Margaret Atwood is an image-maker haunted by her own projected images. Canada's most-gossiped-about writer can list the various and, she would say, distorted images her public mirror gives her back. There’s the goddess, the bitch, the nationalist, the feminist, the Venus, the madwoman—and, now, the earthmother.
Everybody knows at least one horror story: the high-school graduate who can’t read anything more complicated than a snack-bar menu, the PhD with a $50,000-plus education who subsists on unemployment insurance, the months and even years devoted to what amounts to little more than supervised play in some elementary schools, the grade 10 student who has never learned the multiplication tables.
He had been waiting at ice level for an hour or more, as patiently as it is possible for small boys to wait. Finally, its practice over, Team Canada filed off the ice toward the dressing room and the boy made his approach. “Can I have your hockey stick?” he said to Dave Burrows.
I refer to Remember The Old Saying About Life Being Priceless? (May 17) in which reference is made to the example of swine flu vaccine as an indication of the short-sightedness of government. I must take exception to the implications regarding the swine flu vaccine acquisition program and the suggestion that the Institute Armand Frappier predicted the flu outbreak and that its request for an $800,000 grant to prepare vaccines was turned down.
Not long after he introduced Canada’s first-ever peacetime wage and price controls last fall, Finance Minister Donald Macdonald observed that he felt like a man who has fallen from a 30-storey building and still has 15 storeys to go. These days, he may find the ground rushing toward him at an alarming rate.
“The next six months will be decisive,” says John Allan, president of the Steel Company of Canada. He squints unhappily in the glaring Ontario sunlight at the fields surrounding the vast new plant his company is building at Nanticoke, 40 miles southwest of Hamilton on Lake Erie.
A year of residence in Washington has left me with a clutter of items that seem at least as reflective of American life as the high-powered stuff that gets into the magazine. Herewith, then, one year’s leavings from life in the United States:
The story you want is part of the Maclean’s Archives. To access it, log in here or sign up for your free 30-day trial.
Experience anything and everything Maclean's has ever published — over 3,500 issues and 150,000 articles, images and advertisements — since 1905. Browse on your own, or explore our curated collections and timely recommendations.WATCH THIS VIDEO for highlights of everything the Maclean's Archives has to offer.