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Our readers write: Letters from the print edition

‘If you can get off your ride without putting a kickstand down, it ain’t no motorcycle.’


 

Kourosh Keshiri

Bedtime stories

As a parent of a now-independently sleeping six-year-old (“Battle of the Bed,” Society, Aug. 19), I would tell new parents that I have a happy, autonomous, bright child, even though we spent four years doing everything wrong—according to the experts and morally superior friends and relatives who had children sleeping through the night, on their own. Perhaps we’ll be so lucky to have Will and Kate co-sleep with baby George, so that it becomes acceptable and looked upon as a wonderful thing to do.

Lori Leyte-Stafford, Halifax

I am appalled at the trend of older children in the parental bed, when a little tough love is what’s needed. Children need to struggle to learn to face and overcome challenges both physical and emotional. Parents are not doing their children any favours by babying them.

Teddie Laframboise, Kars, Ont.

In your article, I did not read much about the role of bedtime rituals in getting kids to sleep. In our house, my wife or I spent a full hour in the children’s bed, reading, singing lullabies and “bonding” with them. A routine, a soft voice and the comfort of a warm body usually did the trick. The parental bed was a rare last resort to midnight waking. Not to be too judgmental, but lack of exercise, inadequate fresh air or limited social and mental challenges can lead to restlessness and poor sleep patterns in people of all ages. We did not often have such conditions to complicate the matter.

Paul Mundy, Kitchener, Ont.

As a recent subscriber to Maclean’s, I have been disappointed by its exaggerated cover headlines designed to shock and scare, week after week. Am I really supposed to find children sleeping in the same bed as their parents “alarming”? It’s a good thing the article didn’t actually contain any alarming facts, or I may have had to call my mother and ask her to make space, contributing further to this terrible phenomenon.

Kate Wilder, Ottawa

No place for a snake

The story of the two boys suffocated to death by a python is really sad on many fronts (“A ‘horrific scene,’ ” National, Aug. 19). This animal should not have been in Canada to begin with; the man who owned it should be charged and/or put in jail; and the poor snake was killed for nothing. Until such animals are left where they belong, in the wild, such tragedies will continue to occur around the world.

Anthony Silvestro, Ottawa

Show them the money—or not

The title of your article, “Nice job if you can get it” (National, Aug. 19), and its contents are at odds. The headline, and the accompanying graphic, implies the government is giving cushy jobs with juicy paycheques to people who aren’t doing anything, while the article itself implies a deep need to decide how to regulate financial markets. If you want good people, and if you don’t want them to take bribes, you have to pay them well. In the private sector, Stephen Poloz could make 10 times what he earns now as the new Bank of Canada governor. Not everyone wants to earn millions a year, but who would trade a financial-sector job for the pittance offered by the public sector? Many whiz kids would gladly work for the government instead of Bay Street if they were paid a good wage earlier on. Mark Carney, Poloz’s predecessor, joined the bank after making his millions at Goldman Sachs. Wouldn’t it be a good thing to get professional-calibre people at the start of their careers, before they get seduced by Donald Trump’s bling?

Vincent Poirier, Laval, Que.

There should be riots in the streets over these millionaire incompetents, but placid, ignorant Canadians, who get more agitated over hockey games, keep taking it on the chin—politely. My definition of the typical Canadian? A life-support system for the public servant.

Mel Glickman, Toronto

Have a heart

I would like to respond to the letter written by Patricia Starr, who questioned how Jodie Edwards avoided being charged in the death of her 11-month-old child, whom she accidentally left in her car on a hot summer day (“A mother’s confession,” Letters, Aug. 19). Have we, as a society, become so hard-hearted that we kill our wounded? Edwards is on a lifelong path of pain few of us will ever experience. People who have made such tragic mistakes need our prayers and support, not condemnation.

Glenn Smith, Toronto

Working for the (long) weekend

While hoping for 52 long weekends (“Want more long weekends? Be careful what you wish for,” From the Editors, Aug. 19) may be utopian, the possibility of one per month may well be possible and could be set by government to be either the first or the last weekend of each month. Adding about 30 minutes to the workday would more than cover it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Colette Trent, Chelsea, Que.

Wasteful weddings

I read with a chuckle the sense of entitlement this generation has for anything and everything to make themselves happy, including $32,000 on a wedding—what the average couple spends for a single day of entertainment (“Hint: It rhymes with bash,” Help, Aug. 19). If you go to a large, extravagant, wasteful wedding, the money you provide as a gift will probably be wasted in the same manner.

