Anthony Wilson-Smith June 19 2000


Anthony Wilson-Smith June 19 2000

Urban Legend

The puck stops here

It has become the case of the missing puck. Sometime after scoring his legendary 500th goal, Maurice (Rocket) Richard announced: “We sent [the puck] to the Queen —so it’s over in England somewhere. I hope so anyway.” Since then, the story has circulated throughout Canada-—and like the game of broken telephone, new elements keep being added. The latest version, by which the puck was supposed to have been plated in gold before being sent to Buckingham Palace, was repeated, as a fact, by anchorman Peter Mansbridge during CBC’s coverage of Richard’s funeral. Mansbridge went on to say to his guest, veteran announcer Dick Irvin, that it would be a good idea to get it back. Since the funeral, the Hockey Hall of Fame has received several calls about the missing memento. There’s only one problem with all that, says Kelly Masse, manager of marketing and media relations at the hall: “We don’t know how this started, but the puck is here in his dedicated display case—and it’s not gold.” Shanda Deziel

Reality Check

Queer, and here
When it comes to gay-related themes on television, anecdotal evidence suggests Canadians are more tolerant than viewers in Britain. A year ago, the British series Queer as Folk—which chronicles the sex lives of three gay men—ran in Britain and it elicited 3,000 calls, mostly negative. So when Canada’s Showcase Television began the series last week, the network prepared for the worst, hiring two extra security guards and training 15 people to handle irate callers. But after the show aired, Showcase received 279 phone messages and e-mails—only seven of which were negative. Some sample caller reviews:

Negative: “I am so sick of having gay garbage crammed down my throat.”

“The positive side of this show is that it will be aired at midnight when this offensive piece of trash hopefully will be viewed mainly by gays.”

Positive: “We found the series to be serious, emotional and humorous without being condescending or preachy.”

“The series is so real and in your face, it breaks the ice into this genre of life in the gay world.”

“Forgetting gay aspects of the show, the program is compelling and extremely well done.” S.D.


Women on Women and Work

“... conduct injurious to the moral tone of the school or the physical or mental well-being of others and persistent opposition to authority.”

-Katherine Burke, principal of a Cornwall, Ont., high school, explains why nine students were suspended for having lunch at Hooters restaurant, where female staff wear tight-fitting tank tops


“It prevents women like me from doing what comes naturally, which is feeding my baby.”

-Deborah Stienstra, Canadian delegate at special United Nations assembly on women, protests policy that prevents her from breastfeeding: the UN does not allow children under 14 to attend meetings


“So far, work for gender equality has not focused much on the mans role.”

-Margareta Winberg, Sweden’s equality minister, calls for international conference to promote role of men


Harry Benson’s Northern Lights

Photographer Harry Benson has always had great access to the world’s first families and most elusive celebrities. Near the beginning of his career, Benson, who grew up in Glasgow, accompanied the Beatles on their first trip to America— recording their Ed Sullivan appearance and their meeting with Cassius Clay. After that trip, he stayed in America and continued to chronicle some of the most memorable moments in history. Last week, he brought his photos to Canada for the first time, for a three-week showing at the Liss Gallery in Toronto. He walked Maclean’s through the stories behind two of his most famous subjects:

On Margaret Trudeau Kemper: “It was nothing remarkable, you know, just Trudeau with a pretty girl. Then, the last time, I was taking her picture for Vanity

Fair after she had married again. She was very obliging; some of the photographers told me she was a bit crazy, but I found her obliging. She had been out of the limelight for some time and people don’t like being out of the limelight even if when they were in the limelight they were rather silly. So I knew she would be fine.”

On Wayne Gretzky: “It was at the time Edmonton just went into the NHL. He looked like a sissy, with his hair all permed, but he was a nice guy. I tell you, I didn’t know what to do with him. I spent a week with him for Life magazine and we used only one picture. He is sitting on the ice, with a pair of short boxer pants on. What a stupid picture. And he said to me: ‘You know, Harry, the boys are going to laugh at me, the boys are going to laugh,’ and I said, ‘No they won’t,’ and you know what, the boys did. He was embarrassed.”

Dear Saddam: Print This! !

Assaults on the other side’s computer software are now a major weapon of war. An official In Canada’s security apparatus tells this tale about the days just prior to the 1991 Gulf War: a Western intelligence agency realized that Iraqi air defenses relied largely upon an antiquated VAX mainframe computer system, which treated output devices (like printers) as indistinguishable from command-input devices (like keyboards).The agency doctored software in a printer destined for Baghdad. It was installed in Iraqi headquarters, where it spat out printed text for weeks-until an Allied signal activated special instructions. Then, it began directing commands back into the mainframe, which crippled Iraq’s air shield. Chris Wood

Over and Under Achievers

'Survivor’: a Tory story?

