All right, class…put away your books.
This quiz will count toward your final grade in Ethics 101.
Please watch the following video…about the growing culinary trend of so-called “breastaurants,” Hooters wannabe establishments that sell food service and ogling rights.
Now here is your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz for today, a multiple choice. Choose as many of the following to describe the trend as you feel is appropriate:
a. This is entertainment, that’s all. Nothing ethically or culturally objectionable at all.
b. If you thought Playboy Clubs and their “Bunnies” were sexist and demeaning to women, you can’t regard these places as harmless. Same thing, different packages, and more unethical now than then, because we supposed have learned since then.
c. It’s legal and nobody is making the women do anything they don’t want to do. There’s no offense here. If you don’t like it, don’t eat there.
d. Women desperate for a job in a bad market are being forced to debase themselves. They are victims of exploitation and sexism, that is wrong, and anyone who patronizes such a place is encouraging and endorsing unethical conduct.
e. The very existence of these establishments encourages sexual harassment and discrimination. There is way to legally prevent them, but no ethical person would own or operate such a place.
f. The “Breastaurants” encourage attitudes and conduct that society is trying to discourage, disapprove, and eliminate. They are ethics corrupters.
g. Allowing children in these places is irresponsible.
h. Voluntarily patronizing any of these places is unethical, as it encourages damaging attitudes toward women.
i. All those cheap breast double-entendres in the ABC story were unprofessional and sleazy.
j. Oh, lighten up! Look at movies. Look at TV. Look at cheerleaders. Look at how high school children dress. It’s just sex, that’s all. Weenie!
“Comedy is not assuming zero responsibility over your actions. It is not telling others how to respond. It is not demonstrating the utmost hypocritical behavior in making callous, lazy, ignorant statements and then lashing out aggressively against critics. Comedy is not free from criticism. This is not an echo chamber containing only yourself and a couple other people exactly like you. You won’t need to do any of these things if you want to be a good comedian, or a decent human being for that matter.”
—-Chelsea Bacon, concluding her account of the reaction she received from male comedians and commenters when she criticized what she regarded as gratuitous sexist jokes.
You might want to read Chelsea’s piece, Seth…
Bacon takes a brave and ethical stand on unpopular topics among comics, such as whether all jokes are defensible regardless of content as long as they make someone laugh, whether rape is ever legitimate joke fodder, whether exploiting minority stereotypes is fair game in pursuit of comedy, and whether it is inappropriate to criticize comedy material at all. Along the way, the dirty little not-so-secret of the gender imbalance in the comedy world also comes to light.
It is a bold and thought-provoking piece, which you can read in its entirely here.
Source: Little Village Mag
Little Tommy flunked Ethics 101. Should we blame him?
An incident in Jefferson City Missouri nicely raises an issue I think about often.
Capital 8 Theaters in Jefferson City, Missouri sent actors dressed as gunmen, wearing assault gear and carrying what appeared to be semi-automatic weapons, into a screening of the film “Iron Man 3″ last weekend. Really. Apparently the similarity between this scenario and the deadly shooting last year in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater premiering another big budget movie about a superhero never occurred to the theater manager, because he is, you see, a moron. It sure occurred to the patrons, though, and one of them called in the police, saying that gunmen had entered the theater. SWAT teams were called. Luckily nobody was shot or had cardiac arrest, no thanks to the theater.
Interviewed by a local TV station, manager Bob Wilkins was asked if he had any regrets. “No, my job is to entertain people,” he said. Asked if he considered how his stunt might affect patrons who remembered the mass shooting in the theater in Aurora, Wilkins responded, “Absolutely. That’s my number-one priority every day. It’s the safety and security of our guests.”
Okay, this pretty much tells us what we need to know about old Bob, so here is your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question:
May abject stupidity be a complete defense to the accusation that one is unethical? Continue reading
There are days when I despair of the nation and its society, when all the evidence points to a culture that has lost its way and is wandering deeper and deeper into the fog and mire. Today is such a day, and the Jeff Bliss saga is the perfect horrible exclamation point on my silent scream, which may go vocal any minute now.
To read the praise being heaped on Bliss, an 18-year-old Duncanville (Texas) High School sophomore, one would think he was a precocious education philosopher who spontaneously emitted the solution to the nation’s public school woes. In fact, what did was strenuously object when he felt his teacher didn’t give the class long enough for an assignment, kept complaining when she ordered him to be quiet, and was quite properly ordered out of the classroom. This caused him to launch into a diatribe about her teaching methods, which was captured on a fellow student’s cell phone and put on YouTube. And here it is:
Angel Cordero, unsung hero. And in good company.
