Donna Rice takes the stage, Tilley hats prepare for battle, and Germaine Greer disparages a certain columnist

October 29 1990


Donna Rice takes the stage, Tilley hats prepare for battle, and Germaine Greer disparages a certain columnist

October 29 1990


Donna Rice takes the stage, Tilley hats prepare for battle, and Germaine Greer disparages a certain columnist


Forty years after it began in opposition to the status quo of Premier Maurice Duplessis's Quebec, and 24 years after it closed, Cité Libre may be making a comeback. For 16 years, the quarterly reform journal was a vehicle for the progressive musings of such Quebec intellectuals as Pierre Trudeau, Gérard Pelletier, Jacques Hébert and Pierre Laporte. Trudeau used its pages to attack nationalists in Quebec and the performance of the Liberals in Ottawa. But with the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s, and Trudeau's election to Parliament with Pelletier and labor leader Jean Marchand in 1965, Cité Libre ceased publishing. Founding members of the co-operative that was created to fund the journal are meeting this week to decide what to do with the few thousand dollars left in the kitty. Said Pelletier: "It is an idea that has not yet jelled. But it is possible that Cité Libre will be revived." Just in time to add some spice to the debate about the future of Quebec—and Trudeau's record as prime minister.

The fighting hat that floats

Alex Tilley of Toronto claims that his line of sportswear, Tilley Endurables, has endured white water in Botswana, jungles in Brazil and beaches in Bah. Now, the line’s flagship—a crushable, washable hat that floats—is enduring the rigors of military life in the Persian Gulf. Thanks to Lt.-Cmdr.

James Hayes, who owns one, the Tilley hat is regular issue for the Canadian armed forces there.

Hayes said that at first his superiors rejected the hats, which, at $45 each, they said were too expensive. But then, Hayes pointed out that the hats come with a lifetime guarantee. Said Hayes: “It is definitely a Canadian hat. You can’t get it anyplace else, and I sort of wanted to wear my Tilley hat.” The company has already delivered

1,800 hats, and now Tilley says that he is trying to sell the hat to the British navy. Rule Britannia in a colonial hat.


In Maine, they call it a McLobster sandwich— three ounces of lobster meat mixed with mayonnaise in a bed of lettuce heaped on a freshly baked bun, all for $4.50. Thirty-five McDonald's franchises in the New England state are taking advantage of last year's North American lobster surplus. And a McDonald's spokesman said that the elegant addition to the chain's fastfood menu is selling well. McDonald's franchise owners in Atlantic Canada say only that they hope to introduce McLobsters. Where is free trade when it is needed?

Getting back at la beer ads

Homewood, a health centre in Guelph, Ont, which treats addictions, is fighting fire with fire. And its latest campaign to encourage responsible drinking is causing dismay in the brewing industry. It includes La Story of My Life, a comic strip lampooning Labatt’s “La Beer” commercials. The strip, which shows a drunken undergraduate drinking “lossa la beer” until his girlfriend leaves in disgust, has proven popular with students. Homewood’s director of health services, Robert Simpson, said the campaign appeals to students because “we don’t condescend to them.” Which is more than can be said for some beer ads.


Who is the first Canadian to be a daughter-in-law, mother and wife of a senator? Michael Meighen says that he knows the answer—his 75-year-old mother, Margaret, the widow of businessman Theodore Meighen. Last May, she married Independent Senator Hartland Molson, 83, the dean of the Montreal brewing family. Margaret Molson's late father-in-law was Arthur Meighen, who held a Senate seat after serving as prime minister in the 1920s. And her son Michael, 51, became a senator in the latest round of Tory Senate appointments last month. But he professes to be taking his mother's historic triple play in stride. Said Meighen: "I don't think it's earth-shattering one way or the other." Spoken like a true veteran of the desk-pounding wars.

Old story, new tryst

While onetime presidential hopeful Gary Hart languishes in relative obscurity, one of the contributors to his downfall, the nubile Donna Rice, is adding a stage credit to her accomplishments. The 32year-old former model, whose 1987 tryst with Hart doomed his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, has been studying acting for the past year and a half. And this month in suburban Washington, she is appearing in her first live theatrical role, Václav Havel’s 1984 play Largo Desolato, at the American Showcase Theatre in Alexandria, Va. Rice plays a young woman infatuated with her philosophy professor, a disillusioned older man. Of the role, Jill Camp, founder of the theatrical company, said, “She is young and fresh, and it seems to him that maybe she can give him fresh life.” In Hart’s case, that is not the way things turned out.


The two faces of Eve faced off in London recently, in a war of words between Australian feminist and author Germaine Greer and Canada’s Barbara Amiel, a columnist for Maclean’s and The Times of London. Last year, Amiel wrote a frank and not particularly flattering profile of Greer, which appeared in The Times. In it, Amiel asked, “How is it that a woman who is so engaging, witty, erudite, and a fine writer can be so totally askew in her thought processes and say the most ludicrous things?” Amiel also said that Greer “suffers - from terminal self-

absorption.” Now, Greer, with all the

ferocity of a feminist

scorned, has exacted her revenge in an article in the Oct. 6 issue of The Independent Magazine, in which she decries what she calls “the celebrity journalist.” The object of her wrath is a boorish interviewer with “great hobbit feet” and “a breakfront bosom,” who appears at her Essex home demanding tea and bread and “effusing patent insincerity.” Greer does not name her tormentor, but when a gossip columnist at London’s Evening Standard brought Greer’s article to Amiel's attention, she cried: “Oh no, oh no. Yes, yes, it’s me. I’ve got the biggest feet in the world.”

Phillip Edmonston, the U.S.born consumer advocate whose election to Parliament this year in the Quebec riding

of Chambly made him the province’s only NDP member, has vowed to speak only in French during the party’s weekly caucus. Edmonston, whose French is fluent but accented, is an ardent nationalist. Said Edmonston, who says that he supports sovereignty-association: “I’ve never had a single complaint about being too pro-Quebec. ” Not yet, anyway.