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Critical thinking is a favorite subject of mine. I'm always on the alert for it, ever since becoming acquainted with the idea that it exists. Not sure when, exactly, probably when I learning the difference between yes and no, always confusing topics, especially during those challenging teenage years.

What makes this example interesting is that it conjures up in the mind, at least in my graphic-style mind, a certain picture, not one that I'd expect to see on the cover of the N.Y. Times.

Molly Ivins tells a story that I only partially recall about this. She was let go as a reporter from the NY Times years ago. She had used a phrase that conjured up in the reader's mind a vision of sexual intercourse, according to A.M. Rosenthal, her boss editor. "You were trying to get our readers to think of f**king," he accused her, and of course that's exactly what she was doing.

This drives people nuts. Some people. Maybe even all people, but we never like to think that about us, do we.

Hence the arrival of censorship.

You can't make movies that are too suggestive, at least you couldn't in the old days, because if you stimulated audience imagination too much, they might think of sexual intercourse.

We don't want that, do we.

They can't think of that all by themselves, can they.

But that's just as to adults. It's a lot worse as to teenagers. We don't want them exposed to the most interesting topic in the world, do we. If not the activity itself, then at least who's doing it with whom.

Then there are the children. Expose them to it and it's called corrupting the youth. That kind of a charge got Socrates hemlocked and it wasn't even sex he was selling, it was controversial ideas such as define your terms and think critically. Drove the parents nuts. The homosexuality was nuthin.' That they loved. Nothing controversial about that whatsoever. But ideas? Pass the hemlock, soonest.

Puritans everywhere have a lot of trouble with visual images of forbidden topics. Reminds me of the counter-argument, that no girl was ever corrupted by a book.

A censor is someone who has the great fear that somewhere someone might be having a good time.

Since the schoolboy's questioning of the teacher developed the idea so nicely, so humorously, and so graphically, I thought I'd submit this, after I stopped laughing.

-rs



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