RE Glenn Wheeler's report on postponing World Pride in Israel (NOW June 23-29).
Like Goebbels, who believed repeating a lie often enough would make it true, NOW's report on the postponement of World Pride continues to bleat the word "oppressor" in relation to Israel, despite Israel's concerted attempts to withdraw from the Occupied Territories and pursue peace negotiations with the Palestinian leadership.
It's like those dumb kids on South Park singing Blame Canada, when Canada is not to blame for right-wing America's oppression of queers.
Contrary to Wheeler's claim, Egypt, which is still being encouraged to adopt democracy, is noted, as are other Arab countries, for its jailing, flogging, lynching and persecution of homosexuals.
Sounds like NOW and others would like nothing better than another chance to bash Israel, which even Wheeler notes has better gay rights than anywhere in the Arab world, including family status and a current same-sex marriage challenge.
Canadian Liberal Rabbis for Same-Sex Marriage Toronto
I just read no pride in the Holy City and am so upset that I'm literally shaking. What began as an article about the gay community in Israel has once again been twisted and used to propagate your one-sided anti-Israel views.
For a country based on religious identity, Israel should be commended for even having a Pride Week. Instead, it's been labelled in the same way it always is by your magazine: the enemy. Please, I beg you - read your fucking history. Your magazine is beginning to read like fascist propaganda.
My boyfriend and I went to watch the Dyke March celebrating lesbian and bi-sexual women this past weekend. This was the first time I went to it with a male partner (I'm bisexual), and I was proud to be able to bring my current love.
When the parade was done, many spectators began to follow. I've had several personal relationships with women; one I was quite close to passed on recently. I suppose part of me wanted to follow the parade to remember her. However, what happened next disturbed me: two women, one with a video camera, came up to us, rudely informing us this was a "dyke parade and no men should participate."
How can the lesbian and gay communities gain support for their rights movement if they cannot even respect one another in the community?
Discovery will destroy Spit
Congrats on the great news in sight An Accidental Wilderness (NOW, June 23-29) and Tim Tiner's Chewing Up The Spit (NOW, June 23-29). A huge Discovery Centre on the Leslie Spit would destroy the base lands, which are a major stop on the migratory route of thousands of birds. Not mentioned was the fact that the proposed centre will charge an entrance fee. Thousands of birders, hikers, cyclists and rollerbladers use the Spit now for free. This is the feds' gift to Toronto?
RE Fabulous Foos (NOW, June 23-29). Since there is limited space allotted for concert reviews, is it too much to request that the reader not be obliged to suffer three paragraphs of the writer's puerile petulance over a radio station? I understand the extreme urgency that compels Evan Davies to assure his social circle that 102.1 The Edge is neither cool, alternative nor cutting-edge. But the publication for which Davies writes - albeit left of centre - is as bourgeois, commercial and circumspect as any of the mainsteam biggies. Let's have more info about the artist and the performance and less about the reviewer's angst.
This Fellows insightful
RE Paper Anniversary review by Chandler Levack (NOW, June 23-29). I'm frustrated by the insinuation that Christine Fellows writes like John K. Samson. Could it be that two artists can inspire and influence each other? Or that Samson's style and songs have evolved since knowing Fellows, and perhaps he writes like her?
I'm also baffled by the comment that Feet First "sounds so much like a Weakerthans track - voice inflections and all - you might be convinced John K. Samson was taking estrogen pills."
Other than the fact that both Fellows and Samson have an extraordinary gift for writing characters and stories within songs, there is little resemblance to a Weakerthans tune. I suggest the reviewer give Paper Anniversary another try.
Africa's capital idea
It becomes so tiresome listening to the rants from socialists like Naomi Klein who demonstrate a constant lack of knowledge surrounding fundamental economics (NOW, June 16-22). Constructive criticism of the detrimental side of capitalism could benefit all, but to continuously portray investors as evil, avaricious predators, and blame them for Africa's ills is most unfair and irresponsible. Without capital investment and the rewards that can be realized, governments, industry and people of every walk would find prosperity an even more difficult objective.
