re Josh Matlow's resignation from the Canadian Peace Alliance (NOW, April 3-9). I only wish more peace activists would take a stand against hypocrisy.
Yesterday (Saturday, April 5), while attending the peace demo, I was unsettled to see such a large segment of the march dominated by banners from the Troskyist League, the Bolshevist Tendency, Communist Party of Canada, the CP Marxist-Leninist Party and the presence of the old USSR's hammer-and-sickle flag.
That flag represents state-sponsored terrorism. That flag represents the murder of tens of millions of innocent civilians in the gulag concentration camps. That flag should never have been tolerated in a march for peace.
Sadly, the peace movement all too often presents itself as a mob of anti-Americanism.
Wally Keeler, Toronto
Breaking cop prejudices
It is important to consider that people committing acts of aggression and violence at peace/social justice demos might be police agents (provocateurs) working to discredit the peace (public housing, etc) movement.
That said, I commend Josh Matlow for speaking out against people who throw things at cops at peace demos.
You who throw shit at cops are afflicted with the war disease and should check your fucking head, because some like-minded officer of the peace will likely be emboldened by your actions to respond by unleashing his/her angry shit on someone easier to catch than you.
I have challenged my own persistently suspicious cops-are-bad prejudice by persuading myself to make conversation with cops at demos.
I find it humbling yet oddly gratifying to break the ice of my adversarial impulses and simple-minded demonizations. Admittedly, this practice seems a letdown compared to the rush and fire of "righteous" hatred and contempt for an "unquestionably" evil and subhuman enemy.
But isn't that exactly the balls-on-fire mentality that has consumed George Bush and his fellow murderers?
D. Moore, Toronto
Making no damn difference
re Artists against the war (NOW, March 27-April 2). Many excellent Canadian artists are indeed not against the war in Iraq, and neither are most Canadians.
My message to those who are is good luck with your dumb, ill-informed anti-war campaign. You'll need it, because you don't make a damn difference. You're not going to change a thing.
You're losers, and so are your insecure anti-American friends. You are a disgrace to Canada, you ungrateful whiners.
Thanks for supporting terrorism. And thanks for supporting even bigger assholes than you. Guess you don't care much for the lives of good, decent Canadians, Americans and British who went down with the towers.
Guess you never thought about how good we have it here. Your thinking is truly impoverished. Fuck off.
Graeme Kirkland, Toronto
Yes, Mr. Ambassador
The American ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, expressed his disappointment that Canada, a friend, hasn't decided to back up the U.S. in Iraq (NOW, April 3-9). Shame, shame.
America calls Canada a friend, but America wants a yes-man. A real friend tells a friend when he is doing wrong.
But, alas, I am not sure the U.S. has friends. It seems only to have "interests."
RoB breadner, Toronto
Anti-war shots off target
re the Upfront item hey, you're Cheating -- Kaboom (NOW, March 27-April 2).
You imply that the U.S. has no reason to complain about un-uniformed fighters. This misses the point entirely. The rules against civilians engaging in warfare are not in place to protect enemy troops but to protect civilians.
Look what has happened already. One suicide bomber in a car killed four American soldiers. Then a few days later, with understandably itchier trigger fingers, U.S. troops shot up a van and killed seven Iraqi civilians. It's Iraqi civilians who'll pay the biggest price for the illegal means used by other Iraqis, exactly what Saddam Hussein wants.
Your implication that nighttime bombing is unfair misses the point as well. Bombing happens at night because there are less likely to be civilians around, not to protect planes.
Eric Freedman, Toronto
Having recently had the dubious pleasure of stopping at Los Angeles International on my way from Auckland, I easily see Rory Gilfillan's point that American paranoia is at fever pitch (NOW, April 3-9).
But it's not just they who are wetting their pants.
When I checked in at Air Canada to get a boarding pass, I was puzzled to see gloved security guards carefully swabbing the outside of every piece of checked baggage. The swabs then went into a huge grey box.
Though I suppose it's easy enough to scoff at this sort of thing, I admit I couldn't shake the comment I overheard in my doctor's waiting room a few days later to the effect that maybe this SARS thing is a terrorist doing. Yikes!
