Sent: Thursday, 25 August 2011, 22:37
Subject: Censored Kentucky journalist fights back
Got this last week from CM Kay's assistant, Leah Boggs. For reasons that will become apparent, I've followed it with a quick response:
“I think I have finally gotten to the bottom of the mystery. Your emails were being blocked by the filter at the Government Center because of the profanity in the quote on the bottom of your email. Therefore, if you delete or amend the quote so that it doesn’t include profanity, we should be able to receive your emails without any problem.”
"I’m an optimist in my heart but a pessimist in my head. I think that’s the dialectic we all need to be in. We don’t know what the future is, so it’s silly to be an optimist naively or a pessimist cynically. We don’t know, so we should all get the fuck busy."
Many thanks for your response. First of all, dialectic is not a profanity. Second, though you did not address it, surely you find some humor in the fact that a quote used in my email calling for citizens to be engaged and active in their communities...is the very thing that has disallowed my civic engagement with members of city council. (Sigh...only in Lexington Kentucky....)
Since I'm not interested in having to change what is a powerful quotation at the bottom of every one of the thousands of emails I send just so that the six emails I send to city hall can get through, I'd like you to clarify some things for me. I would send this to your email, but the questions themselves might entail language that would necessitate deletion of my correspondence, so Facebook it is. As a public service, I will post your responses on this non-blocked Facebook page:
(1) Can you clarify for me who uses this filter in city government? I recall several other correspondences with city officials, using this same profane email tag, and have had no problems. This is important as I am a citizen and would like free communication between those who represent me or work in public office, irrespective of the word choices each of us make. I'd like to know what groups affiliated with the city do not communicate with me on the basis of a single word located at the bottom of an email tag-line.
(2) On the same grounds, can you clarify for me what constitutes "profanity." In other words, can I have the list of banned words used by the filter. I write on rivers and occasionally on religion. Does this mean that I cannot use the words hell, dam or dyke? Is gay profane and grounds for deletion? I find the odious use of "district," as in "Arena" or "Bourbon" or "Distillery" districts quite a load of offensive bullshit. Do these apply? How about "creative," used in the context of "creative class" to really fuck a lot of groups over? For that matter, if I'm describing energetic sex, can I just say "fucking" to convey better accuracy, or should I continue (when contacting council and other city agencies) using the more verbose "vigorous sex." What about WTF? OMFG? How about mild profanities, "zowie" and "bloody" and "jerk" (as an adjective, not verb). Also, if I am quoting someone (as I do in my email and as I do quite regularly as a journalist), should I not quote them accurately when communicating with council? I'd like to know as, by your admission, not knowing what's on this profanity list and how it's used has resulted in (at least) 7 email queries covering several months getting ignored by a sitting council member.
(3) Do you personally find my email quotation profane such that it warranted said deletion of emails? In other words, does the problem lie with my email tag or with the city's flawed filter system? In your estimation, is "getting the fuck busy" a sentiment that should be filtered by city government?
(4) As a follow-up, you state that my email message must be changed for me to contact CM Kay or anyone else in council. Doesn't it stand to reason that the dipshits who created the filter should be the ones needing to alter their actions, and not the other way around?
Thanks for your time. I'll await an email at my profane gmail address and will be sure to post your responses to our Facebook page.
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