But for a few militant thugs
i found now's coverage of the Common Front demonstration last week (NOW, October 18-24) to be informative but a little vague.
We can talk about non-violent dissent all we want, but the fact is that fundamental social change demands the involvement of the masses. And, like it or not, the vast majority of the population are getting their news through the lens of the corporate media, which seeks any opportunity to show violence in order to both entertain and repel the audience.
Thus, what we see on TV are masked thugs wrecking this or that, and slashed tires, etc. Two different marches, and one predictable result.
In return for a few antsy, undisciplined militants and police provocateurs getting their moments of glorious, expressive freedom, you have painted the entire movement with the same belligerent brush.
It is not for me to suggest which are appropriate forms of protest. However, with respect to the movement, it's up to the "militants" to either discipline themselves or do it someplace else and it's up to all of us to insist upon this.
Andrew Jameson Agincourt, Ontario
Cut the crap, Mel
oh puhleese, mel. so you want to press charges and sue OCAP for damages after the Rally Against Poverty. What damage? Some paint graffiti? Knocked-down NOW boxes? Get with it, Mel.
You say, "If OCAP can pay people to disrupt our city, they can pay for damages." If anyone was paid to go to that rally, it sure wasn't OCAP supporters. The state goons hired to discredit OCAP were paid. But the $200,000 you wasted to send out storm troopers to take on peaceful protesters was your choice. You ordered it, so you can pay for it.
Gloria Bergen, Toronto
I'm not an animal
i am not an animal or bully, as Mel Lastman described me. I am not a criminal or a thug, as Julian Fantino described me. I am a human being who is deeply disturbed by the human suffering created and condoned by this city's so-called leadership.
I am deeply disturbed by the homelessness and chronic hunger of our children and families. I was proud to walk with and among other human beings who are also deeply concerned. Or are they just animals, too, Mel?
Ann MacKinnon, Toronto
So long and good riddance
in light of mike harris's resignation, there'll be a G.R.Y.J. (Good Riddance You Jerk) party. We'll play games such as Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Asshole and Duck Duck Shoot! We'll sing old-time Harris favourites such as One Little, Two Little, Three Dead Indians.
Carefully tax-cut sandwiches will not be served. However, everyone will receive free suggestions on how to feed three children with less welfare.
And for those true-blue Harris well-wishers, beverages of water will be provided, accompanied by happy 911 napkins on which the well-wishers can play endless games of hangman while they await treatment after the party.
Bozo the Clown will explain the meaning of "Common Sense," and teachers on tightropes will perform juggling acts.
Marnie Maguire Aurora, Ontario
Harris's deadly epitaph
i am particularly annoyed by the assertions of many people upon Mike Harris's resignation that he eliminated deficits. He actually borrowed heavily to finance tax cuts. The working population benefited little, as tax cuts were more than squandered by cuts to the equity that Ontario taxpayers had built up in public services.
Harris's epitaph will certainly read, "Here lies Mike Harris, poor man's enemy, rich man's friend."
John M. Thompson Toronto
The real home wrecker
judging from her article, home Wrecker (NOW, October 18-24), Pat Capponi apparently feels it's just that she has forced her landlord to abandon his attempts to renovate the rooming house where she lives, in order to sell it.
In recent years, the cost of purchasing real estate in Toronto has risen more than twice as fast as the cost of renting. I fail to understand why it is just that renters be spared the economic realities of living in this city while owners, including home buyers and the next person who buys the place Capponi demands to rent, have to face the world as it is.
If Capponi wants the government to insulate her from the realities of living in this world, then let her move to welfare housing while she continues her "life's work, which is to heal herself through her writing, and help others."
Brian Zavitz, Toronto
Cri de coeur for Afghans
the americans' vengeful devastation of Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries in the world, has now gone on relentlessly and ruthlessly for more than two weeks. Thousands of bombs and other body-eviscerating explosives have been dropped on "targets."
