John A. Guerin, GLBT Students











So, yes.

a lose

A Decent Job?!

In response to the letter [April 28] from Mr. Guerin: I just wonder what color glasses you wear? They must be rose-colored to see Bush the way you do! Give me a break. I am an anti-war, Michael Moore type, but you will never hear me say "I was wrong." You shall receive no satisfaction in that respect.


A decent job?!


Art Concepts in Flux

Just wanted to say thank you to Kevin Crowe for the article: Blackballed without Whitewalls [April 21].

I am a local published artist who has had exhibits in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and at San Francisco and Fantasy Shows all over the United States and the United Kingdom. I have over 100 published illustrations in books, magazines, CDs and cards. However, I have been rejected by galleries in Knoxville because I do not paint "decor" paintings. Though a lot of my work is fantastic in theme, I also do works that are mainstream—they are just not flowers, barns, or Knoxville landmarks.

It is very frustrating, and I appreciate hearing in your article from other artists who feel the same way. It is a travesty for galleries to define what art is; however, the bottom line is their clientele and what they know they can sell. They, however, don't realize that they have some power in just re-educating the public by introducing more avant-garde works onto their walls of mundane art.

I think a cultural revolution is going to happen here, but it will take some time, and the Gay Street galleries will flourish. My only concern is that those who would not possibly allow a Duchamps to grace their walls will jump on the bandwagon when this does occur and say they were "with it" all along, when in reality they were not.

For now, I will continue to exhibit outside of Knoxville—I have an exhibit in Washington, D.C., this summer—until a change is really evident. I wanted to also mention that the Art Market in the Candy Factory is one of those galleries that has opened its doors to all artists. It is a co-op gallery, but it has not gotten the exposure that it needs; hopefully it will in the days to come.



Seeking Tolerance

"In denial" could be the best way to describe how Lenoir City High School students feel and about the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgender) community.

The few people who know their sexual orientation are treated differently at this school because it is either looked at as "wrong," or the subject is just not spoken about because it will generally be scoffed at by the majority of the student population. There has been growth in acceptance at this school, but the issue of addressing comments spoken and threats made is something that has yet to be brought to many people's attention.

When one walks through the hallways in between classes, one cannot help but notice when a same-sex couple is holding hands. When students see this, there are generally three things that happen: 1.) no one says anything and accepts what they have seen with tolerance and understanding; 2.) they walk on and say some crude comment later in the day or; 3.) they get into the person's face and say something ignorant and stupid. Either way, these few incidents are not spoken of afterwards and are not given the right justice when violence is the result. 

In the past, there have been acts of hate committed upon students of the GLBT community, and the issues were not brought up with the proper authorities at the time. Many students have come to LCHS and graduated, but nothing has really changed. Ignorance is not only extended toward the GLBT community, it has been extended to other minorities of the school as well, like the Hispanic, Catholic, or any other minority. Something has to be done to stop ignorance and hate in all of its forms.

One of the best solutions to the problem would be for all of us in the GLBT community to unite together and help educate the community with lectures and events. Some teachers and students need to get together and form a group to aid in this educational project like a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance).

This problem needs to be met with much urgency before one more student has to face violence and pain. Many groups across the country would help in the formation of a group. All one needs to do is make a phone call or send a e-mail to the right organization. The only thing left to do is for someone to take the first step. Someone needs to help guide this school into something that could get regional or even national recognition for being accepting and understanding of its entire student body, even the quiet minority.



Yeah, Give 'W' Credit

John A. Guerin's letter in the April 28 issue says he would like to see some folks say, "Man, was I wrong," in response to what he offers as W's successes. He writes: "Kids can fly kites and go to school in Afghanistan."

True, except when they're working the poppy fields and helping to restore Afghanistan to its former status as one of the world's largest exporters of opium. I give W credit for this restoration of economic power to a major drug exporter.

Guerin asserts that "women are being considered valued as human beings and not cattle." Perhaps he's right and Afghans are considering valuing women as human beings. But they don't seem to have decided to do so quite yet. Last week a woman was accused of adultery and stoned to death. And, according to, "The repression of women is still prevalent in rural areas. They are still forced into marriages and denied a basic education." Let's offer W his due for supporting conservative Afghani family values.

It's certainly true that citizens in Iraq faced "death but chose to vote anyway." Guerin probably would have too if he'd been under Sistani's fatwah that condemned him to hell if he didn't vote. And the rumors that were spread that failure to vote would result in losing one's food rations made the question sort of a Hobson's choice, anyway. Nevertheless, Iraq did hold elections, and I'm sure they were free and open according to W's definition.

W managed to convince Kadafi, long rumored to be crazy, that W was crazy enough to attack Libya without an excuse. (And we'll just ignore the fact that Libya began negotiations on disarmament when it reached a settlement on Lockerbie.)

The growing economy is a good thing if, as Guerin notes, you chose the right field to go into. Of course, most economists, even conservative economists, agree the president has little effect on the economy. But W certainly shows a solid grasp of presidential politics in claiming responsibility for things he didn't do.

So, yes. I agree with Guerin that W deserves some credit for increased opium production, maintaining Afghani traditions, making voting in Iraq a lose-lose proposition, and frightening a reputed madman.

Consequently, I think it's fitting that Guerin justify supporting W by quoting a vice president whose claim to fame (beyond a talent for alliteration) was resigning after being charged with accepting bribes and falsifying his taxes.



A Decent Job?!

In response to the letter [April 28] from Mr. Guerin: I just wonder what color glasses you wear? They must be rose-colored to see Bush the way you do! Give me a break. I am an anti-war, Michael Moore type, but you will never hear me say "I was wrong." You shall receive no satisfaction in that respect. 

It is good to see any country progress. Do we have Bush to thank? I think not. He misleads this country and lies to us. A decent job?! Please spare me. All I can hope is that this presidential term passes very quickly. We need a true leader, not a smoke and mirrors guy. 

I wish that I could share your opinion on Bush, but this "Nattering Nabob of Negativism" is a realist. It is not essential to me for people to listen or agree with me. My opinions are my own, and I don't need that kind of validation.

I will never like Bush as our president, but I don't waste my time bitching about him. I pray instead that he does not hurt, kill and destroy anymore than he already has.

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