Letters

Letters

April 23 1979
Letters

Letters

April 23 1979

Letters

The book of revelations

I thought Maggie in the Marketplace ... (March 26) was your best attempt, to date, to cloak gossip in the guise of news. However, I can find absolutely no news value in a two-column, color revelation of Adrienne Barbeau’s (People, April 2) cleavage, nor in a description of the how, what, where and why of her new image. Furthermore, I am not interested in details as to where she purchased the purple peek garment. The entire story is offensive; it is not news and I am sorry (but, perhaps no longer surprised) to see your magazine stoop to cover—or uncover—the latest round in the sex symbol competition. If I wanted to read about such non-events or view the latest set of mammaries to tantalize America, I would purchase the appropriate magazine. Maclean’s, it seems to me, should not be one of them.

LINDA S. MACLENNAN, OTTAWA

Beyond the boys of summer

I wish to correct some erroneous statements in How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (March 19) which accompanied the cover story, The Sun Seekers. I am not, as stated, the founder of the Caribbean Tourism Research Centre. I was, however, in charge of the Social Impact Research Program since the inception of the Centre. The article gives the impression that my research (as a psychologist, not a sociologist) basically dealt with “Beach Boys.” This is not true. I conducted several human-relations workshops and was involved with various educational programs while in the Caribbean. However, the most important assignment was to research the attitudes of the people in seven selected Caribbean countries toward tourists and tourism.

RUSTUM SETHNA, TORONTO

He and sympathy

I have read Allan Fotheringham’s remarks on Joe Clark in Politics is the Art of the Cruel, So the Liberals Have Seized Upon a Clever Ploy (March 26), as well as in previous columns. I would like to say please keep it up. These remarks are beginning to engender sympathy for Joe which should help in the election.

ALTON DAHLSTROM, ROSSLAND, B.C.

Bismarck’s red herring

In The Retirement Conundrum (March 26) it is stated that the retirement age of 65 was established by Otto von Bismarck in 1884 because only four per cent of the population lived that long.

How unfortunate that history is being rewritten in this fashion. This popular misconception was thoroughly investigated by Robert Myers, former chief actuary of the U.S. social security system. He examined the original text of the German law and found that the first national old-age insurance system established by Bismarck had a minimum retirement age of 70. The retirement age was not reduced to 65 until 1916, during World War I, many years after Bismarck’s death.

LAURENCE E. COWARD, TORONTO

No reasonable offer refused

In The Men in the Grey Flannel Seats (Feb. 26) the statement is made that I had declined an offer from the Liberal party to be a candidate in the federal election. I have seen this implied in the press before so I do not complain about Maclean’s repeating the suggestion. However, in fairness to the Liberals, I have never received such an offer, so should not be described as having declined.

S. ROBERT BLAIR, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, ALBERTA GAS TRUNK LINE, CALGARY

Bon or abominable?

Recent articles in Maclean’s have reached a new low in their attitude and treatment of Quebeckers. The Abominable Snowman Who Was Bonhomme (Feb. 12), on the Quebec carnival, is definitely anti-Quebec and tends to create a negative impression of the carnival. Contrary to what is stated, the Quebec government is not against the carnival and Premier Lévesque himself cordially received carnival officials. I admit that the carnival had its share of misconduct, but nothing more than what occurs in similar events throughout Canada. As for The Diplomatic Horror Show (Feb. 26), you are definitely wrong in implying that Premier Lévesque was drunk and that the Quebec government has “its fair share of tipplers and a few outright drunks.” I sat near Premier Lévesque and can assure you that he was not “in his cups” when he addressed the gathering. Such writing on Quebec will not, in any way, contribute to the strengthening of Canadian unity, for it should be based on mutual respect.

MAYOR JEAN PELLETIER, QUEBEC CITY

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Letters

Nearer their God to them

I was most interested in Rent-a-Church Weddings: The Ministers May Rebel (April 2). In Holland all couples must be married before civic authorities and should they wish a religious ceremony, this can be done as an option afterward. As a result very few couples want to go to the double expense. Many clergymen have often said that they wish they had the Canadian situation, where the church plays a part in it all. I, myself, have performed many weddings where the couple has seen the church for the first time during the rehearsal, but I have never felt it a waste of time.

REV. K.T. SMITS, DUNDALK, ONT.

The lady with the lack

Having read Maggie in the Marketplace . . . (March 26), I feel the prime minister should be congratulated for the way he has handled his wife’s constant embarrassments. I used to feel that Margaret was being unjustly criticized by the press, but her behavior in the past few years has merited every criticism. I agree with Sukey Howard that Margaret should not be compared with Lauren Bacall or Betty Ford. Namely because they possess an important quality that she lacks—dignity.

LINDA M. BOSSY, WATERLOO, ONT.

Set ’em up, Joe

Having read The Taxman Cometh . . . (March 12), I found that Joe Borowski is a man I can identify with. Refusing to file a tax return until abortion laws are changed is something to be admired. I thought I had the spirit of my convictions, but this man has the courage.

JENNY WANGLER, WILKIE, SASK.

In on a string and a prayer

In his retrospective on The Seventies (Jan. 29), Peter Newman called me the best of the Sixties’ radicals; a professor at the University of Toronto, Claude Bissell, called me a charming lad, but no leader; and in his review For The Record (March 19), of Stringband’s new album, David Livingstone called me names I don’t choose to repeat. I tend to agree with Bissell: my Free University of Toronto scarcely rippled the Sixties and the real student leaders, Steve Langdon and Bob Rae among them, remain as politically involved as ever. But then so do I. Professor Bissell placed me on the romantic fringe of the movement, and here I sit. This, I think, is the real source of Livingstone’s ire. Moses Znaimer once said that there is nationalism of content and nationalism of

Letters

style and I think there is something of each in our—Stringband’s—work. I am aware that such things are out of fashion these days with some Toronto media people aspiring to the New York style, but live and let live, I say. I only wish that Maclean’s had given our record to someone who shared some sympathy with the premise and thus might better judge whether or not we did a good job.

BOB BOSSIN, TORONTO

Costing out a cure

I must say that I “greeted with ambivalence” the concluding sentence of Robert Stall’s article Going Through Hell, Travelling First-Class (Feb. 12) on Gillain Manor, the alcoholism treatment centre in Victoria. An important point which he seems to have missed is that the facility serves certain productive members of our society who are prepared to spend substantial amounts of their own money to rid themselves of an affliction which has a detrimental effect on their productivity. If the treatment is successful and increases their productivity by as little as 10 per cent, society will be paid back many times the amount that it costs for the treatment. For many in Canada’s missions and hostels, the news that they can be cured anywhere at any cost or no cost to themselves might be greeted with total disinterest. However, those who have taken it upon themselves to enter Gillain Manor deserve the praise and support of society as a whole.

C.H. LARSON, KELOWNA, B.C.