Dyer's kangaroo court
RE Right Man, Wrong Crime, by Gwynne Dyer (NOW, January 4-10). As usual, Dyer's article on Saddam Hussein's execution overflows with left-wing anti-Americanism.
He speaks of a "farce of a trial before a kangaroo court." When it comes to allegations against the U.S., Gwynne Dyer is judge, jury and witness in his own kangaroo court.
Collateral for Saddam
I'm okay with Saddam Hussein dying. But I'm not okay with the extra 600,000 "collateral" Iraqis who died so our side could put Saddam to death. Neither am I okay with the 20-year-old kids of our neighbour to the south fighting for their lives in the middle of an Iraqi civil war. Nor am I okay with starting a war under false pretenses to create the impression that a president is tough on terrorism. For that matter, I'm also not okay with elevated risk to Canadian 20-year-olds in our own protracted war so a prime minister can look tough to so-called allies. Real allies don't expect that.
From fiend, to friend, to foe
Saddam Hussein was our favourite ally when he was killing Iranians. He became our enemy when he threatened our oil supply. He died as a tyrant, a ruthless dictator. For that matter, all recent Iraqi presidents have been ruthless dictators supported by the presence of foreign troops. Current prime minister Nouri al-Maliki's contention that Saddam was executed out of respect for human rights makes one wonder whether he, too, will turn into a ruthless dictator.
To many in the Arab world, Saddam died a hero, a martyr. To them, he is having a cup of tea with the Prophet Muhammad well above the clouds.
May's hedging on abortion
RE Zip Up the Political Rhetoric (NOW, January 4-10). To feminists, reproductive freedom, including the right to abortion, has nothing to do with morality, whatever that is, and everything to do with a woman's right to control her own body.
If Elizabeth May were really pro-choice, she would have said: "I and the Green party are 100 per cent pro-choice" and stopped there. But she rabbited on for 14 more paragraphs in her response to Judy Rebick, hedging, nuancing and fretting.
Elizabeth May doesn't get it, and neither does Andrew Cash.
Bashing pro-choice views
Andrew Cash's Zip Up the Political Rhetoric was misleading and distorted.
He sets the tone by trying to portray Green party head Elizabeth May as a naive rookie for controversial comments attributed to her on abortion. May is not a rookie in the political arena; she was an adviser to Brian Mulroney. In trying to make a case against political partisanship, he tries to minimize May's views on abortion by saying her words "were poorly chosen" and "rambling."
Cash is using a topic he has no business discussing to bash Judy Rebick and feminists across Canada for their pro-choice views.
Sometimes I wonder if the people compiling your top-10 entertainment lists (NOW, December 28-January 3) have actually seen the shows they rave about in their columns. Perhaps they simply base their reviews on what they have heard through the media grapevine?
Case in point: Barrett Hooper's Top 10 TV Moments. While I certainly agree with his inclusion of Prime Suspect's series finale, starring the incredible Helen Mirren, the plot synopsis he provided was woefully inaccurate.
The finale did not deal with the murder of a Bosnian refugee. That was the plot of the 2003 instalment!
This year's show dealt with Detective Superintendent Tennison's impending retirement as she tried to solve the murder of an adolescent girl. I hope Hooper enjoyed it!
I enjoyed seeing Jess Dobkin's Lactation Station listed in your Top 10 Art Shows of 2006 (NOW December 28-January 3). However, to give credit where it's due, I'd like to note that Dobkin's presentation was part of Matters Of Taste and the Five Holes series, an extensive project of performances curated by Paul Couillard of Fado Performance Inc.
Curator, Ontario College of Art & Design
"Consensual" sex was rape
Headed out for lunch and a movie, I picked up NOW. Somewhere on the subway, I lost the cover and found myself looking at Savage Love (NOW, December 28-January 3). I have read the column before and I realize that graphic and gross descriptions of sex are what passes for entertainment.
But descriptions of consensual sex, no matter how unusual the practice, are not the same as the detailed description of a brutal rape that resulted in the victim's hospitalization.
I won't be picking up NOW again for a good long time.
