Bad Sayles pitch
John Sayles's opinion piece on the U.S. elections (NOW, November 11-17) is important, yet he misses the significance of independent voters and independent politics in America. It's not just the Republicans who have turned right. So have the Dems. Progressive people have no representation in American politics any more. And when people like Ralph Nader or Lenora Fulani come along, they get attacked by the liberal-Democrat left as vote-splitters.
Didn't Nader offer a progressive alternative to the Iraq war, same-sex marriage, poor people, the war on people of colour and the war on Muslims?
Why does Sayles join the rest of the liberal left and ignore Nader, concentrating his energies on the moribund Democratic party?
If Sayles wants to "bring it on," as he says, he needs to support the living, growing movement of people who are independent of the two parties, independent of corporate control of politics, independent of the collective corporate-political brainwashing machine.
God I know no warmonger
I'm not sure what bible Wayne Roberts is reading (NOW, November 11-17), but the Christ I know is a pacifist resistance worker on behalf of the marginalized and anti-empire of all kinds. The problem with the left and the right is both have no idea of what is contained in the book that Muslims, Jews and Christians read. If you want to challenge fundamentalism, you should be calling people of faith back to their faith, not away from it, and then they might even listen. Then we, all of us, might experience some peace, another thing Jesus was big on. Love and blessings,
Reverend Cheri DiNovo
Did Bush steal this one, too?
I was pondering Dan Savage's lament on the Bush victory (NOW, November 11-17): whereas the 2000 win was stolen, this time, even after four years of lunacy and obvious lying, a majority actually re-elected him. Without believing it will make a difference to raise this point and knowing that it is prone to be dismissed as conspiracy blab, I must say that if Bush and company cheated last time and didn't completely hide their manoeuvring, why wouldn't they work out the bugs and do it "clean" the next time around?
As someone who has read not only Booker T. Washington, but also W.E.B. Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Harriet A. Jacobs and James Weldon Johnson, I can say with authority that not one of these writers ever, in the words of letter-writer James Simpson, "just played whites for fools" (NOW, November 11-17). Washington, criticized for not playing whites for fools, replied, "If I were to do that, I would just be slamming the door in the face of all those who will follow me." He was a great man. Ditto Ray Charles.
We need a world not where men are blind (as our various ideologies so often make us), but where we are all colour-blind.
Lame yuppies ruin REM
I attended the REM show at the Hummingbird with my dad last week. I'm embarrassed to say that enough lame yuppies complained about our dancing in our seats that we got removed... three times. (We kept trying!) I go to many shows big and small, and see too many people just standing around.
Get up and dance.
It feels good, it looks hot and it makes the artists feel like they're doing something for you.
RE The Pot Thickens (NOW, November 11-17). The phenomenon of people growing and smoking raw bud is never ever going to go away, and all the sprays and patents won't change that. Sick people are going to continue needing raw plant material for their illnesses. All things considered, the best thing would be to regulate marijuana so that medical growers can grow for designated compassion clubs and commercial growers can grow in industrial buildings and compete to supply "coffee shops."
In one fell swoop, our government could save us all billions a year, earn us another $2 billion every year in tax revenue, create jobs, free up police resources, recover stolen electricity, heal the sick and take organized crime down several notches.
Gentle Wind has lifted information from Western spiritualism and Hinduism to explain how its "healing instruments" work (NOW, November 4-10). Gentle Wind claims that "an invisible sphere 5 feet wide and 9 feet high surrounds each of us." This sounds suspiciously like the human energy field called an "astral body" by members of the Theosophical Society circa 1890 and an "aura" by Hinduism.
Various practitioners of alternative medicine believe that physical and/or mental illness comes from the human energy field being out of whack, and they use various tools and techniques to restore harmony.
Gentle Wind also claims to channel "telepathic communications from non-physical entities living outside the earth's physical and astral system." Would one of these non-physical entities be Seth? The late Jane Roberts channelled an entity called Seth in the 60s and 70s and published transcriptions of these sessions.
No ethical healer of the human energy field would ask clients to pay $10,000 for a "healing instrument."
Questions about Wanda
RE A Fish Called Wanda... (NOW, October 21-27). Wanda Liczyk has a sexual affair during the 1998-2001 period. In 1998 alone she signs contracts to benefit her American lover to the tune of at least $675,000, untendered and contrary to her authority. During the next years the amount grows to $3.8 million. Why has there not been an inquiry into her actions? And why were these contracts not questioned at the time? There's much more to this than meets the eye.
Recycling can of worms
RE Get Hard On Soft Drinks (NOW, October 28-November 3). On a recent vacation to PEI, I was pleased to discover that the government has implemented a glass deposit system for soft drinks. Their grocery stores sell only 750ml glass bottles. No plastic bottles. No aluminum cans. Guess what? Their roadsides, off-ramps and downtown Charlottetown were spotless. Go figure.
This theatre a wreck
Read about the wrecking ball and all that whining and whinging about the lack of political theatre in Canada. There must have been about 300 of us trying to get in for a recent show. I've been unemployed for two years and I walked all the way from Coxwell and Queen with my last $10 in my pocket, arriving 45 minutes before the show to get in. They forgot to mention in any of their well-publicized articles that this one was for family and friends "come all the way from Texas." I have to tell you I don't think the people of Canada are ready for political theatre from the way they mildly left without seeing the show after watching a procession of friends, family and name-dropping sycophants pushing through the queue. As for the offer that nine of us could sit in the lobby and listen to the show - pathetic.
Lame poke at Pocahontas
In response to Booty Hunter (NOW, November 11-17). As if the designs of Zenya Sirant's choice of shoes weren't bad enough, she makes matters worse by picking culturally appropriated styles and, on top of it, adding her own racist labels.
The "grey muluks" are not only "ugly and to our PETA pals murder," but a caricature of pseudo-aboriginal heritage. Why associate the pair with Pocahontas? It's not funny, not original, but lame and dumb. Although, to me, that's what most fashion is about. Don't put aboriginal people in that drawer! Five hundred years of genocide has been too much already (yes, it's all connected)!
I remember reading a review of The Cinderella Story (with Hilary Duff) in NOW and completely agreed the story was based on a stupid fable where a woman meets a "prince" and they live happily ever after. Now I read this bullshit by Sonya Cote in which she essentially consents to rape (NOW, October 14-20). What the fuck? This is not a female liberation story but a cheap attempt at hyper-coolness - as in, "Look how fucked up I am. Can you top that?" Notwithstanding the fact she may have met a true psycho and spent some "cool" time in his dungeon, she allowed a stranger to have complete control of her body. Get a dildo, girl. You're putting too much emphasis on getting off. In my experience, people "into these things" have mental issues they should resolve.
Tent City gossip queen
Letter writer L. McNamara sounds like she has nothing better to do than spy on her neighbours (NOW, October 28-November 3). Three former Tent City residents who live in my building are all employed and doing well. The relocation project has given us the stability to get our lives back on track and contribute to society. Unfortunately, many of our Tent City neighbours require additional support and counselling before they're able to return to the "real world." McNamara seems more interested in gossip.
Word to the unwise
Message to NOW readers: if you are stupid, please refrain from voting in next year's Best Of Toronto Readers Poll (NOW, October 28-November 3). Swiss Chalet? Golden Griddle? Those are places you eat at once a year out of suburban nostalgia - and then immediately regret it. Christ, do you people even eat in Toronto?
Travelogue a treat
Great article by Sierra Bellows (NOW, November 11-17). Get more of her travels.