Letters

Letters

May 14 1979
Letters

Letters

May 14 1979

Letters

Having read Michael Callaghan’s letter {Letters, May 7), let me say that the real fiction writer in the Callaghan family is not renowned novelist Morley but his eldest son Michael—the personal public relations man and public reputation defender for one Jerry Goodis. In his letter Mr. Callaghan says “only a couple of paragraphs” of what I wrote ended up in the final Goodis speech. Since I was paid $1,500 for the speech by Goodis, this two-paragraph payment amounts to $750 a paragraph —nice money if you can get it! However, I have compared both speeches—that is, my draft and the final Goodis one, and here are the totals. On Oct. 19, 1978, at the Park Plaza Hotel, Toronto, Jerry Goodis uttered 50 deathless paragraphs. Of these 50 paragraphs, precisely 25 were written by me. I did not write these brilliant one-line Goodis paragraphs:

1. “These are tough times—complex issues, big stakes.”

2. “Please be careful with our country.”

3. “Thank you.”

But on reading these paragraphs over, I wish I had! I make these refutations of Mr. Callaghan’s silly charges not only because I like telling the truth but also because I don’t want future clients to feel I charge $750 a paragraph; $300 a paragraph is, and has always been, my normal rate. As for the Goodis speech, it was Mr. Callaghan, not Mr. Goodis, who called upon me to write it. It was under Mr. Callaghan’s guidance that I worked. In the presence of his partner, Mr. Callaghan told me my speech was excellent. So did his partner, Mr. Baden.

Word games people play

I never dealt with Mr. Goodis at all. At no time have I claimed that Mr. Callaghan wrote the Goodis speech. From

every minaret in the country I have shouted my authorship of the Goodis speech. I can write speeches. Mr. Callaghan, it seems, cannot—or why did he hire me in the first place? There’s nothing sillier than being caught in the middle between a public relations man like Callaghan and an adman like Goodis. It’s like being drowned in snake oil while someone walks all over you with a

Things go better with smoke

Since I have been a marijuana smoker off and on for the last 12 years, I read your cover story The War on Drugs (April 2) with a great deal of interest. I believe that our government should appoint a commission to look into controlling and marketing cannabis products. It is a golden opportunity for the government to correct the mistakes made in the alcohol and tobacco industries. Sales should be made from governmentcontrolled outlets only, there should be no advertising for such products and every cent derived from such sales should go back into drug and alcohol education and rehabilitation.

GEORGE C. MERCER, GRAND FALLS, NFLD.

In my estimation, 9,000 Canadians will have been arrested and almost 7,000 will receive a conviction in our criminal courts for simple personal possession of marijuana during the federal election campaign. The government has been promising marijuana law reform for so long that many uninformed smokers think that the law has been softened. I don’t advocate the use of marijuana, but can find no medical, moral or legal justification for imprisoning those who do use it.

J. SCOTT BOUGHNER, VICE-PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE REFORM OF MARIJUANA LAWS IN CANADA, TORONTO

Bradys 282, Liberals O?

William Casselman’s television column How Mummy and Daddy and Freddie and Debbie Stopped Living and Loved the Tube (April 9) was right on target. It is not surprising that few people have criticized television considering the subtlety with which this electronic mind-bender has crept into our culture. One wonders how people’s perceptions of the real world have been changed by this technology. Television is now used by people as an escape from their increasingly troubled lives. After all it is much easier to watch The Brady Bunch than it is to write letters to politicians. Interestingly, the first generation of young people to have been nurtured by television all their lives are now becoming voters. Will they be aggressive, inquisitive and interested in the world or will they passively toe the party line? Only time will tell.

ROBERT D. SOPUCK, THE PAS, MAN.

pair of Goodis’s “Hush Puppies.” Hush, puppy Callaghan, and go to sleep; you can use the rest.

LARRY ZOLF, TORONTO

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The Ts have it

Enough. In his column Sometimes It's Tough to Tell the Would-Be PM from a Guy Up on a Hubcap-Stealing Rap (April 23), Allan Fotheringham says, parenthetically, “one way to nobble the press is to talk to them while not allowing them to print anything.” This is probably the single most fatuous comment ever made in the long, and very often sorry, history of political commentary. I have been a member of the press, man and boy, for 15 years and in that time I have been spoken to by people who would not allow me to print anything. I have been ignored by people who didn’t care whether I printed anything. I have printed things without ever talking to the people about whom they were printed. But I have never, not even slightly, been nobbled. In fact I am of the opinion that nœone in this business has ever been nobbled. And that no one ever will be. But there goes Fotheringham, hand over fist, stating with his customary apparent assurance that here is “one way” to nobble the press. By implication suggesting that there is more than one way to nobble the press. And, by this rash and totally unsubstantiated statement, he leaves in his readers’ minds the suggestion that perhaps the press is frequently nobbled. That perhaps they can never completely believe what they are reading because what credibility has a nobbled press? If Fotheringham continues to play so fast and loose with facts, there is little hope for the press as a valid social institution.