Geoff Rytell, Toronto
Creating a panic
The recent outbreak of sars and the response from Ontario's commissioner of public security, James Young, raise questions about how an epidemic is defined.
Thousands of people die from influenza each year in Canada with no reaction.
Yet Young seems prepared to create panic in a major city without any reasonable logic.
He has turned hospitals into prisons surrounded by police officers. He has immobilized the health community and people who have legitimate rights to receive medical treatment.
Do fewer than a dozen deaths, tragic as they are, constitute an epidemic and (warrant) the severe measures put in place to control what at this point does not seem to be an epidemic?
Douglas Helliker, Toronto
Pinching Halle's ass
I felt strongly compelled to write in response to Susan G. Cole's column Oscar's War On Women (NOW, March 27-April 2).
What angered me was her accusation of sexual assault. I watched the same program that evening, and I saw a young, overwhelmed nominee, probably the most deserving, win the best-actor award.
Accusing an artist of what could be a criminal act for the sake of politicized comment is incredibly underhanded and made me feel ill. Did she even see his performance in The Pianist?
I'm also pleased that Roman Polanski won best director, statutory rape notwithstanding.
Would you rather Jack Nicholson -- in whose house said alleged rape occurred -- win for the fourth (yawn) time while surreptitiously pinching Halle's ass?
Sophie Carsenat, Toronto
Ban cellphones on TTC
The Sounds of silence, by Matt Galloway (NOW, March 27-April 2) will find thousands in agreement. The use of cellphones on public transit vehicles is an abomination.
I am a streetcar buff. I find them comfortable and relaxing. But nothing disturbs my enjoyment more than an inconsiderate oaf yapping on a cellphone nearby.
On occasion I have been compelled to get off the car even though it has cost me another fare -- no small matter for a pensioner.
N.D. Rogers, Toronto
Won't get fooled again
Tim Perlich's review of the libertines' album (NOW, March 20-26) was disgusting and enough to turn people off your publication. If NOW expects to have some sort of critical credibility, it will fire Perlich or at least allow him more time to research and listen to the albums he reviews. His comparison of the Libertines and the Strokes is misleading, to say the least. This isn't the first time I've read bullshit reviews by him. Perhaps you're just overworking him and he hasn't the time to listen to the albums? You're not fooling your readers; you're only pissing them off.
Rory Grant, Peterborough
Gaudí a big success
I beg to differ with Thomas Hirschmann's review of the Gaudí photo exhibit at the School of Architecture (NOW, March 6-13).
The colour photos were vivid and striking, the details fascinating. For a small exhibit, I would count it as a big success.
Burf Kay, Toronto
Poolhall Junkies miscue
John harkness is an excellent movie reviewer, but I suspect he's not much of a pool player. In his review of Poolhall Junkies (NOW, March 20-26), he says, "They lost me in the scene where Chazz Palminteri as Callahan's betrayed backer breaks his hand -- only he breaks the kid's left hand, a waste of time since the kid shoots right-handed." If the kid is right-handed, his left is the one on which he rests the pool cue, a difficult task if it's in a cast.
Bill Kitcher, Toronto
Don't blame food critic
In a letter to the editor (NOW, March 13-19) it was mentioned that reviewing Brassaii so early in its life is unfair.
I can only say that if a new venture aimed to kick-start its opening by inviting ad execs, modelling agencies and local celebrities to come and visit, who can blame the critics for showing up for the party?
I applaud NOW for its stubborn commitment to evaluating restaurants on their food. After all, Brassaii was conceived to be a restaurant, and although one may confuse it with a nightclub or the forgotten address of a now defunct dot-com space, Brassaii urges its patrons to take it seriously as an eatery.
There seem to be problems in the kitchen.
Kate Smith, Toronto
Wonderful piece of work
My wife and i wish to offer our thanks to Glenn Sumi for his excellent review of The Domino Heart (NOW, April 3-9).
Purely on his advice, we went last night to see this absolutely wonderful piece of work.
Sumi's review was accurate to a stunning point. The comments made about the acting, script and the after-effects of the play were all spot on. Thanks for a great night out.
Aaron Keele and Michelle Garon, Toronto