This Sweet Deal no steal
Oh, NOW, I'm disappointed. Did you actually take time to research the places you listed in your Cheap T.O. issue under Sweet Deals (NOW, September 15-21)? Is 69 Vintage a place for those with poor pockets? Sure, the little cash I do have can definitely be spent on a Mickey and Minnie Mouse shirt from the 80s priced at $45. They have an amazing selection, there's no doubt about that, but their prices are definitely not for those with little cash to spare!
Frosh and flabbergasted
Do as NOW says, not as NOW does. Your page 22 News Insight, Frosh Bag Of Tricks (NOW, September 15-21), encourages our university student unions to include "a few more goodies pumping conscious consumerism" in their frosh kits.
You ask, "Which university's grab bag for impressionable first-year students is the most socially responsible?"
Thankfully, you created your own bag of tricks on pages 56 and 57, 100 Cool Things For A Buck.
Frankly, I like your paper, and the diversity of views is welcome. But I need to pick on you for this one.
Bono rocks our world
Jason Richards's claim that "Bono is full of shit" (NOW, September 15-21) is one of the most ridiculous statements to come from NOW in some time.
By no means am I taking issue with the author's rating of the show. However, it's becoming increasingly predictable for this publication to rip into anything or anybody that has success, money or God attached to it.
Clearly, NOW represents and takes sides with the hardworking people (whom I also applaud) who stand behind the barricades, handkerchief over mouth and rock in hand, fighting for justice.
Why criticize a man who has taken the time to get inside the building we're throwing rocks at and is working hard to educate those in power about what's at stake?
I ask, where's the shit in someone who not only tirelessly lends his celebrity to causes, but has clearly shown he understands the issues at hand?
All the [issues he] promotes are deeply rooted in the grassroots movements NOW promotes so well. Sometimes some of us just need to take our heads out of our left-leaning asses.
It is clearly too easy to become narrow-minded.
Doing Moore for CBC
Michael Moore requested that the broadcast of his documentary Bowling for Columbine be delayed until the CBC lockout is over. Too bad Steven Davey wasn't as sensitive when he decided to add Moore's doc to his list of what to watch on TV. Someone should tell him there are 5,500 of us locked out from our jobs and livelihoods.
Google like it's 1999
I always enjoy NOW's technology column, whose advice is always up to the minute - for 1999. We're told in Research Search (NOW, September 15-21) that the "the chances of Googling up articles that actually enhance your own understanding... are pretty slim." Not if you use Google Scholar (located, predictably, at http://scholar.google.com).
Downsview Park riddle
Riddle: What's black and white and green all over? Answer: Downsview Park (NOW, September 15-21). It was a black hole in the urban fabric 50 years ago as a military base off limits to the public. Now it's a white elephant, when what we really need it to be is a green lung for the city.
Katrina's nuke dividend
Why is Bush smiling? Because he's just witnessed a major test of America's ability to withstand a catastrophic event at the cost of a few poor people. Yes, Katrina (NOW, September 15-21) has showed up FEMA's faults, but the destruction of New Orleans has given the Bush administration valuable insights into its ability to control, or not control, urban breakdown and see how well key sites like nuclear facilities survive. A good test for the next New York 9/11. The boost for the Texas oil industry is just a nice dividend.
Why pick up tab for U.S.?
As a health care professional (I am a registered nurse who recently returned from New Orleans with a group of colleagues on a trip that was funded out of pocket), I would like to say how appalled I am that we should have to fund aid missions to the richest country on earth just because its government refuses to enact policies that care for the under-privileged. It's disgusting that that government prefers to spend all its resources waging profiteering wars in other countries.
Out of Africa
Where has my Planet gone? I've been an avid film-festival-goer until this year, when the Toronto Internation Film Festival cut a vital section: Planet Africa, a program devoted to African movies that would otherwise not make it to the theatres in our great city! It leaves me wondering if my planet still exists, or does it mean that people of African descent have nothing productive to offer?
Arwen J. Light
Harkness in Venice a laugh
I just had to write about John Harkness's adventures at the film festival in Venice (NOW online). His reviews are good, but his sense of humour is fantastic.
It makes me want to book tickets for the 2006 festival just to experience it for myself. I hope his ankle gets better.
But I do wonder about where he's eating. The food we ate in Venice was really good. Tell him if he takes me next year I'll guarantee not one bad meal!
Keep up the good work.
Parton sings songs for peace
I attended the Dolly Parton concert and was surprised that your reviewer (NOW, September 8-14) missed Parton's strong anti-war theme. Her choice of songs included Blowin' In The Wind and Where Have All The Flowers Gone? She had a large peace symbol on her guitar. And she closed the concert with a stirring version of John Lennon's Imagine.
I found it heartening that a mainstream performer of Parton's calibre has the courage to take a stand against her country's evil war, especially in view of the furor that followed the Dixie Chicks controversy .
Lefties hold up trash charge
David Soknacki, will you marry me? I'm serious. We'll live together in "a great wide world" where we pay for garbage bags we put out on the curb for collection (NOW, September 8-14). We both know they're "financially sustainable" and accomplish "environmental goals." Then why, Councillor Soknacki asks, is council reluctant to implement such a system?
The folks on the right are easy to understand. No new or more taxes. It's those on the left who mystify.
The reluctance of other lefties on council is due to the myth that low-income (read NDP-voting) families are larger and would suffer more under a fee based system. Not so in Canada, where lower-income families are smaller in size. No more excuses!
Nothing fresh about Fresh
Letter-writer Mike Chesney complains that Fresh wasn't included in the top 25 vegetarian restaurants (NOW, August 18-24). Perhaps that's because there's nothing fresh about Fresh.
Its food is overpriced and for the most part mediocre. If you ask me, Fresh is like the McDonald's of vegetarian food. Just because it has name recognition doesn't mean it's good.
This is just a note to say that I enjoy doing your crossword puzzle every week. Please continue publishing it!
Last week's three-page spread of Film Festival stars was missing a photo credit. The shots were taken by Kathryn Gaitens.