Oaxaca, oh my
As someone following events in Oaxaca, Did He Film His Own Murder? (NOW, August 9-15) was surprising. John Ross is a recognized journalist. This article is jarringly different from the one printed by other alternative newspapers in the United States. NOW's editing tones down the outlaw nature of the government whilst playing up the outlawry of the resisters.
Negative phrases about the resistance were left in whilst positive ones were edited out. Ross wrote that the governor was "spectacularly unresponsive" to demands for social justice, leaving no other recourse in the minds of the resisters. He wrote that the "uprising" transformed itself into "a popular assembly."
He describes the barricades "built in the working-class barrios" that gave "the Oaxaca struggle the romantic aura of the 19th-century Paris Commune."
If NOW has a different view of Oaxaca events, it should not distort the writing of a respected journalist.
Public space between us
Thanks, I think, for the thumbs-up for Massey Harris Park (NOW, August 9-15), although the occasion was used once again to discredit Dundas Square. To be clear, Dundas Square is a square. Massey Harris Park is a park. There is a difference.
We are not makeover artists. We did not set out to transform Yonge and Dundas into a saccharine version of civility.
It's a public space for Toronto. Define it, use it, but don't expect to settle down in a comfy chair in a flower garden in a perfect world.
We don't expect universal agreement on this interpretation of a public square in an intense and gritty centre of the city, but we do expect some intelligent discussion, not petulant misconceptions bolstering naveté about the nature of public space in the city.
James Brown and Kim Storey
Brown and Storey Architects
I now officially know that Howard Goldenthal is a fucking idiot. Five Ns for a book (NOW, August 9-15) written by a wack job whose claim to fame is denouncing God?
Wow. That's novel. I'm sure his next efforts will include such titles as Fuck Love: It Doesn't Exist; Hope: Forget About It; and perhaps How Do You Know You're Real? You're Not.
I was used to reading such tripe in the Weekly World News before it went out of print.
To give acknowledgement to such radical attention-whores shows the insight and intelligence of a star-struck Grade 5 boy who's just seen his first medical drawing of a vagina.
Sympathy for a brat
RE A tear for Lindsay (NOW, August 9-15). Mustafa Mutabaruka writes that he cannot think of one reason to dislike actress Lindsay Lohan.
The writer feels she should not be judged because she is an alcoholic, much like his sister who sadly took her own life.
The obsession with not judging is partly to blame for Lohan's reckless antics. She might have been better served if she had been judged by her parents.
Saying we should not judge is actually a judgment on others who do. A tear for a spoiled Hollywood brat? Think not.
Ads polluting the air
In a time when we must cut down on emissions, is it really necessary to have helicopters and blimps (which have two car engines) flying around the city spewing exhaust for hours on end, all for an advertisement?
And people complain that wind turbines are an eyesore.
Nose to pick with Payne
Nikki Payne's response to a letter writer who didn't share the same humour as nose-picking Payne was, "Grow up" (NOW, August 9-15). Oh, really?
I didn't know picking your nose was a stepping stone to full maturity (let alone being funny).
Payne suggests that we should instead be disgusted by "abuse, poverty and racism," issues perhaps more suitably conveyed on the cover of an alternative newspaper than Payne-fully shrill comedians who pick their noses.
Irony or just a coincidence?
I hate to drop the Alanis Morissette label on you, but I'm gonna be the English geek for just a second here. A lawyer named Roach fighting against pot laws is coincidence, not irony (NOW, August 9-15).
If a lawyer named Roach were defending tough pot laws on behalf of the government, a case could be made for it being ironic (situational irony occurring when the results of a situation are far different from what's expected), but otherwise it's not.
Now, obviously, your first reaction will be to call me a stickler or anal or something like that, but y'all led with it, and you're supposed to be writers. Don't be clichés. No one wants to be compared to Alanis.
Andrew Ryan Fox
Having just about recovered from this year's efforts on Caribana (NOW, August 2-8), I have to sit back and take stock of all that happened whilst the glue-gun burns heal.
We are disgusted with where this art form is going.
Now, I do understand that mas changes and the materials change. (Thank goodness for Fabri-Tac and fibreglass!)
But seriously, what level of skill or creativity is required to build a foil paper mas? I can train a circus monkey in three minutes to do that.
All I saw in the winning costumes were the same designs, with different colours, from the year before. Did the judges not see that?
I have to question why the stage was 40 feet back from the judges this year. How is anyone supposed to see the workmanship or the quality of a mas?
The results this year were more than demoralizing. They were a clear statement on where the art of mas is going: bigger, louder and fluffier.
Jackie Irving and Clarence Forde
Cajuca Mas Arts Producers
This dumpling no doughnut
I read your review of Diner's Corner (NOW, August 2-8) and wanted to set the record straight. A festival is not a mini-doughnut, it's a dumpling. I know it seems petty to respond, but I'm tired of these effortless descriptions. If you're going to take the time to review the food, at least take the time to describe things properly.
I didn't see the first two Bournes, so I got smacked around quite a bit when I saw Ultimatum (NOW, August 2-8). The foot chases are almost as good as The French Connection.
But what struck me most was the ease with which the CIA got things done, whether it's rush hour in downtown NYC or Morocco. No problem.
And the CIA gets taken down. Doesn't get any better than that.
RE Anti-poverty flame-out (NOW, August 2-8). Unfortunately, Wayne Roberts thinks that Campaign 2000's proposal for an Ontario poverty reduction strategy with targets, timelines and committed resources including budget allocation and accountability mechanisms is stale.
Roberts is right that investment in poverty reduction will help to contain traditional health care expenditures. Still, the need for universally accessible dental care and prescription drugs will not go away.
Families need a sound balance of income supports and accessible services to assist their capable efforts to raise healthy children who thrive, not merely survive.
The UK has shown that courageous leaders who set targets, commit resources and stick to an implementation plan can indeed reduce poverty substantially.
When I saw that your music critic awarded Prince's Planet Earth one N (NOW, July 26-August 1), I rushed out to get it. I wasn't surprised to discover that it is Prince's most entertaining record since Sign O' The Times.
Barrett Hooper's review of Sunshine (NOW, July 19-25) was a transcendent journey into the very soul of film criticism. We commend him.
We are pulling up our socks, tying our shoelaces and readying our constitutions for what is sure to be a cosmic and spellbinding directorial tour de force.
We have carefully clipped his sweet verse and are taking it along to the cinema in a sumptuous literary rabbit's foot. Brilliant. Provocative. Ice cold.
Astrid Birch and Viola Dwyer