Don't believe the whining
Mike Smith's "coverage" of the One Big No peace festival astounded me (NOW, April 17-23). He ignored the creativity and diversity of the participants, the wonderful feeling of solidarity and inclusivity and the amazing effort of Artists Against the War, who organized the event in less than a month.
Instead, he focused on a story of art censorship. Mike would rather believe the whining of an artist who refused to work with the coalition than the hundreds of people who coordinated their efforts to put on the best Toronto arts festival ever, enjoyed by thousands opposed to the war on Iraq.
NOW displayed the censored artwork but effectively censored for your readers the entire festival.
Brian Champ, Toronto
Stroke of censorship
Kudos to Mike Smith for his Tenaciousness in pursuing an investigation through murky waters and for not losing sight of the central issue of censorship. Kudos, too, to the editors and publisher for having the intestinal fortitude to run with the story.
Fran Freeman, Toronto
UN a corrupt sinkhole
Alice Klein believes Iraq needs a justice system delivered by the UN (NOW, April 17-23)? I cannot understand how any thinking person, regardless of her politics, could advocate the subordination of this task to such a corrupt sinkhole. I remind Klein that her "undisputed custodian of international law" deserted Rwanda while 800,000 people were slaughtered, cowered while citizens of Sierra Leone were massacred and elected a rep from a dictatorship notorious for the torture and assassination of homosexuals and dissidents to chair its human rights commission. I'm no fan of the "coalition of the willing," but I'd have to entrust this venture to that body over the UN at the present time.
Jordan Phillips, Napean
Egg on peaceniks' faces
Well, the iraq war seems to be winding down, at least the major combat. But now that the peace crowd has had time to scrape the egg off their faces since the U.S. military's "genocide" of civilians doesn't seem to have panned out, perhaps I can interest them in some other wars to protest.
There's the Congo, with over 2.5 million dead in five years, including a five-hour massacre of 966 civilians last week (the UN, thankfully, was there to count the bodies, as always). There's the Russian war in Chechnya, which has shattered Grozny and killed over 100,000 innocents. Or how about Sudan's civil war, with its 2 million dead -- a conflict driven largely by European and Asian oil interests? After months of peace marches professing love for the Iraqi people and chanting "No blood for oil," I wonder if Marxist groups will show the same love for innocents killed in wars not involving the U.S. Don't hold your breath.
Jan Burton, Toronto
Hating people who hate war
For two years I've had the pleasure of honouring drummer extraordinaire Graeme Kirkland's request to perform at his Christmas charity benefits. So when I heard other artists take offence at his rant against opponents of a predetermined, surging Fourth Reich barbarism (NOW, April 10-16), I rushed to his defence.
Ironically, Graeme's and the president's unsuccessful attempts to link 9/11 with Saddam ignore the only real connections between them: both were CIA-manipulated.
Graeme's other theory, that most Canadians are not against the war, could be true. Popularity must mean everything to him. So Britney Spears's CD sales, far outstripping his, prove she is the more talented artist.
Don't succumb to hating Graeme simply because he hates people who hate war. When the Grammys next roll around and Kelly Osbourne bags an award that he should've won, pity the man who'll be sobbing into his non-alcoholic beer while polishing his jackboots. Adios, Graeme.
Alan Park, Toronto
Left's petty bitterness
re your upfront item, Baghdad Booboo (NOW, April 10-16). Your claim that a "hopped-up recruit" putting a U.S. flag over the head of the fallen Saddam statute was an indication of the U.S.'s planned domination of post-war Iraq was absolutely laughable. More likely, some 18-year-old from Arkansas got overexcited in the heat of the moment and opted for a zealous display of patriotism. Is this petty bitterness what we can continue to expect from the left now that its predictions of hundreds of thousands dead, Vietnam-style quagmires and a Stalingrad in Baghdad (all of which were hoped for, not just predicted) have been exposed as a joke by Iraqi girls giving flowers to U.S. troops?
Eric Freedman, Toronto
Al-Jazeera and the KKK
Your editorial position in senseless Censors (NOW, April 10-16) is ridiculous.