Apparently a Cleveland man named Angel Cordero is every bit as deserving of accolades in the rescue of the three kidnapping victims of Ariel Castro [of alleged kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro, that is. Reflect on this case the next time someone puffs themselves up to reprimand you for a missing "alleged" and lectures you about how the accused are "innocent until proven guilty." Yes, we know---and that means we can't lock them up and throw away the key until they have had a fair trial and been officially proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in the judgment of a jury. It does not mean, in a situation where there is literally no possible interpretation of the facts that would not end with the conclusion that the man who owns the house where three women have been kept prisoner for ten years and who have told interviewers that he beat them, starved them and raped them, that to state the obvious is some kind of human rights violation. By the way, O.J. is guilty too.] as the more colorful, more publicized–and more ridiculed—Charles Ramsey.
I want Cordero to receive the credit and admiration he deserves. I don’t want him to feel bitter and unappreciated. If the media, public and popular culture is inclined to bestow its goodies on the heroes of this horrible story, I hope he gets his fair share. Still, I also hope that he would be sufficiently large of soul and solid of values to adopt the attitude that what is important is that the women were rescued, and not who gets credit for it, now or in the future. Continue reading
Nice—he saves the women, and they mock him. Who’s the real jerk here?
Charles Ramsey is a hero without qualification. He saw someone in peril and acted, kicking in his neighbor’s door to help a woman and a child who were strangers to him. This assertive and proactive conduct led to the rescue of three young women missing for a decade. Yet because Ramsey is unrepentantly expressive in the manner of his community and peer group, and is not the typical white, middle class American who tends to dominate the internet, videos of his account of the event, replete with colorful slang and vernacular and his own expressive flourishes, have become objects of mockery and ridicule on the web, with a nasty racist edge. He is now a viral meme, especially his signature quote about knowing something is wrong when “a little pretty white girl” runs into “a black man’s arms.”
Wrong. I love Ramsey, and love his open, clear, emotional, story-teller’s manner. He is articulate in the true spirit of the word—interesting, vivid, clear and genuine. John Kerry should communicate so well. Mitch McConnell should hire him as a coach. If Al Sharpton could convey such sincerity, we’d all be in trouble. Continue reading
Oh, thank you, South Carolina…No sooner do I get my head put back together, and you make it explode AGAIN…
The news that disgraced ex-South Carolina governor Mark Sanford, who showed that he would abandon his duties, lie to his constituency, misuse public funds, enlist state-paid staff in a personal deception and betray his wife and children was nonetheless deemed fit for election to the U.S. House of Representatives, while disgusting, is certainly well-timed for this forum.
Today some commenters on Ethics Alarms took the dubious ethical position that one ought to vote for a candidate’s “ideas” rather than his or her character, record, experience, values, talent or abilities. I surmise, then, that they now believe that those who voted for Mark Sanford because they agree with his political views were being responsible, despite the fact that the man is spectacularly, John Edwards-ly untrustworthy in every way. Continue reading
Gee, thanks, guys. Fuck.
Apparently April is officially “Let’s Make The U.S. Permanently Vulgar and Uncivil Month.”
We’ve had a University of Maryland sorority lovely ream out her charges with a rant that would, in the words of Henry Higgins, “make a sailor blush.” Kmart launched a potty-minded commercial based entirely on the hilarious similarity between the phrase “ship my pants” and “shit my pants,” including two happy seniors boasting how they “shipped our pants.” In Bismarck, North Dakota, a local station’s brand new anchor man’s very first words to the audience were “…fucking shit!” because he didn’t know his mic was live. And, of course, given the honor of representing his team during the Boston Red Sox’s pre-game ceremony honoring the heroes of the past week in their terror-besieged city, slugger David Ortiz told 35,000+ spectators, including many children, and a large TV audience, also including young children, watching the event, “This is our fucking city!” He was then unanimously praised for his passion.
Not to be left out of this full-throated endorsement of public incivility and locker room banter as the new normal, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski sent out a tweet for those wondering how Ortiz’s outburst would be received by the FCC, which has previously threatened fines of networks that didn’t take sufficient precautions against live obscenities. He wrote,
“David Ortiz spoke from the heart at today’s Red Sox game. I stand with Big Papi and the people of Boston – Julius.” Continue reading
Annette died yesterday after a long, painful decline triggered by the onset of Multiple Sclerosis 25 years ago. To understand why she was an Ethics Hero, one need only read the New York Times obituary, which captures her essence well. One is an Ethics Hero if one goes through life caring about others, being loyal, responsible and fair, never inflating one’s own value and worth above those you live and work with, and having integrity.
If you can do all this while being a celebrity, TV star, teen idol, recording star, movie star and adolescent lust object, you are more than an Ethics Hero. You are a miracle. That was Annette. Continue reading