Shove this up your bumper
RE Fit to be tied (NOW, August 30-September 5). Obviously, having an easily removable magnetic Support Our Troops bumper sticker [attached to her borrowed van] was the most momentous and traumatic thing that happened to Susan G. Cole this week. She has been traumatized and would "like to meet the freak." Poor her.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan hundreds of people were blown to shreds. Get a life.
"Bumperfucked?" Nice language. Johnny comes home and asks Mom what "bumperfucked" means. That's okay with you?
What Cole should be worried about is how shallow and pathetic she comes across in this article.
The jig (and fiddle) is up
Matt Mernagh accuses the black Bloc of "not getting it" when they respond to neo-liberal robber barons invading their home turf by hurling "tomatoes, stones and cue balls" (NOW, August 30-September 5).
I encountered a similar argument on the bus home from the FTAA Conference in Quebec City.
A fellow protestor complained that attempts to protest through music, dance and teach-ins (at the front line of the wall) had been foiled because stone-throwers had triggered an onslaught of tear gas. This person said, "That's not an acceptable part of my protest."
Do you really think that the CEOs of profit-hungry and resource-greedy multinational corporations are going to look out the window at you dancing to the new M.I.A. track and see the error of their ways?
I am afraid that your party-protesting might be little more than fiddling while Rome burns.
School's not just for sinners
RE Glenn Wheeler's No faith in Fairness (NOW, August 30-September 5). Wheeler is mistaken when he states that "Quebec and Newfoundland, two provinces in whose history the Catholic Church has been prominent, have ditched denominational education."
As a former faith-based student in Quebec, I must report that what Quebec abolished was the guarantee for funding, not the funding itself. Quebec now has a school system divided along linguistic lines of French and English. Non-public schools, including faith-based, receive approximately 60 per cent of the public school funding.
Ontario already funds many school choices within our public school system, including arts- and sports-based schools where kids have to apply and be accepted.
The school funding debate is about funding, not the existence of faith-based schools in Ontario - part of the many school choices.
By tackling this issue, John Tory has demonstrated what leadership is all about: creating public policy. I think what's obvious is that the status quo of only providing Catholics with the choice of public faith-based education is unacceptable to most Ontarians.
I've just read Glenn Sumi's review of Eastern Promises (NOW, August 30-September 5).
Where is Naomi Watts? She plays a key anchoring role in the film and of course is no unknown. Once again, you're contributing to the collective Canadian slight and snub of this great actress by simply ignoring her.
Watts (who's just had a baby) will be coming to Toronto with Viggo Mortensen and David Cronenberg to open this film at the festival, but is it worth her effort with this kind of insult given her time and again by Canadian media?
On drugging child soldiers
We appreciate your coverage of War Child Canada's Camp Okutta campaign (NOW, August 30-September 5).
Thanks to our pro bono partners at John St. Advertising, this essentially cost-free viral campaign has reached hundreds of thousands of people in Canada and around the world and provoked some interesting debate on the global use of child soldiers.
Your article mentions a "video on YouTube depicting a camp infirmary where kids are drugged to suppress homesickness and fear." This video simply does not exist, nor was it ever conceptualized by anyone at War Child Canada.
On the Camp Okutta website at www.campokutta.com, we do mention that this sickening practice does take place, but only in text and not in video.
Once again, we welcome NOW's coverage and hope that it draws attention to the plight of the 250,000 child soldiers worldwide.
It is time for Canadians to get informed and take action over this very serious issue.
War Child Canada, Toronto
I was a journalist for nine years and a film editor for seven in Montreal, and there's no way I could publish a "review" like Andrew Dowler's (of Nos Vies Privées, NOW online, August 30-September 5). Congrats, guys! Super-pro, constructive work!
(director, Nos Vies Privées)
Are NOW reviewers geographically challenged? Or was it grammatical error? The Club Spotlight featuring the new Parkdale Drink (NOW, August 30-September 5) says "it's one of the few buildings on the Drake Hotel block that Jeff Stober hasn't managed to buy." Sorry, wrong block.
The writer does mention Saigon Flower, which Stober does not own as far as I know. But the Parkdale Drink is actually located roughly three blocks west of the Drake, past the GO Train bridge. It's not even in the Gladstone Hotel block.
Don't piss off a Thorrior
Your intrepid reporters missed possibly the most rocking show Toronto's seen in a long time on Friday, August 24, at the Bovine. Valient Thorr, the metal band with an incredibly strong (and smart) political message, rocked the shit out of the Bovine.
Sure, the venue's small, but it was packed to the gills. I had the pleasure of seeing that band play last December in Detroit, and since then have been waiting like the patient Thorrior I am to see them again.
You guys should check them out - they're the raddest dudes I've ever met and heard play. And they work hard. Get more people out in the scene, would you?
RE Not a capital idea (NOW, August 30-September 5). If we're totally bucked up, we've got to look at capital spending, too.
I'm glad Mike Smith sees the Front Street Extension folly, yet we like dumb growth so much we're also building a subway to sprawl as well as this costliest 2 kilometres of road in Canadian history in the city centre.
Just adding some extra GO Trains and converting the road folly to a Front Street transitway to link the core with Etobicoke could save a few hundred million, alleviate Gardiner congestion, give better transit and still provide megaproject jobs, with the added benefit of not harming two transit systems for asphalt.
I don't understand why Adam Giambrone and Mayor Miller keep supporting a costly transit-harming road without first looking at transit options.
Artist clichés for hire
Lisa Foad's article Selling out Queen West (NOW, August 23-29) was excellent. I'm sure my friend artist Michael Toke could be hired on to work the Pedestrian Mews once the condo village is complete. They could issue him a cigarette and a beret and park him behind an easel to sketch the happy yuppies shopping for Prada or sipping lattes.
Maybe Jessica Rose could run through the village doing the Movement Movement for Nike instead of art. I'm sure a local poet could be dug up to get drunk at the Drake during the day, doing his best Bukowski. (The Ben Gazarra depiction may be better suited to the Drake, and the Mickey Rourke version could pop into Lot 16.)
Don't worry, kids, it will all work out. The adults are dealing with this. You just keep playing with your paints and clay and leave the real world to us.
A worm a day...
Wayne Roberts sounds so sure when he toes the organic party line and says there is no reason for anyone to question whether or not organics are worth the price (NOW, August 23-29). I wonder if he ever gets his hands dirty enough to find out if it's true.
As a professional in the sector, I would say it really depends on the "commodity."
Organic milk in Ontario is local, but that has nothing to do with organic certification. Roberts picks tree fruit (peaches and apples) as especially bad, but here again, I don't think he knows what he's talking about.
I was on apple farms and peach farms in Ontario this summer, working as a consultant in "natural" and organic production. I also attended some conventional research field days for apples and peaches.
Ontarians should not be afraid of their fruit. Fear-mongers like Roberts talk about pesticide residues. Sure, there may be a detectable pesticide residue, but you can detect a lot with testing these days, even in the remote Arctic.
The reality of the supermarket and world trade is that you are going to be buying imported fruit if you buy organic. That's okay if you don't mind "food miles," but it's hard to grow fruit in Ontario totally pesticide-free, because people don't want worms in their fruit. I'd be glad to show Roberts a worm in an organic apple if he doesn't know that this is what usually happens when you don't spray.