Stroumbo a scapegoat
Admittedly, George Stroumboulopoulos is not the most intellectually adept person on television (NOW, March 3-9), but he's not the most idiotic either. I've always found him entertaining to some degree, and clearly his ability to communicate puts him a notch ahead of other CBC personalities.
I thought it was unusual that your publication would dedicate an entire page to bashing Stroumboulopoulos. It seems he's been chosen as a scapegoat for shallowness in the media.
Interesting from a publication that dedicates much of its paper to cartoons, horoscopes and the "Zen" of fetish-queer-vegetarian furniture/theatre on sale now!!!
On the plus side, I normally like your political features.
Bloor or bust
Yee-guan Wong's article The Big "If" and accompanying News Insight on Yonge and Bloor (NOW, March 3-9) both encourage me and remind me of our diminished expectations for Toronto's renewal. Yonge and Bloor should be the heart of this city. Every schoolchild and visitor to the city is thrilled to be invited to meet a friend at this fabled crossroads, only to exit the subway and find herself assaulted by the masses of concrete, the clutter and eyesores that strangle this violated public space and crush the soul.
A new condo and movie theatres on the southeast corner will help, but nothing short of replacing what Kyle Rae calls "the bunker of the Royal Bank" at the northeast corner will transform this urban wasteland.
The mayor, city councillors and the local BIA should try to convince the building's owners and tenant, the Royal Bank and Hudson's Bay (whose mega-wall of concrete ought to be a criminal offence), to invest in creating something of beauty and magic in this most dynamic of public spaces.
Foiling Falun Gong
Thanks to Sigcino Moyo for writing a great article on Falun Gong (NOW, March 3-9). The Chinese government not only suppresses Falun Gong and other dissidents inside its borders, but also exports its propaganda and violence to foreign democracies like Canada. Moyo's article offers a very clear picture of this.
Gay marriage trap
Re Hell on wheels (NOW, March 3-9). Religion is a fundamental. Why should we be allowing the state to change the definition of marriage to accommodate gay people? This is wrong.
Bell's false alarm
Re Bell's creepy internet fears (NOW, March 3-9). I e-mailed Bell about its Internet promo and depiction of certain female body parts as "inappropriate." I got a letter back explaining that the ad "was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to show the lengths some people will go to in order to protect their children from 'inappropriate' subject matter." And that "this message was intended to play off of some of our other recent television ads that poked fun at those who go too far." I definitely understood the ad. I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one who was taken aback by it.
Bat Boy soars
Thank you for the only positive review of Bat Boy: The Musical that I have seen (NOW, March 3-9). I found it a delightful show, with great performances by Jay T. Schramek and Jayne Lewis. Like Glenn Sumi, I feel the other critics missed the point of the entire show. I hope, in spite of the reviews, the show has a long run in Toronto, as it had in New York and London. Bat Boy is a fun show.
Natel King, R.I.P.
First off, I'd like to say that your publication is the only one I read religiously. Thank you for your refreshing perspective on local, national and global issues, issues that matter. Secondly, I'd like to thank you for your Upfront item Post Plumbs Sun Slime Spot (NOW, March 3-9). I am a personal friend of Natel King's family, and I cannot tell you how much they would appreciate your feelings on the way the media have reported her murder.
I can honestly say that for the people closest to her, even worse than the feeling of knowing that Natel was most likely dead was the feeling that everyone else who didn't know her was being made to believe that she deserved it simply because she worked in the porn industry.
Natel's family is fighting very hard to get over this devastating event. But how can they ever find peace if the last images they have of her are of the scantilly clad variety?
Why does NOW Magazine publish articles like Hugh Mackenzie's Harris Hangover (NOW, February 24-March 2)? You have no business being any sort of forum for economics it goes directly against what you stand for.
How would you rather have your money managed? By Harris, giving it back to you so you can determine who deserves it most?
Or by McGuinty/Martin, spewing it out of a hose at every brushfire that pops up?
As one of those "continental people of pallor," I would like to thank Drew Hayden Taylor for the delightfully refreshing and insightful Racial Profiling? I'm Loving It (NOW, February 24-March 2). The Naskapi, with whom I lived and worked in the 80s, gave me the name "dumpling" because I'm "pigment-denied." Yet I don't bake pastries or do handicrafts, so I don't fit into the profile totally. I do, however, have blue eyes, but do not rape, pillage, abduct, subjugate or exploit.
It's people like Stephen Drake who just drive me nuts. Drake says the underlying message of Million Dollar Baby (NOW, February 24-March 2) is "that life with a disability is not worth living," and writer [Eli Shupak] argues that "Eastwood... seems uninterested in the reality disabled people like myself face." Million Dollar Baby quite explicitly points out that for Swank's character, not being able to box is a fate worse than death. She makes a choice when everything she loves has been taken from her. I believe everyone has the right to make that choice.
Happy returns on arms cash
Regarding your piece on OISE and military contractor Atlantis Systems (NOW, February 10-16). The day I read the article I immediately went out and bought Atlantis stock for 56 cents a share. Today I sold it for 60 cents a share, a profit of more than 7 per cent in two short weeks. Try to get that from a rip-off "socially responsible" fund. To help your many stock market readers, could you include the ticker symbol the next time you disparage a publicly listed company? We could all use the money.
I'm pissed. Not because Jered Stuffco was in doubt when I mentioned that Van Dyke Parks loved my version of Vegetables (NOW, February 17-23). Nor am I pissed that Stuffco labelled me a megalomaniac. I'm pissed that he did not mention the hour-long discussion we had of Juri [Biondic]'s salami-like nipple that Stuffco seemed to cream over. Shame on you. By the way, how do you like the Old Soul album you asked for the day after the interview? I guess you guys really do your research.
Luca Giulio Maoloni