Hiphop highs and lows
toronto hiphop has its highs and lows, and one of its greatest lows is the inability of many of its male voices to recognize that all oppressions are linked together. Does Kardinal Offishall (NOW, March 29-April 4) not realize that you can be black and gay at the same time?
Many of us do not have the luxury of dismissing other oppressed peoples. As someone who experiences both racism and sexism as part of everyday life, I feel that ignorant, divisive remarks such as his only work to keep us marginalized.
-Denise Balkissoon Toronto
Show too late for a Monday
I wanted to raise a point that Kim Hughes missed in the otherwise accurate review of the Waterboys concert at the Guvernment (NOW, March 29-April 4). As the tickets promised, the doors opened at 8 pm, and many (including me) were there early to get a decent spot.
At 9 pm, the hitherto unannounced opening band, Hennessey, played an hour-long set. They were pretty good, but not expecting an opening band, everyone was a little impatient. The kicker, though, was that after they finished we had to wait another 45 minutes for the Waterboys.
Now, a 10:45 start on Friday or Saturday would have been OK. We could have had a drink or two and slept in the next day. But this was a Monday, and it was a mature crowd -- no wonder people were leaving after 75 minutes. The sad part was that even Mike Scott seemed a little bleary-eyed, or perhaps just dispirited by the mass exodus.
-Philip Kahn Toronto
Warning, adult material
re glenn sumi's dance review (NOW, March 29-April 4). Talk about cliches. Once again we are presented in NOW with another mythological take on the 70s by someone who likely was not even there -- who at best was in kindergarten. In the future, we will be sure to include a tab of ecstasy, a pacifier, a stuffed fuzzy toy, a techno CD with player and headset, a Sesame Street Game Boy and some gummie bears in Sumi's press kit, lest he be distracted by the demands of a live performance that evidently challenged his attention deficit, or perhaps threatened to take him a bit too near himself.
Had he ever bothered to read the ample press material provided him -- if indeed he can read -- he'd have known that there was no "violinist" present onstage, nor did I bow "copper containers." These were, in fact, hand-made Tibetan singing bowls comprised of various metals that give them tonal resonance and overtones.
Also, Lin Snelling is not in possession of a "sack cloth," nor does she ever allude to "eastern religions," nor are there sounds of "lapping waves" on the soundtrack.
And incidentally, where I come from people actually speak French, as do I, much of the time. So Sumi's gratuitous quip about a "woman (Josée Gagnon -- read the damned program!) murmuring en français" is at best adolescent and nothing short of xenophobic.
In terms of dance criticism, one would think that, in a city the size of Toronto, NOW could have come up with something better that a hysterical misogynist, the extent of whose dance history was learned watching Saturday Night Live. How embarrassing is that?
-Michael Reinhart Collaborator, Woman As Landscape Montreal
Right wing wins by failing
I liked doug little's article illiterate Test (NOW, March 22-28), but his last comment about "conservative reforms that have flopped so dismally in the U.S." misses an important point: who in neo-con land gives a damn?
There are all sorts of undead Thatcher/Reagan-era "reforms" that have failed again and again under Bush the First or Klein or Harris. Who profits from the steady erosion of civil society and public infrastructure is the key to virtually every "reform" heralded by backward, vicious neo-cons to whom civil society is a poorly understood idea at best. Tax cuts rule! The hell with the rest.
-Larry Brnjac Toronto
Brit education still works
re roy cummings's letter (now, March 29-April 4). I was born in Hammersmith, London, 72 years ago but spent my formative years in Aldershot, Hants. I attended school during the second world war. I was 11 when it started. Because of it, I lost some education but had enough to enter the Royal Navy.
No, I didn't live in poverty. My parents had a council house pre-war. My grandparents operated a pub (the Newmarket Tavern).
We started right off the mark at five years old -- no kindergarten -- and got right down to learning the British basic education as it was then. We had it drilled into us by rote -- times table, mental arithmetic and writing, English grammar -- despite air raid interruptions.
I was told by a Canadian co-worker years ago that if you had a British education you could get by in most countries in the world.
It's bad to ponder that libraries will close or reduce time due to lack of money. By the by, don't parents read stories to their children any more?
I like your new Web page. I don't know how much time I have left on my son's computer. TTFN.
- Joseph William Lea, Etobicoke
Don't trust W with planet
so the u.s. is breaking the kyoto agreement. George Bush Jr. has also mused aloud about digging for oil in protected wilderness preserves, logging national parks, and now breaking the U.S. commitment to a written international agreement. What can we expect next? This is barely two months into his four-year term. Imagine if he continues in this way for the next four years!
I'm beginning to wonder if the world's most powerful military nation may now be led by a despot, an environmental Idi Amin. They're our closest neighbours and they need our water. They go back on their word.
-Mark Kenya, Toronto
Insurance dumps its costs
i believe it's wrong for the tax payers of Ontario to pick up the financial burden created by private insurance companies. This happens when their policy-holders don't meet their definition of disabled (loosely defined as a coma state) and support is discontinued after a maximum of two years.
Without a lot of choices, a person applies first for welfare, then Ontario disability support.
Now this person (me) becomes another drain on provincial funds. While this is going on, you're left to fight for your rights and for insurance companies to fulfill their obligations, through a lawyer who costs thousands ($15,000 to date).
It seems to me that the Harris government has allowed insurance companies to do business in this way because he won't go after someone who has the resources to fight back. But taxpayers are helping to protect the insurance-company profit margin while depleting our tax dollars. Mike, I can save you $916 per month. All you have to do is come with me to my insurance company and ask why they are not taking responsibility for my rehabilitation.
-C. Stancati, Toronto
Crime pays -- ask Kovals
So, ron and loren koval have admitted guilt and may spend up to eight years in jail for stealing $100 million from the King's Health Centre. They claim the money is gone and there's no way for them to pay it back. Let's do the math, shall we?
They had $1 million (U.S.) in cash on them when they were arrested, so we'll chop $1.5 million (Canadian) from the total -- leaving $98.5 million. They shared it equally, so we'll call it $49.25 million in "tax-free" income each. Eight years in prison is 70,128 hours (including leap years), so in theory they have each "earned" $702.29 for every hour they will spend behind bars.
However, they will actually be released after two-thirds of their sentences. That's only 46,752 hours, or $1,053.43 per hour.
Some people say crime doesn't pay. In fact, it appears to pay quite well.
- Mark J. Richardson Toronto