Since when do we take CSIS as honest truth?
It is very unfortunate that, at a time when Tamil people in Canada have become a target of so many racist sentiments from Conrad Black's National Post, an alternative voice joined the tirade with Tariq Hassan-Gordon's piece Toronto Tamils War Over Peace (NOW, July 20-26).
What is surprising is that Hassan-Gordon pukes statements made by CSIS -- to satisfy his present masters, without a shred of evidence based on his own investigations --that Tamils in Canada are fundraisers for LTTE terrorist activities. (Since when did NOW start treating CSIS as a credible source?)
I have attended numerous events organized by the Tamil Resource Centre where the maximum attendance rarely exceeded 50. In comparison, a recent event organized at Queen's Park by other Tamil organizations drew a crowd of over 20,000.
Fishing for dissent in the community while not providing any context certainly does not do anything for budding peace initiatives.
Toronto is home to the largest exile community (over 150,000) of Tamil people from Sri Lanka. Does Hassan-Gordon really think that we came here for the sheer joy of washing dishes in our white masters' restaurants?
He makes no mention of the brutal 25-year war launched by the Sri Lankan state against the Tamil people in Tamil Eelam, northern Sri Lanka, a war that pushed us out of our homeland. No mention is made of the organized pogrom against the Tamil people in 1983 that resulted in the deaths of many Tamils and made instant refugees of thousands.
Finally, Michael Ornstein's recent report includes Tamils and Sri Lankans in immigrant communities of colour that are experiencing high levels of poverty. And these are the people who are supposedly (according to CSIS and Hassan-Gordon), giving away their hard-earned less-than-living-wages to fund what must be an expensive war machine.
I expect Hassan-Gordon to offer an immediate apology to the Tamil community, people he has offended deeply with his shoddily researched and one-sided article.
You forfeit rights when you harass others
I generally hold the
police in disregard. Still, I find Enzo Di Matteo's article (NOW, June 29-July 5) stating that the police are less than delicate with the mentally ill a little hard to take.
I walk down Yonge Street most days. Sure, there are the tourist beggars at the regular posts, the summer-camp kids. But there are some mean bastards, too. In February, I witnessed one, crying about how they wouldn't let him use the bathroom in some restaurant or other, jaywalk Yonge and Dundas. Fine, I thought, he's gone, I don't have to watch my back any longer. But then he reappears and shoves the woman next to me in the line waiting for the streetcar. He could have shoved me, since she and I were standing at the same spot. But he didn't, I suppose because mental illness rendered him a coward as well as a bully.
There is a down side to
all that animal sex all that animal sex
Leah Rumack's tour of Metro Zoo's er... couplings (NOW, July 20-26) notes that a "male lion may be called on nearly 100 times a day for service." This is good news for the males. For them, she writes, there is no "bad news."
None? Try soreness.
Honest Ed's the tacky grande dame, so there
Who is Z. David Berlin (NOW, July 20-26) and why doesn't he move to Thornhill, where everything is just so nice and plain?
Honest Ed's has been the tacky grande dame of Bathurst and Bloor long before trendy restaurants, mocha lattes and sushi pizza, when the Bloor repertory cinema was still the Midtown and there used to be yo-yo contests before the cartoons.
This city has benefited from Ed Mirvish's open-handed generosity and support of the arts for many years, and the seeds of that patronage stem from the corner of Bathurst and Bloor.
Hey, if it were up to me, he could have stores on every one of the four corners.
This reviewer gives critic only one N
I am writing to explain to you why I have lost considerable interest in your magazine. My complaint concerns the criticism of a play I viewed last week called The Plain Gromboolian (NOW, July 13-19), part of the Fringe Festival for Children.
Your drama critic, if such he be, said that the play lacked dramatic imagination and could not be understood by the children for whom it was intended.
I found the play extremely involving and well conceived dramatically. I speak as a drama teacher, playwright and director. Drama, as we are both aware, does not consist solely of jumping up and down, taking off one's clothes or throwing custard pies. The drama of the idea is surely more significant and more useful to the advancement of mankind, if such is possible at this late stage.
What is the idea in this play? I have not consulted the author, Jessica Gardiner, and my knowledge of Edward Lear's poetry and writing, on which the play is based, is as rusty as anyone's. However, I venture to say that the play is addressed not simply to children but also to the child in all of us. It reminds us, in an imaginative way, that the analytic world in which we live is an inhibiting and dangerous place, often the killjoy of the human spirit.
When I saw the play, the children in the audience were as engrossed as the adults, contrary to your critic's observation, although many adults, I am sure, squirmed in their seats as they recalled their own addiction to numbers and to microscopes, to the little boxes of the mind and spirit.
Too many swats at city's musical heroes
Cheers to Catonia Wha-
len for blasting Tim Perlich (NOW, July 20-26). I, too, have noticed his penchant for tearing into people, regardless of relevance to their music.
I disagree with Catonia, however, on the role of the critic. When a band or individual gets a little sampling of their shit together and offers it up, it is not enough to merely describe it and leave it to personal preference. There is no favour in ignoring merit and pretending that quality and crap don't exist when faced with attempts at creativity. But aesthetic judgment must be passed with intelligence and insight, not catty insults.
Invariably, targets of Tim "sour-puss" Perlich's petty ad hominems are locals. He has taken swats at such homegrown heroes as John Borra, Laura Repo and, perhaps most regrettably, Alun Piggins. But his attacks are never objective deconstructions of the music -- what have you got against Mr. Piggins's hat, Tim ?
President of the Society for
Responsible Rock Journalism Responsible Rock Journalism
And he didn't listen to Steve Earle enough
the letter from Cato- nia Whalen only served to reinforce what many people already think -- Tim Perlich is often little more than a nasty grouch. His take on the new Steve Earle album (NOW, July 20-26) leads me to believe that he only gave it a cursory listen instead of letting the damn thing sink in.
And the comment about Earle's ability to read goes beyond nasty, and well into ill-informed and spiteful. The more I read Perlich's reviews, the more I start to envision him as a caricature of Grandpa Simpson.
Organize your neurons before you opine
Jason MCKenzie claims he could write better movie reviews than John Harkness "with loose nail clippings" (NOW, July 20-26). As McKenzie's writing already exhibits all of the intelligence and charm of bodily waste, he would probably do better to organize some of those "loose neurons" before expressing himself.
That may sound a bit harsh, but I'm writing to a paper where harsh opinions seem to rule the day. John Harkness, on the other hand, is charged with writing "synopsis-filled" reviews.
If this is to suggest that Harkness does not patronize his reader by trying to pass off angry over-the-counter political commentary as critical thought, then I agree with the charge.
That being said, I would also agree with McKenzie's suggestion that it is time for Harkness to give up his tenure at NOW. Move on, Mr. Harkness.