SXSW hits and misses
When i didn't see Andy Stochansky's name in the "hits" section of your SXSW review (NOW, March 25-31), I had that all too familiar feeling of "Here we go again. NOW Magazine turning against one of our own." It was when I didn't see his name or show mentioned in the "misses" section either that I seriously thought this was some kind of typo. I was at his show, so pardon my language when I ask how the fuck can you not mention his packed show at Momo's on Friday night, where at the end of a bombastic set he and his band got an encore (something that's unheard of at SXSW)?
At the end of the show, Andy mentioned that his new album will be coming out this summer. Maybe NOW should be ahead of the game for once and champion him before everyone else does.
By George, you missed it
could you please ask elizabeth Bromstein how she failed to mention the Les Georges Leningrad performance at the Brand New Waves 20th anniversary show (NOW, March 25-31)? I didn't see any mention of it in her review. Aren't music reviewers supposed watch all the bands on a bill before going home to write their paycheque? Jeff Wright
Taken for The Ride
it is every reviewer's right to like or dislike any play, and the fact the Glenn Sumi did not appreciate BirdLand Theatre's production of The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, by Arthur Miller (NOW, March 25-31), doesn't bother me at all. But I was outraged to discover that he thinks that he's some kind of theatrical god who can decide which production should go on. Our director, Cameron Wright, died on February 14, 2004, and the company succeeded in an impossible task of mounting his vision and honouring his name. We did it for him. I am the sole producer of the company, BirdLand Theatre, and the passing of my husband, Ralph Kydd, is my own personal tragedy and my own pain that had no place in the review. Ralph was not "one of the producers," as Sumi states. Sumi should be burned at the stake for saying "whose widow is acting in the piece days after burying her husband."
It is Sumi's own narrow-mindedness that does not see or understand how important a victory this production is for everybody involved. I can only say that he knows nothing about deconstructing the play or about stylized acting, and not much about Arthur Miller either. Opinions with an attitude will not do anybody any good.
Artistic Producer, BirdLand Theatre
Hazards bike lanes create
i read hamish wilson's article and agree the lousy snow-clearing procedures the city has been using around bicycle lanes this past winter left behind especially dismal conditions for cyclists (NOW, March 25-31). However, at one point he appears not to understand how bike lanes function on the approach to intersections.
Cyclists may notice that the solid white line that separates the bike lane from the rest of the road becomes a broken line near an intersection. In effect (and legally), the bike lane becomes the dedicated right-turn lane for all traffic - including cyclists - turning right.
What can cyclists do in said situation? Check over their shoulder for upcoming traffic, signal and move to the left, out of the dedicated right-hand turn lane (yes, the bike lane with the broken line).
Often, as a cyclist, I've found myself needing to pull out into the second-from-the-curb lane to get past those cars stopped and waiting for all those straight-through bikes using the space I refer to as Death Valley to pass on their right.
As a result, bike lanes, which are meant to help keep traffic moving and to help keep cyclists out of harm's way not only end up causing more traffic delays, but also create a greater hazard for cyclists than originally thought possible.
CANBIKE instructor, Toronto
Violence and compromises
re worst is yet to come (march 25- 31). The fact of the matter is that the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc, have sent waves of suicide bombers to Israel both after Israel took strong military action and when Israel did not forcefully respond. The facts prove that Israelis generally have been safer after the military took forceful military action against the terrorist cells and their leaders.
The rate of suicide bombing decreased after Jenin, after Israel started building the fence, etc. Also, the rate of suicide bombings significantly increased after Israel withdrew from Lebanon, offered Arafat a Palestinian state in 2000 and after Peres and Rabin started the Oslo process.
Killing Hamas leaders such as Sheik Yassin will help decrease the number of innocents killed in the Middle East. Unfortunately, Israeli "compromise" has been met with violence.
People power taking over
the world's greatest superpower is not the U.S. (NOW, March 25-31) The world's greatest superpower is global public opinion. We don't have weapons of mass destruction and we don't own the media. But we are legion. We were there at the demonstrations against the Iraq occupation a couple of weekends ago. Yes, the weather was bad. But the rain did not dampen our spirits.
I looked around me on that cold, miserable, rainy day. We did not get off of our warm, cozy, couches for a sale or some free trinket. We did not brave the rain and the cold for personal gain or gratification. We were there because we care about the suffering of a wonderful people in a distant land.
A group of very senior war veterans for peace were there, in their kilts, under the gazebo, sheltered from the rain. Many younger people went up to thank them and shake their hands for our freedom, their presence for peace and to pay respectful regards, as did I. In cities across the world, people demonstrated against the U.S. war machine. I was proud to be one of them.
Ladykiller alive and well
i was just reading a mini-review of The Ladykillers (NOW, March 25-31) in which it's mentioned that this film is Irma Hall's last performance. This makes it appear as if she is deceased. Ms. Hall was in a car accident recently but is very much alive and in a Chicago hospital recuperating.
She may very well make more films if she recovers from her injuries. Just thought I'd point this out. This was confirmed by an interview on NBC's Today show with Tom Hanks two days ago. Thanks so much for your time.
Schindler's blind faith
john harkness was right to grouse about the skimpy extras on the Schindler's List DVD (NOW, March 11-17), but for the wrong reasons, while letter-writer Leah Pink (NOW, March 18-24) was wrong to take him to task for it. With two versions on sale spanning a single- and a double-disc set, surely there was oodles of room on at least the latter to include the audio description track for blind viewers created at great expense for a home-video version. Spielberg himself picked the narrator, the description script actually had to be vetted by Amblin (I met the writer), and the whole thing was a high-profile job all the way. Inquiring blinds want to know: what the hell happened to it? It was already written, mixed, bought and paid for.
Not all extras are "extra," you see. I can only ask Harkness and Pink to pay more attention to accessibility. The same goes for NOW, really.
letter-writer phillip ernest claims that circumcision is indefensible and refers to it, as others do, as mutilation (NOW, March 25-31). Well, I beg to differ. I recently read that in a recent review of 32 studies from eight countries, men who are uncut (uncircumcised) are two to eight times more likely to be infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and in regions where circumcision is widespread there appears to be a direct correlation with lower HIV infection rates. So Phillip, smoke that in your pipe and shove it! David L. Shanoff
Cop quotas self-defeating
it is defeating to see quotas being imposed on the hiring of visible minorities, especially for a highly demanding job like that of a police officer (NOW, March 18-24). It is such a letdown to see that this is still an issue.
I personally would rather have people who are more qualified for the given job as opposed to having a variety of skin colours and ethnicities, particularly for a job as important as a police officer.
Flood, Del Col
Poop numbers don't add up
there's certainly some creative math going on in The Poop On Poop (NOW, March 11-17). At one point you state that "Most dog owners pick up after their pets," yet your estimate of the amount of dog feces going into our drinking water assumes that 100 per cent of it is left behind. A. Ridley
Poor yes, stupid no
re tearing regent up (now, febru ary 26-March 3). It never ceases to amaze me that groups of so-called academics decide they should talk about the social ramifications of the redevelopment of Regent Park without ever showing their faces in the community of which they speak. Debra Dineen
Vice-Chair Regent Park Resident Council, Toronto
Hot off the online
ok, it was 12:40 am wednesday night/Thursday morning, and I thought I would check the listings to see if there was something I might like to check for last call (I use NOW online exclusively as opposed to NOW on paper) and found you had already uploaded that week's paper. Perhaps you should wait until the bars close on Wednesday before trashing Wednesday's paper! Tom Miller
Editor's note: We recognize this problem and always provide a link to the previous week's content on every page.