No wonder TTC is like it is
talk about hypocrisy! the same
councillors who raise TTC fares (but keep their own free transit passes and parking), who refuse to fund the TTC appropriately and who refuse to make small parking changes to speed the King streetcar (even though more citizens and taxpayers ride the streetcar than use automobiles along that route) now complain that the TTC is too inconvenient or takes too long (NOW, July 26-August 1).
Gee, guys, you're in charge of the purse strings. You managed to scrape together almost 200 million taxpayers' dollars to subsidize something called the Front Street extension. Imagine what the TTC could have done with the money.
Ten-minute walk or a limo?
one of the remarkable nuggets
that dropped from your exposé about the five nasty, car-driving councillors was that offered by one Michael Prue: "I don't take the chaffeur-driven limousines when I have meetings at Metro Hall, I take the TTC."
Well, thank you, Michael. How on earth would you get there otherwise? Let's see -- from Queen and Bay to King and the Royal Alex. Yup. That must take all of 10 to 15 minutes of moderately paced walking. I'm all in favour of public transit, even though I don't have a free pass, but hell, Michael, you and any other councillors could do a "walking school bus" to Metro Hall. You wouldn't even have to break a sweat.
Geoff Rytell Toronto
Talk goes before the air
i was walking along the scar-
borough Bluffs beach, remembering how popular my hometown beach was when I was a kid and water-quality issues hadn't yet dissuaded people from swimming. That got me to thinking about how we'd lost the Olympic bid, and whether we might want to channel some of that energy into accelerating our efforts to make the beaches swimmable again. I was thinking that I should write my city councillor a note and inquire about what sort of energy, commitment and sacrifice it would take from Torontonians to accelerate that goal.
When I got home, I leafed through NOW and read that Michael Prue is ignoring the smog alerts because he enjoys the chance for conversation with his wife while driving her to the subway. Wouldn't he actually get to talk to her more if he took the subway, too?
He can park in the little city lot near Coxwell station. That's what I do during smog days. It costs more. It takes time away from my family. But on hot days, that little sacrifice has to help a bit. People die on smog days. Old, asthmatic people. After reading Prue's completely lame excuse for ignoring an acute, city-wide health threat, I've decided that there's no point in asking him about the beaches. His actions say it all: fuck the beach.
All at demo backed OCAP
i was very disappointed by now's
coverage of the protest outside the Italian consulate (NOW, July 26-August 1). NOW's portrayal of the demonstration left the impression that support for OCAP among the demonstrators was less than universal, when our support was so clearly shown.
To set the record straight, the chant "We support OCAP!" was my idea. Kim Fry and I led the crowd in chanting it to show the cops (and the media!) that we are not going to be divided. When Kim finished speaking, it was the turn of brother Steve Watson from the CAW.
At this point, the chant "We support OCAP!" was taken up again by two young kids. But this time it was used against Watson to protest the CAW's withdrawal of financial support for OCAP. NOW's coverage took this incident out of context and left the impression that I shouted down OCAP supporters.
The whole activist community decries the decision of Buzz Hargrove to withdraw OCAP's funding. Hargrove is a right-wing trade union bureaucrat, and thus his decision is not surprising. But Steve Watson, a rank-and-file militant, has different interests. It's pressure from militants like him that may yet reverse the CAW president's bad decision. Too bad the two young kids out on Saturday didn't understand that.
What I can't understand is why NOW created the illusion that the other 300 of us don't, when clearly we proved by our actions that we do support OCAP.
Toronto Mobilization for Global Justice
Talent and the Beatles
writers aren't responsible for
the headlines and cutlines that accompany their articles, so I'm guessing Sheila Gostick had nothing to do with the priceless Least Talented Of The Beatles line above the Ringo piece (NOW, July 26-August 1).
Does anybody with any degree of love for the Beatles actually think of their music in terms of its component parts or (what you presumably mean by "talent") technical prowess? They're the Beatles, not Jean-Luc Ponty, you know.
NOW's been playing some dumb game of you-can't-fool-us for 20 years now, but this latest example is embarrassing even for you.
