ROM prankster’s 15 minutes
RE I’m Gonna Blow, By Susan G. Cole (NOW, December 13-19). I think it’s relevant to point out that this prank/art was done before by the creators of the cartoon Aqua Teen Hunger Force in January of this year as part of a guerrilla marketing campaign for the cartoon.
They placed bomb-like devices (basically Lite-Brites with wires) in several public spaces in Boston and caused closures of streets and bridges.
I found it thoroughly hilarious.
The attempt at art at the ROM was less interesting.
It’s clearly an easy way to get some press, though.
Artspeak not deep enough
In Profiling Toronto’s Mural Scene (NOW, December 13-19), would it have been too much to speak with the artists and credit their work properly?
The mural movement could benefit from an analysis of what motivates artists to go public with their ideas and engage communities in public art-making.
Hands off our parks
RE City In A Park (NOW, December 13-19). Adam Vaughan wants to make parks centres of community control, cutting out the layer of bureaucracy that manages them.
I am fortunate to work in a park where I know the residents in the neighbourhood and am able to pass on their suggestions to management.
But if the police had their way, every bush and tree would be drastically pruned. We are just finally starting to fix the damage done during the Lastman years.
Haven’t we had enough restructuring, cost restraints and reorganizations?
Blaming bureaucrats crap
Kyle Rae says in the piece about restructuring program delivery in parks that a shift is occurring and members of council are almost being made redundant because the bureaucracy is in control.
Staff-slagging by politicians should always merit our rapt attention, because, like any form of scapegoating, it is usually indicative of a deeper malaise – i.e., councillors running interference with planning departments to “facilitate” development proposals on behalf of their pals.
But if one accepts Rae’s assertion that the situation is as dismal as he makes out, you’re still left without a satisfying explanation of exactly how this dark development has arisen. Rae’s been on council since 1991. He’s travelled the globe quite enthusiastically checking out how other cities deal with their governing imperatives. He sits on the executive committee and steers the economic development file.
In what remaining way need (or indeed could) the situation improve before Rae moves to make the structural changes he apparently believes are necessary?
No racist plot here
I read your latest arguments for creating separate African-Canadian schools (NOW, December 13-19), and the two specific concerns seem to be: there are too few African-Canadian teachers in the public school system, and the school curriculum is too Eurocentric.
I wonder where you expect the African-Canadian teachers to come from? If we just hire them from other public schools, we will certainly create a racially segregated system, and neither racial group will learn how to live in a racially diverse society and get along with people of other races.
As for the Eurocentric curriculum in public schools, it’s not actually a racist plot to devalue the importance of African history and culture.
It is a fact of history, like it or not, that Europe and Europeans have had a disproportionate influence on the evolution of human culture over the past few centuries.
However, Africa and Africans have made significant contributions as well, and that fact should also be reflected in school curricula.
Our black schools hypocrisy
Kudos to NOW’s coverage of afro-centred schools.
The sheer racist hypocrisy, from the government on down, is so transparent it’s sickening.
It’s okay for the filthy rich, the various kooky religious boards to suck all they can from the system and be patted on the back for it, but not okay for the Afro-centred. If this isn’t the most blatant example of the fucking racist mindset pervading this country, I don’t know what is.
Thank you for printing gregory Azeff’s letter, Bible Missing Moral Compass (NOW, December 13-19). It was very enlightening.
I, for one, do support the Halton board’s ban on The Golden Compass.
Should we be distributing Muhammad cartoons in mosques? If you want the books, you can buy them in any store, as many as you want. Nobody wants to ban them from there.
I do not know what Bible Azeff reads, but I would love to see proof of his claim that few books are as “hate-filled, intolerant, homophobic, racist and demeaning to the human spirit as the Bible.”
When Bibles are burned, I am guessing, it will be time for the Night of Long Machetes and the final solution for Christianity. Multiculturalism at its best. Merry Christmas, Mr. Azeff.
Zbigniew M. Skiba
The Photo Essay Facade Fakeout (NOW, November 29-December 5) is most welcome and long overdue.
Those of us who care about architectural history are appalled by this ever-growing trend.
But one has to ask those who espouse preservation: do they not understand the value of historic buildings that they should be satisfied with this tokenism?
I ask preservationists to show some backbone when cooperating with developers who perpetrate these frauds.I also challenge architects to show some respect for their own profession and stop desecrating the work of their illustrious forebears.
Mary Anne Neville
Dial M for climate change
Regarding Wayne Roberts’s World Of Wasted Time (NOW, November 29-December 5). Roberts is right that “Climate change has stopped being human-created and in our control.”
What he’s missing in the recent reports is the rather more optimistic analysis that doing something about the climate is actually not going to cost as much as previously predicted. Reducing greenhouse gas equivalents should only slow down GDP growth by a small percentage. I repeat, not reduce the GDP, just the rate of its growth.
I suggest that we charge all the do-nothing politicians (like Harper and Bush) with crimes against humanity, because while our GDP merely slows down, the hot, dry and low-lying parts of the world are still going to suffer massive damage.
People will die all over the world while we merely readjust our lifestyle.
I don’t really care what correct name Roberts wants to call the new paradigm. Doing nothing about it will still be looked at as murder by future generations (if there are any).
Jerzy Smoky Dymny
Klein, don’t preach
Please, no more Naomi Klein. Betting On Climate Change (NOW, December 6-12) [posits] some dark conspiracy that security firms will benefit from the climate change crisis. But the only people I see benefiting from the global warming debate are the self-serving environmental movement.
When Klein’s fellow travellers give up their cars and homes and BlackBerries, then they can preach.
Andrew van Velzen
Why this GI resisted
As an Iraq war resister living in Canada, I am very aware of the differences between Vietnam draft dodgers and current resisters to the war in Iraq, and the issue of “volunteer” vs. drafted soldiers (NOW, November 22-28).
However, like me, many of the soldiers who’ve moved north have already spent time in combat.
I joined the army after September 11 and spent one year in Iraq and within that time came to grips with the awfulness and illegitimacy and illegality of this specific war. I was honourably discharged after completing my contractual agreement.
But less than a month later, I was informed that I fell within the regulations of the army’s stop-loss policy (commonly known as the backdoor draft) and was being involuntarily called back into service for a 15-month tour in Iraq.
I explained my opposition to the war to my superiors, which in the Canadian Forces would exclude you from serving, and even contacted my elected officials. The only response I got was that I didn’t have a choice.
I also want to note that had I been stop- lossed to serve in Afghanistan, I’d be there right now as a sergeant in the U.S. Army right alongside the Canadian Forces.