Virgins in a dangerous time
Thanks for O. Chahin's enlightening piece (NOW, December 4-10). I can instantly relate to and agree with many of the points on virginity brought up by this brave young woman. I find it disappointing and a little bit frightening how virginity and the choice to remain a virgin is looked down upon and considered not cool among our generation.
I'm sure I'm not the only one out here who has read this column and felt a little better knowing that I'm not the only one not giving in to our sex-driven society and what's assumed to be the sexual norm nowadays.
Cheers to the fine wine.
J. Lam Burlington
Cloran's even brighter side
it was interesting to learn about Daryl Cloran's impressive talents as a director (NOW, December 4-10), because that's one facet of his life we didn't know that much about - "we" meaning my son and I. What we do know is that Daryl is one hell of a great Big Brother. Daryl and my son were matched by the United Way Big Brothers of Toronto a couple of years ago, and he has been a fantastic and invaluable addition to my son's life.
It takes a special quality for someone this busy to devote some of his down time to a boy without a dad. Sure, it sounds corny, but so what? It's true. This man is truly amazing, and his presence in my son's life is a tremendous gift. Not that NOW's article wasn't illuminating enough, but I thought I'd shed a little more light.
re no fun allowed (now, december 4-10). Your anonymous newsinsight writer says that "...playfulness is a restricted quantity and open spaces merely annoying in a city where the Protestant ethic rules." Yes, damn those Protestants for taking away our fun and open spaces! I can't believe this one slipped past the editors. Using religious stereotyping to illustrate a point is not acceptable to anyone who believes in freedom, tolerance and diversity, all things your paper claims to endorse.
I call on Now to issue an immediate apology to Toronto's Protestant community.
A.G. Pasquella Toronto
Insensitive bigots we're not
so it's "freaky" that there are signs in Cawthra Park playgrounds designating safe spaces for kids to play? It's pretty easy to paint the residents of Church and Wellesley as bigots insensitive to the problems of drugs and homelessness (see also Village Hysterics, NOW, September 11-17).
As a resident who visits Cawthra daily, I'd say it's clear that the writers of both articles don't live in the area. Nor do they have any real concept of its problems. One only has to see a crackhead passed out on the jungle gym or a pile of smashed bottles where the dog owners congregate and those signs begin to make sense. And as for the basketball sign annoying the "effete types" around the park, those Victorians are mostly rental units. I guess the writer missed the huge apartment complex 30 feet away from the basketball net. A real "downer" that people should want peace and quiet at night.
N. Gadke Toronto
Salads aim to entertain
i am personally offended by the latest T.O. Music Notes (NOW, December 4-10). The Salads won their CASBY fair and square. To say that they "swiped" it from the other nominees implies that they're undeserving. It would seem that NOW feels we are all "shockingly" guilty of poor taste. With their album and amazing live show, the Salads aim to excite and entertain. Their spectacular performance at the CASBYs was the climax of the night (outshining everyone from legend Iggy Pop on down to NOW sweethearts the Dears - no, really!).
I guess the only way the Salads will get any respect from the folks at NOW is if they stop smiling and having so much fun and start playing music that makes us all sink into a pit of despair.
Melanie d'Amboise Toronto
Public high on Miller
i take the bloor line to bay street every morning. On Wednesday, I got on at Ossington and noticed a tall, blond man with a strong presence reading NOW. It took a moment to process, but then I realized this man was Toronto's new mayor, David Miller. Not wanting to disturb him, I slipped into my own morning reading. Seconds later, another passenger broke the silence and Mr. Miller had a quick, pleasant conversation with a group of TTC riders.
It was impressive to witness the enthusiasm of the public for this leader.
Meagan A. Filion Toronto
Bringing in the clowns
re wacko jacko sites (now, decem- ber 4-10). The real tragedy is that the Western media spend time on speculation about alleged abuse involving a celebrity. "Tabloid" this, and "muckraking" that. The Web sites are terrible, but we're encouraged to visit them anyway.
Those who draw attention to the scandal - in effect, those who wade into the morass and offer no more than "Look at this circus!" - must be mindful of the fact that they're among the supporting clowns.
Darren Roskam Barrie
Wendy Banks describes her enjoy ment of the Filipino movie Magnifico (NOW, December 4-10) by writing, "...admittedly, there's a guilty pleasure in the sheer exoticism of it." What exoticism? The tropical location, the brown-skinned people, the foreign language (Tagalog) rarely heard in North American movie theatres? Exotic for whom? For the thousands of GTA residents who have Filipino roots (including myself)? And what exactly do you feel guilty about? I think it's time to deconstruct the colonial/racist cultural undertones in your movie review writing, Wendy.
Lisa Valencia-Svensson Toronto
although i am a bit confused about what Sheila Gostick's article, Oh To Be Poor (NOW, December 4-10), is actually trying to say, I do find her dismissive attitude to poverty disturbing, and I am frankly surprised that NOW would print such neo-conservatism disguised as hipster nonsense. With the Liberals displaying the same kind of antagonism and disregard for the lives of poor people in this province by raising the minimum wage a measly 30 cents when it has been frozen for eight years and making no changes to social assistance rates, we are living in a political climate where poor people are seen by those in power as worthless.
The people of Ontario deserve better. The people of Ontario, particularly those living at or below the poverty line, deserve a raise.
We need to show that forcing people to live below the poverty line is cruel and unacceptable, not hip and trendy.
Kimberley Fry Ontario Coalition for Social Justice
Trendy yogis seek solace
i sympathize with Elizabeth Bromstein and her "chic overload" at the Yoga Show (NOW, November 27-December 3). Indeed, cute outfits do not a yogi make. But yoga comes in many flavours. Some are purely cosmetic. Some are a little integrative. Others can be positively mind-expanding. Kundalini yoga can inspire and engage the heart in social service and the struggle against all kinds of oppression. Before the Quebec summit, I led a session of yoga and meditation each morning so our corps of activists could be bright and quick as could be when the tear gas erupted. It is good to have your body-mind-spirit in sync in dangerous times.
I don't begrudge the yoga capitalists their money. The organizers of the Yoga Show put on a huge and many-faceted event with hardly a hitch. They worked hard to create a yogic benchmark in our hyped-up culture, and I commend them for their efforts.
I say let the trendy seek temporary solace in fashions and vanity projects. The rest of us will do soulful yoga for its revolutionary prospects.
Guru Fatha Singh Khalsa
Guru Ram Das Ashram, Toronto
Grits have eco option
with the shameful yet seemingly unstoppable development of the Oak Ridges Moraine plowing full-steam ahead (save for a mere 900 units), I am wondering if the new provincial Liberals can somehow pay some of the environmental karmic debt by pouring more money into such programs as wind power and deep-water cooling projects.
I, for one, would love to see a phalanx of those beautiful turbines grace our shoreline. We are (probably) in for a long ride of broken campaign promises. It would be nice if they found a positive way to make up the difference. And, yes, I did vote for the Green party.
Leanne Welbourn Toronto
Inco's talk and no action
so inco ceo scott hand was the sole speaker at Pollution Probe's annual fundraising gala at the Royal York because, as Pollution Probe executive director Ken Ogilvie put it, "We (chose Inco) because it's a big polluter" (NOW, November 20-26). Ogilvie also hopes Inco will "go public on its willingness to (reduce SO2 emissions by) 75 per cent by 2015." Inco can cut its pollution, the heavy metals and gases that poison our communities. We don't need to invite them to talk about it.
Stuart Cryer Sudbury