ExxonMobil doesn't just motor in and say, "Stand back, we're taking your oil." It's truly puzzling that the writer, describing the reasons behind the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, blames Western influence or interests and evades placing the blame firmly on the despotic Nigerian regime that reaps the rewards of the Nigeria's resources to the detriment of Nigeria's people.
The African human condition could benefit from natural resources and investments were it not for the evil that often goes by the title "president for life."
Refrain from trashing 48
Maybe it takes a crazy foreigner (in this case, Australian) to appreciate it, but I really enjoyed Train 48! (NOW, June 16-22).
"Train 48 is perhaps the most god-awful series ever produced"? Have you ever seen Metropia? It took me weeks to clean the barf from my trousers. Now that Train 48 has been pulled, I'm stuck with Everybody Wants To Stab Raymond and damned Friends to share my dinner with.
I enjoyed being able to watch something that was actually Canadian. I enjoyed the off-the-cuff humour, the corny subplots, the poking of fun at our ridiculous megacity commutes. Oh, and Paul Braunstein was just unbelievably funny. If only my torturous ride home from Markham each day were so entertaining!
I just have a quick question for letter-writer and Karla Homolka fan O.G. Pamp (NOW, June 16-22). Are you an idiot?
Rednecks, yes, but killers?
RE Death, lies and videotape (NOW, June 9-15). Maybe the Harris government was "a bunch of gun-lovin' rednecks," but it was the OPP who did the killing at Ipperwash.
Blue on Blue
Okay, I'm a union child - my father was union, my father's father was union, and so on. I get it. The point of unions is to provide better standards of employment for their members.
That being said, what if a company is giving better standards of employment to its workers? Has NOW not done any research before climbing on the ban-Blue bandwagon? (NOW, June 9-15).
The Blue Man group provides contracts that better the CAEA and IATSE standard minimums for pay and benefits. Any actor or technician working on that show is being treated incredibly well and will probably be able to ride that meal ticket for some time.
It seems to me that some unions are now harming their members more than helping. The only ones squawking here are the unions, because they don't get to carve out a percentage of their members' pay. The Blue Man Group should be applauded, not vilified by a bunch of pathetic whiners.
I was surprised to read such a glowing review of Freshwood (NOW, June 2-8). My own experience there was horrifying. I ordered the half-chicken dinner, which arrived undercooked. I asked the harried server to take it away. A few minutes later, I was shocked to see the chef stomping across the restaurant toward me. He proceeded to tear the chicken apart right in front of me while saying, "It's not undercooked." I was mortified.
What's with the Pepsi logo on the events listing page (NOW, June 16-22)? NOW has done such a great job reporting on ad creep in public spaces, but now a corporate logo is hovering over your most grassroots community page! Is this something we should expect weekly, or was it a one-time experiment/mistake?
Toronto Public Space Committee
Idle chatter on this hotline
Last week I was leaving messages on the city's idling hotline number (NOW, June 16-22). I had been calling in the licence plates of idlers, but suddenly the mailbox became full and has remained that way for a week now. It's making me wonder if the city is even bothering to check the messages. Is it all a big scam? Perhaps.
I was on College Street during the Little Italy fest. The roads were blocked off. In the middle was a white city of Toronto pickup truck, with a couple of flashing lights on the roof. And it was idling. Nobody was even in the truck. I stared at it in disbelief for a while, then finally got up the guts to walk over to a guy wearing a city of Toronto uniform.
I asked him if there was anything that could be done about the truck, as I know there are people who enforce an anti-idling by-law. His response? "Yah, I'm one of the guys who enforces the bylaw." I said, "Um, well, that's ironic, isn't it?" He just stared at me blankly, not understanding my point. I continued: "Could the engine be turned off?" He replied: "Oh, uh, no. We're clearing the street." I'm not even sure what he meant by that. Perhaps he meant that he was clearing the street by gassing people to death.
In any case, I told him about my problem with the idling hotline and I asked whether people are actually sent out warning letters. He was like: "Huh? I don't know anything about letters."
Then, in front of my condo at Richmond and Sherbourne, a woman sat in the passenger seat of an SUV with the engine running. Her sunroof was open, so I called out: "Um, excuse me. There's a bylaw against idling. She rolled her eyes, gave me a nasty look and turned her head the other way. It made me sick to my stomach.