Rob Ford's drunken re-election strategy
On Sober Second-Guessing (NOW, March 28-April 3). Last time out, Nick Kouvalis, Rob Ford's campaign cochair, managed to turn a few empty catchphrases into a resounding electoral victory. I fear he could easily do the same with the comeback tale Enzo DiMatteo describes. In fact, at the end of the original Star article, "one former staffer" says pretty much the same thing, and I begin to wonder if we may not have stumbled onto Ford's re-election strategy.
Unnamed sources code
Interesting column on Rob Ford this week with another ridiculous Photoshop illustration. The Star's (or anyone's) "unnamed sources" should speak up and identify themselves or shut up. To not do so is cowardly and allows media to twist their words to suit their own agendas.
Media should leave Rob alone
It's not okay for Councillor Glenn DeBaeremaeker to publicly tell Rob Ford to "get help" for drinking (NOW, March 27).
Toronto media and councillors are making another Fatty Arbuckle story out of poor Rob.
When Arbuckle was asked what his middle initial, C., stood for after he was defamed by Randolph Hearst, he said, "crucified." Rob's middle initial is B. for brutalized.
Suppose Rob came out and said he did have an alcohol problem? Then what would the media do? It wouldn't be sexy enough for them. Unless he is saying or doing something sexist or really illegal, leave him alone.
Stan C. Leonard
NDP energies wasted on auto insurance
Re What's The NDP Got Against Taxes (NOW, March 28-April 3). On auto insurance, the NDP's off the mark.
I work in a trauma centre and see how many people are devastated by motor vehicle collisions and then have to fight the insurance system to get the care they require. Motor vehicle insurance only covers a fraction of the cost of collisions to the overall health care and social services systems.
Motor vehicle insurance is expensive because driving is expensive, but the cost to drivers is not the whole cost of driving. Driving is already highly subsidized by taxpayers.
As a long-time NDP supporter, I would rather see their energies spent on access and infrastructure for cycling and walking, investments in public transportation and legislation to reduce speeds and improve road safety. We're a car-addicted society, and it's doing us no good all around.
Book publishing an Amazon jungle
What's more disturbing than [the Indigo-Toronto Public Library link] Jonathan Goldsbie details in Public Library Inc. (NOW, March 21-27) is that Amazon (at least in the U.S and Britain) is now offering members of its "prime bundle" the opportunity to borrow an e-book for a Kindle device.
That said, I was amused that eight current bestsellers available via the Indigo/TPL arrangement are going for 10 per cent less on average on Amazon.
Partial Birth Story
Re Birth Story: Ina May Gaskin And The Farm Midwives (NOW, March 28-April 3). What a pathetic review! Radheyan Simonpillai pillories the filmmakers for not including more countercultural background on Gaskin. What relevance do polygamy and pot-growing have to birthing?
As for the reviewer's comment that there's nothing here you haven't seen before. Really? How many people have seen a breech birth? Or a water birth?
My pregnant daughter and I really liked the film, and from the audience reaction, that was the general feeling at the screening we attended.
The reviewer seems to have treated the film as an academic essay, but what audience goes to a film looking for that?
It will be nice when all the panda fawning is over (NOW, March 28-April 3). The pandas are no doubt bewildered, and one suspects that they would prefer a peaceful foraging life in China. On top of everything else, they are expected to become pregnant. If they can't manage this on their own, the female will be inseminated artificially. Now, that's pandering with a vengeance.
Picking up the torch for Fab
As a young queer man, I couldn't agree more with John Kennedy's reprimand of Fab magazine (NOW, March 21-27). I may have been too young and in the closet to appreciate the golden era of Fab that Kennedy recalls, but I can say I've been continually upset and disappointed with each issue I've read.
It's publications like Fab that are paradoxically perpetuating the gay stereotypes they claim to be trying to dispel.
I'm a young gay person; it takes me 30 seconds and an internet connection to find a kink party or a bar where I can get hit on by bears while a DJ spins Gaga.
In a gay publication, I'm looking for an interesting editorial viewpoint, a community event or an interest group I otherwise would have no exposure to.
It's because these publications have failed me and my peers that we've taken matters into our own hands, publishing content online and organizing meet-ups and gatherings through Facebook.
It seems the biggest struggle facing gay men as we become more acceptable to polite society is figuring out how to be sociable without relying on the party scene. We have a desperate need for platonic gatherings and a media that supports them over bar listings.
Maybe we're just a symptom of the greater conflict between print media and social media, but here's hoping that if somebody else picks up the torch for Fab, it doesn't become just another stapled collection of party flyers conveniently placed in a box each week.
Comic advice for Martha Chaves
Re How Not To Make A Comedy Critic Laugh by Glenn Sumi (NOW, March 21). As a performer, you have to take the good with the bad. Asking a critic not to write a review of your show because you bombed makes you out to be a diva.
Martha Chaves will learn from this, and be better for it. Great performers learn from their mistakes. It's the nature of the business.
Even Robin Williams and Jerry Seinfeld have off days. You have to accept all reviews. Otherwise, you need to get out of the business.
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