Letter: Cartoon, advertisement were obscene

The Sunday Gazette is one of our weekly joys, with a larger-than-usual newspaper to read and a little more time to linger over it. The Nov. 12 Gazette offered a couple of items that on first reading might not seem related, but really are on a deeper level: The Brownells ad on page 12A and 9 Chickweed Lane in the Comics section. They were both obscene.

“Obscene,” as Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition) defines it, refers to something “disgusting to the senses; repulsive,” and “abhorrent to morality or virtue; specifically to incite to lust or depravity.”

If you look at 9 Chickweed Lane, it shows a man, half-dressed, between a woman’s legs, the latter in a nightgown. You really don’t need to read the text; it doesn’t add anything you need to know or that is funny. I’m not sure who this comic strip is intended for, but its adult themes seem out of place when wedged between Garfield and Pluggers. It is obviously obscene, in the sense of excitation to lust.

The Brownells ad is a full-page ad for their preholiday sale (“Now Open Sundays”) with a Remington semi-automatic pistol (“for the most demanding personal defense scenarios,” according to their web page) and a Quick Response Carbine capable of 20+1 rounds. I’m not a hunter, but I know those guns are not made for hunting. But they are just as obscene, if not more so, than Chickweed Lane, in their excitation to depravity.

Charles R. Crawley

Cedar Rapids

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