Singing Jaggi's praises
Instead of worrying about the headline the Globe and Mail put on Jaggi Singh's defence of the violence and intimidation carried out by anti- Netanyahu protesters at Concordia University (NOW, September 19-25), maybe you should be more concerned about the actions of the man himself. What exactly is the difference between Singh and compatriots' violent shutting down of a speaker they disagreed with and the police actions against anti-globalization protestors in Seattle and Genoa that Singh has famously opposed? Perhaps it's Singh's hypocrisy that should exercise your writers' wrath instead?
Shlomo Schwartzberg, Toronto
Moss Park meltdown
I don't have the article in front of me, but I couldn't believe the insanity of what your intellectually challenged writer had to say about opening up the Moss Park Armoury for the homeless(NOW, September 19-25). It was something to the effect that the building is being used to train the military to take lives instead of as housing to save lives .
Give your fucking head a shake. Picture crack-heads moving in, another Street City and our already pathetic military with less training and facilities. Perfect.
Miranda Black, Toronto
re: Waxing Black (now, september 19-25). Imagine, if you will, a group of men setting up a centre dedicated to the history of the women's movement and naming it after the famous suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Better yet, how about a group of white Canadians setting up a centre dedicated to the history of First Nations people and naming it after Louis Riel. My point is that none of those examples would ever fly.
I'm not saying that those who belong to groups that oppress and/or exploit other groups shouldn't involve themselves in correcting historical wrongs. However, those wrongs cannot and will not be corrected through further appropriation, even to the point of dressing up in the clothing of the "other." The Harriet Tubman Centre on the African Diaspora that recently opened at York University is just such an example of appropriation. Suffice it to say that it is a travesty. Be warned that the ancestors never sleep.
M. NourbeSe Philip, Toronto
Couldn't be more asinine
Mike Johnson (now, september 19- 25) says about 9/11 that "it sucks for the families of the people that died, but even they have moved on."
I was curious as to whether Johnson phoned or contacted all 2,800 families to see if each family "has moved on." As to thinking it "sucks," could anyone be more fucking flippant or asinine? Johnson should invest in a dictionary or thesaurus.
Jason MacNeil, Toronto
Tallying up the dead
Mike Johnson might be on to something. In his letter, he wrote that America should "get over" 9/11, since worse things have happened elsewhere.
If only Osama bin Laden could move on and learn to forget about the fucking Crusades! But I doubt having a short memory regarding 9/11 will go far in combating a mentality and way of life still stuck in the 13th century.
Speaking of moving on, should the Palestinians learn to get over the failed 1967 war against Israel and accept the occupation because far more people die in places like Tibet, Algeria, Sudan, Chechnya and Angola than in the West Bank?
Jan Burton, Toronto
Simple truths not so banal
Thanks for the piece by alice Klein (NOW, September 19-25). And Bravo to our prime minister for being human.
What the PM said about the West being partly responsible for 9/11 is not so banal at all. It is a simple truth that is constantly rejected because its meaning and essence have been hijacked and trivialized with cynicism, fetishism and morbid degradation.
Shameda Saffee, Toronto
Memorial to 9/11
O. G.Ppamp, in excoriating George Bush's plan to invade Iraq (NOW, September 12-18), believes instead that the World Trade Center should be rebuilt with a twist to add 11 stories to each tower "in defiance."
Pamp may want to take a look at a piece in the September 8 issue of New York Times Magazine. It documents the fact that original architect Minoru Yamasaki wanted to lop off at 90 storeys, but Guy Tozzoli, the project's prime mover, wanted them taller. If ungodly rampant commercialism is part of what pushes radical Muslims' buttons, than 121 floors will certainly inflame more.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Unique only to the U.S.
Robert Priest writes that "the deliberate murder of 2,700 civilians in New York last year may have been a unique event in the history of the United States" (NOW, September 12-18). Unfortunately, this hemisphere is far too familiar with genocide. Don't forget the millions of indigenous peoples who were murdered deliberately as Europeans and Euro-Americans pushed their way across North and South America. Priest suggests a day of mourning for the "victims of mass slaughters of our own time." What about the people we killed, and continue to enslave, who lived here first?
