Harper’s circus economics worthy of P.T. Barnum.
Gerard, just disappear
Did a box of frozen goods fall on Gerard Kennedy's head at the food bank years ago (NOW, September 25-October 1)? Kingmaker for the listless Stéphane Dion? Head-to-head with a great incumbent, Peggy Nash? His post-Liberal leadership convention disappearing act would be much better appreciated if it never ended.
Ticketmaster's AC/DC fix
As an avid ac/dc fan, I was thrilled to hear they'd be making a stop in Toronto as part of their newly announced tour (NOW, September 25-October 1).
So I geared up with my computer and phone at five minutes to 10, before tickets went on sale. At exactly 10, I was put in the queue on ticketmaster.ca. At 10:30 a Ticketmaster agent told me they were sold out. I wondered how the ticket agency could possibly have sold 60,000 tickets in mere minutes.
I discovered several companies still selling tickets for the concert, but I'd have to pay $300 to $2,000 per ticket! Am I going to do it? Do I have a choice? My credit card company thanks them.
We were both offended by NOW's recent review of Staged and Confused's production of Judith Thompson's The Crackwalker (NOW, September 25-October 1). First, we should say that neither of us has seen the show, but implying that this play teaches theatre audiences how to "help" the "broken people" portrayed is simply offensive.
Unlike plays by other Canadian playwrights like Tomson Highway and Joseph Jomo Pierre, which throw stereotypes back at audiences, The Crackwalker is simply middle-class voyeurism re-inscribing and reaffirming the "otherness" of the Canadian poor.
Like minstrel shows of the past, The Crackwalker has less to do with giving an accurate portrayal of another group of people than it does with reaffirming the middle class's sense of superiority.
Kim McLeod, Dave Messer
This is my body, my timely and important photo exhibit dealing with women's body issues, opened on September 18 at G+ Galleries to great press and flattering acclaim from eveyone who had the opportunity to see it. And where was NOW, the self-professed king of the city's alternative cultural scene? Nowhere to be seen!
Culture clash at Krakow fest
I do not know where you got the idea there were some problems with skinheads during the first Kraków Jewish Cultural Festival back in 1988 (NOW, September 10-17). That was a small event. In fact, one of the unusual elements of the festival is that we have never needed any police security.
You also mention that last year members of the NOP protested against the festival. There was a gathering of right-oriented organizations in Myslenice, a town some 30 kilometres south of Kraków, but that was organized on the anniversary of anti-Jewish riots in Myslenice and had nothing to do directly with the festival.
We are very much confused that you presented the festival stretched between two major elements: skinheads and caricatures of Hassids.
Your line that "the figure of a dancing Hassid reappears frequently, almost as a festival motif" is simply unfair. The festival was created to present contemporary Jewish culture, to fight stereotypes.
We are angry that some people still prefer to simplify the world and stick to old, well-established images that might not be true any more.
Festiwal Kultury Zydowskiej
REM, Gilberto Gil, Steven Malkmus and now Nick Cave (NOW, September 18-24, Dig Lazarus Dig) have all fallen victim to your juvenile, backhanded fill-in-the-blanks journalistic hackery. If NOW wants to play the part of the archetypical self-satisfied asshole music snob and is going to insist upon perpetually waving its dick (but a dick with such refined taste, such insightful critiques, bien sûr!) in my face, then I reserve the right to measure it. Grow up.
Dion lost in translation
In his quest for a "Canadian Obama," (NOW, September 18-24), I feel where Michael Hollett is coming from. Unfortunately, he has the wrong guy.
As a left-leaning voter who has generally supported the NDP, I respect Jack Layton's good works. However, the Elizabeth May gaffe was merely the latest in a string of moves - starting with his defeat of the Martin minority - indicating that personal gain and party brand names matter more to him.
The real "change candidate," which Canadians from the centre to the far left alike are simply not grasping, is Stéphane Dion. For all his flaws, real and perceived, I find it sad and frustrating that his very genuine sense of compassion, outrage and vision is getting lost in translation.
He represents a consciousness shift in the Liberal party itself, and in Canada as a whole.
Regarding Running on Empty (NOW, September 25-October 1). I appreciate that you are struggling against deadlines in a fast-paced world, and your editorial stance is one that I consistently value. But c'mon. The statement "...you can't fool all of the people all of the time" being ascribed to Abe Lincoln? This is pure P.T. Barnum. As is the circus of "free market" capitalism.
Layton no lionheart
Recommending that Jack Layton parrot Barrack Obama is like asking a parrot to parrot a lion. Layton's just a parrot. We have no leaders, only parrots. Why can't the NDP, Liberal and Green parties pool their votes and resources to create one temporary party (as the Conservatives and Alliance did) to beat Harper, and then go back to business as usual after the election? Oh nuts, I forgot about our "friends" the Bloc. We're screwed.
I salute Norman Wilner's article Therapy At 24 Frames A Second (NOW, September 18-24). Just thinking about some of the classics takes one's breath away - in a good way.
On the other hand, your articles regarding guns in the same issue are borderline hysteria. I had to climb back up on my chair after I read Straight-shootin' Mayor Miller, comparing the gun lobby to climate change deniers.
Surely Miller has heard: NASA announced that we are now in the cooling phase of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, which is expected to last 20 to 30 years.
Have your editors take some valium, and perhaps go hang out with Norman Wilner. That would be a much more productive use of your time.
St. Paul, Alberta
All the hate that fits
I find NOW's lack of editorial discretion astonishing. You print a letter blaming black people for gun crime (NOW, September 25-October 1) without any analysis of the circumstances that would render this observation useful, followed by a letter stating that "smug, latte-quaffing fags like you [people who support a handgun ban] disgrace our forefathers who died for these rights." This is simply hateful rhetoric, entirely lacking in analysis or insight.
Yet NOW considers these letters print-worthy. I would like to know on what basis these decisions were made. They do not convey much editorial integrity.