Butterfly slag ill-informed
mike smith's madame butterfly (NOW, June 12-18) completely undermines the work of the Circle of Life Foundation as well as the Om Summer Solstice Festival. By implying that Julia "Butterfly" Hill has been unjustifiably compensated for the work she will do while she is in Toronto, Killaloe and Grassy Narrows, Smith displays a level of ignorance and disrespect for these two organizations that can't be justified with any facts. Julia Butterfly Hill is a tireless Earth advocate and defender of ancient forests throughout the world. Her work and the work of her non-profit organization have inspired people to invoke positive changes in their own communities and empowered generations of young people to realize the power they have in the activist movement.
We believe strongly in the work she is doing, and we're proud to have the means to support her organization with the monetary energy that continues to make change happen.
We hope the readers of NOW will not take Smith's poorly informed article as fact and will instead come out to the events planned for Julia while she is in Ontario, where they may themselves have the opportunity to understand the message she shares. Heidi Eisenhauer Om Summer Solstice Festival Killaloe
Cardboard cut-out racism
re cbc's pasty face (now, june 12-18) . It's so uplifting to know that because of the great strides we've made as a society promoting equality, the type of issues writers like Paul Ikeda-Douglas have to concern themselves with now are what kind of cardboard cut-outs are on display in the lobby of the CBC. Most encouraging! Dave Henry Toronto
your upfront item on george Chuvalo being courted to run for the Tories (NOW, June 12-18) was grossly and offensively ill-informed, if not mean-spirited. You claimed he has "a few drug issues and brushes with organized crime." Mr. Chuvalo worked with CARITAS counselling heroin addicts.
He speaks to high school students about the consequences of drug abuse.
Which "drug issues" did you mean? Too much Tylenol when his head aches?
If you have more on his "brushes with organized crime," print it. If not, you have done two injuries to a very decent man and you should say so - in print. Richard Wing Toronto
Releasing my need for sex
i am pleased to see that another woman other than myself has thought of "having an FB" as an option (NOW, June 12-18). I have had an FB (Fucking Buddy, or as I like to say, Friend with Benefits) for a while now, and I don't regret deciding to have one. Knowing that I can safely release my need for intimacy is very comforting. At times, I even feel blessed to have such options.
If I find Mr. Right, then I won't have a need for an FB. Maybe the perfect relationship can develop from an FB.
So, ladies, keep your options open and remember that everyone deserves to be sexually satisfied. L.W. Toronto
i would like to say i am very dis- appointed in the Ruff Rent article (NOW, June 12-18). Briar Lane VP Brad Smith obviously doesn't know very much about dogs. He states various reasons why they would want to increase rent for tenants with "big" dogs. He says, "We're not out to charge any tenant for having a small pet." What is the difference?
He says big dogs incur more costs for landlords. He raises "noise issues," "repairs" and "annual sod replacement."
I would like to point out that all dogs, small or large, have the potential to bark. As for sod replacement, I would love it if he could name just one small breed that doesn't urinate.
Maybe he should put up a "No defecating" sign. Now there's an idea! Julie Martin Toronto
re bad aroma (now, june 12-18). Kudos to Bernie Farber and Len Rudner of the Canadian Jewish Congress for their well-reasoned column on the Roma controversy. It is inexplicable to me why the Ontario Court of Appeal rejected the fact that Roma and "Gypsy" are synonymous. So what does this mean for the future? Will neo-Nazis now be able to hold demonstrations utilizing ugly racist slang and get away with it?
In fact, I suppose the word "Roma" can also refer to a tomato, but I am pretty sure those Nazi thugs weren't protesting the arrival of tomatoes in Canada. Joanne Robitaille Mississauga
Happy ending for schools
your news insight on the state of our deteriorating schools (NOW, June 12-18), while daunting, can have a happy ending. Ernie Eves could appoint recently disgraced MPP Chris Stockwell minister of education. I'm sure his riding association will be only too happy to fix up all these grim messes. Geoff Rytell Toronto
What 905 sounds like
besides learning that christo pher Livingstone, the writer of the Babes Only article, is a pseudonym (NOW, June 5-11), I am curious to know what else was fictionalized, specifically what a "thick 905 accent" is. Please educate us. I sat down with this edition of NOW in the Second Cup at the Dufferin Mall, and I heard no discernible English while sipping my latte.
