‘Cohen’s work is getting better and better, which is saying a hell of a lot. We love you, Leonard, and are putting by funds for your next 13 CDs.’

Astrid Brunner September 5 2005


‘Cohen’s work is getting better and better, which is saying a hell of a lot. We love you, Leonard, and are putting by funds for your next 13 CDs.’

Astrid Brunner September 5 2005


‘Cohen’s work is getting better and better, which is saying a hell of a lot. We love you, Leonard, and are putting by funds for your next 13 CDs.’

Astrid Brunner

Beautiful loser

It is an unfortunate sign of the times we live in that Leonard Cohen finds himself embroiled, at the age of 70, in such a tangled web of money mismanagement and deceit (“Devastated,” Cover, Aug. 22). His legacy is that he has succeeded in turning out a body of work any artist would envy, and his work is what we will remember him by. But, if this had to happen to anybody, who else has the intestinal fortitude to not only prevail, but set things straight and go on being his inimitable self? It’s obviously going to be messy, ugly and painful, and I personally wish him all the best.

G. C. Labelle, Montreal

How does the emerging plight of Leonard Cohen rate as a cover story? It smacks of tabloid sensationalism with its misguided innuendos. The reference to “tantric sex,” for example, had no connection to Cohen. And your use of the word “sordid” to describe his money troubles does not appear to be a relevant description. In fact, the whole story is concocted out of allegations and conjecture, with absolutely no conclusions of note. It will be interesting to read an account of the facts when the matter is resolved. As for now, let’s let Cohen, who, by your own account, deserves some respect, work through his personal affairs while we focus on news of import.

Judy Slater, Kingsville, Ont.

It was with much chagrin that I read the article about Leonard Cohen. As a child of the sixties, Leonard instilled in me a love for poetry and music. I consider him to be one of my mentors, and to this day I appreciate his contribution to Canadian arts. Good wishes to him in all his endeavours. Jennifer Slelghtholm, Oakville, Ont.

Leonard Cohen doesn’t have to worry. I have enjoyed his music a lot over the years and would be willing to have him come and stay at my house so he doesn’t have to fear poverty and homelessness. We have a nice guest room with attached bathroom, private







Canadian music icon Leonard Cohen is broke and lawsuits are flying. A.sorriid tale of extortion,

SWAT te.yns. tantric sex. forcible conlinement. and betrayal.

television, and phone, and I cook nice healthy meals for my husband and son. In return, a bit of helping around the house and conversation about art would be appreciated. I encourage other Canadians who have appreciated Cohen’s music and poetry over the years to act generously and let him know that he is not alone and that we will take care of him.

Joy Huebert, Rossland, B.C.

Cut to the chase. The mistake Cohen admits to is that, “I paid close attention to everything except the possibility that my closest associate would embrace any irregularities in the discharge of her duties.” It’s quite simple—Cohen requires a forensic accountant and a lawyer who understands the complexities of insurance and fraud. The personal details are extraneous to the case. M. F. Stobbart, Mill Bay, B.C.

I’ll be watching for the details of Cohen’s next tour. The one 12 years ago was the best entertainment I have ever had. He is a master with a heart of gold.

Dennis Norman Day, Regina

That was a wonderful article by Brian D. Johnson describing the Leonard Cohen that we Montrealers know and love (“Up close and personal”). Leonard has been there for

many people in spiritual or financial trouble over the years. He is a true gentleman and a great artist. The allegations of a lavish “celebrity” lifestyle are pure nonsense and won’t stand up in court.

Pierre Tetrault, Montreal

Friday night in the Jewish tradition is the beginning of the Sabbath—Shabbat in Hebrew—and the evening meal is known as the Shabbat dinner. The Seder is the festive meal that is celebrated during the first two nights of the holiday of Passover, which took place this year on a Saturday and a Sunday night in April. So I think Johnson got the two mixed up. Other than that, I enjoyed his article and envy the fact that he shared matzo ball soup and beef brisket with Leonard.

Bernard Dichek, Kfar Saba, Israel

The GG controversy

The governor general-designate, Michaëlle Jean, has been accused of consorting with separatists (“Loyal enough?” Governor General, Aug. 22). The fact that Jean accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation is proof enough of her loyalty to Canada. Many Quebecers are of the opinion that Quebec, as a nation, should be accommodated within the Canadian state, and many more are not sure. We must accept this fact and do our best to move on. I hope Jean will win the hearts of all Canadians and become the strongest symbol of Canadian democracy in recent memory.

Syed Waris Shere, Toronto

We are all Canadians, whether we came here, as my mother’s family did, in the 1750s or yesterday. And we do not lose that designation voluntarily, or without passion. For those of us who got here by an accident of birth, we should remember that Michaëlle Jean chose us. She is a wonderful successor to the equally fine current Governor General.

