Cheap shot at the NDP
It's a relief to see that NOW, funded as it is by ad revenue from escort services and providers of XXX connections, is willing to label the NDP hypocritical for asking businesses, not for policy direction, but for no-strings-attached donations (NOW, May 9-15).
Your willingness to expose hypocrisy in all its forms (even imaginary) is an inspiration to all those who seek social justice and/or concert reviews. Two thumbs up.
Give us something deviant
Gerald Hannon, you are not a sickie. I wouldn't say you're even daring. Who wants to read another tired firefighter fantasy -- even if it is gussied up with 9/11 sophistries (NOW, May 9-15)?
Please, Gerald, give us something truly deviant to mull over (say, Osama bin Laden rimming Colin Powell, or George Bush taking a golden shower). Now, that's sick!
Innocent until proven guilty
Regarding Derrick Lee's letter,
What's With Woody? (NOW, May 9-15).
Yes, Woody Allen wound up marrying his former wife's foster child. This does not make him a child molester, nor is it illegal. All your letter does is demonstrate the ongoing damage done by unfounded accusations. Innocent until proven guilty, anyone?
Is it Woody's looks?
I can't believe you printed a letter complaining about Woody Allen, "an accused child molester," appearing on your cover.
Apparently Lee is one of the many gullible (people) out there who believe the smears against Allen and that he's an incestuous pedophile or some such thing. Let's clear this up once and for all.
Soon-Yi Previn was not underaged but 21 years old when they first started dating. Allen was never married to Mia Farrow. When Farrow and Allen had a subsequent custody dispute over their daughter, Dylan, she accused Allen of molesting Dylan. The judge awarded custody to Farrow but dismissed the molestation charges as completely unfounded.
Why is it that we can forgive Hugh Grant, George Michael, Eddie Murphy and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, for their escapades, but we immediately believe the worst about Woody Allen? Is it because he's not as good-looking?
Bikes are for kids
Your sarcastic applauding of councillors Kyle Rae and Kris Korwin-Kuczynski for urging that the Highway Traffic Act be amended to make helmets mandatory for all cyclists is a waste of time (NOW, May 9-15).
Though the sight of life companions Ernie and Isabel arriving on a tandem at Queen's Park would be good role-modelling, you'll never see them or any of the premier's cabinet on the seat of a bike. When you have privilege in the form of taxpayer-fuelled limos, bikes are strictly kiddie stuff.
The PR war on drugs
An interesting coincidence, if it is in fact a coincidence, occurred last week.
The Senate committee looking at cannabis concluded that the "gateway theory," which holds that cannabis use leads to the use of other drugs, is a myth, and that the nation should be polled about decriminalizing cannabis (NOW, May 9-15).
These Senators heard presentations from all over the world, making their report the most informed in this country in decades.
At the same time as the announcement of these findings, Vancouver was hosting the "iDEAs Conference," a one-sided propaganda vehicle paid for by a filthy-rich Vancouver "moral entrepreneur" whose speakers list was stacked with U.S. drug warriors and politicos who've all made very lucrative careers out of demonizing cannabis
The real story to watch here is how much ink and air time each story receives. My money is on the average Canadian never having heard of the Senate committee's findings in a week's time.
Pot a medical miracle
re: senate sparks up.
The classification of cannabis as a substance with no medical value is laughable. Prior to its prohibition in the 1930s, "tincture of cannabis" was the second most prescribed medication in North America for more than 100 ailments.
Queen Victoria was given cannabis for menstrual pain. Making cannabis illegal was done without medical consultation. Doctors were shocked to find one of their most valuable medicines suddenly illegal.
The notion that cannabis is an addictive drug leading to heroin is also laughable. The truth is out there. There are medical studies dating back to 1894. The volumes of negative information about how its prohibition was enacted are obvious and frightening.
I'm waiting for our government to truly get tough on drugs. That means taking the money out of the criminal domain and allowing a healthy cannabis/hemp industry to create jobs and pay taxes, showing true compassion for the sick instead of forcing them into impossibly bureaucratic approvals.