Special all-game-show) bonanza: we ’ll take Pam for $ 1,000,000!! Reach for the Top: how low will it go?? And Alex, Regis; the Great Rivalry category, please!!

Pam Wallin: Pride of Wadena, Sask., will host one-shot, all-Canadian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—with show to be staged in Manhattan. After all, that’s where our finest minds live.

Alex Trebek and Regis Phil bin: Supermarket tabs report battle of game-show hosts continues, with our very own Alex dissing Reege because of his success. They’ll continue their hissy fits right after these commercial announcements.

Reach for the Top: Bargain-basement quiz show for geeks to return after multiyear absence, with host not yet chosen. Saaay, maybe another life for Ralph Benmergui?

Survivor: CBS show about 16 people stuck far from civilization, plotting to off each other, posts smash ratings. Joe Clark and Tory caucus to sue for theft of idea.

Pioneer Quest: Hot reality-TV concept—take two Canadian couples, send ’em to live in wilderness, and run series showing how they make out. Day before start, husband of one gets charged with sexual assault, drops out. Moral of story: real life has no place in reality TV.


Expecting: Six months after taking time off from touring in order to get pregnant, Quebec-born singing super.« star Celine Dion, 32, announced that she and husband René Angélil, 58, are expecting their first child. In a statement to fans, Dion, who underwent fertility treatments last month, said: “In three weeks, if all goes well, we’ll hear the heart of our baby, beating inside of my tummy.”

Appointed: William Thorsell, 54, former editor-in-chief at The Globe and Mail, will take a new position as CEO and director of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. The ROM chose Thorsell, after a six-month search, to replace current director Lindsay Sharp. Although Thorsell, a native of Camrose, Alta., and a Princeton graduate, has no museum experience, the ROM board was impressed by his vision of the museum as an integral part of the city’s cultural life. In his new position, he will oversee five million objects and 1,000 employees and volunteers.

Reinstated: An Ontario judge turned down an appeal by the National Ballet of Canada and upheld an arbitrator’s decision that former principal dancer Kimberly Glaseo, 39, must be cast in forthcoming productions while her wrongful dismissal case against the company is heard.

Died: William Simon, 72, was a bond trader who served as the treasury secretary to U.S. president Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal and throughout the 1970s’ energy crisis. Simon encouraged consumer efficiency during the period when Arab oil producers imposed an embargo on Israel-friendly nations. Simon once said: “I’m the guy that caused the lines at the gas stations.” He retained his Treasury position during Gerald Ford’s reign, but left

Washington when Jimmy Carter took office. He made millions in the 1980s as a trader on Wall Street. Simon died of a lung disease in a Santa Barbara, Calif., hospital.

Died: Jeff MacNelly, 52, editorial cartoonist for The Chicago Tribune, won the first of his three Pulitzer Prizes when he was only 24. In 1977, he created Shoe, a comic strip about a cranky newspaper editor and the hacks who worked for him at The Treetops Tattler. Since MacNelly found drawing humans “terribly boring,” he drew all the characters in his popular strip as birds. MacNelly died of lymphoma in a Baltimore hospital.

Charged: Grammy Award-winning rapper Marshall Mathers III, aka “Eminem,” aka “Slim Shady,” has the topselling album in North America. At the same time, the artist, known for his violent, sexist, anti-gay lyrics, faces four weapons charges in Michigan. Twice in the past month, Mathers, 25, was involved in altercations where he pulled a gun—once on a man he believed kissed his wife and once on a member of a rival hip-hop band. Mathers pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the first incident and has been released on bail.

Died: Immediately after graduating from Princeton University in 1943, physicist Roger Sutton was brought to Los Alamos, N.M., to join the Manhattan Project—where top scientists were working on the atom bomb. After the war, the Lloydminster, Sask., native worked as a professor at what is now the Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Sutton, 83, died of cancer at his Pittsburgh home.

Died: Gilles Landry, 48, a senior diplomat stationed at the Canadian High Commission in London, oversaw the renovation and relaunching of Canada House two years ago. The Granby, Que., native was scheduled to return to Ottawa this summer for his next assignment. Landry, who had a history of cardiac problems, collapsed and died of a heart attack outside a meeting of Commonwealth foreign ministers in London.