Wal-Mart: now, that's Bull
the greening of wal-mart (now, May 4-10) was a good article that didn't just take Wal-Mart at face value, but looked deeper, beyond the hype. We should also be looking beyond the hype of Bullfrog Power. While Bullfrog's smooth marketing leads us to think that paying it a premium to supply us with green electricity will lead to the creation of more enviro-friendly generation, it's not such a sure thing. Bullfrog is a middleman between generators, distributors and consumers. It doesn't generate electricity or distribute it. It buys bulk amounts of electricity and resells it to consumers at a premium rate. Its website says green energy costs more because it's more expensive to produce. But Bullfrog buys 80 per cent of its electricity from hydroelectric dams in northern Ontario, some of the cheapest electricity to produce in the province. I worry that the idea that more green energy will be created if we pay Bullfrog a premium for the same electricity we already get is just a bunch of, well, bull.
i'm a chicago-born and -raised poet who studied with Gwendolyn Brooks and Ed Dorn at Northeastern Illinois University and have a chapter and CD in the Spoken Word Revolution textbook. I enjoyed Robert Priest's Masters Of The Free Verse (NOW, May 4-10), which I came upon by chance. But I am amazed that the page/performance battle still goeth on in such a polarized trench-warfare scenario.
The neurological connection between page and brain is intimate and personal (if well done). Good work will perform itself whether read off the page or interpreted in a theatrical way. Although I haven't been in the poetry trenches recently, it seems like the war of attrition hasn't ended. Blessings.
Irritating ode to Jacobs
wayne roberts's jane jacobs retro- spective (NOW, May 4-10) states, "Because Modernism has been so identified with expressways and high-rises rather than traced back to its fractal battle against nature, it's seldom seen to be alive and well in many areas of today's economies." This nonsensical sentence does a fantastic job of summarizing Roberts's muddled and simplistic ode to Jacobs. I honestly can't decide which was more irritating Roberts's hack summary of Modernist planning or his constant reference to fractals. This writing is inexcusable for a paper that prides itself on informing its readers about civic responsibility and eco-politics.
City Idol drop Mez
there's something really wrong with City Idol (NOW, May 4-10) that is undermining interest in the upcoming election.
They need to get rid of Dave Meslin. He needs to be working on another campaign. Mez for mayor!
A lot of nonsense
regarding fort cop, toronto (now, May 4-10). I'm curious why fences around police parking lots are a big concern. I live around the corner from 55 Division and have seen police cars' tires slashed and profanity spray-painted on them. What business do people have in police parking lots? There is visitors' parking, which from what I've seen is usually half-empty. It is sad that it has come to this. I blame the people who think it's within their rights to trespass on police property and cause vandalism.
Cop fences pathetic
re fences around police stations. Leadership at its finest - Toronto police as victims. How sad. How ironic. How pathetic.
Harper's crime crapshoot
stephen harper and the tories are getting "tough on crime" (NOW, May 4-10). Wonderful! That will solve the problem. More and greater punishments: that's the answer. Only drippy sentimentalists concern themselves with irrelevancies like crime's root causes. Tough people know that crime is magical: it just happens, spontaneously. We are learning from our great neighbour to the south: America has the highest incarceration rate in the world. It has brought back the barbarity of the death penalty with gusto no squeamishness there. And from the mood in some circles, we wonder if public torture can be far behind.
America's streets, as we all know, are extremely safe to walk, and crime rates are nowhere near what they are here in the soft, cushy north. Right....
Cutting out the poor
the most telling part of the con servatives' budget? That the tax rate for the lowest income earners has been increased.
A tax eco-heads should like
wayne roberts states that the gst, like all sales taxes, is regressive, because it "taxes the rich and the poor equally" (NOW, April 27-May 3). As if big-ticket items don't generate more government money than small ones. More importantly (one would think, in an article about the environment) is that sales taxes mean a tax on consumption, the greatest cause of environmental damage. Why would anyone who cares about the environment object to that, especially in hyper-consumptive Canada?
As for Roberts's attack on the fact that Canada doesn't tax exports: if you're against unfair trade, why would you enact protectionist economics against your own country? Roberts seems to be against trade, arguing for "local and self-sufficient trade" (autarky). Much as trade desperately needs improvement, "self-sufficiency" has always been an abject failure.
letter-writer james simpson be moans the use of the word "black" to describe Chiwetel Ejiofor's character in the movie Kinky Boots, but calls John Harkness a "white NOW reviewer" (NOW, May 4-10). To put a spin on Simpson's own words: it really demonstrates the myopic thinking of some letter-writers that many still don't see white NOW reviewers as just people.
Hoodwinked by the pill
i just read your alt-health arti cle on birth control (NOW, April 27-May 3) and am stunned that nowhere do you mention that natural family planning, the pill, checking mucous, etc, are only appropriate within the bounds of a long-term, monogamous relationship. They do not protect against STDs. It is completely irresponsible to write about birth control without mentioning that barrier methods are the only way to protect your health. Condoms may be "a pain in the ass," but not compared to HIV.
Prickly audiences a Docs hit
once again the folks at hot docs (NOW, April 27-May 3) put on a top-notch festival. Notable films included Black Gold, Wordplay and Uganda Rising. Even with the array of quality films, this year's surprise hit took place before the opening credits. A chorus of boos and the occasional ring of a bike bell from the audience challenged the Cadillac Escalade commercials that preceded all screenings. Hats off to the "outspoken, outstanding" people of Toronto. Rating: NNNNN.
No Chippy's off the old block
i was irritated by your capsule on Chippy's (NOW, April 27-May 3). There are many fish places in Toronto. Why would NOW pick the most obvious? Is the beginning and end of the review world Queen West? Why not note its outlandish prices. What about Primrose, Black Kat or even Harbord, which is damn near as trendy and 30 per cent cheaper? And what on earth is all the hype about Coke in retro bottles? That is not why we read NOW. Smarten up.
one would hope that letter- writer Deanna Michelle (NOW, April 6-12) turn away all of society from now on, lest she be confronted with the 5,785 things that are exponentially more degrading to women than a scantily clad Pammy Anderson making boob jokes on an awards show.
Funnies for nothing
it's really a shame that now, de spite being a Toronto-based magazine, does not seek to promote local talent and print comics by local artists. Get on that shit!
geriatric? the chili peppers (now, May 4-10)? How old is Steven Davey? Ten?
Christina M. Babcock