Dan Johnson, Toronto
Gains made in Joburg
It is unfortunate that arthur Neslen chose to present a single-issue report from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg (NOW, September 5-11). It's true that the divide in South African civil society was a drawback to the organizing efforts of the global forces who were in Johannesburg. Also the site of Sandton, the richest suburb in Africa, was a stab in the back to activists organizing for sustainable development locally and globally. But there was much more happening in Joburg than Neslen would have NOW readers believe.
The organizing against corporate globalization does not only manifest in demonstrations. There are thousands more people around the world who wage this battle every day, and they were also present at the WSSD.
Over the last year, many of us were involved in the preparatory process of the summit to hold world leaders accountable to the agreements of Rio and other UN conventions and agreements of the last decade. Many of us spent 16 to 20 hours a day following negotiations in various rooms and caucuses and lobbying government delegates. This mostly invisible and tedious work is also part of the struggle against corporate globalization. At the summit we had few gains and many losses. Many of us knew this would happen from the beginning. However, many of us chose to engage in the process of the WSSD because not being there would have given the corporations a big red carpet. Clearly, we are not going to get a socially just, peaceful and healthy planet without a fight.
Prabha Khosla, Toronto
Mel's bad sell
Don Wanagas's article on the misfortunes of the Toronto tourism industry (Now, September 19-25) was very amusing. Actually, no serious study is warranted, much less "an emergency task force" to determine the root cause of the problem. , Toronto's sad situation is positively related to the personality of its mayor.
Jacques Touré, Toronto
Skunk town T.O.
Tourism in Toronto is suffering.
Right? Those who don't know that must live in a cave and cook bugs for their meals. Toronto is a skunk town.
Montreal is cool. People are friendly. They smile. It's a fun town. Come back to Toronto. Instant drag. Toronto sucks. Big time. Smile at people. They sneer. Attitude is everything. Go where life is good. I wish it weren't so.
Steve Mielczarek, Toronto
Choking local democracy
re pandora's box (now, september 12-18). The democratic governance of our city has already been arrogantly and forcibly altered twice by our provincial government. Now, some city politicians, friends of Queen's Park and the Toronto board of trade are recommending more cuts to council and the establishment of a powerful board of control. Instead of concentrating power in ever fewer hands, let us give more power and resources to the existing six community councils that are closer to us, the citizens.
Stig Harvor, Toronto
Regarding dopey advice (now, september 12-18). The question is not whether the Federation of Metro Tenants Associations advised a tenant on how to get a neighbour evicted for smoking pot. What I find disgraceful is that a group that purports to represent tenants is giving advice on how to get anybody evicted.
Susan Forest, Toronto
Climbing Mt. Pretensions
I'm a long-time reader, and will continue to be one. However, with the Student Survival Guide (September 12-18) you have climbed Mount Pretentious. This guide was to inform your student readers where they can get things cheap. Your Pizza 101 trial (page 52) was ridiculous. I realize that comparing Vesuvio's pizza to Pizza Pizza's offerings is pointless, but cash-strapped students rarely have the luxury of being able to buy better, more expensive pizza, if they even have money to buy pizza at the end of the month. The Goods section of the guide (page 48) was just as atrocious. I do not know many students who have $70 to spend on a Pez pen. What's wrong with Papermates from Wal-mart? Right, they don't allow you to "stuff your school bag in style." Upon reading this, I thought I had stumbled, mid-issue, onto Seventeen magazine with syntax to match.
Kevin Lekkas, Toronto
Too uptight a music scene
re Cuff the Duke. You should get a less-biased person to write your reviews (NOW, September 19-25). Verbally stomping on a fresh band with an original style who are just trying to find their niche and contrasting them with a completely different style of music is not only mean and odious, but poor journalism. You don't have to insult honest people's attempts to have a good time in order to get your personal view across. It's good to know there are artists out there who don't think the world of themselves and just want to have a good time. There are too few of those left in this uptight music scene.
Zoe Glass, Acton
What's in a name?
I haven't seen it yet (I will), but saying that Ballistic: Ecks Vs. Sever is a contender for worst title of the year... come on. This title is a very definite nod to the Asian action film genre. But then, my all-time favourite movie title is A Sudden Gust Of Wind: Miniskirt Patrol (a Japanese production), so what do I know?
I want to see titles that are 30 words long, have fractions in them or can be represented only by a Pantone colour swatch. Other than that, I trust NOW's opinion on movies a lot more than the other weeklies and the dailies.
Matthew D. Bennett, Toronto