Nursing a Nazi hangover
I would like to express my disappointment and disgust at the UpFront section in NOW's last two issues.
The most recent (NOW, October 25-31) features a photo from the Switch fashion and fetish show showing a guy in a Nazi uniform, complete with swastika, in the front row.
I'm just wondering why NOW would choose to use this ignorant and offensive image to represent this celebration of fetishism. Perhaps I'm missing the connection between Nazi wannabes and fetish shows?
Is this guy trying to be shocking and subversive, à la Prince Harry? Or is he truly a Nazi supporter who has found a subculture and a magazine that does not question his disturbing choice of attire, but instead seems to glamorize it?
I also take issue with the previous week's UpFront item (NOW, October 18-24) suggesting that Ontario nurses feel underappreciated and should get a sense of humour because they organized to speak out against the sexist and degrading way nurses were portrayed in a Dentyne ad.
The brave and successful efforts of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario in challenging the way nurses are portrayed in the media should be commended.
Taxing tunnel vision
I'd like to applaud city council for making the very difficult decision last week to implement two new taxes (NOW, October 25-31).
What I would love to see next is a congestion tax on cars coming into the city. People living in the 905 and working or playing in Toronto pay their property taxes elsewhere while using city services daily.
Homelessness is pretty much a non-issue in cities like Mississauga, Brampton and Pickering - not because nobody from outside of Toronto becomes homeless, but because people who become homeless come to Toronto, where there are resources for them, resources paid for by taxpayers.
I know that the argument is always that people won't come to the city if we put tolls on the roads.
But New York has had toll bridges and tunnels for years, and no one in New Jersey decides not to take the tunnel because of the toll.
I've been reading your music reviews for quite some time now and have agreed with the majority of them. However, the reviews of the Necro album Death Rap and Little Brother's Get Back (NOW, October 25-31) really puzzled me.
How could Addi Stewart give Death Rap, which perfectly exemplifies all that is wrong with hiphop, an NNN rating, while Jason Richards gave an album that perfectly exemplifies the best of hiphop an NN rating?
Richards found Get Back "bland" and "soft," and said hiphop "hit the snooze button." The album was great social commentary.
You want to talk about boring and repetitive? Listen to Necro rap about his obsession with dead bodies, rape, beating women, etc. The man obviously has nothing new or relevant to say.
A tad hypocritical for all NOW's talk about feminism and women's rights.
Whole Foods, gush, gush
NOW states that the frenzy for ever-ripe food flown in from collosal farms thousands of kilometres away is feeding an earth emergency (NOW, October 11-17). "It is time to embrace the seasons, heal the planet and fuel regional economies by becoming true locavores."
Having read and believed that, I was shocked to hear Whole Foods' response to my e-mail question about their sale of water from Fiji.
Not only does that water travel a long distance, but there is a water shortage in Fiji.
Whole Foods responded, "There are many items we don't sell because of content or how it is produced or grown, but distance travelled from source to shelf is not a criterion for us with regards to restricting sales of an item."
Could Ecoholic make a recommendation regarding pressure tactics?
Coalition for a Green Economy
It is imperative that stéphane Dion remove Michael Ignatieff from his role as deputy leader (NOW, October 18-24).
Until he does, the party will continue to flounder, invalidated by the efforts of Harper and his Conservatives and Ignatieff and his aspirations.
NDP image consciousness
RE NDP, lose your illusions (NOW, October 18-24). Voters are rejecting the NDP because they're getting what the NDP used to offer from other sources.
As Michael Hollett points out, both the Liberals and the Green party have appropriated what used to be NDP issues - defending public services and the environment.
So why is your 10 Ways To Rescue The NDP strictly image-based?
True, the NDP needs some make-up, but it has become neutralized because it sits complacently in the face of political evolution, not because it needs a hipper look.
Bring in new creative people, certainly. Reach out to citizens, obviously. But "sell a vision of hope"? "Sell some more dreams"? Give me a fucking break. The NDP won't get votes back by just donning new threads.
As Klein is to Marx
RE Mr. Shock therapy (NOW, October 11-17). During her rabid criticism of Alan Greenspan, former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, Naomi Klein, Mrs. Shock Therapy, notes that the libertarian author Ayn Rand "is simply pulped-up Adam Smith." Quite a relevant comparison. But then again, isn't Naomi Klein a pulped-up Karl Marx?
Sheila Gostick's Recent tirade (NOW, October 18-24) might as well have been subtitled "Why I'm so much more enlightened than the conformist suckers who went to Nuit Blanche."
What a waste of ink, paper, pixels and energy. Trust a NOW columnist to spoil everyone else's fun!
Pro-pedestrian hit and run
RE Car-free streets may drive out the poor (NOW, October 11-17). It's a fairly interesting article, but I want to point out one small error in paragraph 10: "We don't have the luxury of the Netherlands' laws. There, drivers who hit pedestrians are assumed to be liable unless they can prove otherwise."
We have the luxury of Ontario's Highway Traffic Act, which states that in an accident between a motor vehicle and pedestrian, the onus of proof is on the owner or driver of the motor vehicle to demonstrate that the loss or damage did not arise through his or her negligence, improper conduct, etc.
A little careless.
Anyways, good article.
I don't often disagree with Gwynne Dyer. His recent piece on the Armenian genocide bill in the U.S. (NOW, October 11-17), however, is too contradictory to accept.
I am perplexed by his insistence that the Turk massacre of Armenians "was certainly a genocide, but it was not premeditated, nor was it systematic."
A cursory examination of the documentation available suggests a good deal of premeditation, including the disarming and massacre of Armenian males serving in the Ottoman army, the rounding-up and murder of Armenian intellectuals in Istanbul on April 24, 1915, and the "deportation" of Armenians of all ages through the desert, on foot, with no provisions, not to mention mass drownings and primitive gas chambers.
Armenian genocide recognition has nothing to do with the war in Iraq, the Kurds or the fortunes of modern Turkey. It has to do with acknowledgement of a brutal, intentional crime committed on a scale unprecedented at the time.
RE CityTV dares to be square (NOW, October 25-31). Hey, folks, last I checked Ted Rogers bought Citytv. His evil lair is up on Jarvis and he doesn't have anything to do with BellGlobemedia out in Scarberia if he can possibly help it.
BGM got the specialty channels MuchMusic (which is a misnomer these days anyway), Space, Bravo and "The New BS stations" like VR up in Barrie that show endless repeats of U.S. trash TV. How hip is that?
iPhone's busy signal
RE Taking a bite of the apple (NOW, October 11-17). Because the iPhone runs off a GSM network, that means the main choice of providers in Canada is Rogers or Fido (which Rogers owns).
So hacking the phone really doesn't mean much when, in the end, you still have to go to Rogers in one form or another.
It might have been a better idea for Joseph Wilson to write about why it's taking so long for Rogers to put out the iPhone.
AT&T offers a monthly plan for $60 that includes unlimited data, something I'm betting Rogers wants nothing to do with, since it's where they make a huge portion of their profits.
Harkness's Night flight
Did John Harkness miss the beginning of We Own The Night (NOW, October 11-17)? It would seem so, given the confusion he displays in the last paragraph of his review. Who owns the night? That would be the New York City police department - as is written on their badges and the patches on the shoulders of theire uniforms.