A new J-Lo
Jennifer Lopez. Woody Allen. Why is NOW, a self-proclaimed independent, local paper, putting American celebrities on its cover (NOW, May 23-29)?
Are there not enough Toronto or even Canadian artists to fill 52 weeks? Couldn't you have put one of your featured bands or artists (Mump and Smoot would have been nice last week) on the cover?
Or is NOW convinced that extra people will pick up copies because of the celebrity they recognize? If NOW cannot support our exciting, groundbreaking local artists, then who will?
Hayden Jones, Toronto
Bombarded with garbage
J-Lo?!?!? Are you fucking kidding me?
Your latest cover makes Toronto's evolution into the Corporate Whore capital of the world now complete.
Is the only reason that you guys publish independent coverage because you aren't "important" enough to consistently land interviews with world-famous pop stars?
We get bombarded with garbage enough in this town without having to see it in your paper. Unbelievable.
Grady Mutzel, Toronto
Blowing off Steam Whistle
Thank you, NOW and Ian Krykorka, for your praise of our tasty Pilsner and tasteful renovations, and for acknowledging our support of the Toronto arts scene (NOW, May 23-29).
We would, however, like to address your criticism of our group interview, where we test retail store applicants' ability to perform.
It's been a great way for us to find people who have the interest and stamina to entertain upwards of 1,000 visitors a month on hourly tours of the brewery.
The staffers who conduct the auditions all went through this process themselves. Although the second stage of hiring involves the conventional sit-across-the-table-and-answer-questions interview, we have found that our first-round auditions draw creative people - many staff members lead second lives as artists or performers - which makes for an interesting visit to the brewery.
We did object to your digitally contrived misrepresentation of us as "plastic corporate executives." Executives we aren't. We are three non-tie-wearing friends who started our brewery so we could have fun at work. So we enclose a real picture of ourselves. Cheers.
Cam Heaps, Greg Taylor, Greg Cromwell
Steam Whistle Brewery is (rather desperately) carving a niche in the big-money, marketing-driven Canadian beer industry. Is packaging more important than product? Of course!
My previous career involved four years selling Guinness and its associated brands, and another two years selling Wellington (micro-) Brewery products. Quality matters little to the Ontario consumer. The average Ontario drinker is a sheep at a trough. The swill that is drunk is that which is most prominent.
Steam Whistle has to play the brand game to survive. Gregarious people sell beer. That fact is time-honoured and indisputable.
Please, don't sell these well-intentioned folks down the river as sellouts. Give them the credit they deserve as the bastard child of an industry that otherwise fosters complacent, lazy and privileged (though under-whelming) siblings.
ex-sales & marketing manager
Equating gays with abuse
I found the article (on gay priests) by Glenn Wheeler (NOW, May 23-29) very upsetting.
The problem in the priesthood is child sex abuse, not homosexuality.
The Church is trying to equate the two, and Wheeler seems to agree with this concept.
News columns such as his continue to promote hate and misunderstanding of all gay people and to lump all gay people into the same category as pedophiles.
Jim Sargant, Toronto
Slick oil conspiracies
Regarding your suggestion that the current attempt to arrange for a pipeline in Afghanistan by which oil can be sent from Turkmenistan to India shows that the war in Afghanistan was about oil after all (NOW, May 23-29).
First, if this were about securing a source of oil for India, it would have been India going to war in Afghanistan, not the U.S.
Secondly, there is nothing sinister in the fact that the government of Afghanistan would like to see some form of economic development in the country other than the opium trade. In answer to your question, "Who's crazy now?" I'm sorry to have to tell you it's still the conspiracy theorists.
David Palter, Toronto
Those in glass houses
Regarding Karen Tilley's letter taking issue with NOW's coverage of her head lice remedy (NOW, May 23-29).
I called Ms Tilley's agency three times last year for help, and not once did anyone even acknowledge my call.
I believe that those who don't respond to their customers have no right to criticize others for the kind of coverage they didn't get in the newspaper.
B. Edmund, Toronto
No trouble at the TSO
Headlines are supposed to reflect what's said in an article. They are not supposed to be entirely misleading.
Witness Gerald Hannon's Trouble With The TSO (NOW, May 16-22) and its subtitle, Symphony's Campaign To Go Hip Hits A Sour Note. Nothing could be farther from the truth!
While Hannon begins with his youth experiences of listening to classical music, and reports the "official, upbeat story" of how we are going forward with new initiatives, he completes the article wondering if our attempts to lure the younger generation will be successful.
He concludes that perhaps we won't, given that youth don't generally have the time amid today's distractions.
The TSO is not in trouble, and our campaign to "go hip" has not hit a "sour note." We are successfully attracting younger listeners, and subscription sales are dramatically up.
James Wallenberg, Toronto
Know this about Loblaws
Before environmentally conscious consumers start flocking to Loblaws for its cheap organic food (NOW, May 16-22), they should know that, not only does Loblaws refuse to label its products (President's Choice uses GMOs extensively), but bars others from identifying products as GMO-free by blacking out claims or barring products identified as "GMO-free."
Think twice before biting into a Loblaws tomato.
Jan Schotte, Toronto
A church by any other name
Adria Vasil roasted the Great Hall for not permitting a festival celebrating "the goddess" on the premises (NOW, May 16-22).
The article implied that this was a violation of the Great Hall's mission to be an "eclectic, inclusive and alternative church." (But) it is a church above all else. It's unreasonable to expect the Great Hall to promote events that honour other gods.
I hope NOW wouldn't print such a sarcastic report about a mosque that refused to hold a wine-tasting, or a synagogue that didn't want to host a Christmas party.
Connie Crompton, Toronto
Quit the gibberish
I wish to express my increasing annoyance with Steven Davey's insufferable butchering of the Queen's English (NOW, May 23-29). Nabe, zuke, trat, e.v.o., multi-culti? Please, make it stop!
I especially object to the continued use of the non-noun "nosh" and its non-verb counterpart, "noshing," both of which I have regularly spotted strewn about the food column.
When I go out for a bite, I "eat" at a "restaurant." How gauche and passé of me, I now realize.
And since when has the "nabe" we all know as St. Clair West been referred to as "The Clair"? Are Mr. Davey's culinary experiences so trail-blazing, so je ne sais quoi, that they necessitate the invention of an entirely new vocabulary to document them?
Must NOW readers continue to be assaulted by this barrage of trendy, pseudo-hipster gibberish?
Vern Nicholson, Toronto
Scooped by subway rag
In a week when there's a complaint in NOW (May 23-29) about the lack of dance coverage, Metro Today, the subway rag, publishes the names of the winners of the Erik Bruhn competition and a notice on Magdalena Popa at the National Ballet Company. Wow.
Neil Moran, Toronto