Too much "hot" and "saucy"
how banal and utterly obvious was the review of the Gossip/Sick Lipstick performance? (NOW, Febraury 26-March 3). Elizabeth Bromstein (although pausing to point out Beth Ditto's incredible, intense vocals) apparently couldn't stop herself from alluding to the physicality of two women involved in Monday's show.
What relevance does Lindsey Gillard's being a "cute, spunky thing" have? What does Beth Ditto's "oversized skin" have to do with her tunes or performance? "Oversized"? According to whom?
Qualifying the observation with "saucy" and "hot" doesn't negate the fact that even now, journalists working for "progressive" publications are still unable to review music made by women without considering tired and extraneous factors. Do better.
OutKast's clever cool
re hell no to hey ya! (now, febru ary 26-March 3). The costumes donned by OutKast's performers are colourful, creative and just as much a part of the entertainment as the clever lyrics and catchy beat. The motivation is clearly to create a visual spectacle - nothing more. With all the attention by mainstream media to "wardrobe malfunctions," my question is, can't we let entertainment simply entertain us? There are enough injustices and worthwhile issues to worry about. Don't waste my time. Liisa Sheldrick
Blame Romans, not Jews
i appreciated john harkness's re- view of The Passion Of The Christ (NOW, February 26-March 3). I agree with the essence of what he said, but I want to apprise you of one nuance that would have made your commentary more informative. You ask about the film, "Does it blame Jews for Christ's death? It's pretty hard not to if you go back to the source material."
I certainly have gone back to source material. There has been a massive text-critical-based thrust to understand the source material, called "the original Jesus movement." Close inspection of the texts does not warrant Gibson's interpretation, nor does it implicate Jews as either the only or the major force behind the crucifixion of Christ.
In fact, Christian theologians have shifted the blame onto the Romans. Gibson's interpretation takes significant poetic licence.
No, God did it
let's resolve, once and for all, this contentious question of responsibility for the death of Jesus, now back in the headlines thanks to Mel Gibson's new film. If the biblical accounts, written decades after the crucifixion, have any validity, it was neither the Jews nor the Romans who originally decided that Jesus should die on the cross; they were merely unwitting accomplices to a murderous divine plan - the killing of Jesus by his own father, God himself. Michael Schulman
Green card fine print
re osama, try toronto, not tallahassee (NOW, February 26-March 3). Greencardplus.com is not an "official U.S. Immigration Web site" as you state! Please, read the fine print. This is not a government agency. It's a group with a fancy Web site. Who knows their agenda? P. Pollard
Disturbed by Steve-O
i was saddened and really dis turbed to see that NOW is one of the main sponsors for the Steve-O Tour that's coming to the Kool Haus. The man is an ignorant asshole who perpetuates stereotypes, and, as self-deprecating and self-destructive as he may be, is simply a jackass in every sense of the word. Perhaps whoever agreed to the sponsorship is unaware of his true nature and only interested in his influence on chauvanistic males and their wallets.
Maybe he'll set a naked woman on fire (as he has done in one of his horrible home movie releases) and you can print the pictures to show just how supportive you are of his nonsense.
No irony in hate messages
turning a fairly one-sided issue against its critics, Sangeetha Ramachandran sides with a boutique hypocritical enough to sell shirts that it has admitted are offensive (NOW, February 26-March 3). Ramachandran clearly doesn't see the promotion of negative stereotypes as offensive, assuming that buyers have "a sense of humour" not found by the astounded Jewish leaders who just don't get the joke.
After all, prominent Jewish youth and fashion designers see nothing wrong with the shirt in question. Maybe those not familiar with the fashion world's "ethnic irony" haven't yet been desensitized to blatantly offensive material, or even worse, deluded to the point of believing that a display of such material shows they're "proud of their heritage."
Instead of passing off negative messages as ironic, fashion should stick to recycling old trends before swastikas are the new cute accessory.
Belinda must be bonkers
i ask those few now readers who are Reform/Alliance/PC supporters, is Belinda Stronach nuts? Does she think that having Brian Mulroney and Mike Harris as visible supporters will endear her to voters in the newly minted Progressive Conservative party? Messrs. Mulroney and Harris betrayed voters and quit before honouring their mandates. Does Stronach need such odious pooh-bahs? Mendelson Joe
Hijab, sex and social disorder
in the rush to defend hijab, it seems that many people are eager to deny its symbolic significance for women. But many Muslim feminists have argued that it represents the exclusion of the sexual female, seen as a possible source of social disorder, from (male) public life.
In the Koran, sexual modesty is prescribed specifically for women, who are told to "cover their adornments." In more extreme versions, the woman herself is kept out of public life.
How sad that a woman must police her sexuality in order to be "judged as a person." Whether she covers her face with makeup or wears hijab, a woman announces herself to be first and foremost a sexual object. It is time for women to truly reclaim themselves as subjects whose personhood doesn't depend on sexual appeal.
instead of building tacky, tawdry "portables" as the temporary solution to the lack of a ferry terminal (NOW, February 19-25), why not turn the problem over to the film industry? Our highly trained and acclaimed designers and technicians spend much of their lives setting up temporary buildings that have class and distinction.
Not only would this put some of those marginalized by last year's lack of work back on their feet, but it would also give the good burgers of Toronto something to be proud of when the tourists arrive.
Familiar knock on T.O.
letter writer ken williams obviously doesn't get out much if the only good things he can see in Toronto are live theatre and expensive sports games (NOW, February 26-March 3). If he'd just take a walk, maybe he'd have seen the excellent street shopping and specialty stores, the ethnic neighbourhoods (and their food!), the Islands, the endless festivals, etc, etc, etc. Ottawa's nice and Montreal's an awsome city, but Williams's "unbiased" western look at Toronto sounds very familiar.
Maybe if he looked further than the negative issues that every city faces, he'd realize that.
re l-ive cooks at kuumba, by Jason Richards (NOW, February 19-25). If band members are to be mentioned, then it's respectful to name all of them, not a select few. Furthermore, how could Richards claim that bassist Andrew Steward "rumbled souls" when Steward wasn't even part of the show?
It was Waleed Abdulhamid who played the bass. So here's my question to Richards: Were you just not paying attention to the details of the show, or were you not there?
Bill Hicks remembered
for an "alternative" news weekly, I was surprised you had nothing in your latest issue on Bill Hicks on the 10th anniversary of the legendary comic's passing.
I'm also saddened to see that there are no benefit concerts, memorials or even a peep about him. Bill's comedy was edgy, thought-provoking and transcendental. Material he did almost 15 years ago is still relevant today. He was pretty much banned from mainstream television because of it.
Without Hicks, there'd be no Michael Moore or others who have come to symbolize his fiery passion.
To me, the guy was a prophet. And we could use more prophets like Bill nowadays.