After watching Sunshine (which you absolutely have to see on the most massive screen possible, by the way, so don't even think about waiting for the DVD) at the Cumberland we strolled down Yonge Street and ended up in a fantastic used bookstore. Eliot's Bookshop is a wonderful place to lose track of time, three floors of cheap books crammed together in tall wooden shelving units (complete with sliding ladders and numerous step stools to make top shelves accessible). I wandered around for what I later realized was hours, alternately picking up novels by Jane Rule, John Irving, Joyce Carol Oates, Maya Angelou, Joseph O'Connor, Nick Hornby and so on and so on.

Really, I shouldn't buy anymore books. I have nowhere left to put them and sections of our apartment already resemble the below but Eliot's was so convincing in its love for the written word that I couldn't resist.

In the end I restricted myself to a single novel but I'll definitely be back. The chief pleasure of secondhand bookstores is never knowing what treasure you'll stumble across and the fun comes from searching as much it does finding.

CK, Eliot's Bookshop, 584 Yonge Street
I just found out that my article about the harassment of women and girls online is going to be on the Ideas page of the Toronto Star tomorrow. If it appears in the online edition of the paper too I'll post a link to it tomorrow.

*** Update (July 12)***

Here's the link to Open Season on women on the Web.
If you write for teenagers - or if you represent authors who write for teenagers, or edit books for teens, sell them, loan them or otherwise have an interest in teen literature you really have to listen to David Levithan's speech on homophobia and getting books out to the kids who need them.

It stuns me that in 2007 kids don't have access to a wide variety of books featuring gay characters or other characters that don't fit inside the traditional gender or heterosexuality molds. The relentless homophobia and sexism I see in mainstream media stuns me - every day. And let's not leave out racism (have a look here for an example of the prejudice our society finds acceptable in an action hero). Discrimination is mind-numbingly commonplace.

I'm keen to read C.J. Pascoe's book Dude, You're A Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School which apparently links homophobia with a hostility for femininity in general. While the mainstream dictates such narrow scripts for us all to act out (dependent on our gender, race, sexual orientation, etc.) none of us can feel free to be who we really are. So, like David Levithan urges, we must fight to get the books kids need on the shelves. That may mean confrontations - possibly confrontations upon confrontations - but if we want a better, more tolerant world, what choice do we really have?
We went to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition today and ah, I wish I had more $ but the beauty of browsing is it's free - and you still get to experience tons of amazing works.

A bird's eye view of the TO Art Exhibition and old city hall, 2007

Cooling off, Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2007
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2007
CBC's Great Canadian Wish List results made me feel like an alien in my own country. Amongst Facebook members top thirty wishes for Canada:

1) Abolish Abortion
3) A Christian revival
4) Restore the traditional definition of marriage

Why not abolish women (with their pesky reproductive issues), non-Christians and homosexuals (except during PRIDE season when they boost tourism maybe) outright?

However, it turns out that the CBC didn't report the whole story along with the results. That would be the story of a pro-life Facebook group suddenly filling up with "faceless, nameless people," including instructions on "How to cheat wish list," while pro-choice voices were often silenced by Facebook administrators. Numerous pro-choice supporters had their "privileges dramatically limited...without adequate explanation." In some cases accounts were entirely disabled.

Judy MacDonald, founding Rabble editor and former CBC employee, sums up the contest's outcome nicely: “The country's national broadcaster and its fun contest to engage youth has become a platform to wish for revoking the rights of women and homosexuals, and to impose one religion on the country.”

Thanks to Unpopular Culture for her posts and research on this. Like her, I wonder why the CBC hasn't acknowledged the faulty results and why right-wingers were permitted to ride roughshod over Facebook while pro-choicers were blocked at so many turns.
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