Monday, August 20, 2007

My fifth letter in the New York Times:

I just got my fifth letter published in the NYT. The fun part is that they have been published in five different sections, and now I guess I'll try for a sixth. This latest one seems to have shown up in the Sunday Styles section. The others were in the main editorial page (about computer-composed music), the sports section (A quarterback should not say Gawg instead of Hut), the New Jersey section (use a billboard to notify first degree murderers that punishments vary from county to county), and week-in-review (agenst speling everthing frely).

The first four letters involved several interactions with a human, when someone edited my letter. (The NYT always seem to edit, that's why letters sound so similar in style.) This time I never heard from them, but a neighbor told me she saw the letter. (I had given them permission to edit in advance, and wow, they did.) Here's an ephemeral link to the letter in the Times. (They won't let me have a more permanent link for some reason). I've got to admit that they cleverly simplified my letter and removed the more emotional content. Here's their version (which by the way, they now own, and I hope they won't complain that I'm printing it; thanks, NYT):
Well-heeled couples can throw a gigantic wedding, complete with what they only think is a marriage license. At the same time, the efforts of homosexuals to achieve any union acceptable as a marriage is placed under the greatest scrutiny.

And here's my original:

Marriage License Irony:
Devan Sipher's article, "Great Wedding! But was it Legal?" (Sunday Styles, August 5, 2007) strikes one of the largest imaginable veins of irony, yet the writer seems not to notice. Our country, our states, take the marriage sacrament so casually that well-heeled couples can throw a gigantic wedding, complete with what they only think is a marriage license. They'll be filing false tax returns, etc., etc., but they won't really get into trouble unless someone notices. Our states and cities make confusing rulings about the validity of certain ministers, and leave it to us poor citizens to sort things out.

At the same time, the efforts of homosexuals to achieve any union acceptable as a marriage is placed under the greatest scrutiny, and denied again and again. Why is the state of marriage not routinely available to those who value it?


What really kills me is that when I was young -- and a terrible writer -- the Times printed dozens of letters in the weekly magazine. Today they print precious few, and I have no hope of getting a letter in the magazine now.
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