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Air Show Neighbourhood Discussion, 51 e-mails

AboutUs- | Labour Day Monday, jets above the playground

September 4, 2009, 15 e-mails
P. W. wrote:

in case you, like us, are not fans of the incredibly loud, scary to our children, militaristic displays that last four days.

I've made some progress in finding out how to complain in writing...

...e-mail the mayor's office mayor_miller@toronto.ca (because the city funds the CNE & justifies the airshow as a tourism draw )

...e-mail Transport Canada aerodromes.ontario@tc.gc.ca with the words Noise Complaint in the subject line. Transport Canada grants airspace permissions and regulates noise. You should also CC your MP since it's a federal agency.

also call the CNE - 416 393 6300

It is a self-regulating thing, whereby the Air Show takes complaints about itself...

416 263 3653 Air Show
416 952 0089 Transport Canada

B. K. wrote:

As a little girl I was thrilled by the air show. I appreciate the objection to the noise in general, but I am not happy with the term militaristic as derogatory, when I have a cousin serving as a peace keeper in Afghanistan as well as several friends who have sons in the military. Anti war sentiments does not mean the military is a bad thing. I am disappointed that one cannot contextualize these things to one's children. The air show is not just about fighting, it's about flight, speed, grace and teamwork.

Sorry it's such a disturbance, but it's only once a year at the Ex which I have visited for over 50 years now.

A. T. wrote:

Sorry, I love the air show!

Z. P. wrote:

Dear Brockton Triangle,

I have been born and raised in this neighbourhood all my life which is over 30 years and I know for a fact that there are alot of people that do in fact enjoy the air show, I know the noise can be a little loud and unbearable at times but this is the pride of our country, something that has been going on for many many years, longer than most have been in this city. This air show also pays tribute to the men and women that have died for us, protecting our country thru ww1 and ww2. I come from a worn torn country where people were killed and bombed by armies and you don't see my family running for cover. I ask that you understand that just because its loud and noisey you look past the noise and see it in your hearts that their are so many children and families that enjoy this airshow and make a family day of it. But if you still disagree with it, why not ban alcohol completely, smoking, sexual reproduction, and everything else that some feel is bad while others feel is good, instead of banning the airshow, why not see if you can get a no fly zone over the community, so they have to go farther out and can only fly over the lake. The sollution is not to get rid of heritage and history but to make it enjoyable for all, I thank you for your time and reading this email.

Just a little man thats been here a long time.

K. F. wrote:

I think there are bound to be a diversity of opinions on this matter and personally I find celebrating violence and war machines nauseating. People can disagree with me that fine but when one person's enjoyment or entertainment infringes on the rights of others, then it is not ok. M. is right that on the noise alone, the "war show" is unjustifiable.

I will work hard in the coming year to stop it if only because the noise results in my six year old writhing in agony and screaming from the pain it gives her ears. We are fleeing the city for part of the weekend to escape the air show but not everyone has the privilege to do so.

I am fine with people doing what they want when it only harms them. If someone wants to smoke in their own home (provided they don't have kids getting exposed to 2nd hand smoke) I say go ahead but don't think smoking should be permitted in bard, restaurants etc. Same with noise which is why I find it rude and aggravating that so many people feel like it is ok to blast their music from their cars at all hours.

N. E. wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I have been a resident of the neighbourhood for 27 years and have grown up listening to the Air Show, Indy Race, Fireworks Displays and everything else to goes on in our backyards. It is my feeling that if you choose to live in this neighbourhood; you have to take the good with the bad.

I personally do not like the thought of all the jet fuel these planes are wasting flying around in circles, but I support the men and women that have died for our country. The air show is part of a bigger education project that includes displays of real army equipment at the CNE. I did not support the recent wars, but I proudly display a "support the troops" sticker which I picked up at the CNE. Also, the Air Show is a great attraction at the CNE and students/seasonal workers really rely on the jobs the CNE provides.

