Pizzagod
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Sunday, April 20, 2008 11:42:47 PM
http://www.topix.net/for...3CPR6FQJ4AO2D4O#lastPost  and the writer took a cheap, unwarranted shot at Carnies in it.

I sent the following letter to the writer, and strongly suggest that anybody who is similarly offended read the article and write him voicing your displeasure.

Please-remember this guy is NOT with it, and would probably delight in ridiculing us. Spell checking a letter for typos would be worth the extra effort.

Here is my letter:

Scott-

I found your reference to "count the teeth on the carnies" very objectionable.

Yes, this is a case of "it depends on whose ox is being gored". I'm a part of the carnival industry, and please tell me the difference between this remark and guessing how many of the Hispanic patrons drink beer and beat their wives, or how many of the black people at the fair were on welfare, or even how many of the very clean cut journalists pictured in the Orlando paper were alcoholics or not heterosexual?

It was a mean spirited, small minded comment. First of all, we're guests here. Secondly, do you have any conception of how much we contribute to Orlando's economy? Motels, vehicle repairs, food, laundry, etc. Carnival people are no different than anybody else, we spend money, and for this two weeks you have an influx of consumers who are going to patronize local businesses. We don't expect a red carpet, but please save the condecending remarks for people who don't contribute to society. Journalists for example....

But I digress.

The days of the toothless, dirty, disreputable carnival worker are past. Carnivals are big, legitimate business, carnival owners invest millions and are all very much aware that the lowest level employee is what the public sees and good or bad, this is the representation that they have to live with. As you went from place to place I'm sure you couldn't help but notice that the carnival employees were all neatly attired, facial hair was well groomed, and that personal hygiene was within acceptable social standards.

So why the mean spirited comment? We in the business work an ungodly work week, often time putting in as much time in three days as your entire work week consists of. You have to be well aware of the health care crisis in this country, and unfortunately dental care is a part of this, and a look at any cross section of people in the country will show that most often dental and optical care are the most frequently neglected.

To bring this back to the point, I sincerely doubt that you'd offer any kind of generalization about any class of people. It's small minded, politically incorrect, and just mean. Yet people who are working hard to make an honest living are denigrated. Why would you do this? If "Doc and Grace" had come up to you and offered a comment about nappy hair or big noses or any other attibute of a race or class would you have even listened? Would you repeat it in print?

I haven't read you before. This was a very poor first impression. I'm very disappointed at the obvious lack of thought and judgment that was exhibited here.
Paul Paron
In the carnival business since 1979.
Has most of his teeth.


For one dollar I'll guess your weight, your height, or your sex.
magfly
Monday, April 21, 2008 1:40:23 AM
good letter !! ,I wonder if he knows any hockey players ? lol speaking of teeth missing [:D]
when you cant breathe nothing else matters/please sign you organ donor cards today!! you may save life ; it might even be MINE you are saving/check out www.bluebracelet.info 
JustJeff
Monday, April 21, 2008 5:57:46 AM
Looks like they edited your comment down to 2 short paragraphs and a short sentence.
You did make your point IMO,but they could have printed the comment in it's entirety, again IMO....jeff
Pizzagod
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Monday, April 21, 2008 6:58:54 AM
The writer did respond and I appreciated him doing so, although I thought he passed the buck-

Here is his response:

Paul,

I love the fair. I don't think anyone could read that piece and think otherwise.

And while I guess I could go into lengthy detail about how most of the classes of people to which you equated carnival workers are protected classes under federal law, due to decades of mistreatment, abuse and even murder -- and not really comparable -- I think I'll stick with the fact that, as i think you noted, the comment was not mine. Feel free to call or email doc. I'm sure he'd appreciate the feedback.

Really, though, if you want anyone to take you seriously in the future, I'd suggest you don't try to hurl around accusations that they are gay - which is obviously an insult in your mind ... and also rather telling.

Scott

I of course responded to him, and while I try not to get involved with fights that I can't win (like taking on somebody who has a newspaper column) I was genuinely offended by this, like the Indianapolis writer last year who tossed out that "smell the carnies" remark.

My response to his response-

Hi Scott

Thank you for responding to my comment. I appreciate that you took the time
to read it, in spite of the fact that I raked you over the coals, and took
offense to what you wrote. I am sure you do love the fair, and with the
exception of repeating the remark, I thought it was a nice piece.

I understood from the beginning that this was something you were repeating,
and what I wrote to you was illustrate how stupid assumptions can be made
and qualities can be ascribed to people without a thought. "Really, though,
if you want anyone to take you seriously in the future, I'd suggest you
don't try to hurl around accusations that they are gay - which is obviously
an insult in your mind ... and also rather telling". That's one
interpretation, I see it as just more sophistry.

I noted that it was Doc's comment-and my "beef" was that you repeated it and
perpetuated a stereotype. You're quite correct that the classes of people I
point out are protected by laws, but this was not always the case.
Discrimination is an ugly thing, bias is an ugly thing (although almost
universal) and singling out any group with hurtful barbs is in poor taste.
I maintain that you would not have made such a comment about any ethnic
group, and that you would not print a page of "blonde" jokes or gay jokes
or ethnic jokes, yet here was this ill informed "crack" at carnival workers.

I expect more from a newspaper. I felt that the remark was something that I
would have expected out of a locker room or a bar room, but was not
something I needed to pay to read-especially without any warning. I felt blindsided, and needed to respond.

Paul Paron



For one dollar I'll guess your weight, your height, or your sex.
flamo
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Monday, April 21, 2008 10:41:54 AM
I have in the past replying directly to the writer only feeds thier ego. I found a better response by writing to the the editor. Which I will do a little later today.
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked