Gay guys have all the fun
are there no longer any heterosexual men or women working at NOW? A ridiculously misdirected amount of energy has gone into coverage of Pride Day.
For decades, we male heterosexuals have had to listen to a litany of complaints from the otherwise inclined. And now that seemingly every gay man in Toronto has stepped forth/sashayed/strutted from his respective closet (some of them stumbling out belatedly and not altogether convincingly), we heteros are treated to the spectacle of even more effete, if only slightly more subtle, kvetching.
It's a fact, my friends, that gay men get laid more often, party more often and are able to travel and gad about more often than straight men. It's a fact that gay men usually have more disposable income than do their more "sedate" brethren, due largely to the fact that they don't have children to support. (Remember those smaller, often expensive and time-intensive versions of ourselves, without a steady supply of whom the human race would eventually disappear?)
Please! Enough of your providing such a broad forum to the bitching and moaning of what is, after all, merely a small but vocal segment of the broader Toronto population. Give us more excellent coverage like that of the recent events in Quebec City and of the anti-globalization movement -- i.e., journalism worth its name.
Marc Ponomareff, Toronto
A celebration for celibates?
are there other sexual preference celebrations? I'm not from Toronto. Can I look forward to a heterosexual pride celebration? A masturbators' week? Celibates?
I personally haven't the faintest concern if my neighbours screw chickens, as long as the chickens don't mind, but does the world have to stop?
Smells to me awfully like a target marketing production. Can't we all just get on with life?
Eamonn Whalen, Toronto
The young guy not so young
how disappointing to see now's editors resort to deception for the sake of printing a first-hand account of a night in a gay bathhouse (NOW, June 21-27).
It's clear in the first three paragraphs that NOW wants readers to believe that the author, Jeremy Parkes, is young: "What's a young guy like me doing here?" "Youth numbers aren't up" and "So, are AIDS prevention messages working for young guys like me or not?"
Parkes is, in fact, almost 30 years old. Hardly a young guy or a youth. A year or two ago, when he was appointed to an editorial post at a local gay magazine, his age was shown as 27. This means he must now be 28 or 29. If that's what you call a "youth," then I'm just entering adulthood at 35.
B. Woods, Toronto
Zelda dis didn't taste right
my partner and i patronize zelda's (NOW, June 21-27), our favourite neighbourhood restaurant, and sometimes we eat there three or four nights a week. Homemade soup, coconut shrimp, Sri Lankan curry, daily appetizer and entree specials, weekend brunch buffets and theme nights keep us happy and encourage us to return.
The management has assembled a staff of efficient, hard-working and attentive young women and men who are friendly, entertaining and without attitude.
Steven Davey's review of Zelda's was way off the mark. Perhaps he was bringing too much attitude or expectation when he visited this upbeat and fun place to eat in Toronto's gay village. And if you're lucky, you get to see Zelda herself when she shows up in drag on Saturday night.
Frederic Urban, Toronto
Mel Lastman has to go
toronto mayor mel lastman must resign from his mayoralty office immediately. His racist remarks portraying Africans as cannibals are not only an insult to Kenyans, Africans at large and Torontonians of African descent, but to all well-meaning Torontonians and Canadians.
Lastman's remarks represent an alarming racist trend manifested in the ever-increasing culture of racial intolerance among key public figures in Canada's political estate.
In the space of a month, Lastman joins the growing list of shame, following Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion's anti-immigrant tirade and bigoted remarks by the Canadian Alliance's Rob Anders, who insulted the global African community by calling Nelson Mandela a "terrorist."
In the wake of these incidents, Canadians need to take swift action by demanding the outright resignation of Lastman and his likes.
Failure to do so could make other societies view Canada as a land of bigots.
Farid Omar, Toronto
Apology can't be accepted
regarding the mayor's racist jokes, I am afraid many of us in the communities will not and cannot accept the mayor's simple apology for an "off-the-cuff" remark.
Unfortunately, the mayor's jokes reveal the underlying unwillingness that many of our political leaders display in dealing with issues of racism. Being the mayor of a city of Toronto's complexity involves more than "celebrating our diversity and telling our story to the world" (quotes from Mayor Lastman's statement).
It was exactly a year ago that professor Michael Ornstein's report, commissioned by the city's own Access and Equity Office, clearly identified groups, many from racialized communities living in Toronto, that are experiencing significant disadvantages in employment, income and education. Did the mayor and his council do anything about it? No, so far not a thing.
More recently, on June 15, 16 and 17, many community groups came to Metro Hall to hold a national consultation in preparation for the United Nations World Conference Against Racism to be held in Durban, South Africa, in August and September of this year.
Since our city's motto is "Diversity Our Strength," we thought it appropriate to ask the mayor's office to lend its support to the gathering by sponsoring a lunch for the delegates.
Not only was our request denied, but except for one staff person, no one came from City Hall to the three-day conference, where we worked on a report card on our government's policies and actions on combating racism.
We demand the mayor use this opportunity to reflect on his words and actions, and challenge council to put teeth into "Diversity Our Strength."
Urban Alliance on Race Relations
Thanks, Mel, we've lost
i have to admit that i have been one of those people who felt that the only thing Mayor Mel Lastman offered to the city was extensive service cuts in his second term to pay for his ridiculous first-term promise not to raise taxes.
When I'm wrong, I'm willing to admit it. His latest knuckleheaded racist rantings (but come on, who does like cannibals and snakes?) may have saved us from having to host the 2008 Olympics. A city that can't afford to keep school swimming pools open has no business building new ones for the benefit of U.S. TV networks.
Steve Lavender, Toronto
New Politics just started
i read glenn wheeler's article on the New Politics Initiative (NOW, June 14-20) with more than a little interest. As one of the people who has been involved with the NPI since its inception, I was a little upset at first.
Wheeler accused us of having "pretty old" ideas. The "hack tone" of our vision statement is an "embarrassment" for some of those involved. We must all be a bunch of arthritic seniors because we use the word "youth" and not some other term. Whatever.
The truth is that the New Politics Initiative is, at its heart, about new politics, not new policies. A lot of what is discussed on the Web site does, indeed, appear in dusty old NDP policy papers. A lot of it does not.
What you have to ask yourself is why these ideas don't appear in current Canadian government policy. This is the question that the NPI is trying to address.
As for the claim that the NPI is all about the old lefties, a cursory glance at the Web site's list of endorsers (which is growing daily) shows that a lot of young people are coming on board.
Just recently, the BC Young New Democrats gave their endorsement. Even I, while no spring chicken, can consider myself a "young" New Democrat at 28. Only the Alliance has an older membership base than the NDP.
That being said, the New Politics Initiative is about creating a political fusion that will attract both young anti-globalization activists and St. Lawrence Market shoppers. But it's also about attracting progressive people from marginalized communities who have either left politics or been left out.
Wheeler asked if some of these issues would be dealt with in the second draft. Actually, yes, they will. This is because the New Politics Initiative is about open, responsive and inclusive politics. Not exactly the same old ideas, eh?
Louise James, Toronto
Rounder still Canuck outfit
in zack medicoff's cash brothers feature (NOW, June 21-27), he states that "the Universal-owned Rounder label soon came calling." This is completely incorrect, as Rounder is owned by none other than Rounder. We do have a strong and fruitful working relationship with Universal -- they are our distributor in Canada and the U.S. We have close ties with them because Rounder is the U.S. label for a number of significant Canadian artists (including Sarah Harmer and Bruce Cockburn) that are distributed and marketed in Canada by Universal, but Rounder remains fully independent as we celebrate our 30th anniversary.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Rounder Records Group Canada