I sympathize with the new immigrants that came to this country, but they have to also understand that in order to have the freedoms that we enjoy today in Canada, Canadian soldiers had to fight and give up their lives so that we could offer our new immigrants a great place to live. In regards to the children, I really don't know what a parent can do to shield them from the noise. But I was a kid once upon a time, listening to the loud jets and I still have my hearing and don't mind the noise.

It is not my intention to some mean or insensitive, but if people really had these issues with the Air Show, why move into the neighbourhood it occurs under?

Watching the planes fly past my window at work.


F. D. wrote:

Dear Mayor Miller and Adam Giambrone,

I can’t bear the noise of the air show.

The air show negatively impacts small children, people with trauma and war experiences, night shift workers and pets. Why is this show allowed to happen over such a densely populated area?

I understand that this is some sort of antiquated CNE tradition. I think we need to rethink its value. Who benefits from it? Who is impacted?

I join with thousands of Torontonians to say--kick the air show out of Toronto!

M. W. wrote:

I've been hoping for years that somebody would form a group to get rid of this atrocity. I work with refugees in Parkdale -- many from war-torn countries who still suffer post-traumatic stress disorders from their experience -- and they've told me how their children in particular are terrified by the noise of the air show and suffer terrible nightmares for weeks after the show is over.

I think if we do mobilize, it would be most effective to concentrate on the noise issue rather than the militaristic aspects, even though that is equally infuriating for the reasons Kim pointed out. I think that would bring a lot of mainstream Torontonians on board who have been silently suffering from the noise pollution for years and who would likely support the cause.

A good model to follow might be the Stop the Chopper movement initiated by Helen Armstrong a few years ago when she successfully lobbied to stop the Toronto Police force from accepting the donation of a free police helicopter. Strategically, she focused almost exclusively on the noise issues rather than the police state aspect of the chopper and, as a result, a lot of usually apolitical citizens rallied to the cause and the donation was refused.

Just look at the citizen's groups who have successfully blocked wind turbines because of the alleged detrimental health effects of the turbines, which are hundreds of decibels quieter than the roar of the air show jets.

Maybe a lawsuit against the Air Show is even a possibility if we can get a sympathetic lawyer on board.

Thanks for getting the ball rolling with your letter, F.!

K. F. wrote:

here here.

I am hoping it might be a project that some of the kids work on at the Grove School since many of them live in the neighbourhood that suffers the most.

One year when I was down at the CNE (it was 2004), they were actually saying over the loudspeaker as one of the planes was flying over that "this is the plane that is bringing freedom to the people of Iraq". It is disgusting propaganda and I would love to see a stop to it.

I am including something a friend wrote about the "war show" for NOW last year.

P. F. wrote:

I'm writing at home now, wearing earplugs with the knowledge that it will be over for the day at 4:30 pm. I do the same during the Molson Indy. I live with it as I live with other inconveniences in our culture, appreciating all the benefits that I receive as well.

It is a lovely day, if a little noisy for a bit.

K. F. wrote:

And in case you didn't read it, I encourage you to check out this article:

http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=164888

C. C. wrote:

Good points.

Unfortunately, that's the engineer in me talking - I like cool machines, but don't always think about their ramifications.

I do totally take the point that the sound of a jet fighter screeching overhead is not a welcome sound to any refugees living in the area who may have escaped from war zones to Canada.

All the best with the fight.

N. E. wrote:

I understand that you are very passionate about this cause, but we all have the right to our own opinion. There is no need to response negatively to everyone who posts an opinion that is contrary to yours.

N. E. wrote:

Hi Everyone:

I have been a resident of the neighbourhood for 27 years and have grown up listening to the Air Show, Indy Race, Fireworks Displays and everything else to goes on in our backyards. It is my feeling that if you choose to live in this neighbourhood; you have to take the good with the bad.

