The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada on November 26, 2001 · 13
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The Ottawa Citizen from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada · 13

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Issue Date:
Monday, November 26, 2001
Page:
13
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THE OTTAWA CITIZEN MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2001 A13 LETTERS A better future Native author offers solutions. A15 The fine points A sharp debate over weapons in schools. C5 HARRY POTTER Sarah Silverstein's enjoyment of the long-awaited release of the Harry Potter movie was marred by the presence of a strange man sitting behind her who insisted on kicking the back of her seat for much of the show. A potty old man spoiled my Potter movie To the man (I won't say gentleman) sitting behind me at the Nov. 18, 6:30 p.m., showing of Harry Potter at the Coliseum on Carling: I want you to know what a displeasure it was sitting in front of you. It was like sitting in front of Hagrid himself, except that Hagrid would have been more considerate and would have apologized for causing any discomfort. I, like many others, have been excited about seeing this movie for months. Our friends bought tickets last week and we arrived at the theatre more than an hour early just to get "good seats." I spent the majority of the movie having my seat kicked by you and feeling my blood pressure rise as I got angrier and more distracted. My friend and I turned around a number of times to indicate our annoyance, but you either did not notice or did not care. I finally turned around and asked you to stop kicking, and you didn't even notice me until I tapped your foot. You stopped kicking us, but must have repositioned yourself because you kicked my husband's seat for the rest of the movie. Even you could not ruin this incredible movie for me, but you came awfully close. I do not understand what your problem was. With stadium seating there is very little seat in front of you to kick, but you managed. If you were bored, then you should have left or gone for a walk. If you are a tall person, fine, but either try to sit on an aisle or be cognizant that there are people sitting around you. Otherwise, wait for the movie to come out on video instead of tormenting me. You might assume that I'm talking about a teenager, but I'm not. This theatre-goer must have been at least 60 and should have known better. And to those who read this letter, do not suggest that I be the one to wait for video: I sat quietly the whole time and never touched the seat in front of me. I deserved to be there. Sarah Silverstein, Nepean What the devil, it's just a popular book Re: Harry Potter: The anti-Christ, or a helpful wizard? Nov. 14. Rev. Louis P. Sheldon says reading Harry Potter is more likely to turn a child into a witch or a homosexual. I disagree. Homosexuality is a choice made by someone, and cannot be influenced by simply reading a book. And there have been other books about magic, such as The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings and The Narnia Chronicles. So why is Harry Potter being singled out as a book that may submerge children into the world of Wicca? What is with people psychoanalysing everything to death nowadays? Harry Potter is simply a children's book that has been a big hit. People should be glad children are reading, not annoyed that they are reading about witches and wizards. Cayleigh Milne-Keeley, 15, Merrickville Childhood magic Re: Hundreds skip school, work for opening day of movie, Nov. 17. Two Fridays ago, with their parents as willing and enthusiastic accomplices, thousands of Ontario children skipped school for the opening of the Harry Potter movie. Truancy on such an epic scale somehow slipped by the ever-watchful eye of our premier and our education minister. Where were the public scoldings? The stringent new Ontario curriculum was abandoned and our children may have suffered academic deprivations that will haunt them for decades. Why was the Ministry of Education powerless to avert this tragedy? On the other hand, maybe it was just an old-fashioned plunge into fun, adventure, terror and a hundred other emotions scrubbed out of our performance- and test-driven schools. Things we once called the magic of childhood. Let's hope there is a message in all this for the Potter parents. Let's trust they will not be clutching at the throat of a teacher who may be reluctant to hammer the Pythagorean theorem into children's minds two minutes before final dismissal on Dec. 21 for the long and joyous holidays. Glenn Kletke, Ottawa Article had warts Thanks to the Citizen's recent contest, members of my family and I were able to attend a special showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. I am the No. 1 fan of author J. K. Rowling and her Harry Potter books. I have read all four too many times to count, learned seemingly useless trivia (did you know that the Hogwarts' motto, translated