I had to check your top 25 vegetarian review list twice (NOW, August 11-17) just to make sure I was reading a current issue. I scanned the list looking for Fresh, which your readers have voted Toronto's number-one veg restaurant for the last how many years? But it wasn't included. This oversight is like listing the top alternative newspapers and not including NOW Magazine. You are either getting old or tired.
Where to find green eats
Thank you for your excellent Veg Out issue. Indeed, this is a "delicious time to be a vegetarian." However, nothing was mentioned about the backbone of our vegetarian community: the Toronto Vegetarian Association. It's got a free Vegetarian Food Fair coming up September 9-11 at Harbourfront Centre, and its 60th-anniversary gala dinner in October. There's also a complete list of 67 vegetarian restaurants and cafés in the GTA on its website (www.veg.ca) that your readers may find useful.
So, this is freedom?
RE Alan Young's Internet bombshell (NOW, August 11-17). Does the principle of free speech apply to all situations everywhere at all times? I think there is a higher principle that supercedes free speech: the social good. In order to live peacefully and safely in civilized society, each of us needs to move beyond our narcissistic, self-centred point of view and take responsibility for how our actions affect everybody else.
Clearly, using one's freedom of speech on the Internet to promote criminal and violent behaviour is not in the best interest of our neighbours.
A mayor in colour only
To quote Don Wanagas, "many... say (Michael Thompson's) ultimate goal is to become Toronto's first black mayor." Shame on you. Maybe his goal is just to become mayor.
Gas guzzlers pave the way
Now, now, now. Why get your panties in a knot over Margaret Wente's desire to drive her SUV (NOW, August 11-17).
Think of the positives. If she's willing to spend $3 a litre on gas, opportunities abound. With more targeted taxes for Marg and others who insist on gas guzzlers, public transit could have a field day.
Let the "mavens of motor madness" pave the way for a smog-free city.
After reading Cash 'n' shaft: Critics Fret Over Whether Province Can Tame Wild West Payday Loaners (NOW, August 4-10), some people might see borrowers from Money Mart and other high-interest lenders as irresponsible. What is needed is better government regulation of loan companies and more disclosure of who is operating them.
Quebec City, Quebec
False eco advertising
I am currently living in Japan but still read NOW online every week. The recent Upfront items about the Honda Accord and the Hummer (NOW, August 4-10) reminded me of the use of eco terminology to falsely create a sense of environmental (and economic) worth. These items say a lot about our decided lack of commitment to a firm set of values we supposedly promote.
Pinched far from home
I realize there are a number of extremely interesting and complex legal issues surrounding Marc Emery's arrest (NOW, August 4-10). But I actually have a question of a more practical nature. Why was Emery detained in Halifax and not in Vancouver, where he lives? Was this just a coincidence, or did some law enforcement agency make the decision that it should occur when he was furthest from home?
What DEA's got to say
U.S. drug enforcement administration spokesperson Karen Tandy states that Marc Emery's arrest "is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement. "Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery's illicit profits are known to have been channelled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on." This sounds like political persecution to me.
Hats off to Hillside
Hats off to the organizers of the 2005 Guelph Hillside Festival (NOW, July 28-August 3). While the lineup alone was enough to make any music lover wet with anticipation, the organizers and many volunteers deserve heaps of praise for a seemingly flawless event.
Meaty, beaty, big and biased
As a meat eater, I found last week's Ecoholic article (NOW, August 11-18) incredibly one-sided.
First of all, eating the right kind of meat is not all that bad. The Naked Butcher is just one of the places a Torontonian can find locally raised organic meat. Secondly, it's silly for your questioner to want to change her boyfriend's eating habits in such a huge way.
You don't find very many meat-eaters ragging on vegetarians, so why should it be okay for veggies to do it to meatheads? Just because vegetarianism is fashionable does not mean it's for everyone.
Pepsi logo loco
Your article Pop Goes the City (NOW, July 28-August 3) slams Pepsi for its franchise deal with the city, but then just nine pages later (without the least bit of irony, I might add), your paper happily carries a Pepsi ad and also a large Pepsi logo right smack dab in the middle of the page.
So, what gives? One hand is slapping theirs, whilst the other takes their money? I'm confused.
Comparing and equating Canada's role in Afghanistan to the Americans' venture in Iraq (NOW, July 28-August 3) shows a complete lack of understanding of the situation. The overthrow of the Taliban is a response by many, many countries to a situation that has been going on for many years.
The American situation in Iraq is their own doing; they don't even know why they're there now, but it's their business.
Afghanistan is our business. It's time for this country and its media to grow the fuck up.
It's time to stop being such thankless whiners and take care of our own affairs.
Potter poetry in motion
I saw the wonderful film Yes by Sally Potter. I almost didn't see it, because of your review (NOW, July 21-27).
So I write to recommend that the reviewer go again, because she missed so much. Its real magic is that Potter used so many tools of the filmmaker to tell the story.
What are the tools of filmmaking?
I think maybe your reviewer has forgotten. I found the scene of the husband playing the guitar excruciatingly painful but a wonderful visual way to articulate his pain, helplessness and longing. The reviewer was uncomfortable with the iambic pentameter, and I must admit I was concerned about it myself.
At first it was awkward, reminding me of those initial minutes in a play before you suspend your disbelief and the players are still actors, before they become their characters. But then the language becomes poetry.
Gag me with smog
Regarding your articles on smoggy T.O. (NOW, July 21-27).
NOW offered extensive reportage on issues the mainstream media refuse to address. But what NOW proposes as alternatives are only band-aid solutions when what we need is major surgery. The mayor, in his responses (NOW, July 28-August 3), in turn offers a lot of hot and smoggy air.
In other words, where there is no leadership there is no change. So we shut up and put up with choking to death.
The images in the NOW Connections section of your paper depict five straight couples behaving amorously, a pair of women who could be best friends, but no male couple. A picture is worth a thousand words. Why does NOW condone such blatant exclusion?