Standing up for free speech
what a fiasco! a pencil-neck like Daniel Pipes is targeted by those who would deny free speech on university campuses and university faculty rise in support (NOW, February 13-19)! Excuse me, but I remember a time at university when both students and faculty would have fought tooth and nail against this suppression of academic freedom.
We owe the Canadian Jewish Congress a huge vote of appreciation for standing up for the principle of unfettered speech. As for the York faculty association, it should hang its head in shame.
Syd Bosloy, Miami Beach
If the target were Jews
all freedom of speech should be respected. I am disturbed, however, by Daniel Pipes. If others spoke against Jewish interests with the racial hatred he expresses, they most certainly would be banned from entry into Canada, as was the black Muslim speaker who was banned from lecturing at U of T some years ago.
We can only legitimately celebrate Pipes's freedom to speak if counterparts are given the same freedom.
Karin Brothers, Toronto
He's no McCarthy
critics of daniel pipes delight in reviling him as the reincarnated spirit of Joseph McCarthy. Bizarre. McCarthy wielded significant power as the chair of the House Un-American Activities Committee, and in that capacity ruined the reputation and livelihood of those who had the ill-fortune to fall into his clutches. Does Pipes have this power? I think not. He is man with a Web site -- no more than that. Agree or disagree with him as you like, but let's try to remember what McCarthyism was really about and not make an ogre out of him.
Tania P. Nussbaum, Thornhill
Moment of truth
with so many nations building nuclear technology, the world has grown very small indeed. Today North Korea, tomorrow Iran. Who's next? With the health and well-being of humanity now residing in the hands of so many different governments -- some unstable, others fanatical -- we are at grave risk. No longer can we afford to be a world divided. A world of warriors drunk on testosterone or religion and armed with nuclear weapons is a world doomed to destruction. As the butterfly emerges from it's chrysalis, we must emerge from a violent and ignorant past. National pride must be replaced with world pride. The United Nations represents one plausible means to bring forth from a past of violence and separation a future of unity and peace. We cannot afford to dismiss and disdain the wishes of the rest of the world while the potential for nuclear war and nuclear terrorism shadows our planet. It is not the UN that faces a "moment of truth" but the United States.
David Singelyn, Warner Springs, Ca
Gripes and groans
ms. hayden, don't take it all too seriously when you log onto NOW's Web site and get a so-called "anti-American" bitch-fest (NOW, February 6-12). It's hard to maintain a relationship and put on a bright face when Americans are stirring up shit.
We're bombarded by American culture that makes our creative efforts impotent. We have the Stars and Stripes literally shoved in our faces and are being barked at by packaged jingoism every day. But we Canadians aren't saints either. Ask any native person here. Unless the U.S. realizes it doesn't own the whole world and allows other nations to be themselves, you'll be hearing a lot more gripes and groans from us and everybody else for a good long time to come.
Julian Bynoe, Toronto
thank you for your calm in- sight into the storm following Martin Bashir's interview of Michael Jackson (NOW, February 13-19). I've had an extensive background in dealing with abused kids and the adults who abuse them. Up till last week, I was leaning toward the belief that he did molest that boy who collected untold riches in the lawsuit years ago. But then I watched him talking about what Joe did to him.
As I've watched Michael change his physical appearance over the years, it's occurred to me that he was simply trying to "obliterate all memory of that little black child who was abused." He was raised in and still inhabits an unreal world. But is it detrimental to his young charges? I think not. When he sips milk with these kids, he is the little boy again who could experience spontaneous joy through the natural world around him. I think this is what he yearns to recapture at Neverland.
Gale Smallwood-Jones, Toronto
A bitter, jaded world
I've thought for so long that Michael Jackson's just a nice guy who loves kids and wants to play all his life. And what's wrong with that? It's only bitter, jaded adults who think he's up to perverted things with kids. The world can't handle that there is someone out there who isn't as stained as they are, so they try to bring him down.
And that's what's really disgusting.
Steve Matylewicz, Toronto
I was eager to read the letters this week to see what kind of response NOW received from the sex survey issue (NOW, February 6-12). The anonymous letter you printed reflects my disgust at finding pornographic images splattered throughout that insert. NOW's standards seem to be hitting new lows each week. You make fun of the Toronto Sun while your paper -- with the increasing abundance of ads and boobs -- is looking more and more like the little paper that grew. Nigel Wolf, Toronto
the anonymous, if hopelessly priggish, reader who objected so vehemently to NOW's Love & Sex Guide was typical of Canadians' fear, ignorance and dread of real sex. They are like moronic yahoos: dead intellectually from the neck up and dead emotionally from the neck down.
Let's face it, there is no sexual freedom in Canada and never will be as long as the state's sexual gestapo of politicians, police and psychiatrists can dictate whose aperture you can penetrate without being arrested and "treated" as a dangerous deviant.
O.G. Pamp, Tweed
Too late for health care
good to see an article spot- lighting the larger reforms needed within our "sickness insurance system" (NOW, January 23-29). Operating a system that encourages people to wait until they've become ill before getting involved is not the most effective, and certainly not the most economical, way to approach health care. Ideally, if people were encouraged to recognize a multitude of subtle precursors and take preventative steps, fewer people would get to the point of becoming ill. Taking more responsibility for our health instead of waiting for someone else to lead us into choosing costly procedures would take pressure off our sickness insurance system (SIS). We need to rid ourselves of the expensive SIS mentality. But advertising and the general media focus us toward product consumption and abdication of our power and consciousness. Too bad the big profiteers invest in our ignorance and cause us to lean on health care.
Rebecca Barclay, Toronto
In response to sue taylor's letter about Sarah Liss's review of Supergarage (NOW, February 13-19): this isn't a teen music magazine. As a music journalist with NOW, Liss is entitled to her opinion, and if you read NOW on a fairly consistent basis, Sue, you will notice that she doesn't "need to be told by New York and London writers which bands to praise."
Your rebuttal of her critique is a weak and uneducated response to the fact that your fave band's new CD got a less than favourable review.
Vikas Sharma, Toronto
Wrong place, wrong time
NOW never fails in its inability to get the facts right (NOW, February 6-12). Your photo cutline with the review of Niagara Street Café states that the location was formerly the acclaimed Lotus restaurant.
Lotus was on Tecumseth, a few blocks away. The Niagara Street Café is located at 167 Niagara. Brock Shepherd
I'd just like to thank now magazine for being so supportive of freaks like myself. Having flogged Kickass Karaoke for almost four years with virtually no media assistance, it's encouraging to find that NOW is the exception in the worldwide conspiracy to obfuscate alternative forms of entertainment (NOW, February 6-12).
And although some might say it's just a small step, I see NOW as a partner in the fight against the tyranny of evil in the hope of something better.
A better world... a world where no man, woman or child is discriminated against based on race, sex, creed, colour, sexuality or choice of Karaoke, but merely on the style of shoes they wear. I have a dream, I have a dream.
Thank you for your support.
Carson T. Foster, Toronto