Letters To The Editor | December 6-12, 2018: Cops in Pride are a necessary evil

Plus, that time Tom Wolfe and Marshall McLuhan had lunch in a topless bar

Pride and cops as a necessary evil 

In the article Why Reform Pride When You Can Just Let It Die? (NOW, November 29-December 5), Florence Ashley refers to the Toronto Police Service as “agents of state vio-lence.” This is true.

On the flip side, remember that an important element of our relatively safe and peaceful society has been the transfer of interpersonal violence to (ideally) impartial systems of justice and enforcement.

We clearly still have work to do on the “impartial” piece of this. 

Abandoning the delegation of violence to the state, however, is not an option if we aim to continue the long-term trend to greater tolerance and peace at every level.

Cops are a necessary evil. Let’s collaborate to help them serve all of us more fairly.

Tom Sommerville, Toronto

Political cannibalism at its best

I’m a cis, white fag from rural Manitoba who looks forward to reading your rag every Sunday evening over a pint. This week’s edition on Pride was a self-serving social justice swamp that checked all the boxes to be “relevant.” This was liberal cannibalism at its best. 

David Burns, Toronto

Boycotting Pride no more

I just want to thank Pride executive director Olivia Nuamah for inviting police back to the parade. I’ll finally be able to stop boycotting Pride. 

Paul Michael, From nowtoronto.com

Conservatives strike fear in our heart

Re Michael Coren’s column on the Conservative movement’s hate-on for Trudeau (NOW, November 29-December 5). 

Regardless of how you feel about Trudeau and the Liberals, the current lineup of Conservatives should strike fear in the heart of anyone who has an ounce of compassion or humility (or intelligence). 

They are taking a page out of the Trump playbook with bald-faced lying and unrestrained bigotry, misogyny and stupidity. 

We suffered through the Harper years and watched him shut down the scientists, try to deconstruct Canada Post, diminish our standing on the world stage and, yes, even refuse to speak to the press. Sound familiar? 

Mary Lou Martin, From nowtoronto.com

Womansplaining the music industry

Regarding Music Men Ruined For Me by Michael Rancic (NOW, November 29-December 5). Let me womansplain…. Being in the music and entertainment industry for 35 years, I can attest from experience that women are ’splaining as furiously as men – steamrollers come in every age, gender, size, shape, colour and nationality. 

I’ve been mansplained, womansplained and teensplained (those teenagers have mouthy steamrolling going on!). Let people speak. 

If they get excited about a band and passionate about music, how is that not fabulous? Jump in and enjoy the conversation, or blame everyone else for ruining your day. I guess you can always do the latter and publish a zine.

Cindy Badell-Slaughter, From nowtoronto.com

Wolfe’s revealing McLuhan connection

Congratulations to José Teodoro for his appreciative review of The Message (NOW, November 22-28). He catches the main points of the play, and its many allusions to Joyce and Beckett.

I will just add some information about the cigarette girl. This scene was taken from an essay about McLuhan written by Thomas Wolfe in 1965 entitled What If He’s Right?”

In this essay, Wolfe describes a lunch at a topless bar with McLuhan and some San Francisco media types. McLuhan keeps theorizing over his salad while the two media types ogle a topless waitress who leans over the table. McLuhan is so engrossed in his ideas that he hardly notices. McLuhan would say, “She is wearing us,” meaning “She is putting us on.” Jason Sherman takes this further in his play by having the waitress perfectly explain all of McLuhan’s abstractions. It is a very funny scene, and a tribute to Sherman, who changed it around.

Cathy Brown, Toronto

Ford’s welfare fix makes me poorer

I’ve been on ODSP for four years. I suffer from schizophrenia, which means that left untreated, I suffer from visual and auditory hallucinations. I also suffer from anxiety, depression and ADHD. Progress has been slow, but I’m finally on the right meds and was actually able to get a part-time job. So far things are great. I have tremendous job satisfaction. 

But I don’t think I could manage the stress of full-time. 

Under the current ODSP rules I am allowed to make $200 before 50 per cent of what I make is deducted. For an 80-hour month I will make $660 before taxes, which works out to $8.25 an hour. 

With the new rules of Doug Ford’s government, I will take home $505, which works out to $6.31 an hour. The more I work the less I make. How can they say that for people on ODSP there is an incentive to work? What a crock.

Joe D., Toronto

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