Cruisin' and boozin' no-no
The association to reduce alcohol Promotion in Ontario with support from MADD Canada is writing in regards to an alcohol advertisement (NOW, August 12-18) for a drink called Sex on the Beach. This advertisement clearly associates alcohol with boating, as the models are on a boat, on the water with keys in the ignition. This is in contradiction to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Liquor Advertising Guidelines. In addition, ARAPO considers this same advertisement as sexually inappropriate, coming very close to contradicting another guideline that states alcohol ads "should not imply that consumption of liquor is required in obtaining or enhancing sexual prowess, opportunity or appeal."
ARAPO recommends that NOW familiarize itself with these guidelines and attempt in future editions to comply with them.
Ontario Public Health Association
Who's your spin doctor?
Re Lessons in propaganda, by Mike Smith (NOW, September 23-29). Once again, NOW has done a great job exposing the so-called "injustices" against the Palestinians at the hands of those "big bad Israelis." Maybe NOW will one day get around to writing about the injustices continually carried out against the civilians of Israel. The next time Smith needs some lessons in the successful use of propaganda, looking at the Palestinians is probably a better place to start.
Straight dope on the Pope
Re What the pope meant (NOW, September 16-22). If Robert Priest still wishes to understand in earnest where the Pope is coming from in regards to human sexuality, all he has to do is visit his local bookstore and pick up Love And Responsibility. It doesn't get any more straightforward than text written by Karol Wojtyla himself. If, on the other hand, his article was a joke - and a lame one at that - then why place it under the heading "religion"? Priest is much too childish to confront Christian dogma without resorting to pretense, which shows us that it's Priest, not the Pope, who doesn't say what he really means.
All me all the time
What is one to make of Elizabeth Bromstein as a rock reviewer? Is her review of Kid Rock about Kid Rock (NOW, September 16-22) about herself or both? If both, why is her personality at all important? Is it possible for Bromstein to describe the artist and the event without talking so much about herself? Why do we need to know that she was drunk, or that she was afraid of the crowd because they were very drunk?
I write to NOW when you blow it, so it's only fair that I write when you are dead on when it comes to issues of male violence against women. Sonya Cote's Once A Stripper (NOW, September 23-29) was one of the most accurate depictions of a woman's experience in the criminal system (note that "justice" has been deleted in our gender-biased world) that I have read in some time.
But the writer could have been speaking about any woman with a sexual history.
If we've ever had sex, fantasized about sex, wished we were having sex, we are not believed. Old myths never die as long as the master is in control of the house.
Thank you, Sonya.
Anne Marie Aikins
Re Peta, we're through (NOW, September 16-22). As a Jew, I strive to remind others why we cannot turn our backs on the systematic abuse and slaughter of billions of beings who feel pain and fear as we do. After seeing our exhibit, one Holocaust survivor who fought in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising wrote to us, "When I see cages crammed with chickens from battery farms thrown on trucks like bundles of trash, I see, with the eyes of my soul, the Umschlagplatz [the Warsaw Ghetto area where Jews were forced onto trains to death camps]."
PETA shares this message to show the need for every person to do his or her part to change the current system of cruelty, prejudice and daily mass killing that exists on factory farms and in slaughterhouses throughout North America.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Toronto
Move over, Draino
I usually enjoy your regular ecoholic column. But a few weeks ago you ran environmentally safe ways to unclog a plugged sink (NOW, September 9-15) that left me feeling rather waterlogged. Nowhere did you mention that the environmentally safest and fastest way to unplug any sink is to simply use a bit of elbow grease. Place a bucket underneath the sink, remove the U joint with a pipe wrench or rubber strap wrench, unclog the removed pipe with an old bent coat hanger (if it's really packed), then just screw it back on. The contents in the bucket can then be safely flushed down the toilet.
No chemicals are needed.
Plus, you may find that long-lost earing or cufflink.
Come on. you guys couldn't find a better film festival story than The Producers (NOW, September 23-29)? Producers who won't make a film unless a star is attached? Gee, really? What a shock. The story said nothing new about the business, and didn't even distinguish between Canadian budgets (you're lucky to raise seven digits) and American ones (the sky's the limit). Next time, deliver a report on a Canadian film that did get made and explain how they raised their budget instead of wasting space on this rubbish.
Pain in the eye
Now's tips for beating eye strain (NOW, September 16-22) neglected a most important tip: set your display's refresh rate to the highest level supported by your hardware. Computer monitors (and indeed all CRT displays) flicker because they redraw the image, top to bottom, around 100 times per second. If this vertical refresh rate is too low, the screen will flicker perceptibly. This has all sorts of negative consequences, principally eyestrain and headaches - a bit like the way fluorescent lights make us feel. The default refresh rate on many computers is a dismal 60 Hz. Some old or very cheap monitors will not draw faster than 60 Hz. But most new monitors are capable of 90 Hz or better at high resolutions. Set your display resolution to a comfortable size (1024x768 on a 17-inch monitor is average), then set the refresh rate as high as your hardware will allow. Even going from 60 to 74 Hz makes a pleasant difference. Try it at home.
Where is the love?
I read your Love and Sex column because I moved to Toronto a year ago and I'm looking for love. Your column is very depressing. Why don't you just call it a sex column? From the views given in it, it would appear that everyone in Toronto is a glorified slut, a recreational sexpot. I don't have any friends like those in the stories you describe. Do you publish these stories to be controversial, or is love dead and I just haven't been told about it yet? The cynicism is a bit much.
The truth is out there
Thank you so much for publishing Flights Of Fancy (NOW, July 29 - August 4) and a subsequent reply by S.D. in Toronto (NOW, August 26-September 1). I wonder why journalists from the bigger papers are not mentioning anything about chemtrails? Ever since I noticed the diminished sunlight that is coming through the painted heavens, I knew that something was up.
Joan A. Pennings
Organic beef injection
I really appreciate the extensive restaurant coverage in NOW, and especially the menu details for various Toronto restaurants. A vegetarian for years, I feel my body needs meat at this point, but eating out poses a challenge. This is a call to Toronto restaurants to please offer organic or naturally raised meats for those of us who don't want to support the mass production of animals for food. I'm willing to pay more for it; I'm sure others are, too.