Crash course on ecology
RE Stuck in The Blue Box (NOW, April 29-May 5). Some time ago it occurred to me that the three Rs I was taught about in school had dwindled down to one (at the best of times). It used to be Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle. I wonder what kids are taught now?
Were we taught the three Rs just because it was fashionable at the time? Or are kids still taught about environmentalism? It's doubtful that they are seeing these practices put into place at home, in school or anywhere at all. I think Toronto needs a crash course in the basics of eco-friendly living.
Get on with saving planet
Thanks for the article analyzing the impact of recycling programs on environmental responsibility I must first say that it should be celebrated that most people have integrated a regular environmental habit like recycling into their lives.
Is recycling alone going to save the planet?
No way. What is critical is to continue to empower individuals so they understand that their everyday personal choices have a massive impact on the planet and that by making environmentally responsible choices they are making a huge difference. Let's analyze the successes of the blue and grey box programs and more recent initiatives like the organics green bin pilots. Let's figure out how to build on these successes and get on with saving the planet rather than worrying about whether we'll be hampered by our own successes.
Lea Ann Mallett
Executive Director, EcoSource
No sympathy for homeless
I did a double take reading council's Sleeping Bag Sweep (NOW, April 29-May 5), in particular the comments made by OCAP rep Rachel Huot. It's too bad the tourists are offended? What about those of us who live here, eh? You think it's any fun for us? I know the pain of having to borrow against my credit card just so the rent cheque doesn't bounce. I know what it's like to shop at Goodwill. I know the struggle of knowing my job has no future.
I have seen the homeless problem at its (near) worst. I have seen people sleeping in bus shelters on Richmond Street in 3 feet of snow. I have seen people lying about on grates in the middle of the day with blankets over them, sleeping the day away. And you tell me it isn't a choice?
In case it slipped by you, the majority of city council is made up of left wingers, and the majority of them voted for this cleanup law. Or does democracy only seem fair when it goes your way?
Vexed by Vanunu
Contrary to your article Vanunu's Secret (NOW, April 29-May 5), the fact that the U.S. undertook (or is still undertaking) a policy of actively trying to disarm Iran, Iraq and Libya does not imply that it is hypocritical in not compelling Israel to dismantle its weapons of mass destruction. Israel is a democratic country with checks and balances, a free press and an independent judiciary. Hence, its WMDs are no more dangerous than, say, those of the UK, France and Switzerland.
By contrast, Saddam threatened to destroy half of Israel. Similarly, Iran threatens to use its potential weapons to destroy Israel. Usually, the left does not take too kindly to fascist regimes threatening genocide.
Tooker Gomberg's journalling for his therapist on Earth Day 2002, reprinted in NOW (NOW, April 29-May 4), literally brought tears to my eyes. When it was assumed that Tooker had taken his life, I heard and read many opinions that Tooker just cared too much, worked too hard and couldn't take it any more. This makes sense. It makes sense because it provides an answer to an unfathomable event; it gives us comfort because Tooker's suicide makes no sense without such an explanation.
Clinical depression is commonly a fatal illness. The fact that the sufferer takes his/her own life is irrelevant.
Creaming over Maddin
If Cameron Bailey wishes to review a movie, a word or two about the movie being reviewed would be appreciated. Bailey drops names like a second-year university student sucking up to his prof in his review of Guy Maddin's The Saddest Music In The World (NOW, April 29-May 5). When I clicked for the review online, it splattered all over my screen just like spam or porn or that sausage I just bit into.
Noise killing our kids
RE The Sound And The Fury (NOW , April 29-May 5). I am an artist who often works with children and youth. In a recent community program I conducted, children were asked to list the good and bad things about their neighbourhood. At the top of their list of bad things was noise. If young children are noticing and objecting to the noise levels in our communities, it is time for everyone to examine the issue. It has been documented in England that birds will not mate if their calls can't be heard above the din of human activity.
