We have a new winner of a Spotty™ in today’s Strib:
I read with incredulity Katherine Kersten's misbegotten use of Hester Prynne as an example of a character from classic literature to explain why today's teens should not replace classic literature in favor of modern books (Opinion Exchange, Sept. 20). The "Scarlet Letter," "Of Mice and Men" and "Inherit The Wind" were the books of my adolescence that cemented my progressive attitudes.
What I, and most people, learned from "The Scarlet Letter" was that petty, archaic -- read conservative -- morals bankrupted the little village in the story. But because of being cast out, Hester had a better understanding of the human psyche than did her closed-minded neighbors who took Puritan teachings as rote. It taught us that lies were not OK, even if they remained hidden and we somehow tried to justify them. We understood double standards are not fair. In the end, we realized socially outcast Hester was the best person in her village. Based on her previous columns, Kersten would have been among the first to snub Hester and Pearl as not meeting her narrow concept of morality.
Kersten would have defended the dishonest Dimmesdale as she regularly does questionable leaders of churches. I doubt even the 18th-century Kersten would have appreciated the charitable work Hester did, despite her musings on how private charity, not government, should provide for the under privileged. By all means, people, have your children struggle through the brusque language of "The Scarlet Letter" and let them learn that if it weren't for political progressives pushing against the ancient so-called morals of our ancestors, most of us would still have slavery, bow to kings, church demagoguery would rule every minute of our lives and we would all work seven days a week for the very rich to eke out a bare, meaningless existence.
JEREMY POWERS, FRIDLEY
[letter broken into paragraphs for easier reading on the screen]
Remember, boys and girls, a Spotty™ is awarded to the author of a letter to the editor, an op-ed piece, or a blog post or comment that Spot wishes that he had written himself.