I personally do not like the thought of all the jet fuel these planes are wasting flying around in circles, but I support the men and women that have died for our country. The air show is part of a bigger education project that includes displays of real army equipment at the CNE. I did not support the recent wars, but I proudly display a "support the troops" sticker which I picked up at the CNE. Also, the Air Show is a great attraction at the CNE and students/seasonal workers really rely on the jobs the CNE provides.

I sympathize with the new immigrants that came to this country, but they have to also understand that in order to have the freedoms that we enjoy today in Canada, Canadian soldiers had to fight and give up their lives so that we could offer our new immigrants a great place to live. In regards to the children, I really don't know what a parent can do to shield them from the noise. But I was a kid once upon a time, listening to the loud jets and I still have my hearing and don't mind the noise.

It is not my intention to some mean or insensitive, but if people really had these issues with the Air Show, why move into the neighbourhood it occurs under?

Watching the planes fly past my window at work, N.

F. D. wrote:

I like Gord Perks’ quote “I’m not a fan of carbon orgies,” he continues. “But Toronto is a place for a wide array of entertainments, and the CNE grounds are the best place to hold many of them. I would love to find the moment when the Air Show became socially unacceptable. If there were sufficiently broad concern across Toronto, I think that debate could happen.”

I have no trouble living close to an attraction that brings in visitors and holds lots of entertainment. But what if we began to imagine entertainment that didn’t ruin the environment, didn’t traumatize people etc? Perhaps there is another way to honour veterans and peacemakers that is peaceful in itself...

To make a complaint to the Toronto Internation Air Show directly, contact: 416.263.3653

September 5, 2009, 10 e-mails
M. S. wrote:

Thanks for the info, Priya. I'm with you on this one, as are numerous people I've been talking to the last couple of days-- the Air Show (which I tend to call by its full name, The Flying Death Machine, Climate Change & Military Propaganda Show) is obscene, and unwelcome in many of our "hearts and minds." (And I say this not out of disrespect for soldiers, but rather out of respect for the grave nature of military conflict, and for those on all "sides" who die in them.)

Any folks inclined to (respectfully!) emailing official types might want to remember as well that the CNE grounds are in the ward of Councillor Pantalone - who is (understandably) a big CNE booster, and who probably represents some people on this list as well.

S. W. wrote:

93 people were killed in an airstrike in Afghanistan yesterday. Wonder if they loved the air show?

V. S. wrote:

I have always enjoyed the air-show and my children were enthralled by it as well. I am always impressed by the skill and teamwork of the pilots in some of the air displays. Can't imagine the kind of reflexes you would need to fly at such incredible speeds with all the twists and turns and as part of a team. I also agree that it's only for a few days and it certainly attracts many, many people.

AboutUs- | up high in the sky

V. S. wrote:

My parents grew up in London, England. During the Second World War my father was in the army and was in the heart of the fighting in Europe and North Africa while my mother and her family lived right in the heart of London throughout all the air strikes. She said they could always tell the difference between the enemy aircraft and their "boys". They live in England, are in their 90s and still love to go to their local air show. War is horrific and I'm sure the majority of us who enjoy the air show are as anti-war as anyone else who has written in. We just have a different perspective on this issue.

A. T. wrote:

Yes, my great uncles, who grew up in the house I live in, were all in the 2nd world war, and loved the airshow as well!

C. wrote:

I'm curious... why do you believe you are in the majority? Are there stats on this which I am unaware of?

