Letters to the Editor

Torch run's Olympic burn Toronto's welcoming.

Torch run’s Olympic burn

Toronto’s welcoming of the Olympic torch (NOW, December 24-30) brought together a rich array of performers. Dancers and musicians, in wheelchair and on foot, represented First Nation, West African, East Indian, Samoan, Spanish and other groups.

It was, however, dismaying to observe that the best-funded performances were by RBC and Coke staff – they had the slickest costumes, music, lighting, props. They wanted us to cheer “RBC” while nibbling on their RBC chocolate gold medals and sing the Coke song while waving their Coke flags.

It is often said that what is important to each Olympic host’s culture is reflected in the public events it mounts to celebrate.

I was saddened by our statement to the world that we evidently value consumerism above all.

Jacqueline Karsemeyer


T.O. crowds the boring ones

Several friends attended the Girls show at the El Mo last month, and their reports were in keeping with your Disappointments of the year (NOW, December 24-30): boring. So I suppose now I’m not as upset that I couldn’t get a ticket.

But before we start pointing a finger too vigorously at artists, Toronto has an international reputation for being one of the dullest audiences in North America. Wilco hinted at it. King Khan has not so subtly brought it to our attention. Beck even gave us an ultimatum: “If you’re not gonna dance, I’m going home!”

You! Yes, you standing there in the front row, expressionless with your arms crossed! It’s a concert.

Sean Beresford


Kairos’s anti-Semitism sting

As Jewish women concerned with global justice, we are writing to express shock and anger at the recent decision by the Canadian government to defund Kairos (NOW Daily Online, December 23).

This vital human rights organization does invaluable work in countries around the world.

Kairos furthers what we have always believed to be Canadian goals of supporting human rights around the globe.

It is unthinkable that one of the reasons being given for the defunding of this honourable organization is an accusation of anti-Semitism.

Deeming its actions anti-Semitic devalues the term and leaves us as Jews vulnerable in the times when real anti-Semitism occurs.

Lois Fine, Rachel Epstein


Inglourious to the N degree

So I read your dvd review of Inglourious Basterds (NOW, December 17-23), which Andrew Dowler gave two Ns, and I was sure I remembered seeing a three-N rating when the movie first came out. Which is it?

I understand that Norman Wilner and Andrew Dowler are different critics with their own perspectives and who may not see eye to eye, and I respect that, but the idea of having a star (or N) system for movie rankings implies that there’s an internal consensus and that the ranking represents the opinion of the magazine as a whole.

While I personally think a star-based rating system is not generally helpful for something as subjective as film, if you are going to use one, it would be nice if you used it with a little internal consistency.

Sam Linton


Kindle a page-turner

Joshua Errett wonders why anyone would want an Amazon Kindle or other e-reader when multimedia devices like the iPhone offer their own reading applications (NOW, December 17-23).

But these two product groups aren’t comparable – at least not yet.

An electrophoretic device like the Kindle is designed with readability in mind. The reason Amazon has sold so many of them is because they’re actually replacing printed books in their users’ hands.

Smartphones can’t do that their backlit displays aren’t anywhere near as easy on the eyes for long periods.

Also, e-readers only use electricity when they “turn the page.” Their ability to display content without further draining the battery is another major differentiator.

Convergence may be on the way, but to provide the advantages of both the iPhone and the Kindle will require a different type of screen altogether.

Peter Saunders


COP15 cock-up

It is rare to read an article of such naive stupidity as that of Alice Klein’s report from the Copenhagen Climate Change Summit (NOW, December 17-23). I laughed.

Klein thinks that billions (trillions?) of dollars are going to fall out of the sky just like magic to be delivered to developing countries to help them deal with global warming.

She doesn’t mention that most developing countries are led by serial kleptomaniacs who will promptly redirect the zillions to their Swiss bank accounts.

And why should these gazillions of dollars be paid anyway? Global warming is a natural phenomenon caused by the sun, not farting cows or the airplane Klein took to get to Denmark.

Max Ewing


Some sizzle in that Mac

I don’t often take an opportunity to commend a reporter or anyone from the media for that matter.

But your article Mac Attack on new police union head Mike McCormack (NOW, December 17-23) was very well written and covered all aspects of the man. Well done.

Tom Simmonds


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