Hedging on Hedges
Paul Weinberg's paean to Chris Hedges (NOW, July 12-18) misses a few spots. While Hedges is fond of quoting Marx (which he did at least three times, by my count, at his July 9 U of T book promo), he seems loath to follow Marx's advice.
When Hedges says, "The [U.S.] Democratic party no longer represents the interests of the working class," it raises the question, when did either one of the twin parties of Wall Street represent the interests of the working class?
When Hedges calls on Americans to "reverse the corporate coup," exactly when was America not ruled by the corporate elite?
When Hedges says he does not "invest any intellectual or emotional energy in elections" but admits to being a supporter of the pro-capitalist Green party, is he true to the kind of movement Marx advocated in which the working class constitutes itself a political party, takes power in its own name and expropriates the corporate expropriators?
Hedges is a good muckraking journalist, but not a strategist for the kind of fundamental change needed to address the problems he identifies so well.
Chuck this wagon race
I live in Calgary, and each year I spend the entire 10 days of the Stampede ashamed to be a Calgarian and just waiting for horse deaths to occur (NOW Daily, July 13). Quite frankly, I find the whole thing traumatizing, yet I'm powerless to do anything about it because any time you try to speak out, people here attack you and accuse you of being some extreme animal activist rather than someone who loves animals and is just sick of this annual cruelty and abuse.
Why are rodeos even allowed in this day and age?
I'm not some city slicker who doesn't have a clue about farm life. I grew up on a cattle farm, and this is not how we treated our animals.
We humans are the most despicable species. Too many people will do almost anything to make a profit, even if it means allowing another living being to suffer and, worse yet, die. There is no other creature on the planet capable of such barbaric behaviour.
I'm in a similar situation to Stale Mate (NOW Daily, July 14). I'm a 33-year-old male. Married to my wife of 10 years, we have sex every three to six months. Amazing relationship otherwise. Love each other, cook together, travel together, have a two-year-old girl.
However, when it comes to sex, I don't initiate and neither does she.
At the beginning of our relationship we would have sex twice a day, anywhere and everywhere.
Most of us just force ourselves into marriage because it's the best solution we have for raising children.
If two people aren't having sex any more, to me that means that they're no longer sexually attracted to each other (bored of that particular chase) and would be more interested in having sex with someone new.
Of course, breaking through this obstacle is a psycho-social barrier we as North American humans desperately need to overcome.
Unfortunately, while we have realized the need to outsource all our other tasks in life (renovations, childcare, food preparation, etc), we haven't yet realized that even though one may be in a marriage, if sex is no longer a strong part of that marriage (and sex is different from love, don't kid yourself or get fooled by Hollywood), sex, too, must be outsourced.
Tyler Perry parry
Radheyan Simonpillai's statement that Tyler Perry movies "cater to middle-class black audiences" (NOW, June 28-July 4) seems inaccurate to me.
I fall into the category of middle-class black, and I've yet to find what's so appealing about Perry's Madea films and his "over-the-top melodrama [played] against juvenile comedy." Many of my peers are puzzled, too. The black blogs I follow echo the same opinion.
That said, I give him props for getting his films funded and distributed, and for casting actors of all races.
Dumped by CAMH
I, too, am disgusted by CAMH's current Pollyanna publicity campaign (NOW, June 28-July 4). It gleefully proclaims that "stigma [of mental illness] is old hat" while stubbornly refusing to acknowledge that individuals can be denied insurance, employment or housing if they are forthcoming about their condition. Such propaganda is irresponsible.
My doctor sent me to CAMH as a last resort after the majority of his referrals had resulted in rejection. The attending psychiatrist diagnosed double depression, then handed me a list of resources and told me to get lost.
Since I need therapy for some major rejection issues - loss of career, disowned and disinherited - getting dumped by the country's largest mental health institution wasn't exactly what the doctor ordered.
Sorry Camp Schecky
Regarding Camp Schecky. A Play On A Bus (NOW, July 12-18). This Fringe play was a lot of fun but very contrived. I had a hard time giving in, but felt pressured enough to fake it. Sooooorry.
Botched, by local playwright and visual artist Colleen Osborn, was an incredibly well done piece about a tremendously volatile subject.
The final line has a huge impact. The compassion and non-judgment in the closing scene bears witness to the clever weaving of a thoughtful, talented writer.
It was a delight to experience this very moving and insightful play that delivered a positive message of forgiveness and healing. Well done!
The anti-gun lobby promises that banning or severely restricting the ownership of firearms from law abiding citizens will make society safer (NOW, June 21-27). That experiment was tried in Jamaica, and murder and other crimes have gone up dramatically.
In the U.S., a different approach was tried. Since the crime epidemic of the 1980s, many laws were passed that made it easier for non-felons to use firearms for self-defence, and society became much safer.
The conclusion to be drawn is that firearms in the hands of criminals are bad, while firearms in the hands of law-abiding citizens are not.