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Comments by Clay

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Posted on June 5 at 2:09 p.m.

What proof do I have? Is that a joke?

First of all, "proof" a damn silly idea in this context. But let's review the bit of the article in question:

"While everyone from President Obama to Ke$ha is making 'It Gets Better' videos to encourage gay teens to be optimistic about their futures, the great Volunteer State (what kind of a nickname …?) is telling students, 'Sorry, It Gets Way Worse Before It Gets Better.' "

Potential rewrite:

"While everyone from President Obama to Ke$ha is making 'It Gets Better' videos to encourage gay teens to be optimistic about their futures, Tennessee is telling students, 'Sorry, It Gets Way Worse Before It Gets Better.' "

The bit I take exception to:

"the great Volunteer State (what kind of a nickname …?)"

...which, as I've shown above, you can excise entirely without harming the piece. It is an aside, entirely irrelevant to the main point. It is also a mistake.

When I suggested that Starshine hadn't done her research I was being charitable. I laid out a hypothetical in which she, in the heat of emotion, made an uncalled for remark motivated by her own ignorance.

But you're right. It's also entirely possible that she knew Tennessee provided a record number of volunteers for our nation's military during the war of 1812, and simply decided that regardless of it's origins, the name sounded stupid.

Which is fine. It doesn't really matter what motivated the question. Even if it was rhetorical, I still feel someone must answer it.

"what kind of a nickname …?"

The kind earned by the sweat, blood and tears of American soldiers and their parents back at home. That kind.

On Don't Say ‘Gay’

Posted on June 4 at 2:25 p.m.

Respectfully-

"what kind of a nickname …?"

Really?

Just from the two words, I would assume that Tennessee provided a remarkable number of volunteers (as opposed to draftees) for World War Two. Turns out it was actually the war of 1812, according to THE FOURTH RESULT ON GOOGLE for "Volunteer state".

I hope the caps are not too offensive, but I see people in this comment thread congratulating you on writing "substantive material." While I agree that the law under discussion is worse than stupid this column, when judged as journalism, falls severely short.

In the heat of emotion over one stupid thing a particular group of people have done recently, you allowed your contempt for those people's modern conduct to lead you to heap scorn on an unrelated facet of their history. Simply because you didn't know the context for that fact and (apparently) didn't care to learn.

If you call that journalism, you have a future at Fox News. It's not okay to do that because you're standing up to injustice. Everybody thinks they're the good guys. Journalists do their research.

In this case, what you flippantly dismiss in a parenthetical is something many would consider quite honorable: service to one's country.

As opposed to, you know, Googling it.

Next time you write an impassioned treatise on any subject, if I may, I'd like to offer a suggestion: Complete your rough draft, save it to your hard drive, then go make yourself a cup of tea and go to a completely different room than the one in which you write. Slowly drink your tea. Maybe listen to some music.

When the cup is empty, come back and give your text a careful read-through. Does anything pop out to you as unfair? How about just clumsily written? If neither, you probably either need more tea or weren't very outraged in the first place.

In the heat of passion it is very easy to come across facts one does not understand, and feel like one's own confusion is a valid reason to criticize.

This mistake is much harder to make on a belly full of good tea.

-Cheers

On Don't Say ‘Gay’

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