Chris Paton, St. Catharines, Ont.

Your story about weddings and gifts makes me wonder about some young people and their expectations. Whatever gift is given, it should be accepted with grace and good manners. Even if it wasn’t the gift anticipated or wanted, it should be accepted in the same spirit as it was given. Regarding the cost of an “average” wedding in Canada, if you cannot afford to spend that amount, perhaps you should have a wedding within your budget. Starting your life together with a wedding debt is probably not the best way to begin one of life’s most challenging partnerships. Pam Garner, Wainfleet, Ont. I take issue with your etiquette advice. According to what I was taught and do believe, thank-you cards are a cheap way out, unless they contain a handwritten letter expressing thanks in the recepient’s own words. The larger the gift, the longer the letter, which can go beyond thanks onto other subjects.

Marnie Pomeroy, Ottawa

Men’s oppression

If all men are oppressed, why are the vast majority of the world’s leaders, including Canada’s, men (“Angry young men,” National, Aug. 12)? And in the workforce, why do women in the same positions as men make less money?

Judith Hajdu, Guelph, Ont.

Women’s liberation

I’ve been a sexologist for 15 years and have observed that, whenever women en masse overtly show themselves enjoying sex, there is pushback from society (“Flirting with rape and relativism,” Opinion, Aug. 19). Think of the hullabaloo Fifty Shades of Grey has caused, for instance. Robin Thicke’s song Blurred Lines brilliantly highlights the systemic good girl/bad girl complex every woman faces when making her sexual choices. Ironically, women’s sexuality is only propelled backward when these in-the-name-of-feminism crusaders call this song “rapey.” Instead, feminists need to ask why women have such an archaic and paternalist sexual standard to live up to. Great article, Emma Teitel!

Trina E. Read, Calgary

Duelling Shirleys

I have seen and enjoyed both the Anne of Green Gables musicals and I see no conflict (“Shirley they can get along,” National, Aug. 19). Indeed, they complement each other: Anne & Gilbert is the natural sequel to Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, which people will want to see first, I expect. At another time, they can attend the other.

Gael Bullard, Brockville, Ont.

Oh, P.E.I. It is with sadness that I read in Maclean’s about your second Anne of Green Gables play. I visited you two summers ago and quickly lost patience with your obsession. You have so many other things to brag about; why so much about Anne? You’re already in danger of becoming a one-trick pony. Why are you hitching up another one?

Naomi Maendel, Winnipeg

The real two-wheeled deal

If you can get off your ride without putting a kickstand down, even with aching knees and a sore back, then it ain’t no motorcycle (“Really easy riders,” Bazaar, Aug. 19). In Ontario (Hamilton), you wouldn’t be caught dead on one of those three-wheeled Quebec scooters. I’d rather drive a minivan than give up my 900-lb., 1,700-cc cruiser, and I’m 50. When you can’t ride, don’t ride, and don’t give up your pride by riding one of those wannabe motorcycles. If I’m carving the corners on some nice twisties in the Laurentians, then the Spyder riders behind me better watch out for the hot metal flying off my dragging floorboards. You laugh in the face of danger, not cower from it.

Steve Needham, Hamilton

We dare not answer

One figure that was conspicuously missing from your income overview is the salary of a Maclean’s writer or, dare I ask, editor (“Who earns what,” Business, Sept.2). But what would make such a survey much more pertinent would be to compare how incomes in various areas have, or have not, kept up with the cost of living. I have no doubt that the average worker, such as a plumber or letter carrier, has fallen well behind, say, a banker or politician, and by a wide margin.

Charles Leduc, Vancouver

Your statistic for elementary teachers’ salaries in Vancouver is completely wrong. I have been with the Vancouver School Board for the past 15 years and I earn $82,000. There is no elementary schoolteacher who makes your figure of $98,000, or every teacher at my school is getting the short end of the stick.

Pino Scaglione, Vancouver

Editor’s Note: The figures were an extrapolation of hourly wages on a federal government website. They were incorrect.

CORRECTIONS

In “Who earns what” (Sept. 2), a mention of Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was accompanied by an incorrect photo. Toronto Maple Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf was identified as a centre; he is a defenceman. Susan McIsaac, CEO of United Way Toronto, was mistakenly identified as being with the United Way of Canada. Maclean’s regrets the errors.


 

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