What is it that makes film critics want to bend over and present to violent and misogynist filmmakers like Sam Peckinpah (NOW, March 16-22)? Do they secretly need to feel like Dustin Hoffman's character in Straw Dogs, an intellectual who needs to murder those who break his glasses to feel like a man?
Sure, Peckinpah was talented and personally tortured. But he didn't make "anti-war" movies or "movies for grown-ups," as Andrew Dowler says. He made dark fantasies of male rage, celebrated Nazis and cruelty, and went further in eroticizing rape than anyone before him.
He's the godfather to 30 years of blood-soaked cinema and the cruel pleasures of what has been called "carnography."
So Stephen Harper has officially declared that the time for debating Canada's presence in Afghanistan is over (NOW, March 16-22). I have the utmost respect for our soldiers, but don't we owe it to them to have a legitimate debate on the issue to ensure they're there for the right reasons?
Years into the mission, the government has completely lost sight of why we went in the first place and has become more concerned with saving face.
Now that we're being told Canada might be in Afghanistan upwards of 10 years, there's never been a more important time for debating the issue.
This idea of giving the government unquestioned support for war is dangerously close to the backwards mentality of the U.S.
A steal for arms dealers
Sending our soldiers to die in Afghanistan is not just insane, it's criminal. Harper's propaganda visit was nothing but a nod to the Luciferian globalist weapon barons. It looks like our world has gone mad indeed.
Afghanistan our Iraq?
Whether Parliament debates our mission in Afghanistan or not, questions should be asked.
Will Afghanistan turn out to be our Iraq? Is the projected $2 billion cost worth it? Why are the media pushing this unwinnable war?
Thank god you savvy folks at NOW decided to take the safe road and review films like The Shaggy Dog and Failure To Launch (NOW, March 9-15) instead of the world premiere of Canadian Andrew Palkovic's latest brave and independent release, Keck's Wooden Heart, which features sound and scoring by Toronto's own Taylor Kirk. You wouldn't want to give people the idea that you actually know what's going on in this city. Lord forbid you actually did some research.
Re Is Drake Gentrifying 'hood or Am I? (NOW, March 16-22). Lisa Foad welcomes Starbucks into her neighbourhood, but she should know that the company sponsors cruel rodeo events here in the U.S.. Starbucks is all over the map on why. No wonder Starbucks has an "unsatisfactory" rating with the Better Business Bureau. BuckStarbucks.com has more information.
Mt. Morris, Michigan
Half-round the bend
I've worked for the NDP for many, many years. However, I cannot understand why Councillor Paula Fletcher and other lefties on council are not doing more to stop Bridgepoint's mega-development (NOW, March 16-22).
None of us want to lose the half-round, a landmark in the Riverdale area. We don't want to lose part of Riverdale Park and more than a hundred mature trees simply for the sake of a major development.
Why are we giving away parkland to private developers? Why do we need another major condo development? There are a million questions about this deal, which has a stink about it that will stain everyone who supports it.
I wish to express my disgust at the motion tabled by trustee Scott Harrison to rename Black History Month Heritage Month (NOW, March 16-22). It is unconscionable that a trustee of a school board that has failed black students in a multitude of ways would even think of putting forth such a motion.
No intelligent person is convinced by the feeble rationale that renaming the month makes it more inclusive. If anything, the tabling of this motion is another sign of pervasive systemic racism in our schools.
The black community, already marginalized and stigmatized, is being made more vulnerable by ignorant board members who wish to trample what little dignity the community has managed to maintain.
No apology for slavery
It would be surprising if there hadn't been some Jews involved in the slave trade, given how pervasive it was, but I don't buy letter-writer Vernon Medas's view (NOW, March 16-22) that an apology from the Canadian Jewish Congress is called for. History is more complicated and interesting than he describes it. There were Jews who were sold into slavery, as well as Jews who owned slaves. The New Yorker reported in the 1930s on a synagogue in Harlem founded by the children of slaves; they said they were descendants of Ethiopian Jews who had been brought to the United States and had kept their religion alive in secret until after Reconstruction.
And, of course, there were Africans involved on the other side of the slave trade, capturing and selling to Europeans the men and women of other tribes, kings waging war on their neighbours to feed the demands of global commerce.
Should anyone apologize?
Whatever Jewish involvement there was in the slave trade was purely individual. There's no collective responsibility there.
Letter-writer Michael Robert (NOW, March 16-22) takes exception to NOW's slag of the over-the-top funeral for police charge Brigadier. He'll have you know that the horse died as "a serving member of the Toronto Police Services." The difference between Brigadier and the vast majority of police personnel, especially those with two legs, is that they are there by choice. Despite the enhanced benefits and pension package, I doubt that Brigadier signed on the dotted line.
Electricity making us sick
Great article on the effects of Wi-Fi (NOW, March 9-15). It's unfortunate that so many people are affected by this. And the list is growing, but who's counting? Obviously not Health Canada.
Toronto Hydro has been aware of the potential related health effects for a long time. Hydro conducted tests in my home in the mid-1990s. My naturopath suspected that EMFs (electro-magnetic fields) were making me ill. Hydro found some hot spots, but said they should not cause a problem. The readings were very high in places, so I moved some furniture and made some wiring changes.
There is a lot of dirty power in the ground in some parts of Toronto, and EMFs sneak into our homes through water and gas pipes. I've measured them.
I noticed that the page opposite your article and the one behind it had ads for cellphones. Sweet!
Wonder where my bar went
I enjoyed your Bar & Pub Guide (NOW, March 9-15) but was left wondering as always, dude, where's my bar?
Do your critics ever actually leave the office, or just order in from Pizza Pizza and Google toronto.com for reviews they can plagiarize as their own?
My beloved little local is Ciro's, on the northwest corner of Lansdowne and Bloor. Okay, so it doesn't have the cachet of College or the Annex, but that's part of the charm.
How many other spots in your guide can offer more than 130 types of bottled beer, two brands of absinthe, a great selection of Scotches and a wide and varied menu listing everything from killer burgers (better then Dangerous Dan's) to lamb shank, all in the $7 range? Well? This undiscovered gem needs to be discovered.
Vexed in Victoria
Re Fresh Wind From The West (NOW, March 2 - 8). Thank you so much for the four Ns for our show Trip-In at Susan Hobbs Gallery. But you need to add another N for NOT! This fresh wind is from Victoria, not Vancouver. You easterners need a geography lesson and a lesson in Canadian art. The map doesn't end at Vancouver. It's all happening in Victoria!