Cyclists like angry hornets
NOW has a penchant for venerating cyclists as a more civilized, left-leaning, evolved species than motorists (NOW, May 26-June 1). But as a pedestrian and daily streetcar rider, it is frequently the cyclists, both professional couriers and commuters, who are dangerously whizzing through intersections and stop signs like hordes of angry hornets.
I can't count the number of times I've approached the open doors of a streetcar at an intersection, looked both ways like a good girl, seen the local traffic waiting patiently for me to board just to take a step forward and barely miss having the skin taken off my nose or getting treadmarks on my forehead. For chrissakes, be careful, people!
To the bike rider who ran the red light on Bloor eastbound at Castle Frank: I saw you!
And so did the other two bike riders waiting at the red light when you zoomed past. We also saw how you swerved to avoid hitting the pedestrian crossing the street with a stroller and a toddler beside her.
I wonder if you saw that pedestrian having to yank the toddler out of your path. I wonder if you saw the cars entering the intersection having to swerve to avoid hitting you.
I counted the time we waited at the light after you passed by. Less than 30 seconds. And in that 30 seconds you put several people's lives, hopes and happiness at risk.
RE Little paper that blows (NOW, May 26-June 1). I couldn't agree with you more, and I'm so happy that somebody had the balls to say it. All this Homolka crap is just pandering to the lowest level of sleaze and garbage. It's not news, its National Enquirer-type bullshit. What's next? Alien hand found growing out of David Miller's head?
The Sun has turned into a bullshit rag that kisses the Conservatives' butt and has ranting, vindictive gossip instead of news.
Want culture? Go to Vienna
In response to the article Colour Me Confused, by Ivan Yovanovich (NOW, May 26-June 1), I think his suggestion that graffiti should be "preserved" to save great urban culture is ridiculous. While I am willing to concede that some graffiti is art, [most of it] is simply tagging. This is vandalism. Yovanovich then proceeds to criticize Vienna for its upper-class art and lack of graffiti. Vienna is a wonderful city filled with vibrant art and culture both new and old. The opera that Yovanovich would probably criticize as being upper-class is available for all at the price of two euros and is enjoyed by rich and poor alike.
What's missing in MIA piece
I would like to address some of the comments in your review of the MIA/LCD show (NOW, May 26-June 1). [Usually,] the agents and the managers of the artists dictate which venues their artists play. The promoter can suggest options, but the decision is always made by the artist.
Since the MIA/LCD show did sell out well in advance, we offered to move [it] to another venue, but the artists declined. If we had a choice, we would not allow patrons to smoke at the Opera House as it's currently configured.
I personally watched the show from the back of the main floor and found it had the usual amount of space. As for the packed staircase, I did not see it, but in the past it's been a line to the coat check.
Emerge's focus is on treating artists and patrons with respect and making sure they both have a great time. We encourage patron feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emerge Entertainment Inc. Toronto
Bust kid flying that kite
RE Your upfront featured photo last week (NOW, May 19-25). I sure hope that kid flying his kite in Little Norway Park got busted. According to both the duty manager at the Island Airport and the Toronto police marine unit, under Canadian Aviation Regulations it's an offence to fly a kite within five miles of the place. As if we really needed another reason to get rid of that ridiculous airport!
On Wednesday, May 25, legendary guitar hero Domenic Troiano passed away peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 59.
Domenic reached mythical status in the 60s and 70s when he played with the Mandala, Bush, the James Gang and the Guess Who. No one will ever forget the experience of seeing the Mandala's Soul Crusade. Domenic went on to a successful career composing music for film and television, and in 1996 he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.
Aside from his remarkable musical accomplishments, he was a most admired and loved individual. His gentle soul touched everyone he met. I will miss his never-ending kindness and encouragement.
Domenic was a Metronome board member, and last week, with fellow board member Jim Norris, we had the opportunity to visit and tell him of a planned scholarship in his name. He was thrilled. Donation information regarding the scholarship in Domenic's name is available at www.domenictroiano.com.
Take thumb and shove it
Few articles, and I mean few, have angered me like Virginia Slams's piece (NOW, May 19-25). The anger came from the knowledge that well over half a million adults past the age 32 are virgins. She didn't need to patronize our ranks to get "our thumbs-up." We love keeping our pants zipped. There is no shame in preferring caution over pop culture. I hope Slams doesn't own a vibrator. Those things are not healthy for your psyche.
Porn's the norm
Great for letter writer D.J. Sharpe that she doesn't "need" porn. I am a very sexually active queer woman in my late 30s. I'm slightly overweight, not skinny like Sharpe, but I'm not sure how that's relevant.
