Yee-Guan Wong's piece on radio's apparent systemic neglect of new Canadian artists uses Ron Sexsmith as an example of someone who has "almost zero radio presence, except for CBC" (NOW, June 16-22).
Gregg Terrence of the indie recording lobby CIRAA says in the article that if stations play "Sarah McLachlan or Barenaked Ladies or Shania Twain, you get the same CanCon credit as playing Ron Sexsmith, so why the hell are you gonna play Ron Sexsmith?"
Wong and Terrence should do their homework. Last year, Sexsmith's Whatever It Takes was one of the most heavily played Canadian tunes on adult contemporary radio.
Believe it or not, we radio programmers playlist the music we do - new, old, Canadian or otherwise - because we think it will entertain our listeners.
Classical 96.3 FM, Toronto
Train 48 rides coach
I think I can answer the question that eludes John Ortved about Train 48 and how such a flimsy production got on the air and stayed there this long (NOW, June 16-22).
Canadian television stations are required to provide a minimum of content produced locally before showing all those U.S. programs that bring in the big advertising dollars. Global Television made the cynical move to fulfill its Canadian content requirements by using the Train 48 premise - cheap talent, incessant showings - and tried to feign sincerity by promoting the show as if it thought it would work.
Everyone in broadcasting saw the show for what it was, a cheap way to get around content requirements, and another example of the lack of integrity at CanWest.
There you go, mystery solved.
Careful with that pee, Avril
Interesting article on women peeing outdoors (NOW, June 16-22). When I first saw it, I thought, "Gee, Toronto sure is a world-class city." But then, when I saw the Rogers ad with Avril Lavigne squatting against a wall, I thought, "I sure hope she read Diane Kucharska's article!"
Cry the beloved boycott
I wanted to add a corollary to Naomi Klein's succinct article Keeping Africa Poor (NOW, June 16-22). Although Africa is being kept poor by the repatriation of profits by transnational corporations, we all share a responsibility in this tragedy by our support for these companies.
For things to change, we must all begin to ask questions about which companies we choose to support. It is our responsibility as consumers to be aware of the impact our consumerism has on others.
As for the argument that boycotting such companies will be worse for developing countries, that is no justification for exploitation. Changing consumer demand can have an ethical effect on corporate practices.
Billy Corgan got your goat
I am very disappointed in NOW for [publishing] poorly written reviews of Billy Corgan's latest effort (NOW, June 16-22). You dissed his poetry, citing [The Future Embrace] as one of the worst musical disappointments of 2005. Well, it should have been in the literary category. I love his poems and admire any artist who can master both words and music.
If you are a fan of Corgan's, justification of his talents is not needed. We stand by our man's creative processes. We love him for his words, his soothing voice, godly hands and, yes, oh god, his shiny head!
I've been dealing with envious boys like Tim Perlich for years. You're probably the type who gives rave reviews to Bright Eyes and Geddy Lee.
When I saw my style this week (NOW, June 16-22), I could only come up with one, single perfectly descriptive word for Philip Barbosa. EXXXXTREEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMME!!!!!!! Cheers, NOW
Israel ready to sacrifice
As one of the 3,000 marchers in the May 29 Walk With Israel (NOW, June 2-8), I take issue with the report on the event by Daniel Freeman-Maloy. Almost every ethnic and minority group in our gloriously multicultural city has its day to express pride in its culture through parades, music, food, games for children and speeches by community members and politicians. Is there something illegitimate about Jews taking part in this type of civic ritual by expressing our pride in and support for the people of Israel?
There are a wide variety of political viewpoints within the Jewish community on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Among the marchers waving Israeli flags that day were people who advocate holding onto all the territories at any cost, and those who, like myself, support the creation of a Palestinian state on territories occupied since 1967. All are patriots.
It's unfortunate that some of the marchers were unpleasant to the protestors from the Jewish Women's Committee to End the Occupation. Passions run high on both sides of this emotional issue. But "a half-dozen" rotten apples out of a march of 3,000 is not too bad. An Israel that feels that the world accepts its existence will gain the confidence necessary to make the compromises and sacrifices required of it.
