I am writing regarding Alan Young's And Marijuana For All (NOW, April 7-13).
This article is such a beautifully rational view of the marijuana prohibition situation that I had to save it for reference. I don't think I've read an assessment that lays it out as clearly as Young has done.
I simply wanted to thank you for publishing such a sensible, eloquent exposé of government's disgusting behaviour in supporting these unjust and immoral laws that are brought to bear against their own citizens who wish only to use or grow pot. And Marijuana For All should be required reading here in the U.S.
Drug war on tomatoes
Hazardous marijuana grow operations are a direct result of marijuana prohibition.
Legitimate farmers do not steal electricity to grow produce in the basements of rented homes.
If [it were] legal, growing marijuana would be less profitable then farming tomatoes.
As it stands, the drug war distorts market forces such that an easily grown weed is literally worth its weight in gold.
Common Sense for Drug Policy, Washington, DC
God damning malcontent
Re Dead Pope's Society (NOW, April 7-13). Mike Smith could not resist a smart-ass anti-Catholic generalization in writing, "And I'm not too keen on the Church's using a man's death to put a human face on a misanthropic institution." In the next paragraph, he puts his foot in his mouth by indulging in misogyny without a human face when he writes of "...droves of small, unrealistic old women who say they're praying, keeping faith, just in case." No big men? Who will this malcontent offend next?
Pope a dope
The Catholic Church a misanthropic institution? How dare you!! It's run by the Pope, for Christ's sake! Just because it's true, is no reason to say it. So what if the Church was responsible for the Inquisition, persecutions, pogroms, endless sectarian violence, "holy wars," the genocidal campaign against the Cathars and Albigenses, the torture and slaughter of Jews, Muslims, aboriginals, etc.?
So what if it opposes birth control, including the use of condoms in the face of the AIDS pandemic?
So what if it has propagated absurd contradictions like original sin to manufacture guilt?
Do you know anyone who has never made a mistake?
Hypocrites, that's us
I open up now to find a cute little photo essay on Toronto's apparent abundance of advertising/signage, complete with witty little comments captioning each picture (NOW, April 7-13). I skim forward a few pages and what do I find? Not an advertisement, but an article called M3 Tech Toys that reads like a promotional brochure for a line of cellphones and PDAs. Why should I take anything published in your magazine pertaining to advertising seriously?
Pipe down, crackhead
Re My first bicycle (NOW, April 7- 13). Jenny Yuen is like Joan Rivers on crack. She writes reviews by making over-the-top statements attacking a person's character rather than critiquing the actual service or store.
I first came to Cyclemania 10 years ago, dragging along my faithful but ancient pedal-pusher for repair. I had already been to Duke's, Trailblazers and Igor's. They were either rude or tried to sell me a new bicycle, telling me my old one could not be fixed.
Finally, at Cyclemania, Jano, the owner, simply looked at my bike and told me he could fix it that day. What service! My bike lasted another 10 years, thanks to Cyclemania's expertise. I also bought a beautiful new Cyclemania hybrid from Jeff, the one you accuse of being on crack. My bike is a perfect fit in every way, thanks to Jeff's expert knowledge.
Jeff has always been friendly, helpful and honest whenever I needed help. I have often seen him fix small things on other people's bikes for free just because he didn't want them riding on something that could be dangerous. Put down the crack pipe, Joan - er, I mean Jenny.
Sweet deal a dud
As an avid cyclist, I was really happy to see a bike focus in your magazine last week (NOW, April 7-13). That said, I was way disappointed when I went out of my way to check out your featured store in the Sweet Deals section.
Trailblazers on Danforth has no sweet deals for chicks (or anyone else). There wasn't even a Sale sign in the store. They had about six cycling jerseys for women, and that was it in the gear department. The tops they did have were overpriced, so even at 60 per cent off they were no deal in my opinion. No shorts, fun socks or any other accessories.
The person who wrote your Sweet Deals section seemed to have a grasp of the issue of cool stuff for female cyclists. Perhaps she should have checked out this so-called sale before giving it undue publicity. It just wasn't worthy.
Re Brent butt-head (NOW, April 7-13). Thank you for pointing out that the Junos telecast didn't include the presentation of some 30 awards handed out at an untelevised event.
Please show me the NOW issue where you published the names of the nominees in those 30 events. Actually, show me the issue where you published the names of the Toronto Juno nominees.
The only reference to the Junos I could find in NOW after the nominees were announced focused on a few of the "elite" artists nominated in the mainstream (televised) awards. Perhaps NOW should stop casting stones and try to be part of the solution.
"Everything Toronto. Every Week." Give me a break.
Pit bulls for babies
Isn't it enough that a death sentence has been signed for pitbulls in Ontario? Isn't it enough that my dog has to be muzzled in public and I am harassed every time I take him out of the house?