Who came up with that? Was it your fourth- or fifth-most-insecure copy editor?
Big stars can't save a dog
john harkness has let it loose.
He has exposed his penchant for Hollywood fairy tales about movie stars. In his short article about Raiders Of The Lost Ark (NOW, July 26-August 1), he asks, "...would it have been as big a hit had Spielberg's original choice, Tom Selleck, been able to get a break from his TV contract?"
A film has to be acceptably made, at the very least, to be a hit. Then any star cast in it will equally sell it. Box-office successes are dependent, first and foremost, on filmmaking, not movie stars.
The history of Hollywood films is replete with badly made films that flopped at the box office in spite of their star power: Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando in..., Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman in..., Kevin Costner in... and in... and in....
Hey, those are easy. How many more can John come up with? A hundred would be acceptable. Just!
And, by the way, the history of Hollywood films is also filled with box-office hits without stars.
In fact, these very films have often made their lead actors into movie stars: The Graduate with.... Remember, John, it's filmmaking, filmmaking. That mantra might inform your reviews and steer you clear of pop mythology.
Harve Sokoloff Toronto
Critic unfair to the Apes
here we go again. cameron bai-
ley's pan of Planet Of The Apes (NOW, July 26-August 1) is as predictable as one could imagine.
First he tells us the original sci-fi series was "ridiculous to begin with," then proceeds to trash Tim Burton, "the man who is to movies what van art is to painting." I mean, here's a guy walking into the cinema rolling his eyes before the movie even starts. What good could possibly come of that?
This kind of implies that any of us who actually enjoyed the original series might be a few fries short of a Happy Meal and that anyone who, god forbid, admits to liking a Tim Burton film might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.
Congrats! You've just insulted thousands of your readers.
Granted, as a sci-fi buff, I liked the film, but it's not in my top-10 list, nor do I think it will win any Oscars.
But I think Burton deserves more credit. He preserved the mythology of the original series while creating a most entertaining film that many millions of sci-fi fans all over the world will be enjoying for weeks to come.
Dhaba was not awesome
after reading steven davey's
glowing review of Dhaba's "awesome" buffet (NOW, July 19-25), my boyfriend and I decided to give it a try.
Unfortunately, there were no plates, and when we asked a waiter for some he was annoyed that we'd disturbed him while he was looking over his receipts. Finally, with plates in hand, we started to go down the line of dishes only to find that the butter chicken was only sauce and no chicken, the hot shrimp curry had one shrimp, which was overcooked and fishy-tasting, there were no lentil pakoras in veggie gravy -- only veggie gravy -- and no samosas.
We were told that the food would be replenished. A handful of half-cooked shrimp were added to the sauce that had been sitting there since noon, but no chicken was added to the butter chicken. Nor were any samosas or lentil pakoras brought out.
The naan was cool, the pappadums stale, the salad bar in disarray. Despite Davey's rave review, we decided to skip dessert and get the bill. A waiter took our money and didn't return. When we asked for our change the wrong amount was brought back to us.
Upon leaving, we commented on our meal and suggested they keep the buffet fresh and stocked until lunch is over. The response was that we'd come in at 1:45 and they close at 2. So I asked why they'd let in a number of people at 2:30 if they were closed. At this point another waiter entered the discussion and said they close at 2:30.
When we repeated our suggestion about keeping the buffet stocked, this waiter said, "It's all in the timing to get the food you want," and he continued to argue that it was our fault that we hadn't got some of the food, and that the food we did get was poor because it had been sitting there.
Obviously, Dhaba has its own rules when it comes to buffet dining.
There's no her to her
i find it rather hilarious that
Emily Burt was tapped by photographers as a style maven with personal taste (NOW, July 26-August 1). "I shop for something that feels like it's a part of me," she says.
How personal and "her" can her style be when her jacket, boots, lip piercing, earrings and hairstyle were all purchased from stores no more than one block from each other? She looks good and is probably a swell gal, but this sounds like no more than another off-the-rack Queen Street West image to me.