Whose ass do I kiss?
Thank you very much for Tax Shelter (NOW, December 12-18). I have had a funny feeling about what is going on with property tax assessments ever since my property was assessed at $250,000 more than the last time. That's more than Al Leach's increase, and he lives in Rosedale.
I keep on pointing out to the assessors that I don't even have a backyard, but to no avail.
Hiring tax advisers to take on your case with MPAC doesn't seem to work either. The ones I hired last time took the savings I won at the appeal board. Whose ass do I have to kiss?
Joan A. Pennings
Congratulations, Fraser Firth, for getting fucked by all the women you wanted in your days on the kibbutz (NOW, December 5-11). My question is, why does a magazine like Now allow a pig like this to express his blatant sexism and disrespect for women? I thought you guys were classier than that.
Roxy double blue
We are sending this letter as a public apology to anyone who may have been offended by our Ugly Sweater Christmas Party.
The idea was initiated in good faith as a clothing drive for local charities. The intention is not to collect ugly sweaters or ugly clothing; it is simply what the promoter thought would be a catchy title for a Christmas party.
While we were concentrating our efforts to make this a great night, we overlooked the fact that certain individuals could be offended, and felt it was necessary to make a public apology.
Last year this party collected a large amount of clothing for charity. If the promoter decides to hold this event at our venue next year, we will not have the clothing drive on the same night.
Our sincerest apologies and our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season.
The Staff and Management of Roxy Blu and Surface
Keeping it real
I was very disturbed by the two Grassy Narrows articles (NOW, December 12-18). What really frustrated me was that I felt there was really nothing I could do to help.
I think we could really make some positive changes in this city and in the province if you, NOW, included e-mail addresses or phone numbers at the end of articles for the corporations or politicians who constantly let us down and continuously destroy this planet. It's great to be informed, but that just leaves us feeling angry and helpless.
Now Magazine has the ability to change this city, to make a better place by empowering the people. Please take this suggestion seriously, I beg of you. We both know the world needs it. Keep it real.
Begging Big Brother U.S.
Stephen Staples doesn't know how close he came to the head of the nail when he said that Yankee ambassador Paul Cellucci is here to increase our demand for armaments (NOW, December 5-11).
Then this Liberal party government of "ours," in the persons of John Manley, John McCallum and Bill Graham, beg for U.S. troops to be our Big Brother the following Monday.
Yet forgive them we must, because, in the end, they know not what they do.
From Milosevic to Saddam
I don't see how john bacher can believe that "a cool $45 million could solve the Saddam problem" simply because it worked in Serbia (NOW, December 5-11).
Comparing Milosevic to Saddam is like comparing Robert Mugabe to Josef Stalin. As the article states, Milosevic allowed opposition parties, student activists and elections, which ultimately led to his downfall. Nothing comparable exists in Iraq.
As for Iraq having better access to activists and literature via the north (as Jack Duvall is quoted as saying), Serbs had much more access to opposing views via newspapers, the Internet and TV in their more open society. Besides, isn't the effectiveness of such literature seriously reduced if you can be killed for having it?
Unfortunately, it'll take more than money to oust Saddam. Combine internal opposition with a few well-placed missiles and we might be in business.
Pacifists we're not
John Bacher's article on the non-governmental effort to help civilian-based resistance in Iraq was right to lament the minimal support that non-violent opposition to Saddam receives from Western governments.
But as someone whom the article quotes, I have to correct two key errors. Our organization's name is the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (not the Center on Nonviolence), and the "regime change" we endorse in countries with dictators is not "pacifist." It is achieved with strategies using disruptive tactics such as strikes, boycotts, mass demonstrations and civil disobedience in order to undermine a government's control of the country and dissolve the loyalty of its military.
Jack DuVall, Director International Center on Nonviolent Conflict Washington, DC
Farmers killing us
The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario adopted a vision statement asking consumers to add a surcharge on their grocery bills to thank food producers for taking extra care to preserve the environment (NOW, December 5-11).
The CFFO membership hold equally to the idea of farming as a calling that glorifies God's creation. I wonder how many of these Christian farmers are tobacco farmers, who produce a product with only evil results. Give us money to protect our environment while we continue to kill humans, all in the name of Christ.
Beyond the prospect of climatic cataclysm, here are some points that are missing in the Kyoto "debate."