The photo of Snoop Dogg with two pit bulls (NOW, April 7-13) only adds to the stereotypes and negativity being rammed down our throats by everyone from newspaper editors to the attorney general. I myself have two pit bulls. I am not a gangster, drug dealer or rapper. Instead, I work helping newcomers to Canada find jobs.
Here are some lesser-known facts about pit bulls: they were not bred for fighting, but for working on farms; they were historically used as nanny dogs to care for children; to make them pit-fighting-worthy, they have to be beaten and starved.
Dead cow on a bun
Re Live and let eat (NOW, April 7-13). About the new restaurant signs that read, "No Live Animals Allowed," you wonder whether this means it would be OK to "bring in dead animals." If they can serve you dead cow on a bun, then why not bring along a dead cat or pieces of dead chicken wrapped in cellophane for dinner?
A taste of love
Re love and sex (NOW, April 7-13) . I started reading Liz Wertan's story with a good dose of cynicism, but as I continued, my cynical outlook faded and I was left with a wonderful taste and reminder of what love can and should be.
The absence of saccharine sentimentality was refreshing, as was the gentle description of the lovemaking. It's reassuring to know that the vocabulary of sex has not been entirely reduced to "fuck" and "suck." But most of all, it's a beautiful tribute to love. Thank you!
TTC's token gesture
I have to agree with your article TTC: The Ruder Way (NOW, March 31-April 6). One day I requested 10 bucks' worth of tokens from a ticket attendant who smarmily replied, "In English, please." Admittedly annoyed, I put my hands on my knees, caught my breath and said, "I'm sorry, but I ran here - your token machines at Delaware are out of order." To which he replied, "They aren't my f***ing machines."
Taken aback, mouth open, I simply took my change and tokens that he had just slammed down on the counter and made my way on the supposed "better way."
Riders the rude ones
Regarding your article on the TTC. Let's face it, this job requires individuals who can stand the test of time, because they are the ones constantly being abused from all sides.
TTC staff are normal people doing stressful jobs and must follow policies and procedures as part of their position to ensure the safety of all passengers. If you or a passenger interprets this as being rude, then I ask you, don't take it personally. Every day drivers must deal with bad road conditions and drivers, abusive passengers and outdated, almost impossible time schedules to follow.
Unfortunately, abrupt answers are sometimes a result of rude and aggressive behaviour shown by passengers. If you can't carry your parcels and/or baby carriage yourself, then buy one you can carry.
Fifty people a day write out a complaint? How about the thousands of passengers who have their wallets, purses, phones, etc, returned to them, or get pointed in the right direction to find their important job interview, or have been granted passage when short a dime or two?
Name withheld by request
I laughed out loud when I read Drew Hayden Taylor's Kitsch Catchers (NOW, March 31-April 6). I envisioned the author methodically counting to 10 in Ojibway to appease a customer's request for a native prayer, and "a bunch of Venetians running back and forth across the stage yelling, 'Il pow-wowa!'" How entertaining!
The art and symbols of native peoples should remain intact, and not be confiscated by those who are obliviously greedy. Yet I am ever so grateful that Hayden Taylor shares his incisive, delightful wit with all of us!
Call me a fan.
I would like respond to the "money" issue you raise in Stepping Into The Dahn (NOW, March 31-April 6), because the philosophical issues are too complicated to discuss within the confines of one letter.
I am a successful businessman and have been a Dahn member for the last five years. I went to Dahn healer school in Sedona, Arizona. I proudly spent a very large amount of money in my own quest to achieve personal enlightenment.
Unfortunately, in our society there is no "free lunch." It costs a lot of money to run an organization like Dahn, even if it is not a not-for-profit organization. Dahn full-time instructors are very devoted. No one in the organization takes large amounts of money to spend on themselves.
In Canada, membership at the Dahn Centre costs roughly the same as joining a fitness club. However, at Dahn you are getting a lot more than just physical fitness. Both your body and your mind benefit from a higher level of fitness that Dahn provides.
As for the extra courses, some people pay thousands of dollars to other organizations for weekend seminars that promise to change their life. Dahn seminars cost around $300 per weekend, and I have been amazed to see how effective and transformative they can be in many people's lives.
I can tell you from my own experience that I asked a lot of questions and never experienced rejection or dismissal from the instructors, even from high-level instructors in Sedona.
Dov H. Rom
C.E.O, DHR & Associates
Shins dig a kick in the ass
You know what I hate about now (and I read it every week)? It's the way it can make me feel bad about the things I like. My Shins CD, for example (NOW, April 7-13). NOW is like that guy in high school who always slagged post-Eno Roxy Music and post-Barrett Pink Floyd, that guy who delighted in telling you you'd come to something good too late. We used to kick that guy's ass!
We're not worthy
I just wanted to send this note to commend NOW on the great articles. It's a relief to know there are still some people in this wonderful world of ours who aren't sold on "political correctness" and "working for the man." Publications such as NOW make me prouder to be a non-conforming Canadian!
New Lowell, Ontario