I don't need porn either, but I like it. My personal taste runs to gay and trans porn, and I'm also into lesbian porn. Straight porn I find boring; the guys all look dirty, and most of the time the women look like they're faking it. I use porn because it adds variety and I'm a very visual person. I don't use it because I'm unable to become aroused by real experiences.
I am a feminist, and like a lot of women, queer and straight, I have been raped. And I can tell you that porn is nothing like rape. Porn is an item on my sexual menu that I absolutely have a right to explore. It doesn't dehumanize or debase me.
As a feminist, I support Sharpe's choice not to consume porn. It's too bad that she doesn't extend the same freedom of choice to me.
Dos, don'ts for dummies
After reading Sheila Gostick's article about a nouveau Parkdaler attacking a man outside her local bar (NOW, May 19-25), I have some suggestions.
What not to do when someone is being clubbed mere metres from your bar stool:
1. Bemoan the absolute power of the gentrifiers.
2. Order another beer.
What to do:
Toronto should be a place where people look out for each other. We can be active in shaping the reality around us. If we want neighbourhoods where interlopers aren't allowed to bully and brutally attack neighbours with impunity, we need to act.
We have hearts, we have eyes and we have voices. We need to learn to use them.
What a delight to make the acquaintance of Frank Brady in My Style (NOW, May 12-18) - so refreshingly different from the boring bimbos (male and female) you usually feature. I liked the fact that some of his accessories were presents from friends. He also looks like he really enjoys life, a breath of fresh air in that stagnant backwater you call My Style.
Hero worth worshipping
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Bob Hunter (NOW, May 19-25), as well as the citizens of Canada, on losing one of the most influential environmentalists of our time.
Although his passing leaves us with a sense of loss, it's hard to feel anything but gratitude for the legacy he leaves behind. We're left to wonder how we, mere mortals, can pay tribute to such an incredible environmental icon.
The answer is simple. Carry on his hard work. We can only strive to live life as selflessly as Bob, and I will continue to dedicate my time and effort to lobby for this beautiful planet and all her natural wonders.
Pot claims deadly
I realize I'm a bit late on this letter. Nonetheless, I wanted to give you my feedback. I wanted to give thanks for outstanding columns Dead Pope's Society and My Billion-Dollar Beef (both NOW, April 7-13). Both are exceptional pieces of work, very refreshing and challenging viewpoints that I admire.
However, what was Alan Young smoking [when he wrote] And Marijuana For All propaganda (NOW, April 7-13)? It's mind-boggling that he can assert that "marijuana is not significantly responsible for vehicular carnage..." while later preaching that "experimentation with pot" will lead to "the temporary alteration of perception."
I'm sorry, Alan, but marijuana's temporary alteration of perception is significantly responsible for vehicular carnage. I know this for a fact. The same night I was high lying in the middle of a busy highway outside Toronto watching cars go by my head after "power toking," my kindred spirit buddy smashed on the northbound 427. Dave died, and I lived. That was 10 years ago, and I never smoked up again.
Hip or just hypocrites?
I doubt I am alone in growing weary of the increasing gracelessness with which NOW's editors balance the contending goals of social justice and commercial success.
You print a full-page ad to sell apparel. You run an article against it. Then the ad is back, commodifying men instead of women.
Unlike other editors, even those whose papers aren't on the side of participatory democracy and humane ideals, you offer your readers no explanation or defence. You rule by arbitrary fiat and hope your hypocrisy will be taken for hipness.
I have read NOW for 20 years, and I know it is two papers: a vacuous entertainment guide and a political/cultural insert. Only on the letters page is any connection made between the two. Never do the editors themselves appear.
Readers complain about the advertising, the reliably inane Upfront, the stridently trendy diction, the oblivious consumerholic columns. You make no response, and we see no change. There's only so much one can take. Your serious readers will leave, your serious writers will have no audience, and NOW will be the Buy & Sell of the bubble economy and skin-deep culture that is the worst of Toronto life. Is that, dear editors, what you've been working your whole lives toward?
Hi, NOW. I'm visiting from the UK. We have lots of arts-culture magazines over there, but I've found your publication to be among the better ones I've read! I like your articles, including Savage Love, as well as your concise club listings. I went out in search of some T.O. life with some friends on Friday, picked up a copy, saw one of your Canadian bands, the Flying Machine, and they were fantastic. Had a great night thanks to NOW.
Film fest foul-up
The Wendy-Banks-authored article says the Festival Of Italian Cinema (NOW, May 26-June 1) is Toronto's first-ever. This statement is incorrect. The Toronto Italian Film Festival, which opens June 8 at the Bloor Cinema, is now in its seventh year.
Publicist & President, that PR thing inc Toronto