If you had researched Al-Jazeera's broadcasts at all, you would have discovered that the station is virulently anti-Semitic. Would you support the airing of a Ku Klux Klan television station?
I can only conclude that either you only support free speech for those with whom you agree, or that your stance is self-contradictory. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, accepting the latter as your excuse.
David Levine, Toronto
I want to give you my sincere gratitude for Senseless Censors. Why should Al-Jazeera be banned? After all, it couldn't possibly be more biased than CNN!
Kiana Toufighi, Toronto
Half-baked rent hogs
re rent hogs (now, april 17-23). To list large average rent increases at a series of aging apartment buildings without listing the capital expenditures used to justify them is like reporting half the score in a baseball game.
If you were reporting on the average sale price of 30-year-old automobiles, would you consider a higher price for a reconditioned car to be unfair when compared to the same model that had not been reconditioned?
The Tenant Protection Act (in effect since 1998) has made possible the refurbishment of Ontario's aging rental housing stock in a way that earlier legislation did not.
Adam Krehm, Toronto
Real estate God
Thank you for inadvertently giving me the laugh of my day. I am, of course, talking about the Blair D. Campbell ad on the back of your Toronto Living feature (NOW, April 17-23).
There I am, flipping along, when I'm confronted by a picture of somebody who looks like Sting's tantric sex teacher. Another Sex Line ad?
Darren Raye, Toronto
Breasts reality check
Would you please fuck off with the stories about female reporters strapping on or duct-taping their tits to give us an "insider's" perspective on what it's like to walk around Toronto with big tits (NOW, April 17-23)?
This story is so cliché-ridden and full of assumptions, I can't believe you printed it. So here are a few reality checks for you.
Some females grow into big breasts naturally. Not all females with big tits are 6-foot blond Amazons. Some women with big breasts feel embarrassed and try to hide or disguise the size of their large tits
Given that this is a tit-focused society, why shouldn't a chick use her tits to make a whack of cash?
Jane Davis, Toronto
Drivers not seeing straight
Katarina Ristic accuses cyclists of throwing "tantrums" and being "self-absorbed and arrogant" (NOW, April 17-23).
She passed three tests to get her licence. Even a vision test? Funny. The drivers who often sideswipe me after making illegal right turns without looking give a feeble shrug. Maybe they took a different vision test.
Ristic should try riding a bike downtown during rush hour. Maybe some time on two wheels would teach her a valuable lesson about who the arrogant ones really are.
Rob Ferraz, Toronto
Matt hurt so Good
In reponse to Elizabeth Bromstein's review of the Matt Good concert (NOW, April 17-23).
Elizabeth is not a fan, which is comparable to asking someone who doesn't care for eggs to review an omelette -- it's likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth. It's irksome that she had a ticket and took up space at a sold-out show only to give a biased review.
The review focused more on Matt's attitude than his music. The crowd was not "bored." They were mesmerized by the music of a true artist. Just hearing Matt sing, "It's all right now, take the world and make it yours again" was worth the ticket price.
I'm sorry, Elizabeth, but if you left the concert feeling like you missed something, you truly did. That concert was more than "Good."
Robin Lavender, Toronto
Cynical and Moodie
I just read the african connections article (NOW, April 17-23). I thought NOW celebrated cultural diversity. I found Glenn Sumi's part of the article petty and anti-black. Why does he devote the first part of the article to picking apart Andrew Moodie's interview? After that, how can a reader continue without feeling just a little cynical about Moodie, and the whole festival for that matter. I think this festival is a great thing for Toronto, and I'm surprised that Now doesn't feel that way, too. Maybe I shouldn't include Now in that last comment. Maybe it's just Glenn Sumi.
Chad Everett, Toronto
Packing the house
Thanks to NOW Magazine's free listings, the Poetry Month celebration at Nicholas Hoare Bookstore was a smashing success! Thank you to the League of Canadian Poets and the Toronto Arts Council for the funding.
Thank you to those who saw the listing and joined us. Here's a non-rhyming poem in NOW's honour:
Roses are red. Violets are blue. NOW Magazine can sure pack the house!
Susana Molinolo, Toronto