Whose human rights?
Alice Klein says about Noam Chomsky (NOW, November 14-20), "What really impresses me is how he... values human rights." Noam Chomsky cares deeply about human rights violations committed by the United States or Israel. He does not care about other human rights violations that do not fit into his agenda.
David Palter, Toronto
U.S. less civilized
alice klein quotes noam chomsky as saying the world is a better place than it was 40 years ago, because this is the first time in history "that there has been massive protest before a war."
But is this protest really surprising? Has there ever before been a war with such advance billing, such a detailed tabling of the aggressor's intentions, such drawn-out and tantalizing foreplay, such a Bolero-like buildup of war drums beating and sabres rattling?
I do not see this protest as evidence that the U.S. is more civilized than it was 40 years ago. The American petroligarchy will continue to do what it damn well pleases.
Dana Cook, Toronto
Put up your David Dukes
I see jan burton has replaced O.G. Pamp as NOW's resident right-wing letter writer (NOW, November 14-20).
Am I to understand from your publication of her letters that there are people out there who take this kind of attitude seriously?
Her remaining credibility should have been killed off when she implied that Chomsky is a Holocaust denier when, in fact, his introduction to the book she mentions concerns free speech.
Memo to Burton: it's best not to get your information from David Duke Monthly.
Bill Kitcher, Toronto
Holding justice hostage
re shooting blanks (now, november 14-20).
If Craig Bromell is threatening "not to police the black community at all if they continue to allege that racial profiling is going on," then he is, by his own words, racially profiling.
Well, this isn't the schoolyard any more, and I for one won't let this public servant hold justice in Toronto hostage.
Douglas Copp, Toronto
Bromell's a whiner
outgoing lame-duck police association head Craig Bromell's new campaign should provide a fine sequel to his earlier True Blue venture.
Given Craig's penchant for whining about how badly cops are treated by some media, the new push could aptly be named Operation Boo-Hoo. Motorists stopped on the street who bought tix to Craig's farewell supper would be given a bumper sticker featuring the words of the immortal Mel: "Cops only arrest bad people."
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Gentiles not allowed
while flipping through your latest issue (NOW, November 14-20), a photo of a cute guy caught this goy's eye.
Sufficiently engaged, I started to read what was an ad for My Story, a four-part series on the relevance of Judaism. I was mildly chagrined to discover that this series is directed toward "Jewish 20- & 30-somethings," a demographic that doesn't include me.
Now picture, if you can, my shock upon reading the last paragraph: "Tickets available for Holy Blossom Temple members and unaffiliated Jews. Call (416) ..." For Jews only? Oy!
I am seriously wondering whether the writers of this ad are (a) in dire need of a good writer/editor or (b) intentionally but discreetly excluding all gentiles from this series, hoping nobody will notice.
Anne Marie Joseph, Toronto
Meat plant smells like hell
I'm so tired of people moving into the King and Bathurst area and complaining about the slaughterhouse (NOW, November 7-13).
Maybe Greg Leskew should have checked the area out before he moved in. I have lived on Niagara for seven years, and, yes, sometimes the slaughterhouse is smelly -- but no worse than a farm.
Many artists live in this area because it's still affordable. If you don't like it, move.
S. Simone, Toronto
Council needs prodding
I too am plagued by the ongoing battle of the pigs. Aside from the traffic, the smell and the idling trucks, I have the added benefit of the livestock unloading dock within eyeshot of my living room window.
All spring, summer and early fall, the pigs start arriving at 5 am (two hours before sound bylaw regulations allow) and begin the ritual noise torture with a cacophony of screams, squeals and yelps you would never imagine a pig could make.
While the city does acknowledge the problem as a longstanding issue for our community, it frustrates and angers me that it has not changed a thing.
Maybe it's time the community invested in some cattle prods of our own. They seem to work on pigs.
Heidi McLeod, Toronto
What OCAP stands for
re mike's smith's article, squat Double-talk (NOW, November 7-13).
Is OCAP really serving the best interests of the homeless? OCAP would say the homeless cannot speak for themselves and we must be their voice. Unfortunately, usurping the voices of people seems rather immoral no matter who is doing it. Even I have to consider whether I speak, write and act for personal gratification or really care about the humanity of what I say. OCAP does not seem to even consider that idea.
Douglas Helliker, Toronto
All is not lost
I was pleasantly surprised to read Christopher Hitchens's perspective on Iraq (NOW, November 14-20). It was a breath of fresh air in NOW yet!
I have found NOW's outlook on foreign affairs to be myopic and lacking in insight. This article is reassurance that all is not lost. Congratulations, NOW, for keeping your eyes open.
Jim Lamarche, Toronto
I attended the remembrance day
ceremony at Old City Hall and was overwhelmed by the presence not only of hundreds of adults, but also of young people.
I had doubts. It took an educational tour of first and second world war Canadian cemeteries in France and Belgium over the summer to make me truly appreciate the sacrifices made.
Daniel Frank, Toronto
In praise of mediocrity
I wish people would stop slagging your Best-Of Toronto listings. I love them. They do a great job of reinforcing the blandness and mediocrity most people unthinkingly give in to.
They mean that my ability to get a table at Dipamo's and have unobstructed views at concerts by the Sadies or the Hidden Cameras is secure for another year.
All those readers who've been complaining would start howling a helluva lot louder if all the things that truly are "the best" were suddenly discovered and overrun by the masses.
Bill Clarke, Toronto
Corbeil's incredible trip
I'm writing in response to glenn
Sumi's theatre review of Carole Corbeil's In The Wings (NOW, November 14-20).
I'm tired of reading reviews by critics who rattle off flaws without supporting their statements.
I'm also deeply unimpressed reading reviews that include pure speculation about the shows, written in a demeaning tone.
The media have been inventing the mythology around Carole Corbeil's work and then criticize the artists' work when it doesn't meet their constructed expectations.
I would like to congratulate the artistic company of In The Wings for bringing to life such an engaging story about the theatre while taking the audience on a powerful journey.
Mary B. Wood, Toronto
Persian is not Arabic
I'm very pleased that now is paying attention to music that is generally outside the North American mainstream -- to be specific, the review of Masters of Persian Music (NOW, November 7-13).
Still, I have to take you to task on the rather unfortunate choice of "Arabic" as a musical category.
Granted, the debate about how to refer to non-Western genres has never been satisfactorily resolved. But Persian music is not Arabic.
The instruments used, the tonalities and musical aesthetics are quite distinct, as are the languages.
It seems to me that a publication like NOW, which prides itself on political awareness and cultural sensitivity, could do a little better than misleading, 19th-century-style stereotypes.
Brenna MacCrimmon, Burlington
Making sense of Harkness
I've always suspected that john
Harkness is one whopping, pretentious asshole. And now his non-review of the new Harry Potter movie has confirmed it (NOW, November 14-20).
I can't believe he actually admitted as much in his column. Too bad he had to leave it to the very last sentence: "I don't get it." He might have cut out everything in front of those four words and saved us all some time.
Now, if only I didn't agree with his review of Michael Moore's Bowling For Columbine, the rest of the universe might actually make sense. Damn.
Cliff Goldstein, Toronto NOW welcomes reader mail. Address letters to: NOW, Letters to the Editor, 189 Church, Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7. Send e-mail to email@example.com and faxes to 416-364-1166. All correspondence must include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length.