Re: Preggers and panicked (now, November 16-22). Elizabeth Bromstein's statement that "doctors in the UK prescribe a pint [of Guinness] to expectant mothers because of its iron content" is out of date and a dangerous belief to advocate. I'm not sure who or what her source was, but firstly, doctors haven't been recommending or prescribing Guinness (or its equivalent, Mackeson) for over a decade, and I feel that this kind of irresponsible writing gives people an excuse to continue irresponsible and potentially harmful behaviour. Secondly, Guinness no longer contains pigs' blood as it once did, and its iron content is now much less.
As for Gideon Koren's comments that "England is backwards," I say to him: Take some of your own advice. As you tell the women you help, don't believe everything you hear.
No buzz for Burza?
I was shocked and dismayed that your Anniversary Issue section on the history of NOW (NOW, November 9-15) failed to mention Buzz Burza.
If Burza hadn't been there in 1981, the whole socialist bunch of you would now be unemployed, which might be a good thing.
Alice Klein and Michael Hollett should get off their high horses and realize that without his input, this rag would have failed!
The fact that you fail to mention him just reinforces to the educated how little integrity all of you have.
There is a dangerous smugness already emanating from Adam Vaughan and his media and Liberal supporters (NOW, November 16-22). His victory-speech claim that "we won this with everybody in the ward" demonstrates an insulting arrogance. He's far too willing to forget the half of voters who did not choose him and the approximately 60 per cent of eligible voters who did not vote. Vaughan is clearly a member of the media and social elite of downtown Toronto, with solid connections to national political machinery.
His "independent" status belies big-name Liberal supporters like Warren Kinsella and unquestioning lapdog support from the Toronto Star and its city affairs reporter Royson James.
This media darling is now well poised to use his seat in council, not to bring real change to Trinity-Spadina, but to aggressively position himself as the preferred Liberal mayoral candidate in 2010.
Hate & Sex
Although there's nothing wrong with domination, and a little bondage can be fun, many of the women writers in your Love & Sex column seem to enjoy degradation and humiliation and frequently put themselves in genuine physical danger. Last week's column (NOW, November 16-22) was seriously disturbing. This woman, who enjoyed being slapped to the point of almost blacking out, can't get her belly close enough to the ground. At the end of her excruciating ordeal her partner shoves a fist inside her with such force that "it's covered in blood." Yuck. All I could think about was her suffering permanent damage. Love & Sex? More like Hate & Sex or Self-Loathing & Sex.
Why oh Ys?
Re: Tim Perlich's review of Ys by Joanna Newsom (NOW, November 16-22). I eagerly await Perlich's music reviews week to week, but, damn, he was really off in giving Newsom's Ys disc two Ns and "nice try." If his were the first review I read, I'd probably have taken his word for it and missed out on one of the most beautiful and important albums of our time. Seriously! Strikes me Perlich's just wanting to be uselessly different amidst a torrent of entirely warranted acclaim. Never again, Tim.
Re Stoned by jury (now, november 16-22). As a federal medical marijuana licence holder who is also married to one, and as a public medical marijuana activist in Ottawa, I'm often asked about the laws regarding marijuana. No political party, not even the NDP or the Greens, will ever present or pass a cannabis regulation act. I predict that, just like abortion and same-sex marriage, Canada's marijuana laws will fall in the courts. If history is any indication, the government will then respond by throwing slapdash legislation together to regulate it that will please no one. In the meantime, gangsters, cops and government officials get what they want, the taxpayers pay billions every year to subsidize gangs and fill courts and jails, and chronically ill Canadians get stuck in the middle.
Watching the Bush government get put into a bit of a blender November 7 was fun and instructional. I learned about provisional ballots. Voters who can't produce proper I.D. are allowed to vote, but their uncounted ballots are put aside. When, or if, the voters return [to the polling place], their votes are validated.
This seems an excellent idea and could be used in our municipal elections. Here, voters without appropriate I.D. take an oath and are then allowed to vote. But a mere oath is no substitute for a driver's licence or OHIP card with photo. We ought to embrace the provisional ballot even if it is an American idea.
Montreal's got the ticket
I've just returned to Toronto after 19 years in Montreal and Ottawa. Montreal transit fares are generally affordable for all who wish to use the system. For example, a senior's ticket bought in a strip of six costs just 91 2/3 cents each compared to $1.33 each here a year ago, and now $1.40 each in a strip of five.
As well and this is the real kicker a splendid and welcome bonus in Montreal is the stopover transfer, which a year ago, gave riders a stopover for an hour and 45 minutes, thus allowing you to run several errands on a single fare. Get with it, TTC.
Badly drawn review
Sure, I agree with your slanted, misguided review of the piss-poor Badly Drawn Boy record (NOW, October 19-25), but I beg to differ with your review of the new Ox record, American Lo Fi, as a "cheap pastiche and tongue-in-cheek yuks." It's not only because I'm [their record label's] club president but because I'm a huge fan of Mark Browning's rustic-hayseed, crowd-pleasing, global breakthrough, half-arsed bullshit and I think his new record is gold!
Let sleeping beauty lie
Re: Dancers aren't sleeping (now, November 16-22). I don't think we need a third-rate critic like Glenn Sumi to tell us Tchaikovsky's music for The Sleeping Beauty is second-rate. It has delighted audiences for over a century, and no doubt will continue to do so long after Sumi's pompous pronouncements are totally forgotten.
Think Free, tee-hee
As part of my exercise program I regularly walk evenings, frequently past the offices of NOW Magazine on Church. Banners on the outside walls say "Think Free." Being 53 years old, I am the product of an Ontario educational system that taught the proper use of adverbs. To whit: "think freely.- Moreover, our teachers would often remark, way back when, that American speech (unlike Canadian) often confused adjectives with adverbs. Ergo: "walk free- rather than "walk freely,- "dress smart,- not "dress smartly,- and of course, "think free.-
You can appreciate the giggle-provoking irony whereby a newspaper generally positioned against market-driven globalization is seen to be emblematic of the issue.