What with all the SARS ramifications, I am surprised that club owners would allow an elitist attitude regarding their prospective clientele to exist.
Doesn't it make sense, if 905 inhabitants can afford luxurious homes and cars, to entice them to come and plunk down their cash in the 416? There are attractive people anywhere if one bothers to look. If they have the money to buy homes and cars, they can afford better clothes, Botox and other aesthetic enhancements to beautify themselves. Christina Colalillo Toronto
i forgot all about dundas square until one day, while enjoying a shawarma, you reminded me (NOW, May 29-June 4). Moments later, appearing before me like an unsettling hallucination, there it was: the space exactly as described - almost empty, resembling a parking lot minus the oil stains and orderly stripes.
Until today the article remained more memorable and infinitely more interesting than the space itself. I had to find a better way to deal with reality. And so I did.
Now, whenever I pass it, I'm protected from its negative influence by not taking it so seriously or literally. From my new-found perspective I see it as a place of solemn contemplation and an eternal reminder of the excesses of absolute human degeneracy. Perhaps in that sense it is not so much a barren vacuum as it is well-concealed genius. Matt Trowell Toronto
Glib pop-in pundits
i've always followed the advice of consumer advocates that one should not go shopping on an empty stomach. After reading Thomas Hirschmann's review of Catherine Heard's eight prints at Open Studio (NOW, June 5-11), I now realize the same advice should be applied to art reviewing. Apparently, hunger can confuse a reviewer's critical faculties to the extent where he makes pronouncements like "hairless bodies float on backgrounds that often resemble a marbled cream cheese brownie."
I don't know which of Heard's intricately marbled prints captured the reviewer's Homer Simpson-like appetite more than his aptitude, but similar confusion led him to conclude that the central images are "sexless, bald-headed babies."
It's a shame Toronto's leading arts and entertainment weekly doesn't demand as big an investment of time and concentration of its art critics as it does of its theatre or film commentators. Through reviewers like Hirshmann, NOW expresses its satisfaction with printing the glib impressions of pop-in pundits who would apparently rather be gushing over the latest offerings in the display cases of their local patisseries than exploring the innovative work of Toronto's leading younger artists. Steven Baker Toronto
Reviewers with no clue
i've been a reader of now magazine for many years. I feel compelled to comment on the outrageously poor music reviews your magazine prints. I'm heavily involved in the arts and surrounding myself with many musicians. We always read the reviews and laugh in disgust when a good solid record or band is trashed. This happens often. It's quite evident that your reviewers do not hear . They listen, but they have no clue as to what's going on.
One example is some of the bands at NXNE (NOW, June 12-18). The BlackMaria is composed of very good musicians with integrity and talent. I saw them at NXNE. There were several record label reps there, all salivating over this band. Your reviewers were probably schmoozing in the back, drinking away, not paying attention to the show.
The problem is that these reviews influence readers, who are consumers. It's a shame that the good bands out there are getting bad publicity from uneducated, ignorant and flaky reviewers. We're tired of reading garbage in what is a pretty decent magazine. Thanks for reading our rant. Oliver Nacinovic Toronto
Make up your mind
i'm a little confused by brent Raynor's review of Steely Dan's Everything Must Go (NOW, June 12-18). Although it seems to offer a compelling reason to buy the CD, the fact that he clearly detests the band from their inception and goes on to say that they "outdid themselves in the pretension department with each subsequent album" would surely send Steely Dan fans running to the record store to buy more of their "self-indulgent" and "pretentious" music. A reviewer's biases, regardless of how uninformed they are, can be of use, particularly if the critic is reasonably consistent in his/her likes and dislikes.
However, when Raynor goes on to discuss the reasons for their Grammy win, he cites their "jazzy, catchy songs" and laments the current album's lack of the"funky rhythms and contagious solos" that apparently marked their earlier work. Gee, you wouldn't want to have those qualities on a pop album. Make up your mind, Brent. And get some ears. Ted Quinlan Toronto