into English, means "Don't Tickle Sleeping Dragons"?), and have even committed some passages to memory. As an expert on all things Harry Potter, I pronounce the film absolutely fabulous. It lived up to my extremely high expectations and is true to the incredible novel it is based upon However, I wonder how glaring Muggle errors, such as referring to Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon as Harry's stepparents, or describing how students board the Hogwarts Express on Platform Ovfc managed to make it to print. Perhaps the Citizen could enlist the help of a Harry Potter expert to prevent this problem from occurring again. I would be happy to volunteer. Stephanie Boileau, 16, Ottawa A lot of nothing Re: Pottering old men, Nov. 15. The opinion article by John Robson and Peter Simpson was fascinating in its use of wonderful language while saying absolutely nothing. They offered their views on everything that was unimpor tant, both pronouncing judgment on Harry Potter and avoiding doing so at the same time. Although I am an English teacher, I could make neither heads nor tails of their opinions. It seems their sole purpose was to avoid acknowledging that Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a truly enjoyable movie that will appeal to everyone. Well, nearly everyone. I do agree with Mr. Simpson on one point, and that is his reference to his and Mr. Rob-son's "cinematic righteousness." That's a bull's-eye, especially if one is going to use Casablanca as the benchmark for determining if a movie is a classic. Casablanca, while a great film, is filled with espionage, lying and adultery. If these are the requirements for a classic, then thank goodness we don't have more. Perhaps these two should take themselves less seriously and learn just to relax and enjoy a good flick. If they really want to evaluate the culture of today's youth, they should turn their attention back to music and television, where those in the spotlight are nowhere near as polite, honest, brave and trustworthy as Harry Potter. Allison Holmes, LaSalle, Que. Teach-in showed rationale for G20 protests Re: The facts support the protesters, Nov. 19. In the coverage of the G20 protests in Ottawa, there seemed to be an high correlation between reporters' sources of information and their conclusion about the protests. Those reporters who just watched the demonstrations, listened to slogans and read graffiti felt the protests in general to be trivial and police behaviour just fine. On the other hand, your columnist Susan Riley attended the teach-in on Friday night where a number of experts spent several hours detailing their concerns about the negative impacts of World Trade Organization and World Bank policies on developing countries. She also actually attended the march from LeBreton Flats on Saturday. She came away from the weekend with a very different impression that the concerns about the WTO and World Bank are real and the police attacks on the peaceful, sanctioned march appalling. I have found this to be the case with Canadians in general. Once people get beyond the veneer of the situation and into the substance of the concerns about the WTO and the World Bank's treatment of developing countries, it becomes clear that the WTO and World Bank policies are terribly unjust and unhelpful. Had the police come to the teach-in Friday night, many of them probably would have wanted to join the peaceful march instead of taking part in violent anti-democratic "Bill C-36 style" disruption of it. Ken Johnson, Ottawa The real police Re: Bully police have lost my support, Nov. 21. I wonder if Marie-Reine La-pointe and others with her mindset would be so quick to call for an inquiry into the conduct of the Ottawa Police had she been the owner of a vandalized store. It may have escaped her that while yes, the police do hold fundraisers and have pretty horses and doggies, their number one job is to protect the cit izens of Ottawa, be it from a bad individual or from angry, unruly mobs of people bent on vandalism and property destruction. It's a shame Ms. Lapointe won't be as supportive of the police now that she has seen what they really face while doing their jobs, but I suppose she always can frequent the bingo hall and the petting zoo. David Kupkee, Ottawa Defend democracy Why did the police search the anti-G20 marchers in Ottawa? Why was a reporter hit after identifying himself? What kind of country is this? When police arrest people "for preventative purposes," this is wrong. Canadian law does not allow this, nor should it. The police arrested 55 people and charged just 12. The rest they kept in jail and out of the demonstration until the next day. Why have we sent ships and sailors to support the war against terrorism? To defend democracy? Let's recall them. They're needed here to defend democracy. Perhaps they can arrest and convict the police officers who broke the law. What's the penalty for intimidation and kidnapping? Or are we tearing up our Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Tom