R. S. wrote:

I love the air show. I can hear the Canadian Snowbirds above my house, rushing over it, right now. Earlier I stood on the garden rooftop of my toolshed with my three sons and a friend of theirs and tried to focus their attention on the jets. At first it was difficult and much weed throwing and banter ensued as the initial F18's were too far away but some interest was kindled when I pointed at what I thought was the point when all four pilots were blacked out in the planes from g-force during the very dangerous and co-ordinated ascent and fallout formation. In juxtaposition to the F-18's a Spitfire flew in in next and did some far away loops. Then the American Navy jets flew past in formation, like toys in the sky, directly across from us and with brilliant execution performed a series of thrilling ascent, fallout, dissemble and re-form manouvers and when they finally all reformed individually into formation and flew off into the horizon I felt exhilerated and emotional. Then a red WWI bi-plane came and did manoeuvers to emphasize the bygone era. People and technology is what it's about. Not war or bombs. It's about the intelligence and determination of people to overcome their (our) environment. The Harrier Jump Jet defied gravity, blasting through the sky, doing a slow somersault, impossibly stopping in mid-air and lowering itself vertically several hundred feet. Incredible. When do we get to see this mastery, or even get to be aware of it (if you're paying attention)? Once a year. I appreciate it. I consider it an education.

S. W. wrote:

They're war planes, not hot air balloons. Their job is to kill people. It is an act of startlingly unconscious privilege to not be aware that for the vast majority of people on the planet, the sound of screaming jets means you must run to avoid the death of you and your children - whether in Mogadishu, Kunduz, Sarajevo, or Fallujah. Many, many people live in the downtown area who come from war torn countries, bombed by f-series jets. Your pleasure is their horror.

L. R. wrote:

I fully agree with the statement ("They're war planes etc.), and all the other anti-war, anti-military, anti-polluting statements that have already been made. Additionally, I would like to say that I don't think the birds and other little beings appreciate the "show" either! Let's try to stop this.

AboutUs- | loud

R. C. wrote:

Hey Everyone Homes Not Bombs and Toronto Catholic Worker used to protest the 'war show' each year (see http://www.homesnotbombs.ca/protesttorontowarshow.htm) - but I don't think they have in a while. I know the folks down there would likely be interested in getting something going again and I could connect folks up here with those down there... If not, they at least made a great little comic they handed out which could likely be modified. I'd certainly be interested in getting some organized protest/vigil going.

September 6, 2009, 6 e-mails
M. E. wrote:

I'm sure even hot air balloons have been used in war at some point. Its all context and interpretation.

Everything can be viewed positively or negatively.

C. R. wrote:

R., thank you for your eloquent tribute.

S. E. wrote:

OK that is a bit over the top for a community list serve Perhaps comments like that could be sent to the sender instead of the list serve I am going to assume you have never been in a war zone S.

C. Y. wrote:

They are war planes though. Right? They weren't actually designed to entertain people...

Here is the F22 Raptor fact sheet. It doesn't say anywhere that it was designed to inspire children, help people live out their nostalgia for WWII or do humanitarian work:

http://www.af.mil/information/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=199

On the other hand the modern military is using drones more and more. The 'boys' are comfy in a bunker somewhere firing on the enemy with something resembling video game controls. An airshow with drones flying in formation wouldn't be nearly as exciting. But it might be more up-to-date.

Personally, I'm getting out of town for the Air Attack Show.

S. W. wrote:

Simon-when I receive an email praising the beauty of machines whose sole purpose is to kill people; which, at a cost of $20 million+ each, are a significant diversion of resources that could feed the poor and hungry (the US govts order of 2500 F-35s will cost $200 billion, which would feed, educate, provide healthcare and clothe 44 million Mexican children - I think that's over the top.

As for assuming anything about me - you don't know me and it is irrelevant.

E. G. wrote:

As moderator, I am requesting we put an end to this discussion here.

Remember this is a community list. The point is to build our neighbourhood.

It is helpful to know how to complain about the Air Show of noisy machines that fly over our homes.

I won't be allowing any more of these messages to your inbox. Feel free to discuss among yourselves privately.

September 8, 2009, 3 e-mails

V. S. wrote:

Just to clarify, there was a response to one of my emails (that I didn't receive and only now saw on the website) questioning my use of the term "the majority of us who enjoy the Air Show". I was not stating that the majority of people enjoy the Air Show, that is obviously open to a survey to decide one way or the other, I was simply referring to those of us who had written to the email list stating their support and enjoyment of the Air Show. I would certainly be interested in such a survey.