Ban ear-splitting mufflers
A huge source of noise pollution not singled out in your article is the race-car exhaust systems installed in import cars such as Honda Civics after purchase. These tinkered-with cars are driven mainly by teen-to-early-20-something men in my west-end neighbourhood. Standing on my front porch any day of the year and hearing the cars sputtering at top speed up and down Dufferin, you'd swear the Molson Indy was a year-round event! Why haven't these ear-splitting muffler/exhaust systems been outlawed?
iDRUM bleating undeserved
RE Just beat it (NOW, april 29-may 5). What happened with this article? I have never associated iDRUM or percussion with such terms as "primal." We don't pound our way in anywhere. This re affirms the ignorance of people who cannot see the sophistication of cultural art forms. I wonder if you write something such as "Toronto's Symphony Orchestra pounds its way into the O'Keefe Centre." "There's an intensity and earnestness to iDrum that almost makes you feel embarrassed for them, but, paradoxically, their passion is also their saving grace. They believe the magic of the warehouse party resonates for anyone who's ever lost their shit on the dance floor." Do you even know where you got this from?
Davidson R. Elie, Jr.
Reeks of exploitation
Sheila Banerjee should be careful how she plays with the race cards (NOW, April 29-May 5). "As a woman of colour," society lowered her feelings of self-worth, and the only way to dispel these beliefs was polyamory? Wow!
Now that Banerjee has solved race-related esteem problems with promiscuity, perhaps she can create world peace through alcoholism.
To borrow her words, as a man of colour, I am tired of people using race as way to explain their problems. It's too easy and invalidates the efforts of those who truly deal with oppression. It reeks of self-serving exploitation of "white guilt" and further divides society.
Own your insecurities, Ms. Banerjee, regardless of sex or race.
Hiphop can change world
RE Rap's Bush Attack (NOW, April 29-May 5). An interesting article and a more interesting debate. If executed properly, a hiphop vote could spell the end of the current North American power structure and even help restore our image on the world stage. It stands to be one of the largest political lobbies in America - that is, if it can get itself up off the ground.
Unlike what rapper Paris said in the article, it's not about being cool, but it's about what's right for the younger generations. So far there hasn't been a hiphop voting drive that's succeeded in showing that the emphasis isn't on bling, cars and Def Jam.
Like the baby boomers in the 60s, hiphop is at a point where if it could organize itself, it really could effect profound changes.
Hey, Peddie, you listening?
"Hallowed" be thy name? "hollowed" be thy name? My apologies if there's any offence taken, but there are ethical considerations in dealing with the history and near "spiritual" feelings surrounding the venerable Maple Leaf Gardens in addition to the bottom line (NOW, April 22-28). And in light of vigorous public opinion, wouldn't it be preferable in this case, for the sake of corporate image and profits, for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to veer from the dying Toronto tradition of gutting its heritage and show support for the hockey heritage that MLG represents locally, across Canada and globally? Hollowing out the Gardens is nothing short of a sin that leads to the path of Wal-Mart.
Metal headcases they're not
You make fun of metallica because they decided they needed therapy to keep their band together (NOW, April 22-28). Are you making a personal statement that anyone who goes to therapy deserves ridicule and scorn? Are rock stars supposed to be unfeeling superheroes? The fact that Metallica allowed the filmmakers to put anything they wanted in the film shows me they are more mature and far braver than 99 per cent of the so-called "famous people" out there. If I were in charge of a multi-million-dollar enterprise and a therapist were required to keep it together, I'd go see him, too.
The poop on bidets
RE Your Ecoholic column on the rash of toilet paper use (NOW, April 29-May 5). One alternative to toilet paper (please don't discuss this around the dinner table) is the bidet. But "how the heck am I supposed to afford one and then move it from one home to the next, let alone figure out what to do when I'm not at home?" I hear you ask.
With a portable bidet, of course. They're commonly available in sports stores across the city - squeeze-type water bottles like the ones cyclists usually clip to their bikes. With an eensie bit of practice, using the bottle, combined with a natural sponge and soap (you're sitting next to a sink with warm water and soap), the area in question can be left in a far cleaner condition than after a quick smear with a piece of dry paper.
Incidentally, the teeny-tiny (bleached) wood fibers that some TPs shed when used also have, in my opinion, a nasty habit of working their way through the tender epidermis and can then cause irritation, in turn aggravated by whatever the paper might leave behind.
Name withheld by request