Fun_People Archive
12 May
Puritanical Gardens

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Mon, 12 May 97 12:25:29 -0700
To: Fun_People
Subject: Puritanical Gardens

Forwarded-by: Keith Bostic <>
Forwarded-by: "Keith E. Sullivan" <>

	-- by Dave Bealer

The Puritans landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620.  Although the Puritans, who
called themselves Pilgrims in a vain attempt to conceal their true motives,
weren't the first to land in America, their influence has been profound.
This is rather unfortunate since the Puritans are the most stuck-up,
sexually repressed bunch of stiffs ever to influence a country.  The
Puritans came to America to "escape persecution" in Europe.  In truth, the
Europeans counted themselves lucky to be rid of them.

Although no longer a recognized group like the Quakers or the Amish, the
Puritan influence is still felt every day.  Individuals of a puritanical
nature are commonly found in positions involving thought control, like
television network censors, members of the Federal Communications
Commission, and moderators of online conferences.  The Puritans have been
losing ground to the liberals for many years, but still score the occasional

Jocelyn Elders lost her job as Surgeon General of the United States last
year, primarily because she advocated having the schools teach teenagers to
masturbate.  The Puritanical element of American society had a major
collective fecal seizure over this proposal.  I agree with those who
vehemently oppose such an effort, but not on moral grounds.  I feel it would
be a colossal waste of scarce educational funds.  Teaching teenagers to
masturbate is about as necessary as teaching them to breathe.  On the other
hand, there are adults who would pay big money to see a video tape of the
proposed class, so it might make a good commercial venture.  Get Roman
Polanski to direct it, and you're almost assured of a runaway hit, at least
in the U.S.

The Consumers Union is one of the most conservative groups in the United
States.  A nonprofit organization, Consumers Union (CU) conducts independent
testing of the safety and reliability of hundreds of consumer products.
For more than 50 years Consumer Reports, the monthly magazine published by
CU, has carried test reports on everything from new cars to lawn mowers to
ice cream.  A good example is the May 1995 issue, which features reports on
running shoes, sun screens, mutual funds, clothes dryers, upscale sedans,
and condoms.  Condoms?

It took the AIDS epidemic to overcome America's puritanical aversion to
publicly admitting the existence of condoms, the primary male birth control
method.  The condom has moved from behind the pharmacy counter to the check
out aisle of many grocery stores.  It has changed from being an object of
embarrassment and ridicule, especially for teenagers, to being an "impulse
purchase" item.

Although not an overt bastion of prudity, Consumer Reports figured to be
among the last places to report on sexual health and safety devices.  I,
for one, would have wagered that Consumer Reports would publish test results
for automatic assault weapons before it would do condoms.  I don't know
which "taboo item" will next be tested for Consumer Reports, but I suddenly
want to volunteer as a product tester for Consumers Union.  Just don't tell
the Puritans.

This commentary first appeared in the May 1995 issue of Dream Forge

Copyright (c) 1995 Dave Bealer, All Rights Reserved.

[This is interesting, but I don't know where the contention that CU is "one  
of the most conservative groups in the United States" comes from... Perhaps  
that statement was included purely for shock value.  After all, a union of  
people representing consumers is about as socialistic as you can get in a  
business culture...  -psl]

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