Most of the hapless victims of this "just war" have been innocent civilians. Far more ominous is the horrific fact that some 7.5 million Afghans, mostly old men, women and children, face starvation.
This is a cri de coeur from a former resident and sojourner in Afghanistan: please stop the carnage. Is the West now going to be morally, if indirectly, responsible for the mass starvation of the Afghan people?
Oke G. Pamp
Military money misspent
re military needs our backing (NOW, October 18-24). Richard Neuman believes, "We must be prepared to redirect our priorities so every effort is made to give them the best opportunity to perform not only in this mission but also in future missions...."
Throwing millions at the military won't do much for the homeless. What the country needs, rather than soldiers on every corner armed with portable anthrax counters, is the national child-care program long promised by the still-in-power Liberals.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Islam means peace
andrew wolfe should either check his facts or keep his mouth shut and not display his ignorance (NOW, October 18-24).
The word "jihad" means struggle, not "holy war" -- that's a western term. The first major "holy wars" were the Crusades, started by Christians. Jihad is primarily an inner struggle to obey God. The only just war in Islam is a war of self-defence. Aggressive attacks on both Muslims and non-Muslims are forbidden.
The word "Islam" means peace. Islam also believes in freedom of religion -- that no one can or should be forced to follow any religion.
When the KKK carries out its activities, does anyone even think to allege that they are acting according to the teachings of the Bible?
Amal Ahmed, Mississauga
Turning the other cheek
re what would jesus do (now, October 18-24). He would say, "Love those who hate you," and "Turn the other cheek." Sounds strange in this day and age. The readers of the other book, the Koran, have put aid workers on trial. Strange. They also preach love and peace.
joseph william Lea, Etobicoke
Out of musical touch
re keys turns maxwell's house and Bad Dogg (NOW, October 18-22).
While I have been intrigued by some of NOW's articles and reviews in the past, I'm beginning to wonder if your concert reviewers are a little out of touch. With regard to the Maxwell/Alicia Keys show, I'm absolutely positive that Liss's rating of NNN does not reflect the opinion of the 6,000 people in attendance. Liss is clearly not a Maxwell fan. In terms of Snoop's Puff Puff Pass tour review, Matt Galloway should at least know that the MCs in the group are Tash and J-Ro. I was also amused to read about "Snoop's tendency to perform cuts with people who weren't there -- Tupac, Dr. Dre and Ghostface," since Snoop has never even recorded a song with Ghostface, let alone performed one that was missing him on October 10.
Please find some music writers who love the music they are reviewing.
Oh, and when you picked Kardinal Offishall as the best-dressed MC most likely to bust out in America, did you happen to check how sales of his Firestarter Vol. 1: Quest For Fire were doing in the U.S.?
Kya Lee, Toronto
Not so tasty lobster
i was just reading your best of T.O. Readers Poll. With the threat of a recession looming, I understand the need to seek out corporate sponsorship. But c'mon -- Red Lobster?
G. SCOTT, Toronto
What's NOW stand for?
i'm having a hard time accepting the results of this year's Best Of T.O. Readers Poll. Almost every single category winner represents the opposite of everything that NOW magazine claims to stand for.
There's nothing independent or righteous about Pizza Pizza, Starbucks or Future Shop.
Not to mention the fact that the Barenaked Ladies, Geddy Lee and Neal Peart haven't been "local" for a number of years. Who actually filled out these polls? 905ers? Midwestern American tourists?
A. Graham, Toronto
One happy listener
just now catching the sarah Harmer concert via Windows Media Player on the Web. Thank you and your sponsors for producing it. Une belle decouverte. Mes salutations les meilleures.
Jean Soubliere, Toronto
in last week's readers poll, best tailor runner-up for 2001 should have been Korry's Clothiers to Gentlemen, 569 Danforth, 416-463-1115. Best Chinese Restaurant is Lee Garden, 331 Spadina, 416-593-9524.