Letters Who you calling victims? re bitter pill for aids victims in Upfront (NOW, August 10-16). What's with the resurrection of the sensationalistic term "AIDS victims" to describe Africans with AIDS, especially in a progressive weekly?When AIDS first emerged, people fighting the condition met in 1983 to organize on their own behalf. In a statement called the Denver Prinicples, they wrote, "We condemn attempts to label us as "victims,' a term that implies defeat, and we are only occasionally "patients,' a term which implies passivity, helplessness and dependence upon the care of others. We are "people with AIDS. '"
The self-empowerment movement of people with AIDS changed the way the media thought about and wrote about HIV/AIDS. And those efforts continue internationally today, especially in Africa. Has NOW forgotten those lessons already? You should know better.
Perhaps "victim" is an adequate term to describe someone killed by a drunk driver. It's no way to label those who've fought against AIDS over the past 25 years either those who have in fact passed on or those who are very much still alive and kicking.
Warhol's road rage
the only thing that really stinks about Steve Mielczarek's piece about working as a Warhol lookalike (NOW, August 10-16) is the insinuation that the AGO would risk the safety of people and the environment to promote a show. As the individual handling the PR for the show, I would like to clarify that the hearse was fully certified by two mechanics prior to hitting the road and was deemed both driver and road-safe. Had NOW contacted the AGO prior to the printing of this article, we would have been happy to provide some actual fact.
Art Gallery of Ontario
Paving over history
so now the willows everyone's parking under at Palais Royale (NOW, August 3-9) are 100 years old? Every time I read about the Palais Royale, a new embellishment has been added to the history. Why are people having so much difficulty with the truth? Until April 1966, the willow grove near the Palais was a parking lot. The city removed the lot from the control of the Palais and planted grass and trees on it. There is no doubt that the willows are thriving. However, the land was and is destined to be a parking lot. Then, in the fullness of time, it will again be a willow grove. This flexible approach to land use is a feature of Toronto's ambivalence about the waterfront. It defies history to claim that the Palais Royale parking lot never existed, and to deny a newly revitalized venue the services it requires.
Guilt tripped out
if caribana struggles for a wide spread white embrace, as author George Elliott Clarke suggests (NOW, August 3-9), I submit that attitudes like his are to blame. The "black-and-brown-and-beige bacchanalia" has been present long enough to know by this point that anyone still uncomfortable with it isn't going to be swayed by a 1,000-word article. Toronto's other major festival, Pride, has been successful precisely because its organizers have realized that if you're not on side with homos already, you're never going to be. Instead of holding that over every other hetero head, they've basically said, "Fuck that. Let's party." And how's that worked out so far? Exactly.
They're cocks, not glocks
re secret screen test (now, august 10-16). What the hell are you people thinking? There's a huge difference between Gay Pride and Caribana when it comes to the need for police activity and surveillance. At Pride a cock may be waved in your face, but this is much safer than a Glock waved in your face at Caribana. Oh, by the way, how many people were shot at the Gay parades? This whole issue is a no-brainer.
Tapping into confusion
kudos to now for highlighting the absolutely crucial issue of water (NOW, July 27-August 2). But was I really the only one who noticed the contradiction separated by not three pages in the Water issue? We are encouraged to avoid bottled water, which is more and more popular, "and not because bottled water is safer." But the next article informs us of the dangers of fluoride in our municipal water supply. If you truly believe in the dangers of fluoride, shouldn't you be advising us to drink the filtered or natural-source stuff?
Fluoridation is violation
aliss terpstra, toronto-based re search coordinator for the Fluoride Toxicity Research Collaborative, says she and her group asked the mayor for a fair and open re-examination of water fluoridation last fall and were told the matter was being passed along to the chief medical officer of health (NOW, July 27-August 2). They haven't heard back. Aliss, it doesn't matter what science says. Common law indicates that forcing people to take medicine is a crime. Even forcing people to take good ("scientific") medicine is a crime.
When crime is being committed, it is good to politely ask law enforcement to stop the crime in addition to politely asking the criminals/elected officials.
When the mass water poisoning/chemotherapy are possibly causing tumors that require limb amputation in boys, perhaps the polite inquiries should be ramped up a bit to demands that the mass water poisoning stop. Just a thought.
Todd Gastaldo, M.D.
Soldiers of fortune
you mention that 2,500 reservists will be involved in a large-scale training exercise later this month (NOW, July 20-26). What you don't mention is that this is an annual exercise in which all brigade groups from across Ontario participate. And, no, reservists are not automatically sent into combat after they are trained. They receive specialized training for months before they're sent in theatre. By the way, you volunteer to be sent overseas or into combat as a member of the reserves. As usual, you've left just enough out to bend the information to your point of view.
No faith in Fatah
so tarek fatah cannot abide the NDP's new religion caucus (NOW, July 20-26). Of all the horseshit reasons to quit a party, this takes the cake. What is wrong with the NDP's attempt to engage people of faith? To Fatah, this equals flirting with fundamentalism! In my long experience, fundamentalists are very narrow people - and they come in the secular variety, too, like Tarek Fatah.
No laughing matter
I have to take issue with Andrew E. Squires letter (NOW, July 6-12) supporting your monolithic, unchanging comics selection. Seriously, have you even tried to change anything on your comics page for the past decade? It saddens me deeply every week when I turn past your comics and briefly feel as though Ive travelled back in time to 1983 (two years before I was born). To anchor yourself in the past when there are so many talented local artists who could use a space to publish their comics is simply counterproductive to the point of folly. Seriously, as it stands, the Toronto Sun takes more chances on new talent than you do.
Young and stupid
i'm sure i speak for thousands of other NOW readers when I say that we have suffered through Alan Young's articles for too long. Let the suffering end. To tell truth, the last time I felt so regularly grossed out was during NOW's Gerald "Gross me out" Hannon days. No one reads them except maybe people keen on inflicting harm on themselves.
Flipping through NOW Magazine is becoming more and more like strolling through the streets of Paris it's just one turd after another to avoid. It gets quite exhausting. And allowing racially specific adult classifieds that's not racist, oh no.
Just give us the restaurant reviews, movies times and theatre listings and leave the rest for your diaries.
Gag me with a pitchfork
the cover of the last issue (now, August 10-16) is the ugliest, most hostile ever! You want people to pick up the magazine, not flee from it. Get those gals security jobs at Pearson and find some cute furry animals for next week's cover at once!