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Workplace Dispute
Shun-unemployment: No wonder we are behind in so many categories when it comes to competing on a global stage ["Funemployment," Peter Jamison, Feature, 6/3]. This trend isn't new, but the magnitude of it is. It is sheer laziness. I have been out of work before and my pride would not let me stay out of work for long. Having lived in two other countries for a couple of years each time, I find it sad how Americans can become okay with being out of work. In so many other countries, people have more pride and get back to work.

I must interject that I love America. I was born and raised (mostly) here. Seriously though, I have come across too many kids who feel like they deserve these "vacations," that if they don't get a six-figure salary and perks then there is something wrong with the company they are working for.

I am just turning 30, and I crossed the six-figure bar a few years ago. I just want to laugh at this laziness. And then cry. It's sad.

allcarvedup

Web comment

Think outside the cubicle: If these people were previously employed, then they worked a high-paying S.F.–style job for years, probably straight out of college, and EDD [Employment Development Department] deductions were taken from every paycheck.

Now that the fat cats have driven our economy into the ground, the kids got laid off — and they are entitled to those benefits. I'm sure it would make people feel better if they just stared at job Web sites all day and immediately got back into the cubicle grind, but guess what? There hasn't been a job recovery. No amount of sitting at home and being depressed is going to bring those jobs back. So yeah, they're hiking, they're planning on grad school, they're taking care of their grandparents. They're moving to cities that might offer more opportunities.

And what are the critics doing? They are envious and hating. Most of the people in the article will probably find brighter new paths, while the naysayers are stuck in their soul-draining jobs.

Chadimus

Web Comment

Nothing Civil About Marriage Laws
Domestic grouse: I couldn't agree more with the ideas expressed in Matt Smith's recent column ["Domestic Spouses," 6/3]. I've long asserted that if the only semicredible argument against marriage equality is the supposed sanctity of the religious institution, then the obvious answer is to keep the legal and religious definitions of marriage separate.

Of course, I didn't fully understand the mechanics involved, or how tightly church and state intermingle in performing marriages, so this article has helped clarify just how the "divorce" should be handled.

The only thing I might add is that we should allow for two definitions of "marriage," one legal and one religious, as opposed to using "civil unions" as the legal term. For better or for worse, marriage has become a cultural institution in America, not just a religious or legal institution. Thus, I think many secular folks, both gay and straight, might object to having the term for their (nonreligious) unions "downgraded."

Lance Eason

San Francisco

Saying Goodbye
Former Wilco member struck a chord: I just read Katy St. Clair's article about Jay Bennett [Bouncer, 6/3], and it was absolutely lovely; such a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person.

It had been a long time since I had seen Bennett, and we weren't "friends" in the traditional sense, but I did have the honor of having quite a few profound conversations with him when he used to stay at the hotel I worked at when he was still with Wilco. I was a student who worked second and graveyard shift, and on the evenings I worked overnight he would come down, take a seat at the counter, and have these amazing conversations with me about music, life, etc. I was very sad to hear of his passing. He certainly will never be forgotten.

I am sorry for the loss of St. Clair's friend. Her article prompted me to text my best friend to tell him that I love him and that I appreciate him.

Paula Meegan

Chicago, IL

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