At a time when the world is getting ready for yet another war for oil, isn't it more and more urgent to reduce our dependency on oil?
If the price of oil were to reflect not only the environmental and human- health damage associated with its extraction, transportation and use, but also the military expenditures necessary to secure its delivery from remote places, our perspective would be quite different.
Mel's bad math
it was no surprise to learn from Don Wanagas that Mel Lastman was the prime flogger of the city's moose (NOW, December 12-18).
At a price of $6,500 each, the real shocker, as Wanagas reports, is that "a package deal" of four cost $30,000. Some deal: if you buy four it's another $1,000 per head.
With math like this, no wonder the city keeps lurching from one fiscal crisis to another.
RIDE numbers don't add up
Dave Chappelle should get his facts straight before declaring in his letter that the government of Ontario's RIDE program "doesn't work" (NOW, December 12-18).
Spot checks are a very effective mechanism for protecting the public from drunk drivers. Indeed, according to the Ministry of Transportation's Drinking And Driving In Ontario Statistical Yearbook, the number of drivers involved in crashes who had been drinking has decreased by 46 per cent since 1988.
I sincerely apologize to David Palter (NOW, December 12-18) for not including him in my list of right-wing mouthpieces. I had always believed that his vacuous and insipid remarks were of a more general nature and not merely political. Mea culpa.
The truth of the matter is that even the mention of more than a couple of conservatives inflicts on me unusual physical reactions. While one conservative is almost bearable, two provoke a gag reflex, and three or more send me into paroxysms of helpless laughter from which I am unable to recover without a healthy dose of Linda McQuaig.
Proud Nubian brother?
RE: Dave Crestman's letter Blackward Thinking (NOW, December 5-11).
True, racists of every colour can be found in every culture, but I don't believe that this letter was written by a "proud Nubian brother." The letter appears to have been written by a "white asshole" disguised as a black one.
What black person in his or her right mind would be calling for segregation?
And what kind of a "proud Nubian brother" would identify himself (with due respect to all the Daves and Crestmans out there) with such a name? Certainly there are elements in this narrative that seem to be more the product of the teachings of the KKK than of black racism.
Daring to be interesting
I can contain myself no longer.
Can poor Drew Hayden Taylor find nothing else to pontificate about than Lise Watier's latest perfume ad (NOW, November 21-27)? Heaven forbid a women's fragrance ad should use anything but a half-naked woman to sell a product. How dare they come up with something so original, that actually makes consumers think? May the ad haunt your dreams forever.
Hard up in T.O.
I'm a single male who's been trying to find a girlfriend in this city for almost 10 years. Everyone I ask out says she has a boyfriend or is married. I've tried phone connections and Internet dating sites and still have not met anyone.
I don't really go to bars any more. I'm over 40 and wondering if it's possible to have a relationship here. (I'm originally from farther south.) By the way, I am a brown-skinned person looking for a Caucasian woman. Do you think that could have anything to do with it?
Sucking and blowing
Cocksucker is what letter writer K.B. Kelly calls music critic Tim Perlich (NOW, December 12-18).
This declaration made me wonder if Kelly uses this term to mask some shortcoming, something he's not getting, in other words, in his sex life.
If he cared to remember all the nice sensations that cocksuckers have provided him over the years, then surely Kelly would start using the term as a compliment.
Swan song and dance
I'm glad we didn't pay much heed to the negative NOW review of the just-opened Canadian independent feature, Black Swan (NOW, December 5-11). On the weekend, my wife and I took my 15-year-old daughter and her friend to see it. We laughed ourselves into the aisle.
On one level, it was a hilarious send-up of archetypal Canadian figures. Your reviewer plainly didn't get it. Too bad.
There must be a million film students out there who would be really happy to review films, and hopefully point out a few things we might otherwise miss, to enrich our experience.
I'm not even going to get into the issue of whether NOW owes a serious duty to review Canadian works of art. But go ahead, tell me what J.Lo is up to this week.
Queen Etta is not dead
Watched the Shania Twain Intimate And Interactive show on MuchMoreMusic recently in which Twain was asked who she would really like to meet. Her reply was that most of the people she'd like to meet are dead, and then mentioned Etta James.
I guess someone should inform Etta's booking agent of the unfortunate news, seeing as she's been booked for some shows next year.