Bravo for your article on Joan Baez, Baez Gives Voice to Cambodia’s Horrors (Nov. 26). Though she can, at times, be slightly harebrained in her methods, she is first and foremost a great humanitarian. It takes a great deal of courage to stand up for what you believe in, and to fight for the oppressed, and yes, there’s nothing wrong with a good big dose of idealism in a too often selfish and uncaring world.
WENDY HOLLO, AYLMER, ONT.
I was delighted to see such a long and detailed article on Mavis Gallant in your magazine (Exile in Her Own Write, Nov. 19). However, I feel that you implied that Gallant had hitherto been completely ignored by the Canadian media. I would like to point out that Gallant had a whole issue of Canadian Fiction Magazine dedicated to her. This was done mainly through the efforts of the CFM editor, Geoff Hancock, who made a special trip to Paris to interview her.
PNINA GRANIRER, VANCOUVER
Let slip the fogs of war
I read Peter C. Newman’s editorial Three Remedies for a Liberal Party That Can Never Again Win With Pierre Trudeau (Nov. 26), in which he calls the NDP “fogbound” and “union-dominated.” It seems to me that he is the one who is fogbound. I think if anyone were to attend the House of Commons they would find that our caucus, while only 27 strong, is nevertheless full of new and energetic people who have experience in a wide variety of areas. We have few unionists in our caucus although we are prepared to stand up for the rights of the working people. In my opinion we, the NDP, have become the real opposition in Ottawa. Mr. Newman may, on philosophical and political grounds, disagree with our policies but I don’t think it is very enlightening or informative to be content to just call us names.
IAN WADDELL, MP, VANCOUVER KINGSWAY
A sign of omission
In your article Wakeful Nights, Canadian-Style (Oct. 29) you reviewed our publication Good Night Little Spy. You neglected, however, to mention Virgo Press as publisher, while mentioning several other publishing houses with their respective titles.
THAD MCILROY, VIRGO PRESS, TORONTO
Malignant or benign?
I find it interesting that many of the same people who have in the past criticized U.S. interference in other nations are now, like Peter C. Newman ( Will the Ayatollah ’s Fanaticism Tilt the Balance of World Power?, Dec. 10), snidely clucking about American “weakness” when the U.S. shows reluctance to forcibly impose its will on others. American foreign policy has, under Jimmy Carter, become more benign, tolerant and humane. This is a direct reflection of cultural changes in America, particularly the decline of the aggressive macho ideal. It is human nature, unfortunately, that this gentler American attitude is interpreted as weakness by those with a less benign outlook.
ALLAN KAMIN, TORONTO
Storm in a teacup
In her recent column The Salvation of Canadian Society May Be in Taking Our Clothes Off in Public (Nov. 5), Barbara Amiel suggests that the popular medication Neo Citran belongs in a class of products such as sugar, butter or woolly underwear. I should like to stress the folly of that belief. Three of the drugs present in Neo Citran, acetaminophen, phenylephrine hydrochloride and pheniramine maleate, could adversely affect anyone suffering from heart, liver or thyroid diseases, as well as diabetes. In Ontario, the law under which Neo Citran falls covers a wide range of pharmaceuticals which, although not requiring a prescription for purchase, should nevertheless be used with caution. Certainly a “nuisance law” it is not. I would suggest Amiel actually listen to her pharmacist’s “vague little noises” about “excessive use” and “allergic reactions.”
KATHRYN JOHN, REGION OF WATERLOO PHARMACISTS’ ASSOCIATION, KITCHENER, ONT.
I am a devotee of both Peter C. Newman’s and Allan Fotheringham’s columns, but Barbara Amiel’s impress me as being uniformly third-rate. It amazes me that Maclean’s publishes these trite, self-centred encounters with the Canadian culture.
JEANNETTE MCGLONE, LONDON, ONT.
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