Caribana's love lost
I've read some pretty interesting pieces in NOW, but nothing has outraged me more than Why Caribana Shakes Up T.O. (NOW, August 3-9).
My family attended Caribana celebrations when the idea of Caribana was to celebrate the beauty, grace and elegance of Caribbean and like cultures. The main goals were to express "one love," universal harmony and friendship.
Caribana doesn't scare "white" people because of its celebratory nature. What scares "whites" is the violence, exclusion and racial intimidation. White people are just about done with feeling guilty about black issues.
The Caribana of today disgusts me not only as a citizen of Toronto but also as a person of Jamaican descent. Caribana put Toronto on the map by showing the best of Caribbean culture. Now it has taken over the city, intimidating the very people who have supported it.
How George Elliott Clarke can justify such disgusting displays of outright racial intimidation I'll never know. If Clarke doesn't believe me, ask a gay or lesbian of colour if they feel comfortable attending Caribana.
Has he heard the newest Caribana joke? What is the new Survivor? A white family stuck on the Islands during Caribana trying to find a way off.
Race card canard
George Elliott Clarke's article on Caribana is just one more round of self-victimization from the "African/Asian/black/brown" school of social activism. Please spare me the hyperbole!
Torontonians bend over backwards to be accepting and inclusive of people of all ethnic backgrounds. The straw men who are said to be "uneasy about these 'visible minorities'" must be a figment of the author's imagination.
Please don't play the race card to cover up the real concerns people have with the parade: poor fiscal management and the seemingly annual shooting. Caribana is a chance to have a good time, so stop crying about nonexistent persecution and enjoy the weekend!
it was refreshing to see black people in NOW. I guess the annual Caribana issue (read "Include black people in this issue, guys!!!") was the reason.
Does NOW have something against alternative culture? I mean culture other than the indie and mall punk bands on Queen West?
I read NOW faithfully, but I rarely see anything about metal/hardcore, rap or music that doesn't appeal to one very select group of people: white, left-wing and in mortal fear of the horrible ecological conditions of the day. All views are aligned and morally correct. Dissent is absent. It's so mediocre.
So it was nice to see black people, since it is unlikely that most of the people attending Caribana this weekend agree with the message in each issue of NOW.
Pastis and peace so naive
Re war: it's so 20th century (now, August 3-9). I had to shake my head and laugh when I saw it's the publisher who wrote this rubbish!
I find the article both incredibly naive and patronizing. While Michael Hollett has the luxury of being a white Canadian living in what is probably the most peaceful country in the world, most people are not so fortunate. He mentions writing the article while "sipping a pastis on a beach in the south of France."
Hezbollah and Iran have made no secret of the fact that they think the world would be a far better place without Jews or Israel. It's a classic case of the writer being totally disconnected from fact, history, context or any kind of sensitivity to the reading audience. Shame on you.
The sanity of peace
Thank you for michael hollett's and Andrew Cash's articles (NOW, August 3-9) promoting the sanity of peace rather than the madness of war. Canadians are reeling once more from the deaths of our young people in Afghanistan - not to speak of the deaths of Afghanis and defenceless Lebanese civilians, including children.
You point out that it's "aging commanders devoid of imagination" who send young people off to kill and be killed. So true. I think Bush, Blair, Harper and Olmert should be on the front lines. When most of the world's people are weary of war, why do the leaders we elect opt for the easy answers?
Richard Sanders of Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade has recently published Canadian Military Components Used In Israel's War Against Lebanon (http://coat.ncf.ca/lebanon2006. html). I recommend it to your readers. For my grandchildren and for all people, I pray for the day when a war is called and nobody comes.
Murray D. Lumley
Our bombing is better
Periodically tuning in to home town news, I was surprised to discover Ze'ev Maoz's opinion piece (NOW, July 27-August 2). The author's credentials belie his basic ignorance regarding Israel's war against Hezbollah.
Israel forewarns civilians by dropping leaflets before dropping bombs, telephones individual homes instructing evacuation before destruction and routinely aborts missions on the ground that risk civilian casualties, often placing soldiers' lives in deadly danger. Needless to say, Israel never deliberately targets civilians, while civilians are exactly Hezbollah's target.
Maoz asks, "What exactly is the difference between launching Katyushas into civilian population centres in Israel and the Israel Air Force bombing population centres in south Beirut, Tyre, Sidon and Tripoli?" The difference is that Israel is fighting in defence to thwart a regional threat.
Look who's reckless now
Morality? whoa. hang on here. [in 1992], Hezbollah stated that "it is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth." And while one side in this conflict celebrates the death of innocent civilians, the other condemns it. NOW Magazine's continued portrayal of Israel as a reckless, malevolent force in the Middle East is preposterous.
Good to the last drop
Thank you for your water issue (NOW, July 27-August 2) and, for that matter, your earlier Green issue (NOW, April 20-26). Both are significant and sometimes hard-to-find additions to the necessary discourse on a healthier environment.
As someone who has just returned to the city after many years of breathing easier on the West Coast (not to mention being able to walk into the ocean on a hot summer day), I can tell you that more attention to individual solutions and sound government initiatives is badly needed.
I've been driving friends and family crazy with my complaints about the downward turn Toronto has taken in the five years since I lived here.
I'm glad to see not everyone is so inured to the state of the water and air, and to the very serious dilemma we and, if we're not smart, our children are facing.
Waste not, flush not
I enjoyed your many articles on the human race's profligate use of water. But what about possibly the three worst ways in wanton waste: the Western world's insistence on flushing after every pee (not in my house), using paper towels and the like when there are alternatives, and extracting oil from the tar sands?
May Gaia help the next generation and those who follow.
Willows a weepin'
Your photo of cars illegally parked under willow trees near Palais Royale (NOW, August 3-9) makes me wonder why Toronto's urban forestry department isn't all over this one.
The compacted soil created by vehicular squatters over time will inevitably threaten the health of the willows. Councillor Sylvia Watson's assertion that more pavement is needed because "people are going to need to drive to the waterfront to enjoy it" just shows that she hasn't been there on a weekend.
There are lots of people on foot or bicycle, without jetpacks. They vote, too, Ms. Watson.
Don't chop down Woody
Woody Allen's new movie, scoop, deserves more than two Ns (NOW, July 27-August 2). You're being way too hard on Allen. The audience I saw it with at the Varsity even clapped at the end.
Scarlett Johannsen was not playing a ditz. That voice could never pull it off. Nervous student, yes, but definitely not a ditz.
The movie was, in my mind, an improvement over Matchpoint, not the other way around. Allen's nervous ticks actually work here. Usually he's just annoying as hell!