What shrinks can't do
re should shrinks prescribe ec- stasy (NOW, March 1-7). Ecstasy is the natural by-product of being on the right path in life, and drugs are really only designed to open your mind up to possibilities. They're not meant to become a way of life in and of themselves.
Shrinks, of course, are supposed to be people who can help you find the right path in life, but too many of them are tourists. They've basically had some kind of experience that tells them there's got to be a better way, but instead of trying to find that way themselves, they go to school. It takes a lot of schooling to learn how to be a shrink, and mostly they learn how to prescribe the right drug to settle people down if they're making too much noise. That's why they call them shrinks.
When I saw the headline on the front of NOW, I just started laughing, and then this poem popped out:
Should Shrinks Prescribe Ecstasy?
Maybe shrinks shouldn't prescribe ecstasy,
But only tell you where to get some.
In school, however, shrinks really only learn about legal drugs,
So most of them can't even tell you that much.
I want my cellphone
i was interested to read your latest concerns about cellphone transmission towers (NOW, March 1-7). At the risk of seeming to harp on this subject, I have further comments. I gather that you would prefer the city of Toronto to have the authority to regulate the placement of such towers. But this is not feasible.
A working cellphone system requires an even distribution of transmitters. If you start messing around with this, there will be some locations where cellphones won't work, since they'll be too far from the nearest transmitter. And this is not what cellphone users expect and demand.
Cellphones are a public utility. You have no choice about the placement of power lines, phone lines, gas pipes, water pipes or sewage tunnels, and you have no choice about cellphone towers either. They go where they need to go, whether you like it or not.
The only choice we do have, as a society, would be to accept or reject cellphone technology in its entirety. If we want the convenience of mobile phones to carry with us and use anywhere, then we must also live with the resulting microwave radiation and any resulting health problems. (Robert Riedlinger's letter in the same issue shows that those problems can be quite severe.) If we aren't willing to tolerate those health risks, then we must give up our cellphones and return to the previous system of using phones at fixed locations only.
Naturally, what you want is to be able to continue to use cellphones but also keep those nasty towers away from your place of residence. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. If you happen to live in a location that is right for the geometry of the cellular network, then you're getting a transmitter.
Anyway, gotta go. My cellphone is ringing. Catch you next week.
Police state of Toronto
it seems that the city of toron- to is heading toward a police state, one where the citizens hear, read and live what the police deem appropriate.
Police advocates were enraged with NOW for the photo and public info about Fantino's home. But when Craig Bromell and the police union put city councillors' home phone numbers in the Star, Fantino gave this his muted approval. Was the Star threatened with an advertising boycott as NOW is by Fantino? Not to my knowledge.
Additionally, what message is the pending lawsuit against Kyle Rae and the ousting of Olivia Chow sending to the people of Toronto?
The message is, if you do not agree with the Toronto police force you will be forced into submission. You will be sued and intimidated.
These are elected representatives of our populace, our voices, and they are being muzzled.
Is NOW going to be next? Democracy is "the principle that all citizens have equal political rights." We are dangerously close to losing our democratic voices to public officials we didn't vote into power.
NOW must be vigorously defended against any repercussions for the publication of Fantino's address. This manipulation and intimidation of publicly elected officials and the media is a direct assault against democracy and will be difficult to reverse if left unchallenged.
I really don't care where Fantino or Bromell lives, but I do care about their interpretation of what Toronto and the downtown core should be and how they achieve policing goals.
Mel, get a bicycle
now that the other local mayor-for-life has weighed in with her defence of Mel's limo service (NOW, March 1-7), it's time to take a close look at this issue.
Item 1: Mel says, "The places I have to go, you can't even get a cab. I don't even know where these places are."
Places where cabs won't go? I had to think about that. The moon? Submarine bases? When Mel says he doesn't know where he's going, I can believe him.
Item 2: Hazel says, "I don't know how a mayor (in Toronto) could drive himself and get parked and get to the meetings he has in different places."
So parking is a problem, one that thousands of us have to solve every day. A driver/chauffeur, of course, makes the problem go away. Mel gets out, the driver sits in the car, engine idling for an hour or two or even three until he returns. Problem? What problem?
The limo is a symbol, of course. To give it up means Mel is willing to suffer. If he gets to keep it, will the city keep its threatened City Cycling Committee? The mayor should get a bike and go wherever he wants, even where cabs don't go. He might then appreciate the work done for over two decades by the cycling committee to help keep us healthy.
Earthquake might help
dear editor, last time i penned a slowmail to you. Now, for a brief time, I can utilize my son's computer. I'm 72 years young, so please bear with me.
I took part in a phone-in on the new city on Rogers Cable 10 with John Sewell. I'm a property owner, retired. I cringe to try and cover a 32-per-cent tax increase. I suggested we get some of the gas taxes back, or we go join Hazel in Mississauga.
Strange, isn't it? Toronto is under the microscope of the Olympic committee. Oh, yes, Mel can discover money to pay for the Olympics in 2008, but he says he has no cash to hand out now.
We live since amalgamation in a crisis, week to week. We need an earthquake in Toronto to shake those in power out of their ivory towers. Food banks, homeless people sleeping on the streets -- I thought it only occurred in Calcutta. Shame.
Workman an original
kim hughes, i can picture you licking your chops and touching your crotch as you race to paragraph three to expose the true identity of Hawksley Workman (NOW, March 1-7). Imagine changing both Christian and sur- names for the sake of entertainment -- an affront to true Canadianism, wouldn't you agree?
I do sincerely hope that Workman is poised for international success and that this success further paves the way for original Canadian talent. It is refreshing to hear a Canadian artist speaking beyond the hokey sonic equivalents of small towns and hockey sticks. Furthermore, your embarrassing collection of interviews from high-school janitors, glee club organizers and virgins left little room to discuss Workman's music from his own perspective.
Although I do agree with your sour-tasting approval of Workman's music, I wonder if there aren't mysteries greater than a name-change to uncover -- for example, why Canadians don't say "Why not?" more often.
Perhaps the secret exists outside the goofball confines of Molson Canadian's manifesto.
Penalty box for wanker
will someone please tell ste- ven Davey that the word "boite" is French for "box" and (mis)using it in any other way, particularly to describe a mediocre yet trendy restaurant, makes one sound like a pretentious wanker?