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February 25, 2014

Inbox — Feb. 26, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Transitioning Comedy
Jaison A. Gardner’s Feb. 12 column about the term “tranny” and how its status as a slur has caught many public figures off guard brings to mind a typically no-rules Monty Python skit combining barbering, singing, lumberjacking and an inauthentic comedic treatment of transgenderism.

I laughed hysterically for years each time I’d see or recall this choreographed Python classic whose humorous impact was based on the notion that brawny lumberjacks and a female identity make for an absurd clash of genres.

Today, I see the lumberjack skit differently, not because I feel slapped on the wrist by enforcers of new morality, but because I have come to understand that transgenderism isn’t fodder for comedy, but a reality for many people who are as likely to cut down trees for a living as do anything else. Moreover, a person celebrating in song their lumberjack life, then shifting into I wish I was a girlie … is no more hilariously contradictory to that occupation than their wishing to be a different religion.

When the issue is words not historically in terms of hate and violence with impunity, but suddenly considered wrong, justice does not hinge on mechanistically meeting an outside standard without accompanying personal soul searching. Seeing that people are individuals, not an abstraction, is the greater part. Seeing the appropriateness of words follows.
Brian Arbenz, Highlands

Persistence is Key
Persistence pays off sometimes. The first time Joe Sonka asked Alison Lundergan Grimes whether she supports the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (LEO Weekly, Feb. 12), he got a verbose prevarication promising it would be “implemented the right way.” So, Sonka rephrased the question and tried again. The second time, he got a more concise prevarication that seemed to answer his question by default. Now, Grimes says she “will evaluate every decision.” Note the future-tense verb. That would indicate she hasn’t decided yet.

I think Sonka drew Grimes into admitting she’s still a follower on this issue. Good work! Grimes’ waffle is forgivable to my thinking, however. Kentucky politics can be like a pitch-dark forest full of bear traps. One false step means sudden death. At least she’s not pandering.
Tom Louderback, Highlands

It Counts
Regarding the “Hope for the homeless” article in the Feb. 5 LEO: Another ballsy article by you fine folks. Impressed by the staff documenting this year’s homeless street count and shedding light on the problem and presenting solutions to the city’s ever-persistent issue of homelessness. Thank you again.
Althea Tangco, L.A. to Louisville

Affordable Children
This is in regards to the story on the need to raise the minimum wage (LEO Weekly, Feb. 5): The woman interviewed said she couldn’t support her FIVE children on her current wage. How many children did she have when she started having financial troubles? There are so many people in America who do not use logic. Logically, if one cannot support her current family size, there is no reason to increase the family’s size. You cannot keep having children and then complain that you cannot afford it.
George K., Fern Creek

God Bless It
This is in response to Michele Dutcher’s letter (LEO Weekly, Feb. 12): Each time you see a sign “God Bless America” on a TARC bus, you don’t have to make any theological decision. Just ignore it. It would be silly to think you would feel like apologizing to people from other cultures sitting on the bus. First, you are not to presume what people from other cultures would object to. That’s an irrational guilt.

Second, so what if they or you would be offended. Hypothetically, if these people from the other cultures were to take offense strongly enough, then I would tell them to make it a priority to move to a different country. “God Bless America” is part of the American culture, just as “In God We Trust” is on our currency.

“God Bless America” is in no way exclusionary. Notice how it doesn’t state “God Bless Only America.” Your objection is unfounded. Please retract your complaint to TARC. What TARC is doing is not discriminatory.
Robert Veith, Brandenburg, Ky.