Looking good on paper
Jane Deerfield's honest article (NOW, August 12-18) touched a nerve. What's wrong with Toronto employers? Do they really think that hiring a university-educated person to do a $12-an-hour job is going to solve their problems? I have a college diploma and find myself looking for work and competing with graduate students for extremely low-paying jobs. I totally agree with Deerfield that employers are not giving a chance to someone who can do the job but to someone who looks good on paper.
24-hour eats for vegans
I was very excited when i saw the cover of NOW advertising the 24-hour Toronto guide (NOW, August 12-18). I spend a fair bit of time living nocturnally, and I wish every day that the subways ran 24 hours instead of this ludicrous opening at 9 am on Sundays. But once I actually opened the issue, I was greatly disappointed.
The 24-hour eats were totally useless to me. Guess what? You have vegetarian readers, too! Surprise!
You talk about places to get grub after finishing a "club gig," but when I was downtown on Friday night after a night of bars, clubs and parties, your listings were a source of nothing but frustration.
And how many of the "late-night" places listed close at 2 am? Two am is so far from 24 hours, it's not funny. You could at least have mentioned that you can get falafels on Bloor till 4 am on Friday and 4:30 am on Saturday. That might've appeased me a bit. Instead, there's a whole section on 24-hour grocery stores.
Divine Mom in us all
RE When the saint comes hugging In (NOW, August 12-18). Hugging is a way of recognizing another person, and of soothing and comforting them. Maybe if we all hugged each other a whole lot more there'd be no need to haul one's butt off to Mississauga to get a "divine" hug from Amma. The Divine Mother is in all of us, not just Amma.
Mole no saint
Your questions about alleged neo-Nazi-turned-CSIS-informer Grant Bristow in Upfront (NOW, August 12-18) are extremely stupid. Grant Bristow did not join the Heritage Front. He started it with government money, along with Wolfgang Droege. Bristow does not believe in anything but money. Apparently, his mother did not teach him that greed only causes problems.
Reinforcing lefty ideas
RE G. Lee's letter on Sudan (NOW, July 29-August 4). Of course, the anti-war movement won't protest the bloodbath in Darfur. Anti-war groups are driven by the belief that every problem on earth is the fault of America, Israel, capitalism and white men, and that every Third World person is a poor, defenceless innocent victim who bears no responsibility for anything. The only wars that get protested are those that serve to enforce this idea.
T.O. to complain about
Is Home Bleep Home (NOW, august 5-11) a witty "How I spent my summer vacation" or a suicidal cry for help? Essentially, I understand that the author would prefer to be dead rather than suffer through living in Toronto, where one must be "immune to ugliness" to survive. It's comforting to know that despite the free vacations and friends sending you money when you're broke, one can still find enough to complain about.
Personally, I will stay and love all the beauty and ugliness that the 416 can dish out. I've lived in places where people would kill to have a leaky roof over their head.
Carping about the chief
I'm writing to express concern in regard to Mike Smith's contention that "the idea that the chief's tenure can't be hashed out in public because it's a personnel issue seems pretty weak" (NOW, August 5-11). If the performance of the chief of police is such an important issue for the public at large, NOW should suggest openly that the chief's position be changed to one of an elected official instead of carping at personnel policies that not one of your reporters would honestly want to have abridged in his or her workplace.
Brian's swan song
Thanks for the beautiful tribute to Brian Williamson (NOW, July 29-August 4). I never knew the man, but you almost made me feel like I did. What really got to me was the comment that Brian "knew that Canada provided a far safer environment" but "preferred the energy and excitement of Jamaica." On one level, this seems to have been about a gay man's love of his homeland, for which he ended up paying with his life.
Gouging music lovers
Just bought Robert Randolph and the Family Band's Unclassified at HMV. Great CD. Great artist. Nice package. The price: $25.99 before taxes. Now, I understand that we all have to make a living, and I like to buy CDs to support artists, but I do not like to support the obvious gouging of the consumer. How is it that a CD from Linkin Park or Britney can cost $14.99, but the above-mentioned artist is listed at such a greatly inflated price?
Record companies today find themselves in the unenviable position of watching their market slowly disappear. Yet they insist on overcharging their client base and alienating the entire record-buying public.
Picking on Al-Jazeera
RE Pick On Somebody Else (NOW, July 29-August 4). I'm glad letter writer Helen Zuckerman believes in freedom of speech, but the end result still is that it's being denied to Al-Jazeera, thanks to B'nai Brith and others. Yes, I know those groups don't speak for all Jews, but surely they speak for some.
Downsview's call of the wild
I am writing in response to your article on the Downsview lands (NOW, July 22-28). I work in the park, and cycle through the property every day. While I agree that promises have not been lived up to, I have to strongly dispute your argument that the park is a wasteland. A wide variety of wildlife that cannot survive anywhere else in the city thrives here.
Your description of the existing meadow-type habitat as "scrubland" perpetuates the public's image of the park as useless, and serves to validate officials' plans to set aside only a minimal area in which wildlife can live.
Dark City a true marvel
While I appreciated your homage to comics-to-celluloid adaptations in Comics Marvels (NOW, July 22-28), I wonder why Dark City was omitted from the list. It's one of the most original stories, with some of the finest noir effects, ever lifted from the panelled page. Unlike The Matrix, it actually tells a unified tale.
I would just like to thank you for supporting/presenting Beats, Breaks And Culture at Harbourfront July 9 to 11. The venue(s), artists, vendors and weather (although shade was needed) were all excellent, with special props going to Vikter Duplaix, Peven Everett and Tortured Soul. I also loved the showcasing of our great world-class artists. Bravo!! Please do it next year, too.