Jutta Mason wrote:

I think both V. (see her e-mail below) and C. (in her e-mail referred to by V., archived here are on to something. Our elected officials could basically ask a simple question: how many people enjoy the air show and (by implication) want it to continue?

There's one rather interesting way to find out -- by referendum. That is, to put that question (and perhaps a few other questions of broad civic interest) on an accompanying referendum ballot for the 2010 election. This would be an "issue" vote, rather than a "person" vote.

Belinda Cole, who is doing legal research for our group CELOS (http://celos.ca, is tracking some other municipal acts across Canada, including one in the Yukon that allows for such referendums.

Seems pretty straightforward, and also interesting. Does anyone on this list want to follow up? If you want to dip your toe in the water beforehand, by just finding out a bit more, Belinda can be reached at mail@celos.ca

V. S. wrote:

An interesting idea. However, with regard to the consideration of a formal referendum on this matter, for me personally there are far more pressing and critical issues that impact directly on Toronto dwellers every day of the year that would take priority on a referendum ballot. Data on support or lack of it for the Air Show could be gathered through maybe a phone survey, collating calls to MPPs and Councilors' offices, the Mayor's Office and the CNE itself, and I am sure there must be other options as well. I'm not knowledgeable about survey instruments but no doubt others are. My main concern would be that any survey be well publicized.

September 9, 2009, 4 e-mails
Jutta Mason wrote:

Surveys are in a slightly different world than participatory democracy -- which is what I mean by a referendum. But democracy is generally more a concept than a practice, so it's not easy to figure out how to do it. What I like about the air show is that it's an issue with clear boundaries, leading to a simple 'yes' or 'no' question on a ballot.

If there are other such clear-boundary questions that you think would be good -- want to share them?

P. R. wrote:

I agree with you Jutta. Would love to see a referendum about this question. I still have my headache from the weekend. Would really appreciate the chance to say NO! And I've talked to many people who come from parts of the world where these sounds are really painful to them. Many of these people experienced the sounds of the weekend as a traumatic reenactment.


K. C. wrote:

I thought this was a dead issue as far as dufferingrovefriends is concerned. Why are we still talking about it?

However, since we are- Did you know that the referendum administration costs alone in 2007 were 1.65 million? That was for a province wide issue. You could not really have a referendum on the air show simply for Toronto since it has attracts people and has supporters from across Ontario and the States.

The education amount for the referendumin 07 was 8.5 million.

I agree with Vivienne; there are many more pressing issues and much better ways to spend such amounts of money.

C. wrote:

Yes, I agree. I can live with a few days of the airshow. What is on my mind, and taking up my time at the moment is this...

Have you all heard that the Federal government has taken away a VERY IMPORTANT recording grant to musicians (through the Canada Council for the Arts)? It was the single most applied for program in the Music Section.

So far there has been very little media info on this change, but it will impact independent musicians in Canada in a big way (especially those playing jazz, world music, folk, or anything a bit off the main stream). The CBC reported on it first and the spin of the article is that the gov't is giving more money to the arts, when in fact they are putting that money towards the "music industry" (think "Sony"). Here is one article (the only other one I've found so far, and the only one that has reported what's happening without looking like propaganda for the Conservatives):

http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/jazzblog/archive/ 2009/09/08/no-more-dollars-for-canadian-musical-diversity-canada- council-grants-axed.aspx

The rumour is that this change was made "when Parliament was not in session and the Canada Council grant officers were away". I don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't surprise me. I know the program officer that deals with this grant was surprised.

Any journalists on this email list? The musicians need some help here. Mr. Allartistsarejustgoingtogalasallthetime needs to know that this is not acceptable to even us ordinary Canadians.


Z. R. wrote:

Hi there to all !

