OPENING NOTES

Zbigniew Brzezinski makes a Soviet debut, Paul Newman confesses little, and José Canseco shoots the breeze

October 16 1989

OPENING NOTES

Zbigniew Brzezinski makes a Soviet debut, Paul Newman confesses little, and José Canseco shoots the breeze

October 16 1989

OPENING NOTES

Zbigniew Brzezinski makes a Soviet debut, Paul Newman confesses little, and José Canseco shoots the breeze

CONTRIVED

CONFESSIONS

Throughout a 45-movie career that has spanned four decades, actor Paul Newman has developed a reputation as one of Hollywood's most enduring screen heartthrobs. But earlier this month, Newman's virile image seemed to have been dealt a serious blow when Esquire magazine carried a cover picture of him beside the headline "Confessions of a lousy lover." Now, the man who wrote the accompanying article has complained that the New York City-based publication distorted the thrust of his story with the headline. Robert Scheer—who was Newman's houseguest for three weeks while he gath-

ered material for the seven-page piece—complained that Esquire editors "took a cheap shot" at his subject by wrenching one of the actor's statements out of context. According to Scheer, the 64-year-old Newman had simply claimed that his own perfectionism prevented him from seeing himself as "a proper father, a great lover, an extraordinary boxer or a capable skier." For his part, Esquire editor Lee Eisenberg claimed that Scheer had missed the point of the headline. Said Eisenberg: "It is droll and playful, in the spirit of the piece." Eisenberg also told Maclean's that Newman had not contacted Esquire himself. He added, "I wonder if what Scheer is really upset about is us not putting his name on the cover." Sometimes, the story behind the story can be almost as entertaining as the finished article.

Missing out on a masterpiece

London art dealer Patricia Wengraf recently paid $1.4 million for a white marble statuette that the British Museum could have obtained as a gift. Experts, including Timothy Clifford, the director of the National Gallery of Scotland—and an unsuccessful bidder against Wengraf—have described the 39-inch-high work as a missing masterpiece by the 16thcentury Florentine sculptor Giambologna. Indeed, in 1987, the former owner—an elderly amateur collector who was unaware of the figure’s value—offered to donate his collection of statuary to the British Museum. But the museum curators who examined that assortment of busts and statuettes specialized in Greek and Roman sculpture and they overlooked the one of a frowning woman, which had stood in a London backyard for more than 40 years. Wengraf has voiced a hope of profiting from

that acquisition, and Clifford, for one, has promised to bid on the supposed masterpiece if she offers it for sale. That event would also give the British Museum another chance to acquire the statuette: at a price, for missing it the first time around.

NO STAMPS OF APPROVAL

It was bad news for Prince Edward Island residents. Last week, postal officials said that the Island’s current central post office in Charlottetown might close down as part of plans to streamline postal service on the Island. But many residents say that they are unconvinced that service will improve, and officials at the Canadian Union of Postal Workers predicted that the loss of the Island’s main sorting depot could generate a local absurdity: some letters mailed between such Island communities as Cavendish and Charlottetown would be processed on the mainland.

STAND-IN FOR THE UNITED STATES

Their skilled crews and low production costs have given Canadian film companies an enviable cross-border reputation in the movie industry. Certainly, those factors helped persuade U.S. country-and-westem star Kenny Rogers to film his forthcoming television special—which will feature Canadian actress Kate Reid and Rogers’s son, Kenny Jr.—in Toronto. But officials at Toronto-based Atlantis Films, the coproducers of the project, faced a problem that is familiar

to many Canadians working for U.S. clients: Christmas in America, a one-hour show that the NBC television network plans to air in December, is supposedly set in the United States. Still, Atlantis producer Jamie Paul Rock shrugged off the difficulties of disguising the show’s location. Said Rock: “We shot the exteriors outside of the city and, for the rest, we stuck to the suburbs.” In films, at least, Canadians have clearly refined imitations of America to a fine art.

Looking for hidden sex

Wilson Bryan Key achieved fame—and notoriety—in 1973 by arguing that advertising executives used concealed sexual imagery to manipulate consumers into buying their clients’ products. Indeed, the controversy that his book Subliminal Seduction generated over alleged hidden persuaders in liquor ads’ ice cubes forced Key to leave his post as a journalism professor at London’s University of Western Ontario. Key has prospered since then by further advancing his theory. In his fourth book on the subject, Age of Manipulation, he takes aim at a new target: Camel cigarettes. Key says that a current print campaign for the U.S. brand, which features a cartoon figure with a camel’s face, also contains sexual imagery. (Cigarette ads are banned in Canada.) But New York City-based art director Robert Cole rejected charges that the ad agency, McCann-Erickson Worldwide, had sketched male and female genitals on the face of its Smooth Character cartoon figure. Said Cole: “That is bizarre. We have succeeded in improving market share for a brand that had plateaued. But you cannot do that by putting a penis on a face.” In any event, Key has helped Cole to achieve a key objective of the ad campaign: bringing Camel cigarettes to smokers’ attention.

Giving space to an old foe

His stem opposition to communism once made former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski the bane of Soviet politicians. But the Polish-bom expert's views are now circulating in the U.S.S.R., where the magazine International Life recently printed a speech that he made last April. In that speech, Brzezinski predicted that internal troubles could force the Soviet Union to grant full independence to Eastern Bloc countries. Several Moscow-based Western diplomats say that Soviet politicians will now be forced to take sides on the controversial question of neutrality.

CHANGES ON THE FOREIGN DESK

The Globe and Mall is planning to shuffle the newspaper's current lineup of 10 foreign bureaus during the next 12 months by basing reporters in Los Angeles and the Middle East. At the same time, Globe editors plan to close the paper's only African bureau, in Harare, Zimbabwe—in part because of neighboring South Africa's increasingly restrictive conditions for entry into that country. And bureau chief Linda Hossie will be shutting down the Globe's Mexico City office as tensions ease in nearby Central America—particularly in Nicaragua. Said deputy managing editor Gwen Smith: "We are not disappointed to see peace in the region, but the story is not what it once was."

DIAL NOWAND TOUCH BASE

Most baseball fans only dream about getting their favorite player on the telephone. But for U.S.-based callers, reaching Oakland Athletics right fielder José Canseco is as easy as dialing 1-900-234JOSE. For a $2.30 fee and $1.15 per minute, such callers can listen to a tape of Canseco’s voice for 20 minutes. On that tape, which changes daily,

Canseco discusses topics that range from his most recent game to personal revelations. Describing a victorious first encounter with the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League championship series last week, the Athletics slugger confessed to having “the worst playoff game I have ever had in my life.” Indeed, he even appraised his wife Esther’s commitment to physical fitness recently. Declared Canseco: “She has muscles all over the place.” For Canseco at least, touching base could be a profitable sideline.