Nick Cave: the lighter side
Thanks very much for putting Nick Cave on your cover (NOW, March 21-27).
He's one of my favourite artists, and Push The Sky Away is a masterpiece. I can't wait to see him live again. But I must reject John Semley's characterization of him as a "sad bastard" and his music as "gloomy, depressing and dark."
Songs that plumb the dark truths of life and the depths of experience are uplifting and healing because they tell us we're not alone. We're all alike and share the same questions. Who has not been the bird singing in the indifferent tree?
Happiness lives not in a denial of all the things we wish weren't so; it lives alongside hard truths and the deep appreciation of life and beauty that these "gloomy" truths bring. Cave's music brings me joy.
Comedy rant was childish
Glenn Sumi should be ashamed of his unprofessional annihilation of Martha Chaves in How Not To Make A Comedy Critic Laugh (NOW, March 21).
In an effort to make a point, Sumi himself exhibits the lack of professionalism he accuses Chaves of.
His story was not about whether her set was good or bad. As he mentions, bad sets can and do happen. His story was about his being "overwrought" that Chaves, admittedly not the best decision on her part, tried to protect a reputation she has spent a long time building by asking him not to write about her set.
Instead of just passing the whole thing off as not her best night, Sumi turned his review into a childish "I'll show you" rant.
Maybe Sumi should give some of the city's top comedic talents space to call out what they think of his reviews.
Casino boosters gambling on apathy
What a silly ploy all of this casino business has been for Toronto (NOW, March 21-27). Rob Ford and Paul Godfrey really thought they could just squeeze one in at the CNE - or even at the recently closed Ontario Place (coincidence that it closed so close to this proposal?) - and we'd all just accept it in our apathy? LOL.
Bad book lessons borrowed
Re Public Library Inc. (NOW, March 21-27). For many years now, universities and hospitals in this city have accepted money from corporate CEOs. Why would anyone be surprised that the Toronto Public Library has embarked on a similar path with Indigo?
In the face of government privatization, austerity and corporate tax cuts, we're forced to look for alternative sources of revenue for public infrastructure. But as Councillor Janet Davis says, it's a "slippery slope."
Transit funding's value added
Adam Giambrone's efforts to finesse the Board of Trade's lame transit funding ideas amount to putting lipstick on a pig (NOW, March 21-27).
Raising sales and gas taxes will just encourage people to shop and tank up outside the region.
The fairest and least economically damaging way to fund transit is to capture the unearned value that accrues to the land near publicly funded infrastructure, also known as land value taxation.
Many cities, notably Hong Kong, finance transit using this method.
Frank de Jong
Where Fab failed on gay thing
Anyone familiar with John Kennedy's run at Fab and how it ended will enjoy his very uninformed take on the magazine (NOW, March 21-27).
That being said, I'm quite proud of what we covered at Fab while I was a columnist and associate editor. But, hey, Kennedy got Phyllis Diller, so clearly we were shallow. Did Kennedy never read any gay publication besides Fab?
The end came for a specific reason: it's no longer taboo for advertisers to target a gay market in mainstream magazines.
Kudos to the Fab team for keeping it alive longer than most major cities' gay publications.
A plea for less idiocy
Please, NOW, please. Do we truly need to hear from a Conservative sycophant in every issue?
I honestly adore NOW because it's a different newspaper, with balanced views and an intelligent attempt to deal with the issues of the day.
But then you absolutely must include offal like the letter from Scott Yule (NOW, March 21-27), who seems to be determined to insult his own intelligence.
His wailing hysteria is exactly the kind of miserable, selfish and thoughtless garbage most people attempt to avoid reading.
Is it possible to not include something so useless and inflammatory that after having a very nice cheap wine with friends on a Friday night, I'm still inspired to write to you?
We are beset by the idiocy of the world. Can't we have a respite in the magazine we read as our alternative?
NOW welcomes reader mail. Address letters to: NOW, Letters to the Editor, 189 Church, Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7. Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and faxes to 416-364-1166. All correspondence must include your name, address and daytime phone number. Letters may be edited for length.