First N. Well DONE ! well said ! Thank you !

BRAVO to you for not feeling intimidated by others,in this email group!

Many move here, because it is one of the few places,left still in the "down town" of TO,that people,might possibly afford a house.

I have lived here for more the 30 years ! When I lived at the begin of St Clarens Ave, as a child & teenager we all watch the show( young,the old and everyone in between) Every shows that happened,from the fire works to the air shows, to the rock concerts, to the street feasts ( that have now been reduced or gone due to the complains)and festivals.

We would even go onto the train tracks to see better ! It was entertainment and a wondrous state, of what humans can create/ develop. I will say, NO one was inside the house,on a pc or glued to a TV.

I do not like what it dose to the air, however you can't have it all, you have to take the GREAT, with the not so great. We here in this area of the city have it all! We are so LUCKY !

So taking the air show ONCE a year is a whole lot better then the Diesel TRAINS going by every 5mins and killing our lungs and adding to Ontario 's ever growing health problems.

We, this community, this area of the city,I think, need to choose our battles/fights, some are more important then others. We need to focus our Energies, on matters/issues, that effect us, everyday and our state of health/well being!

Peace to all !

Thank you all for your time in reading this !


September 10, 2009, 3 e-mails
A. T. wrote:

I am in complete agreement! (re K. C. comments)

Michael Monastyrskyj

Jutta Mason wrote: > Surveys are in a slightly different world than participatory democracy

I reply:

I don't believe in participatory democracy. Representative democracy is a much better system.

Let me make my case by asking a basic question. Why do we have elected representatives? If democracy means government by the people, why do we waste time and money on elections when we could simply have large town meetings where every citizen has a vote on every government decision?

The question answers itself. It would be impossible to run a large city like Toronto with town meetings. You would have to find a space large enough to hold three million people and counting the votes would take forever. (I'm laughing as I try to imagine what such a town meeting would like.) More than that, running a large city is full-time work. If every citizen had to take time off from his job for each and every government decision, the economy would stop functioning and our citizen legislators would end up dying of deprivation.

We have elected representatives for the same reason we have doctors, plumbers and construction workers. Complex technological societies are based on specialization. Rather than every person trying to do everything for himself, we divvy up the jobs and allow people to specialize. Making public policy is one such speciality. Even though there is a tendency to malign politicians and bureaucrats, those people perform necessary tasks. They govern so the rest of us can do other things like feed and clothe ourselves.

Having said all this, is there room in our representative democracy for referenda on some issues? I'm not sure, but maybe. However, if we are going to have referenda they should be reserved for questions of special importance. In 1990, for example, we had a national referendum on the Charlottetown accord which would have amended the Canadian constitution. In that case a referendum was justified because simply passing the amendments would have alienated important regions of the country.

The referendum on the Charlottetown accords was preceded by a huge public uproar over what the prime minister and premiers were doing. I don't see any similar uproar over the air show. Aside from a handful of emails from people with far left political views, I haven't heard any complaints about the event. There is no need for a referendum on a show that is clearly popular with the people of Toronto.

C. Y. wrote:

I agree with everything you've said Michael, and I enjoyed your critique of referendums.

Referendums, to me, are as useful as polls.

Yes, Air show good. No, Air show bad.

Isn't the point of this discussion to look at the conversation and see where it leads, to challenge your own way of thinking and learn about how others see the world?

Is this not what we enjoy on the list serve when we are not flaming one another?

I do object however to the automatic assumption that all opinions that are against the airshow come from the far left.

They may as well come from the close-left.

The neighbourly left.

Or the rabid centre.

Why presume to describe my opinion in the context of a conversation that is happening on a neighbourhood forum as left or right?

Better to join the Toronto Star blogs. Where you can categorize the people whose opinion you don't agree with, in whatever ideological fashion you see fit.

Anonymously and with abandon.

The luxury of the community list serve is the communal brain tap.