Slean the drama queen
As someone who was once a not-exactly-willing witness to Sarah Slean's shtick (she was the opening act for Ron Sexsmith, whom I'd gladly pay to see), I'd have to agree with the reviewer that she's musically competent (NOW, December 21-27). Her music may not be my cup of tea, but Slean doesn't need me as a fan when so many find "selling the drama" endearing. I would never question her sanity. There's a very smart woman under all those mannerisms - one who's miming all the way to the bank!
Al Jazeera blame shame
I thought blaming jews for con trolling the world went out with Adolf Hitler. Apparently not, according to Glenn Wheeler, who claims the Canadian Jewish Congress controls the CRTC and forced the decision to ban Al Jazeera from public airwaves (NOW, December 21-27). If Jews control the federal agency that regulates radio, television and telecommunications, the Canadian public ought to know, ought to be outraged, ought to put an end to it immediately.
But Wheeler fails to explain how the CJC, which is "lurking in the background," actually controls the CRTC. The allegation is certainly serious enough to require even a little backup. How exactly does the Canadian Jewish Congress call the shots at the CRTC? Does it have spies? Does it bribe officials? What does it do? If Wheeler can't prove this, printing such an inflammatory, noxious and unsubstantiated accusation is irresponsible.
"Peaceniks" hate gays
RE Your ad for an art show at the NOW Lounge (NOW, December 28-January 3). Nothing is more absurd than a picture of two misguided Hasidic Jews and a Muslim cleric locked arm in arm for the so called struggle for "peace" in the Holy Land.
For the record, Neturei Karta, a right-wing Bible-thumping, gay-bashing brand of ultra-orthodox Jews, like fundamentalist Islamic extremists, seek nothing but the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel. They also think nothing of the stone-throwing, knifing and attempted murder of gay marchers in the Jerusalem Pride parade.
It's a catastrophe for a left-wing, pro-gay-rights publication like NOW to even print this picture, which represents nothing but hatred disguised in religious garb.
Every picture tells a story
In your advertisement for your NOW Lounge photo exhibit Resistance Is Fertile is a picture of two Orthodox Jewish men. So, is it all Jews you want us warring against, or just the Orthodox?
Louise S. Simmons
Many sad returns
In regard to don't cry for me, Argentina (NOW, December 21-27), let me say that I was genuinely saddened to read of Ms. Gostick's return to Toronto as well. So close.
Oh Christmas tree
RE Letters to NOW on the Christmas tree debate by David Hazell (NOW, December 21-27) and Elizabeth Block (December 28-January 3).
I don't regard a Christmas tree as a religious symbol (if anything, I probably qualify as an atheist), but I certainly do regard it as a cultural symbol and an emblem of a joyful, festive spirit. But I must say that it is increasingly rousing me to anger [to see] (real) Christmas trees and the environmental thoughtlessness and destructiveness inherent in chopping a fine, living tree so that humans can enjoy a few days of pleasure looking at it, lights and all.
Now that, I would suggest, is something worth getting steamed about.
I was scouring your website and found a delightful review of Susur Lee's restaurant Lee.
Criticism, no matter how blunt or embarrassing, is always welcome of a man whose turnover is so rampant he has to resort to appealing for help in the back pages of your publication.
Regardless of how popular or (dis)reputable the cuisine is, there's no excuse for being an asshole. Thank you for a refreshing opinion.
ChamPAIN, you're toast
This is for NOW staffer Stacy Reardon, aka ChamPAIN, current world champion of the Pillow Fight League, pictured in your staff photo (NOW, December 28-January 3).
Don't get too attached to that belt, lady. (I use the term loosely.) On January 12 I plan on kicking your Betty Clocker's ass and becoming the PFL's new number-one contender. And you know what that means, don't you? That's right.
The following Friday in Brooklyn, New York, I, Polly Esther, will strip you of your title of world pillow fighting champion.
Are you trembling in your boots?
You should be, cuz I don't plan on going down easy. It ain't gonna be no cakewalk, honey. See you in Brooklyn, bitch.