Behind every great man
If i were a card-carrying member of the NDP, which I ain't, I'd vote for Jack Layton (NOW, January 16-22). He's a firebrand. Plus, he's married to Olivia Chow, and she's hot.
I used to have a cut-out of her from a campaign sign tacked to the wall of my studio. The Parliament buildings stood behind her as she smiled that crazy, nice smile. If Jack's good enough for Olivia, he's good enough for me. How about Jack uniting the left in a spectacular union of the Green party and the NDP? Hell, if that happened, I'd be there from the corn and soy belt waving flags of support.
Jeff Kennedy, St. Thomas, Ontario
Thinking about the NDP
I lived in toronto for nine years, and while I sometimes disagreed with Jack Layton's views and methods, I was always impressed with his drive and concern for Toronto.
It's been a while since I even considered the NDP during federal elections, but if Jack Layton were their leader I would certainly give them serious consideration again.
He's a good, hard-working guy, and that means a lot to me. I wish him well.
Norman Dykstra, Kingston
An unlevel playing field
about jack layton's bid to reenergize the NDP. What was missing was any mention of the key reason why NDP supporters and all other non-Liberals are marginalized in today's national electoral arena: proportional representation.
New leaders and new ideas are important, but what the NDP and other opposition parties really need is a level playing field.
Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada, Toronto
Pamphleteering as news
how interesting it is to read your magazine's continued portrayal of political pamphleteering as news. Your recent Stand Down feature (NOW, January 16-22) is only the latest example.
Matthew Behrens asks us to ask ourselves why we are considering action against Saddam's regime and not other similarly guilty regimes that are currently our allies.
How about Saddam's record of wanting weapons of mass destruction? The others shall come later, to be sure. Ask yourself this question: are you willing to march to prolong his rule?
In the same issue, Robert Priest's equation of concentration camp guards with bomber pilots is ludicrous.
Those who were murdered by the Nazi regime and their sympathizers were targeted for death because of something they could not change, namely their race. There was no bargain they could strike to avoid their fate.
Just more one-sided, warmed-over far-left rhetorical mudslinging about the U.S. being an imperialist bully. Yawn.
This type of propaganda masquerading as news is better left to the agitprop International Socialists, not a supposed professional news magazine like NOW.
Douglas Scott, Toronto
Cowardice won't cut it
Matthew Behrens states that members of the Canadian Forces have an obligation to lay down their arms and refuse to fight if our government decides to participate in a military action in Iraq.
Try a few months in East Timor or Rwanda (as I did as a member of the Canadian Forces) and I'm sure your attitude would change. You're wasting your time with your holier-than-thou rhetoric.
As for having the members of our forces lay down their arms and refuse to fight, sorry, Behrens, but cowardice is frowned on by the military.
The right to refuse an unlawful order is present to prevent rash actions in the heat of combat and to prevent reckless loss of soldiers' lives. It does not exist to give members of the forces, who volunteered for this duty, the right to question a mandate of our government.
Once upon a time Hitler himself had many supporters (including Henry Ford), and there was much opposition to a military response to his provocations, similar to your protest.
Our forces, if called to war, will fight honourably and endeavour to protect the innocent.
You just sit back and keep spouting off and let the brave of this country go out and defend your right to say it.
Able Seaman Brendan Webber, Toronto
marc cooper makes a grave error of analysis in his article (Now, January 9-15) that I cannot let pass.
He presents the reasonable thesis that a broad-based coalition will be needed to defeat the Bush clique's drive for war, then neatly undermines it with a grovelling denunciation of one Saddam Hussein, Bush-appointed tyrant of the month.
To pay any attention to the myriad transgressions of Mr. Hussein is to utterly miss the point. Mr. Cooper would do well to save his self-righteous wrath for the unelected moron in his own backyard before presuming an interest in what remains of Iraq.
Billy Van deserves better
re Kris Law's ode to Billy Van (NOW, January 16-22). On the strength of your first sentence, "Kids' television today is a fucking disgrace," I was fired up to enjoy the article and write you a thank-you letter. Well, I'm writing, but not to say thanks.
I appreciated your interest in the subject but was totally put off by your integration of a tribute for a nice Canadian fella with a story about your acid trips, up to and including the worthless recollection of what your friend was doing on his trip while you were watching Frightenstein.
Billy Van deserved better from you.
He was a man who made us laugh, not a joke. If you intend to write an "ode" to anyone else in the future, edit out your drug use beforehand and focus on the person you're writing about, not yourself.
Darren Roskam, Barrie
Pot smoke and mirrors
NOW magazine claims that "it's pot possession charges that have seen the biggest increase, from 14,531 in 1997 to 19,991 in 2001, not trafficking, which has gone from 5,641 in 97 to 8,435 in 01" (NOW, January 9-15).
If you take the time to actually do the math, it seems there's a 37 per cent increase in possession charges, and a 49 per cent increase in trafficking charges. Talking statistics without taking ratios into account is meaningless.
Jennifer Amey, Toronto
If I had a reputation
It's me again. I did promise to stop writing. However, since you are still publishing lies about me, I still need to reply. If I were to allow these lies to pass unchallenged, my reputation could be damaged (if I had a reputation).
Geoff Rytell claims that I have complained that NOW edits my letters (NOW, January 9-15). What I actually said was that NOW is badly editing my letters.
NOW, if you will stop publishing lies about me, I will stop inflicting my letters upon you.
David Palter, Toronto
Life can certainly be ironic. just a couple of weeks ago I was talking with a friend about the dearth of live jazz coverage in NOW. The next thing I know I was awakened by that same friend, who told me you had a jazz review about me (thanks for the excellent photo, by the way), and it wasn't very nice (NOW, January 16-22).
I know it's not a critic's job to be nice, or even to introduce himself to the artist. I've been positively reviewed by critics I consider far more knowledgeable than Tim Perlich.
But one wouldn't know from reading the article that this was a gig where I was a sideman with some much less experienced musicians.
I didn't choose the tunes or, except for Peter Kauffman, know the rhythm section. One last but important thing is that I wasn't told a review would be written of this performance. Had Perlich bothered to introduce himself to me, I would have suggested that he review me in a different context, with musicians more on my own level. I don't appreciate this kind of sneak-attack journalism.
Bob Mover, Toronto
Gives us a little more boom
Every thursday I look forward to the latest edition of NOW. It's fantastic. As NOW gets older, it would be nice if NOW included more stories, events, stuff in general to do with my baby boom generation.
On the other hand, I still appreciate keeping up and knowing about the latest in the arts and entertainment scenes. Keep up the contests with the fabulous prizes. Hope 2003 turns out to be great year! Thanks, NOW!
Laura Ellen Schon, Toronto