Cries of pro-Palestinian protesters are muted by Canuck pols cowed by Jewish voters.
Your article Cry In The Dark (NOW, January 8-14), with it's sub-headline "Gutless Canadian politicians know it's not a vote winner to take on the Israel lobby," suggests that there is some type of all-powerful Jewish cabal that is controlling politics in Canada.
This is a shameless repetition of an age-old anti-Semitic canard that has no bearing on Canadian politics.
There are fewer than 400,000 Jews in Canada, significantly fewer than the current Muslim Canadian population. And the Jewish vote is by no means homogeneous. In fact, the Conservatives, who currently have the most pro-Israel platform, cannot even get an MP elected in heavily Jewish ridings like Eglinton-Lawrence.
Did you consider that politicians are supporting Israel because it's a just war of self-defence?
The hard line on Israel
Thanks to Glenn Wheeler for a much-needed commentary on the silence of all Canada's major parties regarding the massacre in Gaza.
For anyone who surfs the international press, it's very chilling to see the extent to which Canadian politicians and major media either unabashedly promote the Israeli hard line or are cowed into muting their criticism.
A state of perpetual war
While we can deeply sympathize with the forces that led to the creation of Israel, moderate Zionist Hannah Arendt, the great writer on totalitarianism, who advocated peaceful coexistence with Arabs, predicted that the founding of Israel in 1948 would result in perpetual warfare.
Is a Jewish state ethnically cleansed of Palestinian Arabs more ethically defensible than an Aryan state?
Israel as conceptualized today as a refuge for the Jews is a tragic and dangerous delusion. The only reason it continues to exist is because of U.S. aid, financial and military.
The present political conceptualization of Israel is an atavistic return to the bloody, cyclical tribal politics of Biblical times, of benefit to neither Jew nor Arab, and in the long term suicidal.
Bailout blame game
Wayne Roberts makes some good points and some bad ones about the auto bailout (NOW, January 8-14). The majority of journalists and commentators all want to put the blame for the failure of the auto sector on the backs of the workers and the companies.
But we consumers must bear our share of the blame. We demanded vehicles that reflected our overinflated egos and bank balances. We wanted the community to see we were doing quite well, sometimes falsely. We were so demanding that the banks, the financial system and other lenders all gave incentives to buy a new vehicle.
When Canada instituted the metric system of weights and measures, it was understood, mistakenly it turns out, that the U.S. would follow so our manufactures could sell to new markets in a universal measurement.
The savings to the auto sector with one system of measure for nuts and bolts, fluids and speedometers would take a burden off manufacturers.
Zip.ca's Reform link
I've always thought of NOW Magazine as free-thinking, but never before had I considered it a true reformer. Your advice on surviving the financial crisis (NOW, January 8-14)included recommending that readers sign up with Zip.ca to save on entertainment bills. I'm sure that longtime Zip.ca CEO/president Rick Anderson, one of the chief architects of the anti-gay, anti-choice, neo-con Reform Party of Canada, was delighted to find himself recommended by Toronto's lefty elite. I look forward to NOW's support of Preston Manning in the next federal leadership race.
I found it funny that death metal band Rotting Christ thumb their noses at Jesus (NOW, January 8-14), yet members attempt to physically look like him, with the long hair and beards. It's like naming yourself Rotting Santa, then sporting white beards and rosy cheeks. Ewww, so spooky.
Attention to avant-garde
Regarding letter-writer Dwayne Black's Hate-on For Canuck Film (NOW, January 1-7). It's not just NOW reviewers' negativity toward Canadian films, but the small to non-existent coverage you give to experimental, indie and avant-garde film. Why not give space to films at Pleasure Dome, Cinematheque Ontario's Free Screen, etc? These films, unlike the American films you do review, which have mega-budgets for advertising, need NOW's attention.
"Wankers" clear the air
Letter-writer Greg Cahill's sarcastic suggestion that a 20-lane highway be built on top of the Gardiner (NOW, January 1-7) is offered as a fist in the face to the charmingly named "fucking wankers" who, according to Cahill, should run off ASAP to the countryside since they can't stomach a bit of old-fashioned pollution.
Cahill seems content with the idea of Toronto becoming a grim, Bladerunner world of ever more toxic air, non-stop traffic and parking lots instead of parks. If Cahill wants that, he can easily find it in any video car game. The rest of us sissy wankers will concentrate on getting more parks, more transit and cleaner air.
What's old is MOCCA again
I have to admit that I am past my due date when it comes to understanding the zeitgeist of NOW Magazines' writers and readers, but who are David Jager, Leah Sandals and Fran Schechter?
Is their best 10 art shows list (NOW, December 25-31) based on youthful enthusiasm for something that is new to them? Ah, to be young again, when old is new and new can be old without the gravitas.
At the MOCCA exhibitions, I was struck by an overwhelming sense of déjà vu, having seen more elaborate and compelling representations of some components of the shows (by other artists) previously at the Albright Knox or MoMA or some such place.
From the perspective of a jaded old cynic, the MOCCA shows were New York lite, art training wheels for neophytes. The cutting edge is in need of a good sharpening.
No bars hold on Queen
Regarding Queen West Hangover (NOW, December 18-24). What bar owners like Richard Lambert don't understand is that locals are not against bars; we're concerned about the unchecked and increasing concentration of bars in a four-block stretch.
His attitude that if you live downtown you just have to "deal with it" is naive. I personally will come and hang out on his lawn and take a piss, have a loud domestic argument, let my car alarm go for an hour, smoke a doobie and toss my butts. And for good measure, I'll throw up on his sidewalk.
Lambert must be god's gift to the social scene if he thinks he's transformed our 'hood from what he calls a former suburb to a hipster hangout. Guess what, Richard? The hookers, junkies and dealers who used to hang out at the Stardust (now the Drake) were actually more respectful of the community than you.
Fuck "green," fuck NOW for adding to this hollow buzzword, and fuck Robert Priest (NOW, December 25-31) for believing this word hasn't been astoundingly overused.