Ignorance is the barrier
john downs said it in his open-
ing remark in his letter (NOW, March 22-28): "forgive my ignorance." Well, I can't forgive stupidity. Trivializing an issue of basic human rights is a classic example of why barriers exist in the first place! Sure, "the world is not completely accessible to anyone. The majority of people are too fat, too short, too tall, too ugly, too something to be able to accomplish everything in life." However, none of these things prevents you from buying a sandwich or using a bathroom!
-Neil Mercer Toronto
Hiking boots fit over braces
ironically, i must agree with
John Downs on a couple of points in his ignorant rant against disabled rights. The article itself does not address the basic, just-try-getting-milk-at-the-corner-store problems we people who use wheelchairs/scooters live with 24/7. There's a McDonald's and a Starbucks on every other corner, and 90 per cent of them are accessible.
Aside from the fact that hiking boots are the only style of shoe that will fit over the leg braces I wear (fashion is not an option), I couldn't care less about Bata Out There. The editors' choice of establishments was based on the idea that if these money-laden corporations won't give a damn, what hope can we hold out for doctors' offices, public transit and places to live and work?
It's not a matter of choice, John. If my fighting for equal access is making your life shit, then you need more help than most disabled people I know.
- Ann Kennedy Toronto
Chair access tip of iceberg
i think both john downs and
NOW have a thing or two to learn about accessibility. NOW canvassed downtown retailers for wheelchair accessibility and found a few frustrating barriers like a single step at a front door. News flash: sometimes that seemingly trivial single step is an integral part of the foundation and cannot be removed without endangering the structure of the whole building. If the ramp occupies space on a sidewalk, you usually need to secure a variance from the city.
Wheelchair access is barely the tip of the iceberg. You don't know what's in the rest of the iceberg? How typical of leftists, who will drone on endlessly about subtle varieties of racism, sexism and homophobia, even unprompted, but get all jittery around the crips.
Quickie suggestion for NOW: since, after all these years, you refuse categorically to educate your writers about any aspect of disability (it's so much easier to bang out another diatribe against genetically modified food, the cops or the Tories), you could improve your cred a wee bit through simple measures. Try cribbing from the liner notes of DVDs you review and list all available access features (captions, subtitles, audio descriptions, dubbing). Maybe your Internet column, such as it is, could test all the ancien-regime sites it reviews with graphics- loading deactivated.
Little things like that. You've got nowhere to go but up.
-Joe Clark Toronto
Recycling scoop that isn't
while i applaud jamie brown-
ing's "fanatic recycling" (NOW, March 22-28), I think, in all fairness to the city of Toronto, it should be pointed out that the recycling of only number 1 and 2 plastics has never been "another dirty secret." Almost all of Toronto's public recycling literature (including the yearly pickup schedule delivered to most homes) states that only these plastics should be recycled. NOW did a public service by helping spread this information -- a "scoop" it was not.
-E. Rubinstein, Toronto
Keep that plastic coming
thank you for the excellent
article Stop! You Can't Recycle That (NOW, March 8-14). The city of Toronto appreciates your attention to our expanded recycling program, which now allows residents to put even more materials in their blue boxes -- empty paint cans, empty aerosol cans, milk and juice cartons and drink boxes, in addition to the items already accepted.
There is one point that we would like to clarify. The sentence, "Most of the plastic you throw into your bin thinking it will all come back as lawn chairs actually ends up in landfill" is misleading. While it is accurate to say that the non-recyclable plastics generated in homes end up in landfill, the vast majority of plastic that residents place in their blue boxes is recycled. This is because most residents correctly place bottles and jugs coded with a 1 and 2 in their blue box. Over 95 per cent of these containers are then made into different objects, including twine, rope, carpet and carpet backing, car bumpers, flowerpots, plastic lumber and blue boxes.
Solid Waste Management Services
City of Toronto
Burning down the house
about those people who have
taken it upon themselves to reduce urban sprawl by burning some newly constructed houses (NOW, March 22-28) -- these people do not realize the logical outcome of this kind of activity.
There are, after all, a lot of causes for which property can be destroyed and people can be killed. Anti-abortionists have killed doctors and burned medical clinics. We will not only have no abortion, we will have no medical treatment of any kind and will go back to relying on witch doctors to cast out evil spirits (a practice that fortunately requires no medical training or equipment).
With enough people burning down other people's houses, we can all go back to living in caves. (Of course, there aren't enough caves for the world's population of 6 billion. But don't worry, most of them will be murdered in the various ethnic, religious, ideological and national conflicts that will rage out of control as everybody casts off the restraints of civilized behaviour and pursues their particular glorious cause, for which other people have to die.)
Once the few surviving human beings are living happily in caves, and all the cultural and scientific advances of the past 10,000 years have been destroyed, leaving behind only an array of strange ruins, then problems such as urban sprawl and abortion will be safely ended. Won't that be wonderful? I hope our merry arsonists are looking forward to it as much as I am.
Plato was poor, too
doug little's notion that pov-
erty and illiteracy go hand in hand (NOW, March 22-28) is just plain BS. Was Homer illiterate? Was Plato? But they had no inside plumbing!
At the risk of sounding like something out of a stand-up comedy act, I lived the first few years of my life in Britain during the second world war. I did not know my father until I was six years old. My mother struggled under very heavy odds to feed and clothe my brother and me. We, along with many of my fellow villagers, were poor.
Yet, I had in my school class several children of an unpretentious man who lived in slum-like conditions with only cold running water and no inside toilet facilities.
They were not only poor, they were on the verge of being completely destitute. It was not uncommon for them to come to school hungry and literally in rags.
Brian (my classmate) and many of his siblings are now professionals. So what did Brian and his family have? They had a father who could frequently be seen pushing his old bicycle to the local library and returning with handlebars stacked with books. Under the light of candles and/or gas lighting, they read and read and read.
-Roy Cummings, Toronto
Baise-Moi made her think
re baise-moi is base from either
Place (NOW, March 22-28). It seems relatively easy to write a film review and relatively hard to make a film. It is also "hard" to put erect cocks in a film, try porn actresses in challenging roles and watch a brutal rape scene.
I am writing this letter because I can't stop thinking about Baise-Moi. About the incredible charisma and intensity between Manu and Nadine, and the scene where they played this intensity at the same time as fucking two guys in a hotel room -- the best sex scene I've ever seen onscreen.
Emotions (whether despair, hope or rebellion) were truly mixed with hardcore. This is a new and thrilling kind of cinema.
I don't understand why film critics ("porn-savvy," "lesbo-feminist" or not) think the page is for their personal shit. Isn't film criticism supposed to be a discipline?
Tamara Faith Berger, Toronto
The representative of the Chinese Canadian National Council quoted in last week's story about the Falun Gong is a member of the CCNC Toronto chapter. The national office is responsible for international affairs.