Home
Loading
  Contact Us    
Sort 178

These letters are NOT from the same person.

by Dear Jon
October 11, 2002

Bookmark and Share


Sort 178_Dear Jon-These letters are NOT from the same person. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

Recently my church tried to have a bake sale, when we were swarmed by yellow-jackets (bees). They made it very hard to have the sale, and every time we shooed them away, more came back! How do we keep bees out of our sales?

Signed,
Yellow-jackets not required


Dear Yellow-jackets,

Try having the bake sale INSIDE.


ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What is the difference between art and pornography? Is there such a thing as "erotic art?"

Signed,
Conservative but Curious


Dear Curious,

I wonder what the writer of “yellow-jackets” would say?

One rule to follow is that if you have to ask whether a portrayal of eroticism is pornographic, it probably is. However, if what is being displayed needs to be explained, it is probably “art.”

According to the government of the United States, no “art” ever depicts unclothed children, unless the art was painted at least two hundred years ago.

In case you are really interested, the word pornography is a compound of two Greek words, “porneia” which means “of prostitution,” and “graphew” which means “to write.” Pornography is that which describes or depicts the behavior of prostitutes. A prostitute is someone who is paid to have sex. If people are being paid to behave sexually for the sake of titillation, they are prostitutes, and if they are being painted, photographed or “performing” before a live audience, then they are prostitutes who happen to be porn stars. Strippers are prostitutes. Phone sex providers are prostitutes. All of it fits under “porneia.”

The closer erotic art gets to titillation for its own sake, the closer erotic art gets to becoming pornography. Some erotic art is a long way from titillation. A sculpture of lead pipes twisted around each other called “Two Shall Become One” is a long, long way from pornography. Once you actually show naked human beings, the line begins to blur.

Not that all nudity in art is erotic, either, at least not intentionally. In cosmopolitan settings, there are often live plays which involve nude actors and actresses. This is mostly for the shocking counter-cultural value. Under harsh spotlights the human body looks rather cold, corpse-like and clinical. Not that I would know, having never actually gone to one of these plays.

Anyway, from playbills and reviews I form the impression that often these plays are written and performed by Lesbian Feminist Goddess Worshipers to make the point that they are not slaves to the sexualizing chauvinism of the Stupid Beastly Patriarchal Fascist Half of the human race. Dear Jon hopes to write a book, “Women Who Hate Men and the Men Who Like To See Them Naked” as a commentary on Chicago’s theatre scene. However, Dear Jon’s wife won’t allow him the expense sheet.

Nudity on television in prime-time may not be erotic but it is basically pornographic in that it intends to weaken moral boundaries and titillate the curious. Directors, producers, writers, and actors will give us a bunch of justifications: People are naked in real life, America’s sexual attitudes are puritanical, people are naked in Europe and Canada all the time. Yet there is no reason the viewing audience needs to see Dennis Franz’s butt, no matter what Europeans do or think is appropriate. I doubt that even the Europeans think it is decent to watch people step in and out of showers, not that they take showers all that frequently anyway. If we are importing European values for our television, are we going to import European values for hygiene next?

Anyway, the point is that networks that show nudity in a sexual context are being specifically titillating for the sake of ratings. This is exploitive and pornographic.

Nudity on television programs that document the Holocaust is neither erotic nor pornographic, nor is the picture of a ten year-old Vietnamese girl whose clothes have been burned off by napalm. These jarring visual images display the shocking depths of indignity and violence and are meant to awaken conscience, not deaden it.

Whatever intends to deaden your conscience is a vice. Whatever intends to awaken your conscience to a new perspective has intrinsic value to your own and the public’s good. Often nudity can awaken conscience especially when it is divorced from eroticism. Does “erotic art” deaden or awaken conscience? No one, not even Dear Jon, can make that decision for you.

(0 Comments)
Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*


Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Location:


Comments:*
Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.



Verification:
Please type the letters you see above.

  Printer-Friendly

Bookmark and Share


PO BOOKS BY DEAR JON
Dear Jon Letters: Tips for Dating and Mating
Temporarily Unavailable
Published July 21, 2008

Our advice humorist turns his attention and trademark wit to affairs of the heart in his first and very affordable book (only $8.95!).

More Information
RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon
EMAIL ALERTS
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
Sort 178
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Dear Jon
Sort 433: Going on Sabbatical
Miss Me? Let me know!
by Dear Jon, 6/15/10
Sort 432: Jokes and Horse Names
and other Random One Liners
by Dear Jon, 6/8/10
Sort 431: Piggy Tossing
and the new touring show: "Lord of the Flies."
by Dear Jon, 6/1/10
Sort 430: Forwarding Fear
Spam with a side of mashed logic
by Dear Jon, 5/25/10
Sort 429, Mixing Oil and Water
is like mixing politics and humor. All you get is a sticky mess and a lot of upset environmentalists.
by Dear Jon, 5/18/10
Sort 428: Handling the Truth
And other lessons for cable channels
by Dear Jon, 5/11/10
Sort 427: Dear Jon Knew When to Shut Up
Finally
by Dear Jon, 5/4/10
» Complete List (462)


RSS FEED
RSS Feed for Dear Jon: RSS Feed for Dear Jon

Recently Published
View Article Salvator Mundi
Not the painting but the Person
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/7/17
When the Newsman Becomes News
Lamenting yet another fallen hero
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 12/1/17
Let's Hear It for Moms and Pops
Celebrating Small Business Saturday in a very personal way
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/22/17
An Earthquake in La La Land
Examining what's been exposed in the rubble
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/17/17
Where is God?
Reflecting on the tragedy in a little Texas town
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/10/17
An All Saints Day Tribute
Remembering those who left us
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 11/3/17
A Mighty Fortress was His God
Remembering the legacy of Martin Luther 500 years later
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 10/27/17

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.


RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2017 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top