CHARITY CLARITY Re: Generation Xtreme (491) While the fashion for jumping out of planes and off buildings may have been harnessed by charity groups to raise funds. as Rachael Street opines. why is that necessarily a bad thing?
As organiser of the State Street Caledonian Challenge and the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. the Scottish Community Foundation offers people the chance to put themselves through a challenging experience while raising money.
However. neither challenge is easy or convenient. with walkers on the State Street Caledonian Challenge facing the task of training for months. as well as raising a minimum of $3500 sponsorship per team member. And that is before they hit the hills . . .
With the money raised from donors and events. we give community grants. which support local community groups and projects in Scotland. From a bagpipe class to a drugs advice centre. these projects give back to the community. Local communities in Scotland would suffer without events like the State Street Caledonian Challenge. which last year raised over 21 m. Isn't that w0rth a bit of self-gratification on the part of the entrants?
Sharon Lawler Scottish Community Foundation Edinburgh
Re: The dirty man of Europe (492)
Congratulations on your frank article highlighting Scotland's poor environmental record and the need to tackle voter apathy ahead of the European elections in June.
Voting is crucial. but is only part of the battle — raising awareness of individuals' responsibilities together with sustained campaigning is essential to prevent complacency between
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elections and tackle our rubbish recycling record. One of the big gaps in Scotland. though, is for the government to take the lead in policy making that really changes the way things are done.
The Scottish Green MSPs are lobbying the Executive to adopt a zero waste policy. This begins with product design and continues through manufacture. use. re-use. repair and recycling, eliminating waste at every stage. New Zealand. Canada and Australia are all implementing zero waste policies. Canberra aims to have a waste-free society by 2010.
By using resources efficiently, innovation would be encouraged. employment created. our streets cleaned up. fewer incinerators would be pumping toxins into the air. and Scotland could thrive.
So let's get out to the polling stations on June 10 — 90% of environmental legislation is made at European level — but let's also play our part in communities where we can and keep up the pressure closer to home by demanding government action for a zero waste policy.
Shiona Baird Scottish Green MSP
THE ITALIAN JOB Re: The Last Kiss (491) I have just moved to Edinburgh from Italy and have always been interested in how the Italian films that cross the border are perceived abroad. Therefore my excitement about the announcement of an Italian film festival was counterbalanced by the first review of an Italian film I encountered when reading The List. The review was by Kaleem Aftab and it was about one of the biggest box office hits of 2002 in Italy: The Last Kiss. This complaint isn’t meant to be a snobby defence of my country's cinema and. as a matter of fact. I didn't like the film revrewed either. Actually. when it was released. I thought
it was overblown. But Mr Aftab fails to provide a critical analysis and judgement of the film. What he writes is an accumulation of useless details and some paternalistic and meaningless comments about Italians (‘Carlo has got his girlfriend pregnant and this makes him as unhappy as an Italian man who can‘t eat his mama’s cooking‘).
The List usually features very well written reviews. short and intelligent. The Last Kiss. even though a mediocre product. has had the unquestionable gift of bringing the Italian public to watch Italian films at the cinema again. The main question is: why did Italians love a film that relies shamelessly on cliches about love and marriage? Whatever the answers. The Last Kiss
gave a boost to Italian cinema. Italian cinema is going through a refreshing awakening and a little more knowledge would have helped Aftab write a less simplistic review. Gaia Meucci Glasgow Ka/eem Aftab replies: Gaia seems to think that because a film is a public sucess that means it has merit. The job of the critic is to separate the good from the bad, no matter which country they are from. This film, that makes easy, uninspiring choices throughout, has an inane plot that took three lines to describe. / then compared the coming of age film with classics by Fellini and Germi. But this film copies bad British movies to get an audience. rather than good Italian ones.
LETTER OF THE FORTNIGHT
proverbial Welshman to a deep fat fryer. but the more they accept our culture for what it is the more they will receive back.
You‘re bonny the way you are baby. don't you change for me.
PS: for future reference. Edinburgh is technically a part of England.
Megg Keggy Glasgow
PEACE? NO CHANCE! Re: Give peace a chance (Letters, 492) I love my country. It's gallus. it‘s bigoted. it doesn‘t ask anyone to change (apart from the occasional HEBS ad). it finds adapting to a constantly changing multicultural influx difficult, its internal conflicts are the stuff legends are made of, but most of all Scotland makes me shit myself laughing on a daily basis. Sometimes it needs to be explained that humour lies in difference, in commonly identifying with something that isn't ourselves and. at the same time. having our own existence reaffirmed with an emphasis on the lighter side of life. Historically, Scotland has a particularly strong sense of its own identity which is why it is so opinionated. This is why guys will wear the beautiful game on their sleeves and girls will punch you in the face. even if you're right. lt'll tell you what it fucking thinks and most of the time what it thinks is fucking hilarious. You see. it really is all about the banter. which may explain why people experiencing Scotland for the first time may not take to it like the
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