Shiny, happy NDPers
I applaud you for your excellent article on Jim Harris of the Green party (NOW, January 19-25), but I was totally dismayed by the accompanying chart comparing the Greens' environmental policies with those of the NDP.
It's fair to say that both parties are worthy of votes from environmentally inclined people, but I suppose this kind of electioneering is what I should expect from a paper that puts a former NDP candidate on the front cover, wearing a shiny orange Layton button.
By the time this is printed, the election will finally be over. But I must say, after all is said and done, that I found NOW's, and a whole host of other progressive publications' bashing of the Green party very disappointing. Although I share a great many of the NDP's values, I do not agree with attacking the Green party simply because it represents a rival for progressive votes. I don't blame the NDP for this. I blame their many (supposedly) progressive cheerleaders and activists, who continuously argue against strategic voting but then hypocritically (and strategically) bash the Greens in order to ensure more votes.
The Coalition for Women's Equality suggested that the Green party platform was the most socially progressive, while the Sierra Club rated its platform on environmental issues similarly ahead of the rest.
Why? I think it was because the Green party didn't simply make wild promises in these areas. Instead, its platform indicated specific ways (with specific dollar values attached) to deal with the issues.
Deal Grits wouldn't pass up
What if the Greens had promoted this idea to the Liberals: that the Liberal party promise to implement proportional representation in return for the Green vote this time around?
David D. Taylor
Why we need rep by pop
Alice Klein urges fellow NDP supporters living in the 905 area to vote Liberal (NOW, January 19-25). I can think of no better illustration of why Canada needs to follow the lead of many other countries by adopting a system of proportional representation to eliminate strategic voting and produce a more fair and honest result for all.
Sickened by CBC's Grit attack
I have been really sickened by the CBC's reporting on Conservative and NDP accusations of Liberal corruption.
Paul Martin was put in an impossible position. If he says nothing, his silence is taken as an admission of guilt. If he speaks up, the Conservatives and NDP accuse him of cover-up and denial. Are there some crooked politicians in the Liberal party? Probably. Does that mean that all Liberal cabinet ministers are crooked? Emphatically, no! Are all Conservative party members squeaky-clean? Excuse me while I try to stop laughing.
May Karla fade to black
The movie Karla is in theatres (NOW, January 19-25), the horrible tales of her crimes portrayed in a Hollywood form. We must encourage people to let this movie go bust, let it die, let it go unnoticed.
It saddens me to think that this film exploits the lives of the victims, causes further distress to the victims' families and glorifies the legends of murderers Karla Homolka and Paul Bernardo.
To re-enact the tortures of such innocent people when the wounds are still so fresh is simply inhumane. We need to show people around the country that a decade and a half later, we still support the victims. To the French and Mahaffy families: may you always have the strength to see the beauty in the world.
Robin Williams masterful
Re Rockin' Robin (NOW, January 19-25). I just wanted to add that Robin Williams also did a surprise spot at the Rivoli's ALT.COMedy show on January 16. Other celebrity comedians made surprise appearances, including Sean Cullen and Lewis Black. We (the audience) had no idea what we were in for that night. It was totally surreal. Not only were all the celebrity comedians hilarious, but the way the scheduled comics handled unexpectedly following a star like Williams was masterful: "Hey, why aren't there as many cameras going off any more?"
Loner missed in Oasis hoopla
When Robin Williams dropped into The Loner Show to do a set, I thought it might draw some much-deserved attention to the Oasis, one of Toronto's most innovative comedy rooms. Instead, I read that the crowd was "expecting a local amateur hour."
They were there to see Brian Barlow's Loner Show, which recently toured New York, where it received a critic's pick from Time Out New York.
If NOW has too few reviewers to cover Toronto's growing alternative comedy scene, could you please ask someone from your music section to come check it out.
I've noticed that your music writers mention Wavelength even if Rod Stewart doesn't stop in to do a set.
Spaghetti review in knots
Re Old Tired Spaghetti (NOW, January 12-18). Brilliant! That is what Graham Duncan's article is. What a clever way to write this review. I have to admit I had to read it twice before I got it. It evoked the exact feeling I had the last time I visited this eatery, albeit many years ago. Thanks for providing some humour and emotion among the (accurate) details of the fare.
Drug message in a bottle
Kyle Rae, who spearheaded approval of the Toronto drug strategy, seems to think it's okay to give away methadone like cough medicine (NOW, January 12-18). "It [methadone] is syrup in a little plastic bottle. No one's injecting." Toronto has no zoning controls for distribution of free crack pipes, free needles, free methadone.
Anywhere you have a drug store, you can have a methadone dispensary. Give out drugs, but don't bother with counselling. Is that Toronto's idea of treatment? What drugs will the city want to give away next? Life in the east downtown will soon become even more of a combat zone, thanks to Toronto's half-baked drug strategy.
Miracle feels like trickery
In response to Anne Pelgrims's letter in defence of "miracle healer" Douglas James Cottrell (NOW, January 12-18). I queued for Cottrell's hands-on treatment recently at the health show. I asked an elderly lady who had fallen backwards from his touch what she thought.
She said, "When you're pushed, you fall." However, I was surprised a small touch could cause a fall. When it was my turn, I understood. It easily explains the visual trickery involved in these "miracle" touch sessions.
Strip bar romantic a crank
When I finished reading Anthony Milne's twisted version of Romeo And Juliet (NOW, January 12-18), I thought it must be a put-on. If not, it's the most gauche, self-centred and maudlin piece of sex talk I've ever stumbled upon.
Milne is horny, so he follows his friends' advice and pops into Aladdin's Lamp. There he meets "dancer" Yasmin, who falls for him in 30 seconds flat, offering to see him Sunday for a good, hopefully free, fuck. He pays to dally with her for a while, wondering whether she got wet, but sadly not allowed to touch her down there. House rules. There's nothing so moving as a tender cash-bar romance.
Prostitution critics no prudes
Re Home Sweet Hooker (NOW, January 5-11). I'm getting tired of NOW's glorification of prostitution, one-night stands and porn. Does Alan Young see "weeks of expensive courtship with fine dining and false promises" as the only alternative to prostitution?
Could there be correlations between public and domestic violence, capitalism, superficiality, the sex craze, STDs and prostitution?
Please address such questions instead of lumping prostitution critics into an uptight, prudish, Viagra-dependent category.
I'm not sure exactly what Peter McCamus did to warrant letter-writer Daphne Saint (NOW, January 12-18) calling him an "asshole." I share his view that Brokeback Mountain has a narrative that queer people have seen over and over.
McCamus was attempting to articulate a desire for something that moved beyond the usual tragic story. I see nothing wrong with his airing his opinion, even if he did spoil the plot for Saint and others who may not yet have seen the movie.