JOHN SLINGER, EDITOR, THE CITY, TORONTO

For argument’s sake

In The Party That Rose from the Dust (April 23), Robert Lewis correctly states that “there have been only five leaders” of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF). Yet in the article and in Peter Newman’s editorial Foxy Ed Broadbent... (April 23), there are only four mentioned. The last national leader of the CCF was Hazen Argue. Elected by a convention, he served in that capacity from the summer of 1960 to the summer of 1961 when he was defeated in his bid for the leadership of the “new party” by Tommy Douglas.

ALBERT F. CHAMBERS, OTTAWA

The un-American boy

Jon Voight deserves another Oscar for his plain statement about the Catholic life he had discarded. In Coming Home With Oscar (April 23), he says, “Cathol-

Voight: on the way to something deeper?

icism is an attitude about life. Following it, you have to go a certain rigid way, y’know. The rules attached to it bend all the natural forces. It makes life go the way you don’t want it to go.” The way he doesn’t want it to go, maybe. But to any Christian a man’s life is not his own to do with as he pleases. Voight may just be on the way to something deeper than his acknowledged sense of guilt. “Money with him is always secondary.” I wonder where he got that idea in modern America?

WILLIAM BOTHWELL, MONO TOWNSHIP, ONT.

A hewer of Woody

As author of the note to Murray McLauchlan mentioned in the article Up, Up and Away and Changing Gears (April 23), I felt I should clarify my point of view and provide your readers with the complete story. First of all, I feel the quoting of the content of my note was somewhat exaggerated. I said that I, along with many other women, was offended by his joke and that I felt it was in very poor taste—particularly as he is a public figure and the audience could possibly interpret his comments to mean that he doesn’t consider rape to be a serious subject. Judging by the delayed applause and the booing and hissing I heard from where I was sitting, it would seem I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. If he truly meant the joke to demonstrate “what an ass Woody was,” then he should have been more explicit. Besides, if such is the case, why repeat Allen’s comments? Furthermore, I provided Mr. McLauchlan with the opportunity to explain, as I had suggested, that he make an apology to the audience.(He read the note while he was onstage.) Rape is a serious criminal offence that has been subjected to this type of lighthearted approach for

far too long. Thoughtless, insensitive comments such as those made by McLauchlan and Allen are in part responsible for the rising instances of violence against women today.

C-E PASCHAL, OTTAWA

Jewel box

Having visited Grenada for seven months, I came to know and sympathize with the people there. Among my first

impressions was the ever-present but subtle fear of the former dictator, Sir Eric Gairy. On the morning of the revolution, after I no longer feared for my personal safety, I rejoiced with the Grenadians in the successful take-over by Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel Movement. Perhaps now Grenada can develop. I thought William Lowther’s coverage in A Caribbean Coup... (April 9) was well-written; certainly better than other articles I had seen in the

Western press (many Grenadians considered the latter’s treatment insulting and condescending). However, the note of impending doom with which your article ended was neither congruous with the sympathetic mood set by the author nor fair to an authentic, successful and bloodless people’s revolution.

DARYL BAMBIC, JOLIETTE, QUE.

Abroad-minded

I must comment on your article Go Abroad, Young Man, the Home Front 's Hell (March 26), on the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) and its Quebec counterpart Service Universitaire Canadienne Outre-mer (SUCO). Wishing to effect change in Third World countries by informing Canadians about the injustices as suggested by SUCO volunteer Simon Bilodeau is, in my mind, a purely intellectual pursuit. There is no doubt a degree of rationality expounded in his theory, but it unfortunately is not positively correlated to its ability to effect change. Mankind is not so rational in behavior.

ROBERT M. TROTT, PAGET, BERMUDA

Dissent into shame

In The Hangman Now Faces the Crowd (April 16), on Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s execution, you call Haider Khan one of the few dissenters and quote him as saying: “If they [politicians] misuse the powers of state, they should be prepared for the consequences.” I feel that Haider Khan is not dissenting, really. This is the only way we, the Pakistanis, can hide the shame which would be unbearable without such rationalizations.

ESS P. DOUBLEAU, SASKATOON

Left, right, left, right!

In The Third Man, Ian Urquhart finds it a “contradiction” that socialist Ed Broadbent “admires the work of antisocialist author George Orwell.” Perhaps if Urquhart had more than a passing familiarity with the work of Orwell, he would realize that no such contradiction, in fact, exists. Animal Farm and 198k attack totalitarian communism: the former was in response to the fawning praise of the leftist intelligentsia for Stalinist Russia; the latter against the totalitarian police state. Orwell decried totalitarianism of both the left and right, as his numerous essays and his own life illustrate (he fought for the Republicans in the Spanish civil war). He was a socialist in the mould of most social-democratic parties, including the NDP.