How ironic to always lump ecoholic into Zenya Sirant's obnoxiously consumaholic diary pages.
This week, it's the poisonous plastic household gadgets and the equally ugly and toxic yellow PVC bag (NOW, March 24-30).
Does anyone but her actually care about this weekly advertised junk?
PVC, for example, stands for polyvinyl-chloride, a compound known to be carcinogenic from production through use and disposal - forever!
Why should NOW dedicate precious space to such material?
Matt doesn't amaze
Re Matt Mays and El Torpedo (NOW, March 24-30). I guess I'm resigned to the fact that it doesn't take much to get on the cover of NOW Magazine any more. I saw Tim Perlich's poster boys on Saturday and was extremely disappointed. I found no "enjoyably unruly" onstage antics. In fact, I was embarrassed that they were on the bill next to the brilliant, if tired- looking, Soundtrack of Our Lives.
Why didn'tcha give Soundtrack the cover story? If you want to be a reputable Toronto arts magazine, why not credit music that matters? On this one, you guys missed out completely.
Re Who's stupid now? (NOW, March 24-30). My grade four class is learning about smoking as part of health.
A number of kids brought the stupid.ca commercials and website to my attention. They'd been lured by the ads' humour, so we checked out the website together. We found a whole section on how tobacco companies try to target the youth market. My students were especially interested in this, and felt rightfully disgusted that tobacco companies would jeopardize their health in order to make a profit.
The message we got was that the kids are seen as stupid by tobacco companies, not that kids themselves are stupid. Of course, the industry should be held responsible for its actions, but in the meantime, kids need to learn how they're being targeted. I think the ad campaign as a whole did a good job of this.
Going with the flow
Your "expert" crystal energy therapist Karen Ryan says that "bad periods are the denial of one's feminine side and distend from dysfunctional, patriarchal upbringings" (NOW, March 24-30).
She goes on to say, "Often women have menstrual problems because of guilt and fear of sexuality." Funny, I always thought bad periods came from contractions that discharge the lining of the uterus, but it was probably a man who told me that, so who knows if it's true?
Thanks for your opinion, Ryan, but rather than put garnets in my pockets I'll stick to an Advil and a hot bath.
Truth no consequences
Please stop blaming schools and their staff for the high suspension rates of certain demographics of students while screaming "discrimination" (NOW, March 17-23).
I have been substitute teaching for five years and have extensive experience in five of the six schools mentioned in your article and many others with similar demographics.
While the statistics are sobering, they do not tell the whole story. The at-risk [students] you have identified as being discriminated against often have little or no incentive to behave and play by the rules because there are weak consequences at home. In some cases, there are no consequences at all. Teachers and administrators can only do so much.
Thorny white stuff
Oh now! Why do you have to be such a thorn in this city's side? Some of the signs you cite in Winter Blunderland (NOW, March 17-23) are up to save the city's butt from being sued should an accident occur.
Another reason for these signs is to let people know there's no one around to supervise activities or the facilities. Do you think it's a good idea to be playing hockey at the Regent Park rink after 10 pm? Do you think the city should employ someone to work there after 10 pm? Will they clean the ice, too?
Don't get me wrong. I love winter and all that white stuff. And the city should be questioned about why bike paths aren't cleared. But the city is just protecting itself from lawsuits.
Lori C. Nytko
I challenge your claim that using marijuana is "harmless" and a "victimless crime" (NOW, March 10-16). Based on research, and especially on my many experiences smoking it from age 14 to 26, marijuana is a very potent and addictive drug that is detrimental to health in many ways, especially to vulnerable young users whose undeveloped minds are most negatively affected by it.
I've seen elementary school kids smoking it in the parks before school starts. Are you OK with this? How well do you think they function while stoned in school at 9 am?
I've also known a number of habitual marijuana users in their 40s and 50s who seem to be able to function but whose emotional maturity level remains very stunted.
Style over sensitivity
Re Ruth Koleszar-Green's letter, Racial Slip A Blip? (March 17-23), in response to White-washed $50 (NOW, March 10-16). I was extremely disappointed to see that in a letter expressing concern about the non-capitalization of the word "native," the choice was then made to put "aboriginal" in lower case.
It seems insulting and insensitive in the extreme to continue the practice within Koleszar-Green's letter. Surely, respect holds priority over the directives of a style guide.
I don't have a dexit yet, but I've been considering it (NOW, March 17-23). The one thing that's holding me back is the $1.50 fee. I hate fees. Maybe Dexit needs to make money from advertising or some other source so it can waive the fee, which is like the ugly system access fee we pay to cellphone companies every month. Dexit is definitely a niche market, and it has to be careful not to scare off customers with charges. A friend and I are still surprised that NOW is a free publication. When we pick it up, we wonder what would happen to its distribution and readership if there were a cost.
Off the snide
I can hardly wait for Tim Perlich's review of the third Kings of Leon record (NOW, February 24-March 2). Assuming it follows the pattern of his reviews of the first two discs, it will mention that the band has been tagged the Southern Strokes, include some snide remark about their abundant hair and something stereotypical about rednecks. Surely, NOW has other reviewers who can give us a smidgen of insight into the actual music. Why waste space on these non-reviews?
Harley no Triumph
It was no surprise that the Horseshoe appeared in the list of top watering holes (NOW, March 10-16). If measured only by the number of memorable nights one has had at a particular place, the 'Shoe is a shoo-in! However (and see this as a minor quibble if you will), the motorcycle above the pool table is a 60s vintage Triumph. Harley could never produce anything so beautiful.
As a feminist, I first welcomed American Apparel's gritty and provocative advertisements featuring "real," non-professional models (NOW, March 17-23). However, since working for Dov Charney, my opinions have changed. I, too, believed that its claims to be a socially responsible company went hand in hand with sexually liberal art. Yet I and many other employees have realized that the company's good treatment of its factory workers does not apply to retail staff. Dov has no shame, but if he did, he should be disgusted with himself for his lies.
Name withheld by request
Dov Charney is the max hardcore of the clothing business, using similar hot, exotic and biracial models. In the future, expect to see ass-to-mouth cum-swapping at his panty-fitting meetings, double anal action so the model selling that tank top gets twice as much help getting sponsored for her visa, fart bubbles to sell that baby rib thong and bukkake-style facial shots to sell velour rompers.
Stroumbo out of place
The ad for George Strouboulopoulos's show The Hour (NOW, March 3-9) proclaims that it doesn't follow the rest of the media's propaganda. But the shows I've seen were all about what was in the news that day. Nothing new, really. Stroumboulopoulos seemed more at home on Citytv/Bravo amidst the rock 'n' roll and hiphop crowd.
Joseph William Lea
Clark Kent's gain
In Lori Fireman's review of Imaginary Heroes (NOW, March 17-23), she states that the film's director, Dan Harris, is tapped to direct the new Superman film. Nope. That would be Bryan Singer, director of the first two instalments of The X-Men. Professor Xavier's loss, Clark Kent's gain.
Re Roots cookin' (NOW, March 24-30). Quoting Sarah Liss, "Most musicians can't write unless they're knackered ." Whoops! Was Liss too "knackered" to use dictionary.com? Surely she didn't mean to imply that musicians need to be "wasted" in order to write. Time to retire the quaint cliché of "starving artist/stoned musician," don't you think? Not to mention that she's wrong. There is another less-used meaning of the word "knackered," but surely she wasn't suggesting that musicians can't write unless they're kicked in the testicles!