OPENING NOTES

The Dalai Lama comes calling, Geoffrey Giuliano hangs up his clown costume, and Brian Mulroney hooks a big one

September 10 1990

OPENING NOTES

The Dalai Lama comes calling, Geoffrey Giuliano hangs up his clown costume, and Brian Mulroney hooks a big one

September 10 1990

OPENING NOTES

The Dalai Lama comes calling, Geoffrey Giuliano hangs up his clown costume, and Brian Mulroney hooks a big one

AN EAR FOR A FISHY STORY

An editorial in the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently asked the burning, or perhaps piercing, question: “Who has the President's ear?" Ignoring such pressing issues as which of George Bush's cabinet members currently wields the most influence, the writer addressed the issue of who really cast the line that left Bush with a fishhook in his right earlobe during an outing to catch bluefish last week in Kennebunkport, Me. At the time, White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater blamed the President's youngest son, Jeb, a Florida real estate entrepreneur. But the Plain Dealer appeared skeptical of that explanation. It

reported that “some watchdogs suspected that the culprit was his companion, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney." The paper offered no explanation of how the snag took place, but bad casting is a likely reason. The editorial then commented that, in Mulrone/s enthusiastic support for Bush's policy in the Persian Gulf, “the visitor from Ottawa has adopted the U.S. position hook, line and sinker." It continued, “The visitor from Ottawa was no doubt casting about for solutions during a crisis of global proportions." Then, the newspaper speculated that the accident might serve as a reprimand to Bush for “playing hook/' on the golf course during the crisis. And it attributed to Bush the dubious distinction of being the first president known to have had his ear pierced while in the White House.

Sending out the clowns

Geoffrey Giuliano has gone straight. The former Ronald McDonald clown says that, after years of “deceiving thousands of innocent, trusting children,” he has thrown in his rubber nose and striped socks to promote the joys of vegetarianism. Not only did Giuliano, a resident of Lockport, N.Y., spend time as a member of what he calls “the McDonald’s corporate juggernaut,” but he also says that he is ashamed to admit to a stint posing as “the Marvellous Magical Burger King,” which involved performing a children’s magic show celebrating the glories of meateating for McDonald’s-rival Burger King Corp. Now, the former clown is telling all in his yet-to-be-published memoirs, Confessions of a Corporate Clown. And as part of what he describes as his effort to make amends for past sins, Giuliano is developing a magic show that he plans to take to schools

and vegetarian food fairs. He added, “This show is my way of saying sorry for selling out so blatantly to concerns who make their millions off the murder of countless animals and the exploitation of children for their own ends.” A lot to beef about.

A FEAST FIT FOR ROVER

U.S. diplomatic personnel who tied their homes for the safety of the embassy during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait later sent scouts to survey the damage to their property. One woman cabled the state intelligence department in Washington to say that she was amused to learn that some of the invaders not only consumed her ice cream and liquor, but also prepared a meal of Gaines-Burgers fried in teriyaki sauce. The empty dog-food wrappers, bottle and frying pan were left on the kitchen counter. “My dog never had it so good,” the cable said.

NO ROOM AT THE COMMONS

In 1989, Brian Mulroney met visiting Nobel Peace Prize winner Andrei Sakharov. When Lech Walesa, another Nobel laureate, was in Canada last fall, Mulroney invited him to speak to a joint session of Parliament. And in June,

Nelson Mandela received the same honor. But a federal official acknowledged privately that the Dalai Lama, exiled leader of Tibet, exalted by she million followers and winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize, has not been offered special treatment when he visits Canada later this _ month. The Canada

Tibet Committee wants Mulroney to invite him to address Parliament. But oth-

ers say that the Dalai Lama fled his homeland when China took over and, unlike Sakharov, Walesa and Mandela, was not imprisoned for his beliefs. Still, the federal official, who declined to let his name be used, said that “the tyranny reigning over Tibetans is no less repugnant than that in South Africa.” Mulroney’s press secretary, Gilbert Lavoie, said that “it may be appropriate for a cabinet minister to meet with the Dalai Lama in his capacity as a spiritual leader.” But the red carpet stays rolled up.

Child’s play

This fall, Canada’s Prime Minister will welcome 67 world leaders to the United Nations to take part in an international conference dedicated to easing the problems of the world’s underprivileged children.

And Brian Mulroney’s stewardship at such a high-profile, well-intentioned event might have been the right tonic for a Prime Minister who has had to endure a summer of strife and political disarray. But events elsewhere in the world have disrupted some plans and diminished the high hopes for the gathering. The president of Pakistan recently fired Benazir Bhutto, that country’s personable prime minister, who was to have cohosted the summit alongside Mulroney. President Ghulam Ishaq Khan said that Bhutto allowed rampant corruption in her administration. And the tensions in the Persian Gulf have eroded hopes that decreased military spending by the rich nations—resulting from the easing of Cold War tensions—might make more money available for the world’s young and hungry. But Yves Fortier, Canada’s ambassador to the United Nations, is putting on a brave face. “In Ottawa, we have an impressive team working on this,” he said. “I spoke to Mr. Mulroney last week, and he is delighted with the way things are turning out.”

Wealthy widows take sides

The battle lines were drawn in Hudson, Que., just across the Ottawa River from Oka. All summer, wealthy residents have been giving food and sympathy to the Mohawks manning the barricades. And the local press has complained about the increased presence of the Sûreté du Québec in a town that is a bastion of well-to-do WASPS. Now, they are raising money to help pay legal costs that may be incurred by the Warriors. Said Hudson resident Robert Gale: “A lot of widows here depend on Mohawks for work done around the yard and that sort of thing. ” Friends in need.

TELEVISION TIES THAT BIND

Atlantic Canadians are fighting to preserve their ties with the community of Bangor, Me., 120 km south of the border. If the CRTC approves a proposal to switch the ABC TV affiliate from Bangor to Detroit in November, Atlantic Canadians will trade interviews with Maine lobster fishermen for reports on big-city drug raids. The consortium of cable companies that made the application says that the change will improve the quality of the signal. But viewers say that they prefer Maine pop culture and local weather reports to a clearer picture. Tom Regan, a columnist in the Halifax Dally News, wrote, "I'm only a simple viewer, but the picture on my set looks fine.” Switching stations changes more than channels.

LAUNCHED WITH A LITTLE LUCK

Stormy seas seemed to surround the Athabaskan, the Terra Nova and the Protecteur as they prepared to pull out of Halifax harbor late last month on their way to the Middle East. Critics had said that the vessels were not well

equipped to go into -

battle—an observation that provided little comfort to the fam-

ilies bidding emotional farewells

to their loved ones. Then, just as the ships were preparing to leave, a school of about 20 dolphins encircled the vessels. Said one observer: “It was a positive omen. It gave me goose bumps when I saw it.” Dolphins, which are a traditional symbol of good luck for sailors, had not put on a show in the harbor for seven years. Said Paul Brodie, a federal fisheries department research scientist: “They were proba-

bly attracted by

fish.” But Canada’s first war effort in 40 years may need all the

luck it can get.