i'm always happy to have review ers see my shows and express their opinions, but it is very discouraging to hear such a catty tone. Can't we support the Fringe, the artists who work so hard for free, and encourage audiences to see theatre? It's a Fringe, these are new shows, brave choices are being made. Please applaud what is good about a show.
Yes, a show may not be to your taste, but can't you let us know who might like it? In our show (reviewed online), the audience was rapt and engaged. Surely, that means something.
Victoria Goring Artistic Director, Urban Spine
hannah james's new age flameout (NOW, July 3-9) was hysterical. I hope she continues writing and that NOW features her articles again. Bravo, Hannah! Merrilea Shields, Toronto
OCAP using poor
i am glad the federation of Metro Tenants Associations and the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty are working together to fight the Salvation Army's huge increase in shelter fees for the homeless (NOW, July 3-9). It's about time OCAP didn't use the poor to solicit donations but did something to actually help them rather than to promote more OCAP riots. Victor Davis, Toronto
Ticketmaster's pound of flesh
as we put nelia laroza, the first nurse to die from SARS, to her rest, let's take a moment of contemplation regarding another mistake in the making. Namely, all the money raised by the two Concerts For Toronto (NOW, July 3-9). A dollar a ticket for the Stones, none from the other that took place a few weeks back. So who exactly did make money out of these so-called benefits?
Apparently, the bands all got paid, and no doubt their expenses were covered. Ticketmaster collected its pound of flesh, and at the end of the day there's enough money around to give all the affected hospital and hospitality workers et al. $10 dollars each.
Hardly a benefit. More like a sad joke.
Nicholas Brooks, Toronto
NOW's SNL shtick
i understand oliver nacinovic's frustration with the quality of the reviews in Now as well as the reviewers themselves (NOW, June 19-25). I don't think he should be too worried about the reviewers doing a disservice to Now readers, though. I would guess that most of them realize that the reviews are about as legitimate as the "news" NOW presents each week. With their combination of Photoshop-doctored pictures, phony "facts" and ill-informed conjecture presented as facts, the only people who could actually take Now's news or reviews seriously are the same people who don't realize Weekend Update on SNL is a joke. Daniel Drader, Toronto
Wasting time on boneheads
i urge you to change the content of your Upfront section. Instead of devoting this valuable space to keeping up with the dorkings of people who already get tons of air time, why not use it to recognize and give voice to people who get no share of media time, be they schoolchildren, hostel residents or underpaid home care workers. I'm sure you can think of many deserving candidates. The attempts at lampooning in Upfront remind me of a friend who'd try to sting me with sharp-tongued remarks but lacked the inspiration necessary for the art of fun-poking. His jibes came off flat and just plain mean. The tone and comments leave me feeling polluted by sarcastic smugness.
If these people are such boneheads, why waste precious time on them?
Mandy D., Toronto
OM fest not so glorious
i am very disappointed with adria Vasil's article in glorious praise of the Om Festival (NOW, June 26-July 2). Although the OM Festival's intentions are good, I question its impact on people's mentality. There is a serious problem when my friend comes back from the festival saying, "Peace and love means getting high on mushrooms and E."
It makes me question why the festival was held in Killaloe. Was this so they could not be caught with drugs? Or was the aim to celebrate the surrounding trees, which are a fantasy in comparison to the worldwide reality of disappearing forests and clean air?
OM seems more a trendy escape from the actual issues and from the people it should be educating.
Sandra Pareja, Toronto
This note's for Neil
regarding surreal neil (now, june 19-25). Jeez Louise. Your first line: "After moaning through three downer tunes to nothing more than a polite smattering of applause...." Well, I prefer "soulfully singing" and "poetic and resonant, well-crafted tunes." As to the "polite smattering of applause." The reason it seemed like a smattering was because the place wasn't even half-full at the time (or, as I'm sure you'd prefer, half-empty).
As for Shakey's conceptual show, I gotta admit I was momentarily confused by the Clear Channel billboard that said "Support Our War." But rather than kissing the butt of those who sign his cheques, I looked at it as Neil biting the hand that's feeding him.
If the set was "embarrassingly cheesy," well, so be it. Aesthetically, it was pure Neil - rough around the edges, simple and direct. I was thrilled that an icon like Neil Young continues to push himself creatively and has furthered his counterculture roots by continuing to fight the good fight.
I'm pretty sure the loogans who yelled throughout his performance are the same guys who ran onto the Blue Jays field Wednesday night.
Colin Brunton, Toronto
Lesson in hate
i was left feeling sad and angry after reading Bernie Farber's article about how the Appeals Court upheld the acquittal of six racist skinheads simply because the court refused to accept that the terms Roma and Gypsy are the same (NOW, June 12-18). More to the point, Mr. Farber left me asking many questions.
Why was the Canadian Jewish Congress the only group to stand with the Roma community?
Where were other churches, human rights groups, labour?
Where were we?
Why were we all so silent?
Perhaps intuitively, the Court of Appeal reflected society's attitude in its decision. I hope it proves to be a lesson for us all.
Caroline Konecny Whitby
Grateful for Butterfly
mike smith is right about one thing (NOW, June 12-18). Julia Butterfly isn't like other celebrities. The "celebrity" Smith slags will garner much-needed attention for the struggle of the Grassy Narrows community, which Julia is helping publicize, and help raise much-needed funds. We are very grateful that she is willing to support the community in this way.
The point is that this isn't about Julia Butterfly, the Grassy Narrows Solidarity Coalition or the Om Festival. It's about drawing attention to ongoing injustices.
Louise Molloy, Grassy Narrows Solidarity Coalition, Toronto
Clubbers had it coming
I just love how letter-writers who complain about their treatment from bouncers (NOW, June 12-19) never mention what they were doing inside a nightclub to attract security's attention in the first place. Harassing women? Harassing men? Sneaking in alcohol or drugs (infractions, by the way, which can lead to your fave watering hole being closed down and all the staff unemployed for who knows how long)? Vandalism? Were you drunk? Acting like idiots? Starting fights? Do you even really remember clearly? I've been on both sides of the velvet rope. My experience has been that most people who are expelled from a nightclub have it coming. Just add alcohol for instant asshole! T. K. Shepard, Toronto
Romancing the lewd
chalka reid writes that "communication saved my FB (fuck buddy) relationship. I have an incredible lover and a loving friend who really knows all my dirty little secrets"(NOW, June 12-18). Unfortunately this doesn't negate the fact that Reid and her partner are whores. Who takes pride in the fact that "not too close a friend" knows all his or her personal sexual secrets? Romanticize all you want if that's what it takes to appease your conscience. Mark Faassen, Toronto
Tory balancing act
thank you for your lively account of the Tory leadership convention outcome (NOW, June 5-11). Compared to the initial hysterical responses (from the usual journalistic suspects) immediately after the convention, your analysis was balanced and engaging. Joan Churchill Cumberland, BC