A yes/no referendum will never sum up the nuance of opinion that is therein. Nor will dismissive comments about other peoples' opinions.

With deepest respect, C.Y.

September 11, 2009, 7 e-mails
Michael Monastyrskyj wrote:

People on the Dufferin Grove discussion list have been talking about the recent air show. A few people would like to see it cancelled. I like the air show and hope it continues. What do people here think?

J. M. wrote:

I love it.

My opinion of it is similar to the other 'quirks' of living downtown. If you don't like a lot of sirens, the occasional bit of sketchiness in your neighborhood, or air show sounds a few days a year, maybe living downtown just isn't for you.

Michael Monastyrskyj

One of the complaints on the Dufferin Grove list is that the air show promotes "militarism". Any comments on that?

D. A. wrote:

I don't know what they mean by "militarism." But war planes don't belong over my neighbourhood. And they really don't belong over anyone's neighbourhood, if we really think about it. In our barbaric age, war has unavoidably become a purveyor of extensive "collateral damage." Which means sometimes killing as many non-combatant civilians (including women, children and the elderly) as soldiers, often through the use of the same weapons of indiscriminate mass destruction as those we see in the air show. There may be honour is certain traditional forms of warfare, but there''s absolutely no honour in war as we know it today.

And these planes are a big part of the military industrial complex that feeds on its own bureaucratic momentum, as much as any real reason for war. If that's militarism, then yeah, the air show promotes it.

J. M. wrote:

I think the air show promotes some pretty awesome engineering feats.

Sure I'd love to live in a world without war, but that hasn't existed since... oh wait. That never existed.

D. A. wrote:

There may have always been conflicts and wars, although it's hard to confirm the wider long term extent of periods of relative peace and conflict, since we have only modern western historians and "archaeologists" to go by (whose main pre-occupation seems to be recent wars, i.e., those falling within the period of mainly western "recorded history", along with the "progress" demonstrated by increasingly base political maneuvering and the completely unprincipled development of "feats of engineering").

However, even within the narrow scope of modern historians, it seems very clear that the level of conflict and suffering in war has escalated dramatically in the modern age, along with a radical deterioration in the standards by which wars are waged. "Feats of engineering" are driven almost exclusively by these horrific new lows of barbarity, and I for one have no interest in being exposed to them. It just amounts to a bloody awful racket as far as I'm concerned, apart from being intimately linked with insidious forces. However, fans of these admittedly dramatic displays are clearly on the "winning" side of history, judging by the mobs that collect to admire them. God help us.

And I would never say that any of today's engineering feats has ever inspired me with awe nearly as much as the nature that is being steadily destroyed by them. Awe implies a certain respect and reverence to me. More like shock than awe.

J.M. wrote:

> However, even within the narrow scope of modern historians, it seems very clear that the level of conflict and suffering in war has escalated dramatically in the modern age, along with a radical deterioration in the standards by which wars are waged.

I'm not sure about "very clear". We can't quite go back in time and examine all the wars/conflicts in human history, but if you think killing innocents/women/children is part of a "modern age" approach to warfare, you're horribly mistaken (see Atilla the Hun, Genghis Khan, wars and battles during the Roman Empire, the Middle Ages, etc etc etc). In fact I would submit that *only* in the "modern age" has there been a concerted effort to *avoid* the slaughter of innocents (at least on paper) with some sort of (bizarre) concept of "rules of war."

> "Feats of engineering" are driven almost exclusively by these horrific new lows of barbarity, and I for one have no interest in being exposed to them.

If you look at the the Wright Brothers (and others) and their collective path toward building flying machines, the electron microscope, the Chesapeake Bay bridge (or dozens of other truly remarkable buildings/structures), microprocessors and other 'feats of engineering' as being driven almost exclusively by horrific new lows of barbarity, there's a bigger perception problem at hand.

