You guys sure have been racking up the cool points lately! Each time you disparagingly write about the Smashing Pumpkins "reunion" using those cynical quotation marks - and it never gets old - your indie quotient goes up 20 per cent.
Your write-up of the Pumpkins' performance at V Fest (NOW, September 13-19) absolutely catapulted you to glorious, uncharted heights of indie snobbery.
Oh. I'm sorry. It's Billy Corgan who's the arrogant prick (obviously), not the music writers at NOW.
Art or ego worship?
I was delighted by your Student Issue cover (NOW, September 13-19). Why not more artwork on the cover and less of the celebrity ego worship?
Hang like a spider
Butterfield Park, we are told in your Student Issue, is the place to "hang" at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
"Butterfield is an edgy place to become entangled in your thoughts. (Alsop's) stilts dance like a giant tarantula's legs in the light and dark of the setting sun." Quirky thoughts, no doubt!
Missing York's frequency
I read through NOW's notes on U of T and Ryerson in the Student Issue (NOW, September 13-19), noting the "Tune In" sections about CIUT and CKLN. But when I got to your pages on York, I found its community radio station, CHRY, missing.
While I understand that CHRY's terrestrial reach peters out around Eglinton (only making it farther south for car radios), it can be listened to live online via www.chry.fm.
RE Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wrong's response to your Reality Check article (NOW, September 13-19). Minnan-Wong needs his own reality check. He has to be the most destructive, asshole councillor in the history of Toronto. His whole political existence seems to be based on hatred for David Miller, who is at least trying to do something about Toronto's fiscal crisis. You sure can't say that about this idiot. Shame on the voters of Don Valley wherever.
Road tolls over taxes
Has Mayor David Miller already read Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine? His strategy to ram through a couple of new taxes sounds like it. We are at the brink of disaster. No time to talk. We must do this. Period.
The car licensing tax is wrong because it equally taxes big gas-guzzlers and smaller, less polluting vehicles that take up less room on the roads.
Why not put transponders on municipal highways (the QEW and DVP) and tax non-Toronto residents driving into town, like the old tolls in medieval towns?
We could even have rush-hour-only tolls, making our TTC more attractive.
Thanks for exposing this vandalism that the city is carrying out on natural gardens (NOW, September 6-12).
I hope Deborah Dale gets some justice. It is sad that the city is putting municipal tax money into destroying wildlife food sources and habitat at a time when Toronto is having major financial problems.
Chop trees while we're at it
I agree with the city's efforts to get rid of natural gardens. The giant weeds only give gangsters a place to hide. I say we chop down every tree in this city.
I can't stand the sight of those hideous things.
RE John Harkness's review of Across The Universe (NOW, September 13-19). Did we see the same movie? It is a love story and a musical with creative interpretations of Beatles classics. Enough said.
You forgot to mention Bono's somewhat over-the-top but incredible cameo and the earth-shattering Gospel version of Let It Be, each of which was reason enough to see the film.
As to deeper meanings, not only has Across The Universe advanced the art of film-based musicals, but it will most certainly also get an Oscar nod and introduce a legion of new fans to the Beatles.
I for one can't wait to see and experience it again!
Tiny shop of bike horrors
RE Tears of a bikeless cyclist (NOW, September 6-12).
We live on Queen West and have had four bikes stolen from us in the last three years.
One year after mine was stolen, I saw it parked by the Drake and put a note on it.
The person bought it from a Queen West shop for 200 bucks a week after it was stolen from me.
My husband's bike was stolen from inside our building last summer, and we found it for sale at another shop less than 12 hour later. Ironic thing is, we had bought the bike there for 200 bucks six months earlier. The owner knew us well. He said he bought it off a crackhead, he knew it was ours and was going to call us. He had our number but never called.
He sold it back to us for $50. We no longer use his services.
Paige Lilley Demkiw
Just say go ahead
RE Drug ads could trigger tokers (NOW, September 13-19).
Historically speaking, the biggest single cause of drug epidemics among U.S. children is anti-drug campaigns.
The first major teen drug epidemic was alcohol, during Prohibition. Prohibition was passed in response to a campaign to save the children from alcohol. Within five years, record numbers of teens were in hospitals and jails because of alcohol problems.
Schools had to cancel dances because so many kids showed up drunk. Lots of children became couriers for bootleggers. Other examples of drug epidemics triggered by anti-drug campaigns include meth, LSD and cocaine.
In 1972, the Consumers Union Report On Licit And Illicit Drugs predicted that the U.S. was in for a major cocaine epidemic, based solely on its analysis of U.S. government policies against drugs.
Shortly thereafter, we had the worst cocaine epidemic in our history.
Clifford A. Schaffer
Schaffer Library of Drug Policy
Agua Dulce, California
Curb your ignorance
RE Barrett Hooper's recent review of Curb Your Enthusiasm (NOW, September 6-12). Perhaps, if his literary and comedic senses weren't so stunted, Hooper would be perceptive enough to realize that Curb is a masterpiece of dramatic irony.
Perhaps, if not for the weird metaphysical blockage he describes watching Curb - "constrained, contained, corked up..." (maybe he should eat more bran?) - Hooper would realize that what he sees as "politically incorrect" humour is actually insightful, and hilarious, social commentary.
How does one review Curb without even mentioning Jeff Garland?
Kantor's vagina monologue
Istvan Kantor's self-appraisal as a "female with a cunt inserted into my brain that fills the empty space..." (NOW, August 30-September 5) is most revealing.
It could explain his excessively overactive bland gland, which has led him into many banality-boner manifestations that have all the inspirational fertility of broken-tailed sperm.
Kantor's work all too often reminds me of a line from an Al Purdy poem about two drunks in an open field "pissing at the stars and failing magnificently."
The People's Republic of Poetry, in compliance with the recommendations of the Creative Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Inspiration and Minister with Poetfolio, reaffirms the primacy of the Policy of Poetry Proliferation and recommends that the Poetburo and Poetariet regard Istvan Kantor as a VIP: Very Impoetent Perversonality.
If the Glover fits
RE Rogers's concession to food workers (NOW, August 30-September 5). It's nice that Unite Here has organized such a passionate campaign to unionize concession workers at the Rogers Centre.
However, staff toiling away at minimum wage at major event venues in this city is more widespread than one would like to believe. Ushers at Ricoh Coliseum and some event staff at BMO Field (both venues run by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) are still making $8 an hour, while their unionized peers at bigger venues like the Air Canada Centre start at $13 an hour.
Maybe Danny Glover can drop by a Marlies game one of these days to lend his support.
I have always been dismayed by the back pages of NOW featuring ads selling the services of women. The pages, with ever more explicit photos of body parts, seem at odds with the political concerns NOW champions.
Increasingly, I feel like a resident at a colonoscopy clinic: so many buttocks. Yes, I scrutinize the ads, not as a prude or censor, but to speculate upon the identities of the models and the interests that profit from their services.
Exactly whose ass is on the line?