Christians are kind, too
I really feel the need to protest.
As glad as I am to know of the fine work for the poor done by the Sri Guru Singh Sahba Temple (NOW, April 5-11), I feel that your comparison with the (apparently) lifeless and uncaring Christian church around the corner was unnecessary. There are houses of worship in every religion where the poor are ignored. And there are places that do more than their share.
In Toronto, the majority of Out of the Cold programs are operated by churches and other Christian institutions. The work of the Salvation Army and L.O.F.T. (formerly Anglican Houses) is well known. My own parish operates the Hunger Patrol.
Please feel free to commend those who do well without sneering at those who appear to do less. For all you know, the church that is "locked and dark" may be doing all kinds of good things, as are so many others.
REV. DAVID BURROWS
St. Olave's Anglican Church
The Dearings of London
i was intrigued to discover that the perky, faster-than-light kindergarten kid I remember is still at it. I can understand Sarah Dearing's desire (NOW, April 5-11) to leave London, considering the pressures of growing up in the fishbowl of the Dearing dynasty. But it seems some of the weight would also come from living in the aura of the enormous strength and vibrancy of Sarah's mother, Robin.
My recollections are that my childhood in London would have been a lot more repressive without the Dearings. I would never have appreciated the loss of individual rights and freedoms involved in the War Measures Act if I hadn't experienced Robin's indignation first-hand.
And I would never have appreciated and found comfort in A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and Twelfth Night if she hadn't had the patience to breathe life into shining, moaning schoolgirls, creeping like snails unwillingly to drama class.
Robin Dearing taught us to be strong and independent. Sarah's success is a testament to that.
Most of all, I remember that Robin and Peter loved each other and Sarah and her siblings.
It also seems that anyone who has had to wear black oxfords and grey socks for a significant portion of her childhood is justified in developing a shoe fetish. And I had the same experience with journalism school, but didn't have enough imagination to quit.
Few laughs in Mirth flick
re your feature and mini-review on The House Of Mirth (NOW, April 5-11). As one who took in a preview showing of this film, I feel compelled to be a little garrulous.
Your reviewer seems especially taken by principals Eric Stoltz and Gillian Anderson. Their romance consisted of smirking, smoking (Stoltz, with his constant light-ups, looked like the Marlboro man in a silk dressing gown) and speaking archly -- my arch tops your arch.
All that Dan Aykroyd's character lacked was a moustache to twirl and railroad tracks to tie Anderson to. The furniture and lush green lawns of country estates where people lay around doing nothing were a pleasure to see, but they could hardly compensate for Anderson's laughably melodramatic death. What was in that little green bottle?
Director Terence Davies has said his film is a tragedy in the Greek sense. Tragedy is meant to inspire awe and pity by portraying the fall of a flawed but intrinsically noble character. Anderson was neither. All I felt was relief when it was over.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Static in Kerbango radio
matt galloway is right that the Kerbango is a neato-looking product (NOW, April 5-11), but, unfortunately, the company shuttered its operations two weeks ago when parent corporation 3Com dismantled its Internet appliances division (a move that also affected the Audrey appliance). If you can find one of these devices, it will still work with the audio streams available out there in the real world, but support may be another issue altogether.
Sean Carruthers, Toronto
Stomping on Tapdogs
i knew i should have stopped reading your recent review of Gumboots (NOW, March 15-21) when it began by comparing it with Tapdogs and Stomp. Oh, please -- politics are in the eye of the beholder. This is the danger of commercializing a meaningful art form. The simple minds for whom it is geared will inevitably trivialize it and miss the point entirely.
Lise Watson, Toronto
Calling helpline gets zero
i read about how the city spent an undisclosed amount on bus shelter ads to tell tenants throughout Toronto to call the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations (NOW, March 15-21).
The FMTA claims it can no longer handle all the calls coming in because of the ads.
It blames the city for the problem and demands that its hotline funding from the city be increased from $97,000 to $175,000 so the number of counsellors can double, from two to four.
As any tenant will tell you who ever tried to reach the FMTA's hotline over the years, you only ever got voice mail, the chances of being called back were less than 50/50 and the information was less that what you can find in any library.
Is the city going to give in to this sort of manipulation?
Robert De Bartolo, Toronto
Media fawn over protests
one doesn't know whether to laugh or cry at the media's intense and often obsequious coverage of the so-called anti-globalization forces marshalling their cardboard revolutionaries and street thugs to do battle with the corporate demons of evil capitalism and individual liberties.
It is a children's crusade of puerile neo-Marxist twaddle and socialist agitprop readying for just one more tilt at the windmills.
These progeny of Marx, Lenin and Mao regurgitate dog-eared slogans and nostrums on cue while marching in lockstep against imaginary bêtes noires.
They are high-tech Luddites seeking only to revert to an anachronistic collectivist dystopia where nobody can have either more or less than anybody else.
They would be more at home in North Korea or Cuba.
They are the storm troopers of the last pathetic remnant of pernicious socialism, being artfully manipulated by its superannuated ideologues.
We have all heard and seen it before. New flies, perhaps, but still the same old garbage.
O.G. Pamp, Tweed, Ontario
Why they're against FTAA
it's no wonder why such fervour is brewing over the Free Trade Area of the Americas. Once we get beyond the all-too-common issue of lack of public participation in important legislation, we begin to see the threads of dangerously bad policy.
The FTAA is designed to increase trade between countries. As we are learning, this is not a problem with most Canadians.
What can be a problem, however, is how this is achieved. Beyond striking down border taxes and tariffs, free trade legislation could interpret publicly funded institutions and environmental standards as "barriers to trade."
A private education company might complain that our public system is a "government monopoly" and regulated tuition fees "predatory pricing" against which they cannot effectively compete. This, too, could be considered a barrier to trade. The same charges could be laid against other government services, such as health care, postal and transit services.
It is precisely for this reason that citizens are demanding to know what conditions are being negotiated on our behalf in the FTAA. A badly thought-out position could ruin all we have in a blink of an eye.
This is why the Society of Graduate Students Council, on behalf of its almost 3,000 members, has unanimously voted to endorse the Canadian Federation of Students' appeal to the government to release the draft text of the FTAA.
We must be sure that critical services are not opened up for privatization.
Society of Graduate Students
University of Western Ontario