Singling out John Clarke
i just got back from a week in Los Angeles. During the trip, I was searched a total of seven times at airports.
I was thoroughly frisked, scanned and prodded. My shoes had to be scanned twice, once at LAX and once at O'Hare during a stopover!
I am not Arabic or Muslim, but a good old blond-haired, blue-eyed white male, born in Hamilton. I noticed that these extraordinary security measures were extended to everyone, including my 86-year-old grandmother, who had her toenail clippers confiscated at Pearson.
Now let's look at John Clarke, a man whose causes may be just but who is not above being a pain in the ass (NOW, March 7-13).
I'm not happy about the current government in Ontario. However, given September 11, it shouldn't have been surprising that someone would encounter problems at the border, especially if he's a restless anarchist who thrives on public attention. Act like a brat and you'll be treated like one.
Chris Den Haan, Toronto
A fool would be surprised
please allow me to suggest that if John Clarke is actually surprised that the U.S. State Department keeps an eye on riot-inciting lunatics, he is as foolish as the people who follow him.
Sean Davidson , Toronto
mark morford's article on the cosmic implications of dead butterflies was an interesting piece (NOW, March 7-13) but completely oblivious.
"Jingoism" is held to be bad, and yet this entire piece is written in vague rhetoric and infantile oversimplifications. Racism and stereotyping are, of course, "dark socio-political cancers," but no one minds if the targets are those who are obviously evil.
Morford's piece is typical of the starry-eyed arrogance that characterizes your particular beefs with the world.
You insult "the mystics and the poets, the philosophers and the dancers" with your inane summary of what they've "always known." You dishonour the deaths of 270 million butterflies by stealing their significance for your weak rhetoric, and you discredit the noble sentiments you aspire to by expressing them so ineptly.
Brian Taylor, Toronto
Freaky warning to all
i was very impressed with Memo To The Planet.
Mark Morford touched a nerve. His words were in sync with how I often feel when I hear of similar tragedies, human or not.
The death of millions of monarchs may have been nothing more than a natural aberration, a freakish twist, but it's quite possibly a warning that we would ignore at our peril.
Asa Weinstein, Toronto
Grubbing for grants
picking on poor artists who have nowhere to go is what the opposition to Artscape's grandiose plans for the Wychwood Barns is all about, says Scott Anderson (NOW, March 7-13). Local residents are no more than artists' party poopers.
I am proud to be one of those residents. I am opposed to the Wychwood Barns proposal because it seems to me to be the product of scheming, duplicitous grant grubbers who want to use cheap real estate and the heritage myth to justify their takeover of the site, regardless of its impact on the neighbourhood.
Far from being romantic, the atrocious pile of rubble on the site, which includes the totally nondescript, asbestos-contaminated sheds and the oh-so-charming smokestack that polluted the neighbourhood for decades, deserves to go the way of the dodo.
In a consumer-ridden society, the very idea of open space in a space-poor neighbourhood for the use of all is inconceivable
Instead, the yuppie art consumer should be able to shop for his objet d'art at all times of the day and night in order to help the potential tenants of the neighbourhood pay their rent.
John Sanders, Toronto
Women's hockey inferior
this letter is in response to Siri Louie (NOW, March 7-13) and her inexplicable comparison of men's and women's hockey.
Clearly, it has not been women in hockey who have shaped and defined an entire nation. That's not sexist, it's a fact. It is also a fact that women's hockey lacks the physical intensity of men's hockey. Oh, and let's not forget that the game, when played by women, is slower, less skilful and (after being spoiled by the NHL) an inferior product.
When women play full-contact hockey, shoot a puck at 100 mph and prove that the game is worth a second look, hell, I'll lobby for a professional women's hockey league! Until that time, maybe you should use your eminent PhD (aka Piled High and Deep) for more than a podium from which to espouse your half-witted opinions. Ain't that a kick in the nuts?!
Brian Jedan, Toronto
Messed-up bottom line
no doubt the city has recently hired laid-off Enron executives to advise council (NOW, March 7-13).
How else could our wise elected representatives possibly be presenting us with a budget that contains no mention of the fact that CUPE has two locals ready to strike? And that they will no doubt be asking for pay increases?
How can taxpayers afford this? Will Shirley Hoy come clean on the reserves? Will the emperor change his tailor? When is the next election anyway?
Nicholas Brooks, Toronto
Flirting with toxic disaster
re trafficking in toxins (now,
March 7-13). Great article by Britt Griffin about the plan to bring toxic wastes and soil to Kirkland Lake to be incinerated.
I just want to clarify a point about the Tories' gutting of the Environmental Assessment process. The EA does not require the examination of alternatives, which would force the town and the company to look at other ways of destroying those dangerous wastes.
There are much safer methods available, one of which was developed in Ontario and is being used in Australia.
NDP Environment Critic
CMW slag a yawn
now writes a predictable slam of Canadian Music Week (NOW, Feburary 28-March 6), with asides about how NXNE is so much more organic or something.
You don't qualify this by saying that NOW is a partner in NXNE. Then there's a bit about Molson dropping CMW in favour of NXNE, but Molson has sponsored NXNE since year one.
Yes, it was disappointing to lose Molson, but how does a brewery logo make a festival better or worse musically? NOW used to deride CMW as a corporate beerfest. I guess we're the "alternative" now.
Also, CMW has not been concurrent with the Junos for the last three years. Downsizing has given showcasing artists a better chance to be noticed by industry professionals. We sold more wristbands than ever this year. Hardly a sign of "weakness."
President, Canadian Music Week
Women who like sex
where did you find your only female film critic, Ingrid Randoja?
She seems to give decent ratings only to movies in which she has respect for the female character, and in which there's a mushy love story. I really think you should find someone a little more open-minded.
I mean, giving Britney Spears's movie a better rating than 40 Days And 40 Nights (NOW, February 28-March 6) because poor, sensitive Ingrid is a little frightened by women who like sex?
I happen to be a female who enjoyed 40 Days And 40 Nights.
I can see how some people could be offended by some of the jokes in the movie, but that's the point: it's a movie. People need to lighten up. It's not healthy to be so uptight and serious about everything.
And one last thing. I could never last 40 days without sexual activity, so I guess some women can be "piggies."
Danielle Caputi, Toronto
From a male chauvinist pig
now's been my live-in cultural Svengali. Yet I never felt my culture was quite so welcome in your home as a heterosexual male.
Allowing for feminism's growing pains, and accepting my poor-cousin status, I managed to swallow my pride.
Then I tried to digest your Sex Issue (NOW, February 7-13), and mild discomfort gave way to a crescendo of technicolour yawns. Now hit the streets leading the feminist crusade against sexual oppression and shaming men's naughtiness ever since.
Was I the only one shocked to find you inviting us to discover the "sacred wonders" of this same naughtiness now that it's the latest radical trend of enlightened womanhood?
There's an arrogance about this sudden about-face. I can't let you anoint yourself Our Inscrutable Sexual Shaman that easily. Are you exonerating all my crimes as a male chauvinist pig, or simply ridiculing the half-life I spent in the doghouse simply for bein' a guy?
Joe Carubba, Toronto