It seems like there's always this annoying contradiction in your paper (as in life, I guess), where you speak of poverty and how terrible it all is (unless you decide to make it oh so amusing, like in that 10k or less a year thing), and then you show model hipsters in their expensive threads. I recently went to the store (owned by) one of the women featured in My Style and was pretty shocked at the prices. This parti cular shirt wasn't even a super-duper shirt, just a regular cotton T with nothing special about it. Should I even bring up the fashion victim you featured with the $300 "J'Adore Dior" T-shirt a few weeks back? Whoop dee doo, je parle française aussi. I smell a trust fund, baby, and I smell the alienation of thousands of people who love to look good and have style yet live in this city where most of the workforce is underpaid and overworked. The weirdest thing is the socks. The only way I can explain the amount of money these people pay for socks is fetishism. Laura Martinez, Toronto
Hungry for homos
your sex survey is kinda sexy, and I like the photos of the natural-looking man and women having fun, but where's the homosex? True, there's a pic of the man with two women, but they seem more for male eyes than female. Why the shyness? After all, the survey itself isn't coy about asking us whether we're hetero, homo or bi (among others).
How about a bit more of that ol' time inclusiveness, eh? When you publish the survey's results, I look forward to seeing natural-looking women enjoying just each other's company, and ditto for the guys - um, especially the guys.
Steven Spencer, Toronto
Step aside, Sumi
I'm a little confused here. were Glenn Sumi's top 10 comedy/theatre/dance shows (NOW, December 25-31) strictly for Glenn Sumi, or were his 2003 reviews really the "10 shows that made us laugh the most"? As a member of his alleged community, I found his choices highly personal, pedantic and biased.
If you can't do your job fairly - representing the community as a collective group - I suggest you step aside. Work without bias or don't work at all. You're not bigger than the craft.
Howard Toffalon, Toronto
I reviewed all the top concerts of 2003 lists in your mag (NOW, December 25-31) and other Toronto publications. Since no one has mentioned the Steely Dan concert, I feel compelled to write. They were set to play August 17, but the blackout forced the band to reschedule for September 14. To be frank, I was expecting a bit of a sleeper concert. So how surprised was I to find myself dancing up and down the aisle of the 200 section with a complete stranger, with a security guard hot on our tails telling us we were only allowed to dance in the space in front of our seats? By the time they finished with Don't Take Me Alive and My Old School, the aisle was jammed with dancing fans. Definitely the most carefree Toronto concert experience I have had. Nancy MacDougall, Toronto
Classy and mediocre
I am so happy that NOW included Lobby as one of the "wurst" restos of 2003. Aside from the classy interior, the food and service are mediocre. There's nothing more trying than sipping $12 martinis in its velvet-roped Bloor entrance close to Coffee, Tea Or Me's or McDonald's garbage. Chris Jai Centeno, Toronto
Cup of sweat with free meal
re: cleaning up (NOW, january 1-7). Good to see now food critic (Steven Davey) managed to pull his bicycle out of the rose bushes after the meal when we all saw him lick his plate at Olivia's Café on Clinton a few months back. I will be joined there January 16 by Robert Priest and guests to help Davey pluck the thorn from his side in the laundry room. We'll be admiring my Dorian Gray portrait of the humble days when I had the good fortune to sell 400,000 records of my 9 million to date. But he's welcome to join us for a cup of hard-earned grit and sweat. I do believe all those free meals around town have got him tossed out of more places on his knees than I have crashed to mine when singing Black Velvet! Alannah Myles, Toronto
Why rain on Bush's parade?
your article casualty cover-up (NOW, December 18-24) was extremely repetitive. In a nutshell, you wanted to see filming of the body bags of American soldiers. This was repeated again and again (a morbid obsession if ever I heard one). Saddam has been captured. Iraqis are celebrating. Could you not find in yourself a glimmer of optimism to celebrate with them ?
Oh, no! You have to come up with the same dour, cynical, negative "rain on your parade" agenda. Not even a grudging acknowledgement.
Yes, they got Saddam. You seem to have a problem with that. Do you have something against people being freed from torture chambers and oppression?
Perhaps you should focus on these images missing on TV: the bodies in mass graves, the torture chambers, the rape rooms, people hanging on hooks, thrown into acid baths or paper shredders.
To see these images would overthrow your anti-American agenda, would it not?
G. Lee, Toronto
Covering up U.S. atrocities
the dover ban on depicting coffins, or "transfer tubes," of American "heroes" is just another insidious attempt by mealy-mouthed media manipulators to sanitize American massacres in Iraq and Afghanistan. Just recently, the American liberators-occupiers "unintentionally" slaughtered 13 Afghan children while targeting a suspected Taliban militant who escaped. Their tiny torn and mutilated bodies were quickly covered with mounds of dirt so as not to upset the sensibilities of American viewers. But unintentional or not, dead is still very much dead. Being sorry just does not cut it. Killing children is abhorrent and inexcusable. Period. O.G. Pamp, Tweed
Ethnic divisions don't fit
I guess everyone sees things from a different perspective. By publishing Carmen Aguirre's letter, I did not think NOW was, as Karyn Dwyer suggests, "attacking" Ken Gass (NOW, December 25-31). If anything, it showed how weak her accusations of racial discrimination are. Aguirre herself seems to be obsessively focused on the divisions that divide us humans by ethnicity. But, judging by her photo, she doesn't stand out as much as she would hope. If I saw her walking down the street, I would think she was every part the Caucasian she claims dissed her.
As for the "white" people she says are from the northwest corner of Europe, my dad was born and raised there, and he is darker than she. So, Aguirre, how does that fit into your ethnic divisions?
Name withheld by request, Toronto
this is in response to the purple Swings And Giraffes letter that appeared in your Resolutions issue (NOW, January 1-7). If that piece of poetry is sincere, then I'm convinced we have some magical human being passing us on the street.
Most of us have so much artifice that proceeds our thoughts and actions that it's refreshing to read the opposite. Straight to the point, and, my god, well written.
That type of simplicity and insight and weirdness, which only seems weird because we are cold and blind, is what all good art is about.
I'm serious. It breaks through to the core. Patrick Larkin is so right about how we should all aspire to be nice like giraffes. I mean, just look at them.
Neil Young , Toronto
Bitter Kill to swallow
If you're going to do the top 10 CDs Of The Year (NOW, December 25-31), please tell your critics to review all CDs that came out in 2003, because if they had, at least one of them would have included the Kills' debut album, Keep On Your Mean Side. I know I may sound bitter because my favourite new indie band of the moment isn't getting the recognition it deserves, but I pride myself on having good taste in music and I agree with many of the music reviews in NOW, which is probably why I was pissed off that the Kills weren't included.
Then again, all a music critic does is state his or her own opinions - they just have the impact of NOW behind them. Keep on your mean side.
I am very distressed to see your magazine giving the time of day to the king of hiphop misogyny, Snoop Dawgy Dogg (NOW, December 18-24). I don't know if any of your readers, or your reviewers for that matter, bother listening to his lyrics, but I for one have a lot of trouble with a purportedly socially conscious magazine providing even moderately adulatory previews and reviews of a guy whose favourite subject matter appears to be "cunts" and "bitches" sucking his glorious "dick." The only ink this guy deserves in your magazine is that of a strong feminist critique. James Johnson, Edmonton, Alberta
Grits' eco karmic debt
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 their environmental karmic debt by pouring more money into such programs as wind power and deep-water cooling. We are in for a potentially long ride of broken campaign promises. It would be nice if they found a positive way to make up the difference. I, for one, would love to see a fleet of those beautiful turbines grace our shoreline. Leanne Welbourn, Toronto