It’s home, not film set

Rating: NNNNNi am mary fish. i am not crazy. iwas nowhere near "the middle of the set" in Kensington Market.

Rating: NNNNN

i am mary fish. i am not crazy. iwas nowhere near “the middle of the set” in Kensington Market (NOW, December 7-13). I was half a block up the street, entering a restaurant.I was not “screaming obscenities.” I was eventually yelling about what happened to the money the producers swear is going to the residents and businesses.

I was yelling because I was being hauled off for whistling near a movie set. I was tired of being told to be quiet as I did my daily shopping or used my bank machine.

Their permit and the laws say they may not impede pedestrian traffic. There are witnesses who worked for them who will testify to the fact that they took up way too much space and they disregarded the “locals.”

I was whistling, and not on the set, and I still have trouble believing I was arrested for that.

Bruce MacDonald yelled, “Silence, people” and pointed to the cop and pointed to me, and there are many witnesses, including Bruce MacDonald.

I am a grandmother of five, a foster parent, an anti-poverty activist, a Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council and NFB award-winning artist. I am the co-editor of a local artzine.

“All care” was not taken “to make nice in Toronto,” and in fact this particular production company took far too much for granted and in my mind were arrogant about how they behaved.MARY FISH Torontoit was with total glee that iread your diatribe against the film industry and about how Mary Fish was abused. The picture was exquisite. Too bad you didn’t get to juxtapose it with several of her smiling as the ogres in the film industry handed her cheques for their being parked around her house on other shoots.You guys should get into reality, and then you’ll be accepted by the other media in Toronto.BRENDAN CARON

Film Liaison

Kensington Market Action Committee an innocent article about aninnocent Web site with innocent women taking off their clothes while they read the news. “There’s no vamping for the camera,” the writer excuses (NOW, December 7-13). And then the zinger. Quoting one of those “talented ladies” entrusted with reading the news, NOW repeats, “The Naked News is about more than nudity. It’s about the right we have to make choices, be proud and offer a fashion statement.”

Yikes. Political correctness, feminism and liberal politics may be unfashionable-approaching-dead — and maybe deservedly so. But in the name of fashion, have we really arrived at a point where exploitation becomes freedom because the poses aren’t “provocative”? Do we really believe that news is nothing more than “a dull genre” that can be spruced up with bouncing tits?

STEVEN GANGBARTorontosusan g. cole’s the five stages of A Smear Victim (NOW, December 7-13) is the best piece of writing I’ve read in a Toronto newspaper since I arrived here over 30 years ago.Sky Gilbert has made, and continues to make, an important contribution to life in this city, but he seems to have kept a cluttered closet full of all the slights he feels have been done him.

We are all solipsists who put our names before the public. We have to be, and that is a good thing because the world does exist for each of us. People who like our work say “That was good,” and that’s as much as we get. But the ones who don’t like us decry us at every opportunity, yet in the end do the most to further our name.

I had just walked in the door from hearing someone who, seeing me post flyers for my shows, had asked what kind of a person I am to work for. They could not imagine I would do the grunt work myself. When I said I was a real hard boss, the person replied that they had heard I was a prick and regaled me with stories I delighted in hearing.

It was terrific, opening up your paper, to discover that Cole has a similar sense of humour when it comes to her detractors. The one thing those who take themselves far too seriously cannot abide is laughter. That is why the Church in England outlawed the writing of satire and then outlawed the Druids who were masters of it.REG HARTT

Torontook, tim perlich, we get it. youdon’t like the new PJ Harvey (NOW, December 7-13). I am not about to revoke the critic’s right to be scathing or disapproving of an artist, but Perlich’s recent “pieces” on PJ have crossed the line between critic and cartoon super-critic.In particular, the power of his review of Polly’s performance is stunted by shallow jabs that are more in keeping with the desperate sabotage of an ex-boyfriend. Would Polly’s performance have been better if her roadie were slimmer? How about if she played a blue Stratocaster? Maybe she needed to grin wider, look only in Tim’s eyes, and say, “I love you.”

Stories From The Sea may not be as deeply mesmerizing and spooky as 98’s Is This Desire?, so I can understand Perlich’s disappointment. Much of it is a straight-up rock record, and some songs leave me a little flat. That said, the sheer intensity of their live counterparts made me a believer in even those songs.

It’s obvious that Perlich is a fan of PJ’s, not someone who wants her head on a plate. But, please, no more of his painful, juvenile rants. JOHN CROSSINGHAM

Torontocongratulations on the newformat. It makes for a better read. I do have a problem with the new art listings. They have been cut in half from their previous size. As a gallery director whose listings got the bump, I have an obvious issue here after all the effort to make all the deadlines. The NOW art listings were once the most comprehensive in the city, and I know of readers who chose NOW for that reason.PHIL ANDERSON Director, Gallery 1313you published an article aboutthe East Chinatown area entitled China Down (NOW, October 26-November 1). Anyone reading the article would come to the conclusion that East Chinatown is a moribund retail area with little hope of redemption.In November, the Riverdale Community Business Centre — a non-profit community economic development organization — conducted a four-page survey with a total of 55 merchants — roughly half of the total in the area. The survey found that 67 per cent of merchants are confident in the prospects for their businesses in East Chinatown. Only 2 per cent are completely without confidence. The survey also found that the area is remarkably stable: 55 per cent of the businesses have been in East Chinatown for over 10 years. A whopping 85 per cent fully intend to continue to do business there, while only 1 said he or she definitely planned to move out.

None of this is to suggest that all is perfectly well in East Chinatown. Indeed, recognizing the need for local investment, the city is working with community partners to develop a long-term revitalization plan. But it does seem to indicate that the rumours of East Chinatown’s death are very much exaggerated.KEVIN PERKINS Executive Director Riverdale Community Business Centrewhen I took my daughter toschool today, I saw many examples of man’s best friend. People were getting out with their strollers and taking their furry companions for a morning stroll. Some were jogging, encouraging their pups to get some exercise. There were dogs in sweaters, dogs in coats. Then I came across a forlorn dog. He was picking up each of his feet in succession, trying to keep his paws off the cold, wet concrete while he faithfully waited for his mistress to finish her wake-up coffee in the cozy, warm cafe. I wish to know why people think that because these caring animals have fur that they are always going to be warm in our Canadian winters.


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