Thank you for giving Ghostface the props he deserves with 5 Ns (NOW, April 13-19). Fishscale is a worthy demonstration of his supremacy. However, while I greatly enjoyed your review, I feel the claim that Fishscale is Ghostface's best recording is a slight overstatement. Have another listen to Supreme Clientele. Fishscale's sloppily misplaced Notorious B.I.G. cut, the commercial Ne-Yo and Megan Rochell collabos, are enough to make this easily his best work. Nevertheless, it's great to see a true street poet getting his due.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Bike lane drain
In an otherwise useful article on the difficulties of commuting by bike to City Hall (NOW, April 13-19), Paul Terefenko misses the point. In his journey from Toronto East General Hospital to the Bloor Viaduct, instead of his suggestion, which involves a few potentially awkward left turns, why not start north two blocks on Cosburn, where there's a bike lane all the way to Broadview?
It's slightly longer, but safer. And the trip south on Broadview isn't problematic as long as you're careful with the occasional bus and drivers turning right at Pottery Road.
Norman Pierre's Love and Sex article on using the sale of his bike on Craigslist.org as an opportunity to pick up women (NOW, April 13-19) smacks of creepiness despite the author's pseudo-intellectual hipster guise.
The sulky tantrum thrown when one woman failed to show (she probably sensed the author's ulterior motive) reveals an immaturity or desperation that may account for why he needs to resort to this kind of cruising in the first place.
Why, I ask you, in this day and age, can a woman not simply conduct a transaction as seemingly straightforward as buying a used bike without being subjected to the once-over?
As a user of Craigslist, I found the article a sobering reminder to be careful when responding to or placing an ad.
Asleep at the crime scene
The legal and medical community and the general public do not need another sensationalistic article about sleep-related crime (NOW, April 13-19). Frankly, I expect more from an academic like Alan Young than simply relying on widespread misconceptions and oversimplifications. The medical understanding of sleep may be "underdeveloped and confused," but there have been some advances.
For example, sleepwalking is not caused by sleep deprivation, as Young implies repeatedly. Though I have never studied law, it seems to me that the problem with (sleeping) rapists who are acquitted lies with our culture's ideas and attitudes about personal responsibility and accountability especially when it comes to men who commit violence against women.
So let's get it straight, Mr. Young: A man who walks while he is sleeping is a sleepwalker. And a man who rapes while asleep is a sleeping rapist. The solution to any one of these problems is going to require that people start to think less carelessly about them.
OCAP's mindless rabble
Re Poor storm the gates of Rosedale (NOW, April 13-19). Mike Smith attempts to cast the parade of OCAP protestors who marched through Rosedale as a kind of peasant uprising in feudal England. Unfortunately, this poetic spin on the situation is inflammatory and irresponsible. The people living in Rosedale don't deserve to feel "lucky no one brought a battering ram" any more than one of Toronto's most historically treasured neighbourhoods is "asking for a mob every now and then."
I am not a millionaire, nor do I live in Rosedale, but I empathize with anyone who has to put up with OCAP's ill-conceived publicity stunts. No one deserves to have a thug like OCAP organizer John Clarke barking through a megaphone on his or her front lawn at night. It's always a shame when critical analysis and insightful journalism are abandoned for thoughtless rabble-rousing. Thanks for nothing.
This was a great half-page on OCAP's Rosedale march. It's great to know that we protestors got your attention. It was my first medieval experience.
I don't know why people get their feathers ruffled thinking OCAP marchers are going to get so angry they will end up getting arrested.
I had no idea that Dalton McGuinty was going to be burned in effigy, or that some protestors would throw their signs in to keep the fire burning. But Toronto's finest had a fire extinguisher handy, and that was the end of that!
Glenn Sumi writes that the trailers for Mission: Impossible III are "pretty fucking terrific" (NOW, April 13-19). I never thought NOW Magazine would be praising Tom Cruise's acting.
Letter-writer Anthony Banks (NOW, April 13-19) asks, "How did [NOW's] editorial department come to determine that Loney's homosexuality put him at risk?" I thought the whole world knew that the form of Islam he faced in Iraq not only does not accept gays, but believes that all gays should be put to death.
Elka Ruth Enola
Jan Burton's Islamophobic letter in your last issue (NOW, April 13-19) proves that fanatical fundamentalist Muslims unfortunately don't have a monopoly on homophobia, sexism and sheer lunacy.
CRAZY like a box
Do you have any openings for film box art reviewers? John Harkness appears to be the first to have undertaken this chore.
As the owner of a little indie film rental store, I truly appreciate his comments. Could you re-review C.R.A.Z.Y.'s box art and extras (NOW, April 6-12) to include the effect on Yiddish-, Farsi-, Arabic-, Inuit- and Cree-speaking persons? No need to revisit the film. For your info, all my patrons loved la flim and you were right on they hated les extras. There were mutterings of marching on Paris and Montreal.
By the way, a point Harkness missed was that the Quebec box art release in October of 2005 hid the fact that there were English subtitles on the French release of the film. So those C.R.A.Z.Y. bastards also "screwed" the French, which I know from my Parisian contact was used to add fuel to the Paris riots.
I use your paper to line my cat litter. Occasionally, however, I take a quick peep to read what's going on in the fantastic world of the idealistic left. Imagine my surprise when I began reading the DVD review of megalomaniac director Peter Jackson's most recent film, King Kong (NOW, April 6-12). A keeper? I never expected such a blatantly racist, clichéd and banal film to be a product you'd recommend. I suppose the fact that it's "too damned big for a 50-inch plasma screen" or, god forbid, a mere "home screen," is now a decisive factor for one of your film reviewers.
I have no idea what Sarah Liss was watching while reviewing Plaskett's new Make A Little Noise DVD (NOW, March 30-April 5). "Poor quality?" "Badly lit?" "Unwatchable!?!"
First of all, it's hardly a DIY effort. Secondly, it is very much a "collaborative effort between artist and audience," so maybe she didn't notice that the crowd sings virtually every song. I have no idea what she means by "the frustration of squinting at flickery, blurry Plaskett silhouettes."
Maybe she needs glasses or hasn't taken the plastic off the screen of her new TV?
Soapbox Racer Entertainment
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Welfare watch and wait
A 2 per cent increase in welfare rates (NOW, March 30-April 5) and the continued clawback of the Federal Child Allowance for people on welfare is despicable! It is very shortsighted and craven of the government to pander to the prosperity of the middle class on the backs of the children of the most needy. Just because poor people are unorganized and not a serious political threat, do we need to push them further down?
Green with envy in Parkdale
Lisa Foad wonders about her complicity with the Drake in the gentrification of Parkdale (NOW, March 16-22). Well, I have to wonder how long this has been her 'hood.
The Starbucks at Dovercourt and Queen all the newbies are blowing a gasket over was, for a time, a video store and hosted a succession of failed businesses. Why should this be an issue? When I used to catch the streetcar at Queen and Dovercourt, it was the glue-sniffer's express. I welcome the change. That's life. Move on, and keep your nose clean.
As for a Loblaws at Queen and Shaw, why not? The arts folks have run the little Portuguese businesses out of town you know, the kind where they actually delivered groceries so we get Yorkville types slumming their designer fashions in stores open once a week or by appointment. I worry more about that than I do a Starbucks.
In any case, Foad seems so little aware of her 'hood that she doesn't realize there's a Price Chopper right behind the Gladstone, kitty-corner (almost) from the Drake, and a good thing, too. When it was an IGA, if you went in on a Sunday the meat, such as it was, was pretty green. Kinda like Foad.
R. S. Blythe