Labour loses -- again
Now that OPSEU and the ontario government have reached a settlement, each side, as usual, is claiming victory and, as usual, the workers are the ones getting shafted.
About the only battle OPSEU won was the right to keep government claws off its members' own pension fund.
Essential workers like me got a salary increase of about $1,000 per year and lost $925 per year in benefits, plus the 31 per cent plus of our pay that the union grabbed during the seven-week strike to pay picketing workers.
Also, as happened after the last strike, union dues will undoubtedly increase in order to help pay for the dramatic "victory." Meanwhile, the government saved enough during the strike to pay for threee-quarters of the new settlement.
Again, government and union officials can laugh all the way to the bank while workers soldier on trying to cope with their losses.
Wayne C. Vance
Hydro's lost vision
At the bottom of the Adam Beck Memorial at Queen and University these words are etched in stone: "...in grateful commemoration of the public service of Sir Adam Beck, whose labours have ensured that the citizens of his native province under co-operative municipal ownership shall enjoy the benefits of low-cost electrical energy derived from water-power resources to serve the industrial and domestic needs of the province of Ontario." The Tories don't seem to be listening.
Grace under pressure
Bravo for your piece on the sorry demise of a once-terrific game (Hockey Sucks, NOW, May 2-8).
Have you ever noticed how loud-mouthed nitwits like Don Cherry are always extolling violence in the game on the grounds that it's somehow manly?
Far from being examples of manliness, the actions of hockey goons remind me of nothing so much as the loutish behaviour of schoolyard brats who start whining and exploding when things don't go their way.
These guys aren't men. They're overgrown children. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Leaving our kids nuke mess
The story -- Plus ça change, Plus c'est la même chose -- was never more bitterly told than in the article Pie-In-The-Sky Nukes (Now, April 25-May 1).
On April 20, 2002, at 6:50 am, an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale rattled North America's eastern seaboard. Only fools would put a project like ITER near an active fault.
Only idiots would fund this project. That this announcement comes in the wake of the September 11 attacks is incomprehensible and verges on the obscene.
Not only do persons like Dr. Peter Barnard (CEO of ITER) and Roger Anderson (chair of Durham region) have a difficult time understanding the fact that "decommissioning the reactor will take (a guess-timated) 75 years," but they and others like them would gladly sell their souls for the questionable benefit of acting like spoiled brats today and leaving a mess for their children to clean up tomorrow.
It does not have to be this way.
Blurring human suffering
Some people believe that we're now so overwhelmed by the onslaught of media that we are often numbed to things that are real. Nowhere was that more evident for me than in your review of Abbas Kiarostami's documentary ABC Africa (NOW, May 2-8).
Describing images of abject human suffering as "trite" because they've been seen before demonstrates not only that starving children are less important to us than the characters on our favourite TV shows, but that they're less real, too.
While I understand that tallying up one's marks on any kind of film should involve examining its originality, the blurring of the line between an aesthetic criterion and genuine human suffering is profoundly disturbing.
At the end of the day, most of us have not taken a single step to prevent the world's children from dying. And while the media may once have been responsible for opening our eyes to the causes we might want to get involved with, it now seems responsible for helping us to not give a rat's ass about any of them.
Thank God Elizabeth Bromstein got hold of a set list the night of the Motörhead show (NOW, May 2-8)!
If not, how would she have known which song was which?
Firstly, Razor are Canadian (shame, shame)! It's Speedealer who are from Texas.
Not one mention of Voivod's reunion with lead singer Snake. Both bands (Speedealer and Voivod) share a very interesting footnote: they are both under the production helm of Jason Newsted (formerly of Metallica).
I think Miss Bromstein should buy some more records.
You could've mentioned...
Now, now, now. I know Sacha. I was with her when she bought those pants, and they weren't no $150 (NOW, May 9-15). She spent $20.
And you could've mentioned that she's a DJ, too.