If you don't want to be exposed to the air show, there are many routes out of the city for you to take for a few days. Or you can simply go uptown for a few hours. Same answer I give the people who don't want to be exposed to the "immoral" folk taking part in the Pride parades, or want "homosexual behaviour" on display. You don't like it, fine, but you certainly have no right to take it away because you don't want to be exposed to it.

> It just amounts to a bloody awful racket as far as I'm concerned, apart from being intimately linked with insidious forces.

The 'bloody awful racket' angle is not something that can really be argued, obviously. Some people consider Opera or Rock Music to be a bloody awful racket. Oh well.

> However, fans of these admittedly dramatic displays are clearly on the "winning" side of history, judging by the mobs that collect to admire them. God help us.

I'm not sure what you're asking God to help us with - the winning side of history? The mobs that collect to admire 'past victories'? Did World War II not turn out the way you wanted it to?

> And I would never say that any of today's engineering feats has ever inspired me with awe nearly as much as the nature that is being steadily destroyed by them. Awe implies a certain respect and reverence to me. More like shock than awe.

To each their own. Obviously I would hope that most people find nature awe-inspiring. But people in general are so diverse that there are many things that one can find awe-inspiring - art; the fact that we've gone from the abacus to the microprocessor; nanotechnology; non-invasive brain surgery - really, the list can be endless. You get inspired by X, I get inspired by Y. It's the beauty of human nature and diversity.

I'd like to think I'm not arguing for "war" in *any* way here, but war/dispute/territory fights have been a fact of life since the beginning of time itself (look at the animal world). We can pretend that war didn't exist, that the Great Wars never took place and should be forgotten, but you know the familiar quote... Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Anyways, nice discussion. Way to go, Monastyrskyj!

September 12, 2009
R. wrote:

i hate it. i think it is a blatant waste of funding (public and private) that could be better spent, but i also think the same thing about fireworks.

however, my main concern with the airshow was noise. it is not as simple as being able to go uptown or out of town for the weekend. i can't uproot my indoor-only pets and take them somewhere just because there are fighter jets flying overhead. but instead, they cower for their lives without knowing what is happening or why. their hearing is far more sensitive than ours, and i could barely hear what was happening around me, which means they were temporarily deafened.

i was walking through high park on the holiday mon and took the shortcut through the zoo when a particularly low flying group of planes flew overhead. i was right in front of the llamas and ducks and they were FREAKING OUT. clearly the impact of airshow cannot be compared to the impact of a street festival or parade.

why should we tolerate and glorify this assault on our animals? why should we make them suffer from thu to mon several times as day for your pleasure?

September 14, 2009
S. wrote:

Just out of curiosity, would your opinion change if there were ever a crash.

Not that it's a high risk, but it's not a zero risk either.

Jutta Mason wrote:

Re the cost of a referendum (raised by K.), I asked a municipal administrator friend in BC -- where they ask citizens more questions than we do. He says if a referendum is held at election time, the additional cost is very low.

The 2008/09 BC election guide shows http://www.elections.bc.ca/docs/rpt/2008-11ServicePlan.pdf (p.13) that even a province-wide referendum held as part of the normal elections costs only an additional $297,000. In the case of the air show or any other city no-fly rules, of course there would be no need to consult outside of the affected locality (e.g. NYC didn't have to consult other places for their no-fly rule).

So -- a referendum on the air show, or any other question asked during the 2010 municipal election, would cost very little -- certainly considerably less than the advertising contracts the city will sign to promote voting. If there was a list of twenty similarly specific, contentious questions for citizens in 2010, maybe that in itself would increase the voter turnout. Another question I can think of -- should there be a cap on what Toronto's municipal government spends for advertising, generally? And another: should taxes pay for councillors' lawsuits? (Just a few examples)

Only problem -- I think the Referendum Act says the results are binding. What if the air show, the uncapped advertising budgets, the councillors' publicly funded court costs, turned out to have 51% against?


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Content last modified on October 19, 2009, at 06:39 PM EST