Eric Kirkpatrick, Vancouver

The fact that this whole issue of Jean is up for discussion, regardless of the source, says that the choice is a bad one. Martin should cancel her appointment because even if she is installed as governor general, the controversy will continue. I can just see all of the academics, filmmakers, poets

and former FLQ members dancing on Queen Adrienne’s very expensive carpet toasting the breakup of Canada. The enemy within, you say.

Mervin Hollingsworth, Saskatoon

Ask not what Jean and her husband have (or have not) done for Canada, but what they will do for Canada.

Real Prefontaine, Gatineau, Que.

If the governor general designate held both Canadian and U.S. citizenship, our intelligentsia would have a collective heart attack. Michaëlle Jean, while a Canadian citizen, chose to apply for and receive French citizenship. Canjean remain loyal both to Canada and a country that favours the disintegration of Canada?

William Armstrong, Ottawa

Terror and tolerance

The article taken from Stewart Bell’s book The Martyr’s Oath (The Maclean’s Excerpt, Aug. 22) is the best story I’ve read so far on the turning of a seemingly ordinary boy into an al-Qaeda operative, or as Bell writes, “a handsome, educated and otherwise moral young man into a killer.” Al-Qaeda uses the same techniques as cults. They take idealistic young people, seduce them and slowly reel them in. They’re moulded and re-educated with a promise of eternal

salvation. They become psychologically trapped, their critical thinking suppressed. Awareness about the methods of indoctrination used by such groups is essential in preventing more young people from getting snagged.

Celine Beaulac, Debden, Sask.

I find Toronto imam Aly Hindy’s comments about the London bombings being planned and executed by the Israeli intelligence agency, Mossad and the CIA absolutely outrageous (“It could happen now,” Terror, Aug. 22). Canadians have little interest and unfortunately too much tolerance for religious zealots. If Aly Hindy wants to operate an extreme religious Islamic centre, I suggest that he return to Egypt to do so (or find somewhere else if it doesn’t want him). Marcus Raitanen, Ottawa

Going to the dogs

Many of us who participate in the sport of canine freestyle see it as a form of higher training (“Doggy dancing,” Life, Aug. 22). We choose not to be called “doggy dancers.” If you had found a less demeaning term, you would have had a nice article. This sport is a lot of fun, but there are several different versions, and not all of us “wag our bottoms.” We prefer to highlight the canine-human bond and showcase the dog’s skills.

Karen Johnson, Madison, Wis.

Cheap beer with an ego chaser

John Intini’s article “Livin’ large sellin’ suds” (Business, Aug. 15), about brother and sister Ravinder and Manjit Minhas and their Mountain Crest Brewing Co., paints a picture of a pair of semi-literate, insensitive, money-grubbing boors. Probably the only statement from the Minhas siblings that indicates they have any grasp on the reality of the image they project is Ravinder’s saying “Our egos were way too big,” although the use of the past tense is inappropriate. These people and their business are offensive on several levels. The garish conspicuous consumerism that has them flogging cheap beer while driving a Hummer HI is appalling. But the most offensive example is that, after seeing a homeless person whose can collection included some of their empties, Manjit had the insensitivity to laugh and call it a mark of success,


The Minhases flog cheap beer while driving a Hummer HI. That garish conspicuous consumption is appalling.


rather than giving the poor fellow some coupons so he could buy a few cases of the stuff or slipping him a few bucks to make his life easier.

Rosa Mather, Calgary

Who says young people don’t have it together and don’t have a work ethic? I am glad to see young, ethnic kids successful in Canada in all kinds of businesses—who would have thought it would be in the beer industry! I love the slogan “Damn Good Beer”—it’s very catchy. It’s what the big boys (Molson and Labatt) are missing: creativeness and back-to-the-roots marketing and advertising.

Harvey Sinkel, Toronto

Bravo for the blog jam

The genius of blogging is not the volume of material that’s thrown into the public domain, as Steve Maich claims (“Nothing to blog

about,” All Business, Aug. 22), but the ease with which anybody can now publish content and reach an audience. No longer are the mainstream media the gatekeepers of what is newsworthy. Now, blogging-enabled media democratization has created thousands of content sites that bring an equal number of different perspectives to the conversation. Maich calls into question the number of active blogs that exist—why, I’m not sure. Whether there are two or four or eight million active blogs right now is irrelevant. The point is that blog creation is growing because of a huge number of people who are willing to contribute to a shared repository of knowledge. At the end of the column, I was amused to find a link to Maich’s own blog. Why does Maich blog, if he doesn’t believe it provides some additional utility over the traditional model of publishing four times a month?

Kareem Mayan, Los Angeles