A. Trottier, Ottawa Anti-swastika Re: Odd symbol, Nov 23. In response to Salvador Gut-man's letter, this symbol he considered to be similar to a swastika is actually an anti-swastika. It consists of a swastika contained in a red circle with a line through it, much like a no-smoking or no-parking sign. It is a standard anti-racist symbol. The fact the Citizen would publish such a ridiculous comment with no fact-checking shows that the agenda of the Citizen, like all mainstream media outlets, is to demonize dissent and even go so far as to link people fighting for equality, freedom, and democracy with Nazis. Trevor Smith, Ottawa Censorship is no solution for controversial movies Re: Review board is right to ban film with underage sex, Nov. 23. I cannot defend the movie Fat Girl because I haven't seen it. But I disagree with several points in Jason Hodgert's letter. He is right in condemning exploitation of children for pornography, but from what I've read on the subject, this movie is clearly not about exploitation. I don't understand how anyone can claim that censorship will help eliminate exploitation. Mr. Hodgert is also right in saying the law should be respected. But maybe the censorship laws in Ontario should be reviewed. Many people throughout Europe have seen and enjoyed the movie. Does Mr. Hodgert feel Ontarians are less able to distinguish between exploitation and art than Europeans? Of course people in the film industry cannot tell other people what is right for them. But the same argument applies to Mr. Hodgert. He cannot tell everyone else what is bad for them. If he doesn't approve, then let him not watch the movie. But I will never agree that he can impose his decision on everyone else. Fortunately, I live in Quebec, so I will be able to watch the movie and make my own decision. Robin Tessier, Val-des-Monts It's time for Canada to admit its own terrorist role We welcome Letters to the Editor, which must be exclusive to The Ottawa Citizen. For purposes of verification, please include your home address, as well as home and business telephone numbers. Please cite the page and date for articles mentioned. Due to space limitations, letters of 300 words or less are preferred We reserve the right to edit, condense or reject submissions. Although we are unable to acknowledge letters we cannot publish, we value the views of all readers who take the time to send us their comments. Mail: Letters to the Editor Ottawa Citizen, 1101 Baxter Rd., Ottawa. Ont. K2C 3M4 Fax: 596-8458 E-mail: iettersthecitizen.southam,ca Citizen Online: www.canada.com ottawaottawacitizen Letters Editor Kurt Johnson, 596-3785 Copyright in letters and other materials sent to the publisher and accepted for publication remains with the author, but the publisher and its hcencees may freely reproduce them in print, electronic and other forms. ; Re: Bin Laden takes credit for Sept. ii, Nov. u. The U.S. and Osama bin Laden both claim they are fighting noble, and divinely blessed, wars against evil. They see each other as terrorists and they both kill innocents in their wars against the other. We should oppose terrorism of all kinds, whether committed by small groups or by military forces with trillions of dollars in weaponry and media resources. Now that one side in this insane terrorist war has admitted that it s a terrorist, it's time for the other side the state ter rorists to come clean and admit that they too are terrorists. Canada, too, should confess its role. Hundreds of thousands of innocent people may die in Afghanistan this winter, and Canada is helping that happen. Meanwhile, Canada's navy takes turns blockading the Persian Gulf. Our 1991 war against Iraq and our continuing blockade of food and medicine has helped kill 1.5 million Iraqis so far. mostly small children Let's recall Canada's role in the terror that was the Vietnam War. Under the watchful eye of Lester Pearson, our govern- I ment ensured that Canadian companies could legally sell billions of dollars of napalm and other military equipment to the U.S. war machine as it rampaged through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It is perhaps unfair to label these wars as terrorism. A more accurate term is genocide. Canada's Criminal Code says both genocide and its advocacy are illegal. So political speeches, editorials and articles building public support for genocidal wars are illegal. As for recent efforts to stop the financing of terrorism, does that mean Canadians should stop paying taxes, or at least that portion going to our military? If we as citizens continue to fund our government's war of terror against Iraqi and Afghani civilians, should we organize a mass confession? Just imagine. Thousands of Canadians marching to police stations to turn ourselves in for complicity in crimes against humanity because we dutifully paid our taxes to a government that is killing innocent people. Richard Sanders, Ottawa Coordinator, Coalition to Oppose the Arms Trade )

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