Rabbi Ed Elkin
First Narayever Congregation
Sucker for Karla
Media hysteria aside, letter writer O.G. Pamp's ludicrous, if not stupid, comments (NOW, June 16-22) need to be addressed.
Karla Homolka is being demonized because she's different? Um, no, she's being demonized because she laughingly participated in the rape and murder of two schoolgirls, and drugged her own sister and offered the unconscious 15-year-old to her husband as a Christmas gift.
Homolka is almost a free woman not because she's innocent of heinous crimes, but because she used the "superior intelligence" Pamp admires so much to successfully sell herself as a battered innocent.
It's probably true that Homolka didn't directly murder anyone, but she was probably on her knees sucking her husband's penus while he murdered their victims. You know, Pamp, she really is different, isn't she?
One for all, all for CUPE
RE High-wire spat (NOW, june 16-22). Another interesting story about CUPE 1 concerns its Ontario Electricity Coalition (www. electricitycoalition. org), currently fighting deregulation in the electicity industry. CUPE keeps on claiming it's a coalition of social justice groups as well as power workers, when if fact the only active members are CUPE 1 and a smattering of NDP hacks. It looks like the policies of the "coalition" are not to benefit citizens but to benefit CUPE 1.
Don't buy No Frills threats
Sherel Purcell's article on civil recovery (NOW, June 9-15) raises an important social justice issue, but I'm afraid it may leave people with the erroneous impression that she only got out of paying the $500 demand because she complained and No Frill's indulged her.
Retailers virtually never sue to recover their civil recovery demands. That was the basis of the Zellers decision in Manitoba to which Purcell refers.
If you steal, you are subject to a range of sanctions under the law, but a demand letter is just a letter unless and until a judge (or justice of the peace) agrees with the demand. I advise my paying customers to throw these letters in the wastebasket and forget about them.
Raymond W. Li
A million times more smog
Thanks for the coverage of the smog problem (NOW, June 9-15). Has anyone mentioned the impact 1 million more people moving to our city in the next 10 years will have? If we want to change, we'd better do it fast. We must set a better example and do it now. It's up to all of us.
Blood on bike lanes
I reside just around the corner from Horner Avenue, where the Paskus boy was recently killed by a truck while riding his bike (NOW, June 16-22).
Going east on Horner, the possibility of a bike lane, even if you remove the city's trees, is remote. The volume of truck traffic makes it impossible.
When I first arrived in Canada 50 years ago, I tried to get real bike lanes installed on Horner. I even went before the Ontario Municipal Board. In any event, a white line drawn on the road isn't going to be of any use in this hell-for-leather attitude of today, where the motto seems to be "If you won't let me through I'll go straight ahead, and damn the rest of you."
Joseph William Lea
Cops in polyester
Steven Davey continues his hip ster-vernacular reign of error. Hastings Snack Bar (NOW, June 9-15) could not possibly host a "clientele... of the boys and girls in blue serge from nearby 7 Division" because Toronto police uniforms are black (a fact covered by your newspaper). Nor are the uniforms made of serge; they look like cotton/polyester to me.
Blue Man not bad guys here
RE Earth to blue man (NOW, June 9- 15). The Blue Man Group opened last night - a big, amazing show in a big, amazing city. I don't understand, and neither does my mother, the unions' opposition to the show. We both think tourism will go up, other shows might start coming (a Cirque Tent?!), and maybe the arts in Toronto can finally put SARS and 9/11 in the past and once again be seen as the third-greatest theatre centre in the world.
You don't see that future, do you, unions? Equity's Susan Wallace says Blue Man is infiltrating Toronto's "tight-knit community." What's the problem? Aren't the arts about new work, new voices, different voices? Or should the unions dictate culture?
Susan, my friend, you are saying to the world not to come to Toronto because we like to make life difficult; go to Chicago instead. Pick your battles, unions. A war is a great economy booster, but Toronto looks like the bad guy here, not the Blue Man Group.
Côte D'Azur's cracked act
I went to see côte d'azur (NOW, May 26-June 1) recently. I think I'll ask for my money back. What went into your reviewer's decision to rate it NNN?