Go back to your dumbbells
In one fell swoop, Christopher Taylor Jones has revealed himself to be a lecherous, pseudo-sensitive jerk and reduced the age-old spiritual practice of an entire country to a T&A wonderfest (NOW, January 2-8). Bravo.
And kudos to the ever-clever NOW folk for ruining one of the few places women can go for a little peace of body and mind. Those poses being advocated as a means of firming you guys up for a healthy sex and social life? They're actually the foundation for gaining physical mastery to support a state of (gasp) celibacy. Go back to your dumbbells.
Anne-Marie Hood, Toronto
Ford for mayor
Your article pondering who will run for mayor in 2003 (NOW, January 2-8) isn't complete. The man who should be encouraged to run is Rob Ford., Toronto needs someone fiscally responsible who really cares about issues. This guy is nobody's baby.
He's out on his own fighting the cabal of Lastman cronies and backroom boys who currently run the city., Toronto needs young guys like Ford who have the guts and fearlessness to root out the corruption and apathy that currently infect municipal council.
Tom Beyer, Ajax
Bush's Dark Ages mentality
Watching heart-warming christmas church services on TV from across Canada and the U.S. celebrating the birth of Jesus, son of God, makes one wonder whether the torture and humiliation wrought on the hapless people of Iraq by the U.S. is based on the teachings of the same Jesus.
Is it possible that Americans, in their haste for world domination, have gotten Jesus mixed up with the Anti-Christ?
President Bush turns to dark instincts and the fabrication of lies to justify his quest for oil.
It's difficult to understand how the establishment Christian nations of Europe can keep quiet in the face of this out-of-the-Dark Ages mentality.
Rudolf Manook, Toronto
As one of the Hanukkah celebrants recently featured in your pages, I regrettably must respond to your unsigned editorial suggesting that the significant concurrence of Ramadan and Hanukkah this year would largely have been lost on most people celebrating these holidays (NOW, December 26-January 1).
Had your editorialists attended our Hanukkah party and book launch for queer Jews at Buddies on November 30, they would have met progressive members of various faith communities who came to celebrate Hanukkah with us, and with whom we continue to collaborate on a respectful multi-faith dialogue.
I'd respectfully suggest that NOW and its readers inform themselves more fully before resorting to the tired, non-contextualized and tendentious bashing of Jews and Israel so prevalent in the left, academic and secular Canadian communities.
Though it's fun to criticize U.S.-style global capitalism and military might, I wonder how many latte-fuelled idealists recognize that their very Canadian freedom to idly criticize depends on clumsy ol' Uncle Sam to protect our economy, security and political freedoms.
Joanne Cohen, Jewish Gay and Lesbian Fund
We got the numbers
Mike Smith doesn't think war will be stopped by "going out in droves and marching" (NOW, December 26-January 1).
But surely it wouldn't be a bad thing if we had a really, really big march in this city against war in Iraq.
There might be some relationship between 140,000 marching against war in Iraq in London, for example, and the fact that more than 100 Labour MPs in Bomber Blair's own government have come out openly against war in Iraq.
We could use something on that scale in Toronto to give confidence to ordinary people everywhere that they are not alone in their horror at the prospect of another war for oil.
Paul Kellogg, Toronto
Laws going to pot
What a wonderful world we live in. Too bad we have to share it with such morons.
Thanks to Ontario Court Justice Douglas Phillips, who last Thursday ruled that it is no longer against the law for a 16-year-old boy to carry around a small amount of pot.
The court could have ruled with the wisdom of Solomon, possibly rendering a suspended sentence. Instead, it went with the obliviousness of Simple Simon and tossed the entire law into the trash.
May 2003 renew our hope that we might eventually find ourselves living in a brighter place with brighter people.
A touch of bitterness
David Palter complains, with a lot of force and a touch of bitterness, that NOW edits his letters to the editor (NOW, January 2-8). All papers, even lowly weekly ones, reserve that right.
Suck it up, David, and welcome to reality. After all, you know what you wrote, and that's what counts, surely.
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
We attended the first of the indiana Jones screenings at the Revue highlighted by John Harkness over the holidays (NOW, December 26-January 1), but it was likely the last time for us at that theatre.
There was a long delay getting Raiders Of The Lost Ark rolling and in focus, which was blamed on the relief projectionist's settings from the night before.
Then we had to sit through a horribly damaged print, which meant sepia-toned scenery, lots of jumps, at least six restarts and, worst of all, missing or cut-off scenes. I have never heard so many groans from a movie audience.
In the lobby, staff paid no attention to our complaints. It was even more difficult to obtain a pen to write on napkins for the suggestion box.
We are long-time customers of Festival Cinemas. Why were we not offered any sort of apology or consolation? Will we have to hike a little farther for our rep cinema from now on?
Tana Tugendhat, Toronto
Can't get more mainstream
I just finished reading Susan G. Cole's top 10 books for 2002 (NOW, December 26-January 1). I am disappointed. Out of 10 books on Cole's list, five were also on the Indigo-Chapters top 10.
Fingersmith, by Sarah Waters, and Unless, by Carol Shields, were both nominated for the Booker this year. You can't get much more mainstream than that.
It seems like Susan's going to Indigo and asking the staff what's popular this week rather than searching carefully for a slim volume on the shelf that deserves more attention.
Chris "Cryptonomicom" Ames, Toronto
Rough night at Buddies
I bought advance tickets for the Buddies Naked New Year's but got nothing but abuse.
The event was touted as being "wide open and loving," where we could "dress up to the hilt or down to nothing."
On the heels of the 2002 Barn case, a clear legal decision was made that effectively prevents overzealous, ultra-conservative police from spoiling everyone's fun.
What's more, a decade ago I'd attended Concordia U with one of the featured "Scandalettes," where we bonded during a mutual striptease atop a speaker at K.O.X., and I was eager to finally see her show!
I checked everything save leather boots, cowboy hat and glitter at the cloakroom downstairs but was arrested on my way upstairs by a someone in a "security" T-shirt.
At first I thought he must be new, but then a manager walked past, who deigned only to blurt, "Put your underwear on." I was told, "No refunds" by the fey android in the box office and got shoved outside.
My date finally convinced the outrageously unapologetic "manager" to cough up our $30.
Everyone in the ticket queue left, thankful that I'd warned them of the fraud.
I suspect some clued-out nail-biter at Buddies panicked at the 11th hour, and terrified that he should have consulted his lawyer instead of his hair stylist, fumbled a last-minute change of dress code.
I'd like to know who that was, who all went along with their madness and why.
Nobody expects this sort of behaviour from Buddies. I also hope they make up for their embarrassing gaffe by hosting real nudie events.
Better still, why doesn't Buddies make its premises permanently dress-code-free?
Leif Harmsen, Toronto
Ode to Joe
I'm disappointed now didn't put Joe Strummer on the cover to mark his death (NOW, January 2-8).
Strummer educated young people in the art of protest, guided people along the roads of revolution and wrote some of the most important music of the 20th century.
The Clash will always be the only band that matters. Rest in peace, Joe Strummer.
Rob Zifarelli, Toronto
Editors Note: Last week's cover of Ross Manson was photographed at the Iceman (416-504-6615; www.the-iceman.com).