Peace Now on the case
In Breaking Walls on the West Bank (NOW, September 9-15), Arthur Neslen quotes Peace Now as saying, "There is no Palestinian partner for peace." Peace Now says no such thing. We have repeatedly urged the Israeli government to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority for a two-state solution to the conflict. Neslen also says that Peace Now "may monitor Jewish settlement in the Occupied Territories, but it doesn't protest there." Actually, Peace Now demonstrates every week against the Occupation in front of the Prime Minister's residence. So why does NOW continue to misrepresent and marginalize the role of Israel's oldest, largest and most effective peace movement? It's a shanda [outrage]!
Canadian Friends of Peace Now
Cuckoo cat-killing fans
I was sickened by Lori Fireman's three-N review of Casuistry: The Art Of Killing A Cat (NOW, September 9-15 - search our TIFF database). She praises it as an "objective and absorbing look." Objective? Am I missing something, or have we become so dehumanized in our quest for entertainment that there's somehow a positive side to skinning a poor defenceless creature alive? The only thing that showing this film guarantees is that every wacko out there now knows that he or she can get their 15 minutes of fame by committing an act of cruelty and perversion. Kill something - or someone - and we'll make a movie about you!
As for Fireman's glib line, "Still, it helps to be a dog person": no, Lori, it helps to be a human(e) being. Something you obviously are not. But neither are the folks at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Queer eye for Cole's guys
Admittedly, I've never seen the show The L Word before, but I am very confused by Susan G. Cole's complaint that the characters "look straight" (NOW, September 9-15). So what makes somebody look queer? Do I need to cut my hair short and style it into one of those Beckham- inspired fauxhawks before I'm allowed to want to sleep with boys? Does my friend need to forever banish from her closet all things pink, and her collection of dangly earings, before she even thinks of kissing a girl? What brand of jeans, exactly, should I buy lest I offend Cole's queer aesthetic?
Queers come in all shapes and sizes, Ms. Cole. Fashion sense and hairstyle are no more an indication of one's sexuality than what somebody had for breakfast. And butches aren't the only queers. Get over yourself.
Re Grass Tax Grab (NOW, September 9-15). Almost every government organization in Canada is fraught with corruption and strange dealings and scandal, so is it any surprise that Revenue Canada will take taxes on an illegal substance? Who benefits form continuing prohibition? The government, police, judicial system, including lawyers, judges, court administrators, and especially organized crime.
Who is suffering under continued prohibition?
About 60,000 Canadians who were busted in 2003, Canadian taxpayers who pay nearly $2 billion a year in police, court and incarceration costs, sick people who need it as medicine, doctors who are pressured by the CMA and their insurance companies not to prescribe it, and future generations of Canadians.
Bowl of confusion
In his recent NOW article Currying Flavour (NOW, September 2-8), Robert Priest ends by saying, "Thank you, India" for giving him Shan masala. I invite him to read one of these packages to verify where Shan is actually made before thanking India for a product made in Pakistan.
Cheers for the no cut bylaw (NOW, September 9-15). If a person is buying property on which there is a large tree or trees, the bylaw should provide that the person(s) agree that they will not cut down or damage the tree. It should become a responsibility of ownership of the property. When I look across the city from my balcony, one of the things I appreciate most is the view of a city in a forest. I second the comment on the quality of air provided by these trees.
Re Advertisers Adapt (NOW, sep tember 9-15). Funny that you would pair an article criticizing the infiltration of advertising and product placement in movies/television/culture, basically everywhere, with a product placement/advertorial about two products in one - Olympus cameras and Ferrari automobiles. Don't pass up my only chance to own a Ferrari? Statements like this make me want to pass up my chance to pick up next week's NOW.
On the hunt for food banks
Re The increased limits on deer hunting (NOW, August 12-18). Perhaps there's an opportunity here: if indeed the hunters are only interested in the buckhorns, as you claim, can the readers of this magazine find a way to get that meat to food banks and other deserving places?
Over the years, your reviews of the Bellevue Diner have claimed that it is a "former working-class dive." That is a cruel statement. I lived above the restaurant when it was the former "dive," and I disagree. The people who owned the restaurant tried to make it comfortable and tasty. They carefully prepared meals and tried to create an ambience.
"Dive" implies dirty and unkempt.
It was a nice, down-to-earth family eatery. Next time you want to draw a comparison, make sure you don't exaggerate to make a point. That restaurant was a family-run operation and it was the pride, joy and life work of two people. Perhaps it wasn't Kensington cool, but it was not a dive.
Did he pause to think?
Re J. Kevin Kelleher's letter ridiculing NOW for having the "ugliest newspaper covers" because two subjects happened to sport tattoos (NOW, August 26-September 1). Did he ever pause to think that some people may look at the NOW's covers and think, "Wow, what a diverse newspaper! They show all kinds of people!"? Laura Dern was on the cover recently (NOW, August 19-25), but perhaps he thinks she's ugly as well?
Now that there are so many restaurants and eateries in Toronto, don't you think that NOW is the time to add some Ns to your ratings? Or are the majority all as bland as their three-N ratings suggest? I don't think so. Do them justice, add Ns. A fan of your reviews,