Your magazine is fun, but you can do better. That cover story on Broken Social Scene (NOW, August 26-September 1) was the fuckin' stupidest I've ever read. "Can they keep it together?" Who cares? What are you, groupies? The first time I saw BSS they made me smile, the way unimaginative chirpy Canadian bands do.
But their Phoenix show last winter was like watching band practice. They play a song, chat coolly, swap instruments and 10 minutes later play another song that sounds the same as the first. Then there's the Debbie Harry wannabe fronting the band.
"Can they keep it together?" Fuckin' hope not.
Just talk about the music
Why must you and other publications write about their continuous fascination with Broken Social Scene's personal problems? It's like following a reality TV show. Why can't you just talk about the actual music? I think they're awesome and deserve all the attention they're getting. But Brendan Canning touching a teary-eyed kid's head? Is this a rock show or a revival?
Tory better for T.O.
So the Toronto funding fiasco is all about partisan dislike for David Miller in McGuinty's cabinet, and George Smitherman is at the centre of it (NOW, August 26-September 1)? Why is that not surprising? Smitherman, remember, was closely allied with Barbara Hall. If the Tories are smart enough to choose John Tory as their leader and run like-minded moderates in Toronto, the Liberals will lose their Toronto base. Tory and Miller will work very well together. I could never vote Conservative, but I would much prefer Tory to McGuinty.
Why we should separate
It's becoming pretty obvious that our provincial government has no interest in the special needs of Toronto, regardless of the billions we pump into the economy. Attempting to offset Toronto's position by dealing with the Association of Municipalities of Ontario only further buries us beneath layers of resistance from hundreds of smaller towns. None of us deserves this inequity. And whining about it is nothing but embarrassing. Time for our city politicians to create a city charter, including a taxation regime, consolidate our borders and move beyond Queen's Park.
T here's no reason why we should not assume quasi-provincial status and deal directly with the federal government.
Re Taking the "ugh" out of Scarborough by Sheila Gostick (NOW, August 26-September 1). As someone who was born and raised in Scarborough, all I can say is, next time you vow to escape, stay gone.
Story missing art show
Hats off to Sheila Gostick for her excellent coverage of the Scarborough Showbus tour. However, there was one omission in last week's story. As mentioned in the story, our journey was part of an effort to find inspiration for our art. The resulting exhibition detailing our experience in Scarborough that day is taking place Saturday (September 4) 10 am to 6 pm, at the Toronto School of Art (410 Adelaide West, third floor, 416-967-0479). There will also be a closing bash.
The Showbus exhibition reflects a lively and colourful experience. Come down and see for yourself.
Inspiration for ass wipes
If the folks at www.urbanpeel.com think they are clever by introducing the world to a toilet that holds fish in its tank (NOW, August 26-September 1), then I can go one further. I have invented a reusable ass-wipe to compliment perfectly the Aquariass - kittens. Baskets could be filled with a litter of kittens to lie in wait to be used to wipe asses. Kittenelle could be washed by simply dumping the used kitten in the bowl and letting it swim itself out after each flush. The other kittens could keep you company while you poo, since we're all tired of that Uncle John's Reader and its many sequels. Thank you, Urbanpeel, you are truly inspirational!
This is in response to J. Kevin Kelleher's letter (NOW August 26-September 1). I am one of the many ugly, creepy, tattooed losers who have been featured in NOW. Have you read any of Charlie Manson's writings, seen any of his beautiful artwork or heard any of his hip and rockin' tunes? He is a genius and, sadly, very misunderstood - just like me.
Each day as I sit in my jail cell (serving a life sentence for fashion crimes), I fantasize about skinning live cats, stealing from old ladies, randomly strangling people and setting churches on fire.
I guess it's good that I'm locked away from normal, non-tattooed citizens like yourself. I certainly know what would happen to you and the small-town tourists if I was set free. I'd give 'em all jobs shovelling my shit into your stereotyping mouths.
Re The Affordable housing hex (NOW, August 19-25). While I'm in agreement with the general tone of your article on problems with creating affordable housing, I must point out that a proposal for mixed-used development at Wychwood Barns, including live/work space for artists, passed city council a year ago by a 26-to-eight vote. A small, vocal and very monied opposition group backed a candidate who ran on an explicitly stated platform of demolishing the barns in favour of 100 per cent green space during the last election and lost badly.
Over the past two years, it's been proven over and over that many people in our midtown neighbourhood recognize that the project is a visionary one offering a unique mix of cultural, environmental and recreational uses that will benefit us all.
Hospitals for the homeless
I work in the film industry and have spent much time in the closed wings of hospitals. It occurs to me that these could easily be utilized as shelter for the homeless. The empty wards are arranged for security. They have the privacy that people hunger for, and the facilities are already in place to help them.
No candidate for provincial or city government has worked that one out. Pity, but hardly a surprise.
May God spare potheads
Re Prince of pot gets pinched (NOW, August 26-September 1). Can there be a more appalling display of marijuana laws being abused? The most ridiculous part of this story is that the prosecution was trying to get Marc Emery sentenced to two years in prison. Absolutely mind-boggling.
Emery wasn't making money or trafficking any substantial amount of marijuana. He was passing a joint. This is how the substance is regularly consumed. May God spare you all from this kind of bullying by armed thugs with badges. Yours in liberty,
Jonathan D. Fulford
Shedding light on solar scrap
I read with interest Drew McKibben's Sun Block (NOW, August 19-25), concerning our proposed residential condominium development on Richmond. While I agree with most of the information in the article, I would like to point out that our proposed development does not "generate a substantive increase in the shadow impacts on neighbouring uses." Our consultant team, which included a leading Ontario solar power system designer, demonstrated that the shadow impact on Richard Brault and Dianne Croteau's photovoltaic panels would occur only during the winter months on a portion of their panels for less than three hours a day.
The value of the loss of power associated with this shadow impact, given the inefficiencies of photovoltaic cell output as a result of snow cover, lesser seasonal sunshine and sun angles and shadows cast by existing buildings, amounts to the equivalent of $1 to $2 per day during that period of the year.
59 Developments Inc.
Slopping all over Ford
The problem with sloppy research is that it leads to sloppy writing. Robert Priest, in a conjecture piece about George Bush (NOW, August 5-11), writes of former U.S. president Gerald Ford that his reputation as a klutz was a "significant factor" in his loss of the presidency. Bull feathers!
There were only two really significant factors: 1) Ford was a Republican and America wanted a change after Richard Nixon, and 2) Ford pardoned Nixon. Yes, Ford was a klutz, but did it contribute to his losing the presidency? Give me a break.