Not So Innocent

Friday, October 05, 2007


How often can America lose its innocence? Again and again, as we feign shock over events that shouldn’t, if history is a guide, be all that surprising. Johns Hopkins professor Richard Halpern parses the “innocence industry” through the paintings of one of its major manufacturers, Norman Rockwell.

Comments [5]

MadJo from The Netherlands

Is it true what Bob said in the beginning of this segment? Almost none of the mainstream media mentioned the approved-by-Congress torture? Wow, now that shocks me. How can anyone trust the mainstream media then?

Oct. 11 2007 04:52 AM
Bermard Katz from Reston

Oh, come on, professor! This reminds me of the old story about the navy pilot, up for his periodic physical and going through the psychiatric testing. Being shown a Rohrschack ink blot and asked to say what he sees, the pilot says, “A guy and his gal ‘doing’ it in the darkened balcony of the movie house!” The psychiatrist flips the page, and another ink blot is displayed. “Hey, this fella and girl friend messing around in the back seat of their car!” And so it goes, page after page elicits a similar sexual response from every view. This prompts the psychiatrist to exclaim, “For gosh sakes! You have the dirtiest mind of any pilot I’ve examined in ten years!”
Somewhat afronted, the pilot says, “Why blame me? You’re showing me the dirty pictures!”

Oct. 10 2007 06:39 PM
Gary Keys from Kannapolis NC

This was an interesting discussion. As I was listening to Prof. Halpern talking, I had to check my calendar to make sure it wasn't one of those NPR April fools jokes. I guess everyone has an opinion and their own interpretation as to what they see when they look at a picture, but come on! A girl looking into a mirror applying lipstick is one thing. Arguing that the doll is displayed in a sexual position in the same frame is a stretch. And had the good professor talked to the artist. I guess he was already expired.

Oct. 07 2007 08:34 PM
Parsley from Yonkers, New York

Innonence? How about willful ignorance or willful naivete? That's more like it!

Oct. 07 2007 05:16 PM
Gianni Lovato from Huntington, NY

Thank you for airing “Not so innocent”.
Once again you managed to touch on a potentially explosive subject without trying to sensationalize it or being too judgmental.
Prof. Halpern’s medicine is sure to leave a bitter taste in many mouths, but hopefully it will help some of us who are afflicted by chronic optimism.
Perhaps some of the products supplied by the “innocence industry” are needed some of the times, but as a society, we will never get better if we keep ignoring our ills by looking through rose-colored glasses all of the times.
After re-listening to piece on line and reading link with the excerpt from the book, I can’t help thinking of Bob Garfield as a friendly, honest nurse preparing the listener for some needed surgery: “…this will hurt for a while, but afterwards you’ll feel a lot better…”
Thanks, Mr. Garfield, I guess now I’ll have to go out and buy the book. Ouch!

Oct. 07 2007 07:22 AM

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