AND HEALTH, OTTAWA
In your article, The Morning After the Night Before (Sept. 25), you state that Gaétan Bucher, recently appointed to the State Sugar Board of the Dominican Republic, retains his seat on the board of Falconbridge Dominicana. For the record I wish to pass along information I have since received: Upon his new appointment Bucher resigned his directorship with our Dominican subsidiary.
H. L. HICKEY, DIRECTOR, PUBLIC RELATIONS, FALCONBRIDGE NICKEL MINES LIMITED,
Thank you for your excellent article, Leonard Cohen Says That to All the Girls (Sept. 18). Cohen is unique. It is time the general public knows what the multitude of his fans have known all along—that he is a celebration.
MARILYN E. FARRELL, MADEIRA PARK, B.C.
I read with concern your article on Mary Kay Cosmetics, Inc., An Old Woman on the Way Up (Sept. 25). You describe our founder, Mary Kay Ash, as catapulting “her somewhat beefy cor-
pus out of her pink Cadillac ...” I am surprised that Canada’s supposedly
foremost newsmagazine would write about a gracious lady in such poor taste. Many articles have been written about Mary Kay Cosmetics, and none of them have seen the need to attack Mrs. Ash in such a personal fashion.
RICHARD J. BENNETTS, PRESIDENT, MARY KAY COSMETICS, INC., MISSISSAUGA, ONT.
Subscribers’ Moving Notice Send correspondence to: Maclean's, Box 1600, Station A, Toronto, Ontario M5W 2B8 Name My moving date is New Address___________________ My old address label is attached. City_________________Prov— My new address is on this coupon. Postal code I | I wish to subscribe to Maclean's. Send me 52 Issues for only $1950 ($2450 outside Canada). □ Bill me ATTACH OLD ADDRESS LABEL HERE □ I enclose $____________ AND MAIL IMMEDIATELY! Please remember that your postal code and I also subscribe to ( ) Chatelaine and/or ( ) Miss Chatelaine and apartment number enclose old address labels from those magazines as well. (if applicable) are essential parts of your address.
Missed by a whisker
I read with great interest Roderick McQueen’s article, The Buck Drops Here (Aug. 21), on the Canadian dollar. I agree with McQueen’s analysis that the declining dollar is hurting the consumer and increasing inflation, or increasing the consumer price index. It is also having an adverse effect on importers who have not fully passed on the pricing impact of the weak dollar, and thus are suffering on the bottom line. If the trend continues, a number of things can happen. Smaller importers will be forced out of business, resulting in an increase in unemployment. The number of lines imported will decline, resulting in less consumer choice and there will be a reduction in quality of imported products. The full impact of the declining value will ultimately be passed on to the consumer, which will further fuel inflation. In your article reference was made to Braun’s “most popular shaver, the Synchrome Plus.” The name of the shaver is “Synchron Plus.”
SIEG HOLLE, GROUP PRODUCT MANAGER, BRAUN ELECTRIC CANADA LTD., MISSISSAUGA, ONT.
Waste not, waste not
Your article on toxic and hazardous wastes, It ’s Enough to Make You Sick— Or Dead (Oct. 2), leaves one impression which should be corrected. While I am quoted as saying, “Governments may eventually have to be much more dictatorial in getting [disposal] sites,” this is not an approach we support or advocate. The early victims of such a tack would be the few hard-earned provisions in provincial environmental legislation granting citizens the opportunity for public hearings before waste-siting decisions are made. If governments want to regain the confidence of the public on the hazardous wastes issue, then they ought to begin by bringing wastes law and policy into the 20th century. This would include mandatory reclamation, re-use and recovery of such substances to the maximum extent feasible, in conjunction with controls directed to better waste tracking and reduction.
JOE CASTRILLI, CANADIAN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW RESEARCH FOUNDATION, TORONTO
A writ duly served
Congratulations to Allan Fotheringham for his perceptive column on Chief Justice of Canada Bora Laskin, The Road to Social Justice is Slow and Hard... (Aug. 21). It is cleverly written
and should be required reading for all Canadians.
R. C. A. ORSER, LAZO, B.C.
Naked came the emperor
Not since the story of the emperor’s new clothes has there been such a graceful exposure of people in high places as that contained in Barbara Amiel’s column, But How Will They Teach Little Girls to Write Their Names in the Snow? (Sept. 18). I am still chuckling over it, and I am happy to be able to write my name and thanks in ink.
JOHN T. LAFLEUR, GANANOQUE, ONT.
Barbara Amiel’s article on sexism in schools was disturbing. She shows herself not only to be without sympathy for a movement which seeks to allow females to develop their full potential in our society, but vulgar and without humor.
ANNE DAGG, WATERLOO, ONT.
Barbara Amiel’s column on the Ontario ministry of education booklet, Sex-Role Stereotyping and Women ’s Studies, con-
tains smug and superficial comments that betray her lack of sympathy for the ignorance of the often absurd condition of women in our society. Her mockery of the booklet’s exercises is an insult to women who have to struggle to attain equality in the working world. It also implies that the need to make children aware of stereotyping does not exist.
JANE SUDERMAN, BARRIE, ONT.
Teetotalling to greatness
The article on Rudy Wiebe, Lonely Are the Grave (Sept. 4), made my day. At last here is a great writer who not only doesn’t drink but won’t even allow liquor or beer on his property. I’d been beginning to fear that being a heavy drinker was a requirement for greatness. I’ve always tremendously admired Wiebe as a writer, but after reading your article I admire him as a person, too. Strangely enough, this is the first article I’ve seen about him in a prominent Canadian magazine.
HELEN PORTER, MOUNT PEARL, NFLD.
I appreciate Rudy Wiebe because he refuses to be exploited by the ignorance of
the public. His writing is interesting and clean, which makes it less in demand than the smut and garbage the public seems to want. His interest in the Canadian heritage is a challenge more writers ought to take.
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