In Other News … Valedictorian grad speech blocked; given on bullhorn outside, ‘Bourbon Trail 2.0,’ Lawrence and Aronofsky reunite at BAM

Courtesy WLWT

Graduation Day: A Kentucky school barred its valedictorian and salutatorian from making their commencement speeches last week, says The New York Times, TIME, USA Today, ABC News, CBS News, CNN and Salon.

Principal Mike Holtz of Holy Cross High School in Covington informed the valedictorian Christian Bales and salutatorian Katherine Frantz their speeches had been rejected by the Diocese of Covington.

In response, they gave their speeches via megaphone following the ceremony.

Mr. Bales said he found out the day of graduation.

The diocese took ours and said they were too confrontational, too angry, too personal, and that they weren’t appropriate for the setting.

A spokesman for the diocese, Tim Fitzgerald, said in the statement provided to Cincinnati’s WLWT:

All speeches must be submitted in a timely manner. The student speeches for the Holy Cross High School graduation were not submitted for review before the deadline. When the proposed speeches were received, they were found to contain elements that were political and inconsistent with the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Hmm. Yeah, I don’t know.

You can read Mr. Bales’ speech here and Ms. Frantz’s speech here. You can watch it here:

He does mention youth activism in one section, but it’s brief and he’s all encompassing, listing causes favored by both the left and the right. But really, both are pretty standard graduation speeches: be your best selves, stay active and engaged, let your voice be heard, remember what you learned here and take it out into the world.

Mr. Bales is gay but he does not reference that anywhere in his speech, but according to his mother, Gillian Marksberry, the school had expressed concerns recently. Mr. Bales wore high heels and a floral jumpsuit to prom and wanted to make sure he was more traditionally attired for graduation.

He also told me that he had reached out to the superintendent of the diocese to ask for guidance because he has never had a student like Christian before and he didn’t know how to deal with it.

Christian and I spoke about appropriate dress and how it is necessary to conform sometimes. Christian understood and respected this request. He was prepared to honor the dress code.

She told CNN:

The irony of it all is the diocese made this decision with the intention of taking away their voice, and as a result, it has made his voice that much louder.

Starting with the bullhorn. That idea came from Mr. Bales’s father and they went with it. After everyone exited the ceremony, a group of students, family and teachers gathered outside.

It was very empowering. The people who were surrounding us were the ideal audience.

Courtesy of Old Forester

Bottoms Up: Forbes takes a look at the evolution of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail with “Kentucky Bourbon Trail 2.0: Louisville Positions Itself At The Center Of American Spirits.”

Forbes is referring to the growth of distilleries popping up in Louisville proper. The full Kentucky Bourbon Tour is spread out all over the state but Forbes says Louisville is adding to its own bourbon footprint with Angel’s Envy, Copper and Kings, Michter’s Distillery and the Old Forester Distillery coming on June 14.

In a period of less than two years, the city has blossomed into America’s capital of distilled spirits. In harkening back to the glory of its distant past, it’s formed a future that few would have predicted. Not far from here, the original Bourbon Trail remains connected by vast stretches of Bluegrass parkway. Bourbon Trail 2.0 doesn’t require more than a sidewalk.

If you do want to stretch your legs beyond the city limits, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail site says it would take about four to five days to hit them all and do it right.

Fancy Meeting You Here: Jennifer Lawrence reunited with her ex-boyfriend Darren Aronofsky this week, says Entertainment Tonight and the loathed E! Ms. Lawrence presented Mr. Aronofsky with an award at Wednesday’s BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) Gala, honoring him for his contribution and commitment to the arts.

Jeremy Irons, Nora Ann Wallace and Jack Nusbaum were also honored.

From the podium, Ms. Lawrence said, “I am thrilled to be here tonight to present this honor to my very good friend, Darren Aronofsky.”

Different outlets are reading “good friend” in their own particular way.

For instance, Vulture suggests some breakup awkwardness with its headline: “Jennifer Lawrence and Darren Aronofsky Are Perfectly Polite to Each Other.”

InStyle focuses on her amazing white dress and its implications.

She worked the room like a pro, wowing the crowd in a look that beats any “revenge dress” we’ve ever seen — it’s more of an “I’m mature enough to maintain friendships with my ex-boyfriends and also I’m hot as hell” dress.

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen that kind of dress. Plenty of the former, though.

Harper’s Bazaar suspects the couple might get back together again if they haven’t already. They don’t really have much of a case beyond the two of them standing next to one another, but sometimes that’s all you need.

Photographed looking very much like a couple … the actress and director had their arms around each other, and didn’t look unhappy to see one another at all.

Whether or not Lawrence is actually dating Aronofsky again has yet to be confirmed, but the prospect seems more than possible.

Listen, just because mom and dad have figured out how to be cordial in public, doesn’t mean they’re getting back together. I mean, I learned that when I was 7.

I’m kidding, of course. I was way older.

Reports say the couple have maintained a friendship and great affection and respect post-breakup. You may recall, they formed their relationship around Aronofsky’s psycho-horror-thriller-allegory “mother!” Response to the film was deeply and strongly divided and Ms. Lawrence says the stress of the movie’s reception played a large role in the couple’s split.

She told Adam Sandler for Variety in November:

We’d be on the tour together, I’d come back to the hotel and the last thing I want to talk about or think about is the movie, and he comes back and that’s all he wants to talk about. I was doing double duty of trying to be a supportive partner while also being like, ‘Can I please, for the love of God, not think about “mother!” for one second?’

That’s an unfortunate paradox. Were it not for the movie, they wouldn’t be together; were it not for the movie; they wouldn’t be apart.

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the big “Top Chef” show being in Louisville and other parts of Kentucky for season 16. This week, they popped into Royals over on Market.

We’ll keep a “Top Chef” tracker here, which I guess just means whenever Padma puts something on her Instagram or Twitter, I’ll post it.

And finally: Kentucky Shakespeare opened its summer season last night. Runs just about every night but Monday from now until August 5, free in Central Park in Old Louisville. Food trucks every night, Will’s Tavern, and some of the most talented folks around performing for you. Shows start at 8; preshows start around 7:15.

See you next week.