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Suggestive imagery in TV and advertising

Your writer came up with "Just Shoot Me" as an example of a "good sitcom" in "What makes a good sitcom? Strong writing " (Nov. 27). After several paragraphs of gushing prose, we are informed, "Not that "Just Shoot Me" isn't plenty outrageous enough - it's rife with libidinal humor, like most sitcoms. But imbedded in the writing is usually something intelligent. For one thing, Levitan and his writers occasionally create hilarious homages to literary and cinematic heroes ..." Ah, redeeming social values.

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My thesaurus shows the following synonyms for "libidinous" - lustful, lascivious, lecherous, lewd, etc. Is it the purpose of The Christian Science Monitor to tout such material, shower praise, invite patronage?

David W Holmes

Alexandria, Va.

Catalog porn and violence

Regarding "Catalog porn" (Dec. 2), I would like to toss my opinion in the pile in regard to the Abercrombie & Fitch catalogues being so "suggestive." I hear all the time that America is going through some sort of moral disintegration, and it really makes me laugh.

It is my opinion that if America would be a little less restrictive on body image, nudity and sexual themes, and more restrictive on the violence that we see on TV and the biggest culprit, the news, then we might see a change in some attitudes of people. Major nations are more restrictive than the US in the violence department.

It seems to me that if we filter out some of the violence that we see on TV, and relax our posture on nudity, we would start to move our society to be more comfortable with the human body, and be less likely to tear it to pieces.

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Paul Rusek


Teaching teachers

Thank you for your editorial "Choice and the Schools" (Dec. 1). Lights went on and bells sounded. Wisconsin is in the process of revising the regulations governing teacher licensure, ostensibly as a strategy for improving the quality of public schools. As a faculty member in a public institution that prepares teachers, I have been puzzling my way through apparent paradoxes as I look at language that sets admirable guiding principles but removes credit stipulations, advocates two stage licensure, but removes it from the library media specialty area where it has been working well for 10 years. The new code goes further: it places new teachers in the schools and gives final control of licensure to the districts where they are employed in the first five years of their career, with neither clear attainment targets nor mechanisms for ensuring comparable quality across schools.

In fact, whichever way I examined Wisconsin's new approach to teacher licensure, it removes mechanisms that are in place that set standards through levels of preparation. They are replaced by principled but broad, non-specific, locally variable structures for initial preparation and final licensure.

As I read your editorial, light dawned. This change is not about educational quality. It is about broadening, generalizing and reducing standards for public education to make them attainable by non-public schools and facilitate the flow of tax dollars.

Anne Zarinnia

Whitewater, Wis.

Starr's testimony

The Monitor [misjudged] Independent counsel Kenneth Starr's appearance before the House Judiciary Committee "To Starr a pattern of 'obstruction'" (Nov. 20). Otherwise, it would not have written that "the counsel rails against Clinton's blocking maneuvers." Starr was neither "insolent, harsh, or abusive." during his entire testimony.

Out of fairness, it could have been a poor choice of words.

Lefteris Lavrakas

Costa Mesa, Calif.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Only a selection can be published, and we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. Mail letters to 'Readers Write,' and opinion articles to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115, or fax to 617-450-2317, or e-mail to

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