One fat phobia
I have such sympathy for Tammy Stone (NOW, November 25-December 1). I can't imagine how hard her life is. Skinny people have to deal with serious institutional discrimination, and we must put an end to it. It shouldn't be easier to find a size 2 than to find a size 20 in a "regular" store. Skinny equality will only be achieved when small pants are also ugly, overpriced and only sold in "specialty" stores. It's such a travesty that skinny women experience reverse fat-phobia in employment. Did you know that on average skinny women in the U.S. make $6,000 more a year? Skinny people are also mocked in popular culture. Just look at America's Next Top Model. Skinny people are relegated to the sidelines of fame and magazine covers, while fat people get to be "The Biggest Loser."
Stone is delusional. Maybe you should print an article by a real, live fat person. We've had enough of the poor sad skinny minority.
This week Tim Perlich is hanging with Kurt Cobain (NOW, November 25-December 1). Last week he was counselling Iris Dement. I'm loving this new Brian Linehan phase of Perlich's career. Who's next? Liza? Now, if you'll excuse me, I have Beyoncé on call-waiting.
Seeds of a takeover
I was distraught to read your article on the GE food patent situation in Iraq (NOW, November 25-December 1), but not surprised. What does surprise me is the fact that this article took precedence over our serious situation in Canada. Monsanto is trying to make heritage seeds illegal. Amendments being considered by the House of Commons could prevent individuals from saving seeds from their own garden and planting them. In our "safe" so-called "democratic" country, we are slowly being stripped of our rights in the name of the mighty dollar.
Miller should drop Front
In Don Wanagas's Crombie Reads Riot Act (NOW, November 18-24), Crombie argues that Mayor David Miller should become chair of the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) because "the mayor is the only one the people of Toronto can hold accountable for the future of their waterfront." The current chair of the TWRC, Robert Fung, understood that the $300 million Front Street Extension was an unpopular project and urged his colleagues to drop it from the TWRC mandate. We can only hope that if Mayor Miller replaces Fung as chair of the TWRC, he will also honour all those citizens who spoke out against this environmental nightmare and officially drop the Front Street Extension from the TWRC mandate.
Sierra Club of Canada, GTA Group
I'm not sure if your TV column is intended to be ironic (NOW, November 25-December 1). Friday's pick is a documentary about Colin Farrell preparing to play Alexander, but it's unfortunate that Steven Davey missed an opportunity to plug a quality Canadian one-hour drama. The third season of The Eleventh Hour premiered Saturday, November 27, in and of itself something of a miracle given the current state of our indigenous television industry.
Dumb and dumber
Up Front just gets dumber and dumber. So now we can all have a good yuck about drug use by Canadian forces in Afghanistan (NOW, November 18-24). How moronic.
Umbrella spotlight all wet
I'd like to thank you for featuring Umbrella Bar and Lounge in your club spotlight (NOW, November 18-24). NOW prides itself on being the voice of the people. I would like to believe that the author has been there on numerous occasions but felt the need to highlight the crowd. One night is not representative of the normal level of entertainment at a club. People from Brampton, Oakville, Thornhill, Ajax and Whitby come into the city to enjoy the weekly Friday-night events, at which they've heard high-calibre performances by artists like Theology 3 and Vancouver's Kia Kadiri. As well, the patrons range from locals to prominent figures in the Canadian music scene.
RE Bling Bling Guru (NOW, November 25-December 1). I've personally known and walked with gurus and sadhus all over India. I've found most of them to be genuine individuals seeking neither truth nor likelihood, but only astonishment. Then there are pop gurus like Siva Baba, promising enlightenment on the instalment plan: pay now and receive moksha later.
What's eating Ray?
As a member of Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists, I was happy to see the letter from a peeved Ray Breuker (NOW, November 25-December 1).If ARC can't raise the hair on the necks of the odd "cycling instructor" (that's a good one!), we wouldn't be doing our jobs. True, ARC's position, that the Bike Master Plan failed to address some of the more dangerous streets in the city, helped in a legal battle that saw a cyclist who was doored on Queen West receive financial compensation from the city. Could that be what's eating Breuker?
Apparently, the city's expert advice from the cycling "instructors" was that if people only rode in the middle of the Queen Street streetcar tracks none of them would be doored.
Driver ate my bike lane
RE Europe's two-wheeled heaven (NOW, November 18-24). Across the pond, cities respect cycling. Frustration boils up inside when reading the stats you've presented on bike lanes and cyclists: 900,000 riders, 225,000 year-round cyclists in the city of Toronto alone; a measly 22 kilometres of bike lanes in close to four years. That's downright discrimination. In the last week alone I've had three encounters with drivers who thought bike lanes were theirs to drive in.
Sarah Liss praises No Doubt's punked-out cover of Bad Brains' Oi To The World in her review of Everything In Time (NOW, November 18-24). Oi To The World is a Vandals song, not a Bad Brains song.
Alexander rolls in his grave
Oliver Stone missed a most salient point in Alexander (NOW, November 26-December 1), namely that the Greeks of the time were conquered by the ancient Macedonians and considered them to be crude "barbarians." The current Macedonian inhabitants of Greece are forced to hide their great heritage and identity to this day. To add insult, the Greeks appropriate one of Macedonia's greatest heroes. Alexander's rolling in his grave.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada, Toronto
Mr. Smith goes too far
Mike Smith's punishingly inane piece on OCAP's 590 Jarvis squat action (NOW, November 18-24) almost beggars belief. Not in the sense that it paints him as a whinging, self-important liberal more interested in raccoon chattering and the metaphysics of billboards (heavy fucking karma, man).
What is surprising is that Smith evidently attended the same demonstration I did.
Smith portrays the police as the listless, bored, self-defending agents of a slightly incompetent municipal government; the cops who pepper-sprayed me were trigger-happy goons who, despite Smith's apologetics, came in swinging to serve a trespass order for a vacant building on the cusp of winter.
Re Liz Whertan's Love & Sex column (NOW, November 18-24). "I have a sunlit world full of my child, my students, my friends, my neighbours. You would come to me in the dark, and we would make a world just for us"?
Even irony could not have saved this shit.
Jacqueline Whyte Appleby
Irie goes Boom
As a regular and happy customer of Irie for years, it was nice to see it come in second in the category of best Caribbean restaurant in your Best Of Toronto poll (NOW, October 28-November 3). But it's been history for at least a year and a half, for fuck's sake, replaced by the great new Boom Breakfast & Co.
Truth about Temagami
RE Temagami Trip (NOW, October 21-27). Jessica Le Poidevin says that "after nearly a century, not much has changed" in Temagami. If only that were the case. Areas as remote and preserved as she describes are becoming fewer in the Temagami area. In fact, parts of Maple Mountain, long a symbol of Temagami's wilderness, are being included in clear-cutting plans for next year. Remote canoe routes are lost every year. But the fact that Temagami is public land means that all who have enjoyed the region can have a big impact on ensuring it retains its ecological, recreational and cultural character. Let the Ministry of Natural Resources know that Temagami is too unique to sacrifice.