Jokes on parade
Hey, now, take it easy. Every week your cover gallops up the barf ladder. The end of hipster (NOW, December 11-17)? Who cares?
I guess if you weren't 50-year-old marketing geniuses (ha), you'd know that no one calls themselves hipsters except for the office jokes who parade up and down Roncesvalles or the Annex or whatever old-scab part of town is "trendy" (ew), looking for organic diapers.
Those caricatures you kindly shoved in between slices of cliché garbage are fucking insulting. Nobody looks like that, nobody thinks like that. The whole concept is juvenile.
Nice thesis: hope unequals cynicism! Well, I guess our one-dimensional youth can only handle one emotion at a time, right?
P.S. I hate your horoscope, and I don't give a shit about what Marco Polo said to a flower in 1345 and how it relates to my shampoo and why this is important. Go fuck yourself.
I must respectfully take issue with Joshua Errett's article. The media has been the chief culprit in the erroneous overuse of the word "hipster." Magazines like yours benefit from it, handing culture writers an overarching label on something they cannot quite understand.
It allows moralists to heap scorn and derision. But worst of all, it's used to stereotype, born of the same impulse that breeds Orientalism and attacks "otherness" out of fear and ignorance.
Look back 50 or 60 years and you'll notice a conspicuous cyclical pattern. Youth have always enjoyed life through irony, outrageous fashion, late-night partying and attitude, and their behaviour has always been co-opted by corporations and sold back to them.
The Weather Underground were photographed by Richard Avedon wearing brand-name clothing just as they began their campaign to bomb munitions factories and government offices to protest the Vietnam War.
Run DMC wrote My Adidas in the 80s, and shoe sales skyrocketed. So if it's all so wrong and vacuous, why, then, does NOW publish ads for American Apparel?
The ugly in Iggy
Regarding your coverage of Michael Ignatieff (NOW, December 11-17). The question is, why would a successful, respected academic swap a plum post at Harvard for the less than glamorous world of Canadian politics?
Striking a diplomatic pose last week, Ignatieff revealed his true side, the "take no prisoners, wear no sweater-vests" approach to politics.
Picked up your paper this morning. Are you out of touch with reality! How can you support the new coalition (NOW, December 4-10)?
The voters made their decision which party they want to lead our country. It wasn't the Liberals, Jack Layton, who has grandiose ideas of himself, or Gilles Duceppe.
Whatever you may think, our country cannot be hijacked. Nothing else matters at the end of the day! The seizing of power may very well be legal, but it is morally wrong.
I think the publishers of your paper should go back to school and learn what democracy really is!
Muriel & Bill Chudiak
Who did in Dion?
NOW is to be commended for its clear and tough-minded support for an NDP-Liberal coalition, serving as a serious alternative media voice.
However, there are some strange twists and turns in the high drama of the last two weeks that NOW appears to have missed.
These essentially revolve around the corporate and right-wing vilification of former Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion.
As is distressingly common in Canadian politics, the corporate attack on Dion's green and social democratic politics is disguised in careful codes.
Instead of hearing about his call for massive investment in public transit, we hear a critique of the alleged low technical quality of the tape it was delivered on.
Even more outrageous were posters at pro-Harper rallies of Dion with a Stalinist-style hammer and sickle. These images were prominent in the Toronto Star, the supposed media champion of left-wing Liberalism.
Okay, so for Sheila Gostick the Catholic anti-abortion culture might as well be from Mars (NOW, December 11-17).
You can dismiss it - that's your choice. But dismissing Catholicism doesn't get you off the hook and allow you to dismiss the abortion issue by association. Drop religion from the argument and you're still left with a question: is abortion first and foremost a women's rights issue, or a human rights issue?
Because if one comes to the conclusion that human life begins at conception (as the science suggests), then abortion is clearly a violation of human rights.
Poverty's prosperity link
Thanks to Wayne Roberts for making the connection between poverty reduction and economic stimulus in a recession (NOW, December 11-17.)
Those of us who have been involved with the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction greeted Ontario's Poverty Reduction Strategy announcement last week with optimism.
Not only is poverty reduction simply the right thing to do, but also, as Roberts points out, it's the right time to do it. Poor people spend any new money they get - and the economy needs that infusion right now, for everyone's sake. The Ontario government must now demonstrate its commitment by making specific, targeted investments immediately - and no later than the 2009 budget.
Festen a feast of friends
There's nothing worse than sitting in front of someone who's uncomfortable at a play. If reality makes you squirm, please don't go to the Company Theatre production of David Eldridge's Festen, at the Berkeley (NOW, December 4-10). Be aware, though, that you'll be missing an outstanding play.
Festen joins Tomson Highway's Dry Lips Oughta Move To Kapuskasing, Tony Kushner's Angels in America and Moises Kaufman's The Laramie Project, plays about what we do to the people we love and what people we love do. This play needs to be extended and taken on the road!
Stuck inside the tar sands
It's disingenuous for opponents of wind turbines on Lake Ontario (NOW, November 27-December 3) to complain about the environmental and health threats when they live between a Pickering nuclear plant that leaks tritium and the port lands gas plant next to the Leslie Spit bird sanctuary.
If the enviro-labour movement had shown as much motivation, the long-suffering working-class community of Leslieville/South Riverdale would have been spared the privatized Portlands Energy Centre. Canada can be a dinosaur stuck in tar sands and nuclear waste or move toward 100 per cent renewable and public power.
Paradigm Shift Environmental Alliance
Oops, we forgot to mention...
The wardrobe stylist for last week's cover, The End Of The Hipster, was Jennifer Tse. Katie Scanlan was the make-up artist.