Category Archives: Quizzes

It’s Time To Play “Ethical, Unethical, Stupid, Or Tongue-In-Cheek?”, The Celebrity Quote Game Show!

Quiz show5

Are you ready, panel?

Here we go…I read to you from Mediate:

As the controversy continues over the white-washed pool of actors nominated this year for the Oscar awards, gay British actor Sir Ian McKellen has stated that homophobia is just as prominent in the film industry as racism.

McKellen, perhaps most prominently known for his work in the Lord of the Rings and X-Men series, spoke with Sky News today about why he felt sympathetic to the minority actors who felt like they were being overlooked by the Academy. While McKellen said that the concerns had merit, he also stated that black people were not alone in feeling disenfranchised by Hollywood.

“It’s not only black people who’ve been disregarded by the film industry, it used to be women, it’s certainly gay people to this day,” McKellen said. “And these are all legitimate complaints and the Oscars are the focus of those complaints of course.”

In a separate interview with The Guardian, McKellen also said that actors have won Oscars for playing gay characters in the past, and yet despite being nominated himself, no openly homosexual actor has ever won.

Now, you need some background for this round, panel. 

It is almost certain that a very large proportion of Hollywood is gay, and it has always been this way. The exact percentage is open to question, but those who have worked in other areas of show business encounter a large percentage of gay men, and also women, among designers, producers, directors, and actors, at all levels of the theater. In most college theater programs, there is a clear predominance of gays among both faculty and students. It would be strange indeed if the dominance of gays in the other aspects of show business was significantly different from the demographics in film. This suggests that there must be a strong contingent of closeted or privately gay men and women among the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

So now your question, panel: Was Ian McKellen’s bold assertion…

“Ethical, Unethical, Stupid, Or Tongue-In-Cheek?”

You have…30 seconds!

Time’s up!

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Gender and Sex, History, Popular Culture, Professions, Quizzes

Ethics Quiz: The Uncast Star

WSS dancer

Northern Virginia’s most acclaimed and honored musical theater, Signature Theater (not to be confused with also well-honored NYC regional theater of the same name) is currently presenting “West Side Story.” A feature article about the sold-out production noted the fact that the show’s marketing prominently features  dancer Gustavo Ribeiro, a former member of the Washington Ballet’s Studio Company, whose career has been soaring of late, just like the photo of him mid-air that has appeared in Signature’s season announcement, show posters, program covers and in “West Side Story” reviews and features.

In addition to inducing potential audience members to believe this superb dancer is featured in the show, the fact that he is apparently Latino creates the assumption, suggests the article’s author, that members of the Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks, are played by Hispanic actors.

They are not. Neither is Ribeiro in the show his image advertises. Nor, I strongly suspect, are any dancers of his caliber.

For your first Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of 2016, I ask you:

Is this ethical advertising?

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Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Marketing and Advertising, Quizzes

Ethics Quiz: The Nazi Scientist

Scientist, genius, Nobel Prize winner, Nazi. Now what?

Scientist, genius, Nobel Prize winner, Nazi. Now what?

Konrad Lorenz, 1903-1989 ,  was an acclaimed Austrian zoologist regarded as the founder of modern ethology, which is the study of animal behavior. His research  explained how behavioral patterns may be traced to through evolution,  and he made major contributions to the study of aggression and its roots. Lorenz shared a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1973 with the animal behaviorists Karl von Frisch and Nikolaas Tinbergen.

It seems that documentation surfaced proving that Lorenz joined the Nazi Party in 1938, however, and for that, Austria’s Salzburg University last week posthumously stripped him of his honorary doctorate.

Your Day Before The Night Before Christmas Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz is…

Is this the right thing to do?

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Ethics Quiz: The Indecipherable Indoctrination

calligraphy

In the Augusta County School District in Virginia, Riverheads High School teacher Cheryl LaPorte assigned students the task of coping the shahada, the  Muslim statement of faith, “there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” The purpose, LaPorte explained, was to give the students a sense of the calligraphy and art required in Arabic writing as part of the curriculum in the school’s world geography course.

Not surprisingly given the timing of the exercise, chaos soon reigned. One parent expressed alarm at the assignment, called two friends, and they called two friends, and then before you could sing “allahu akbar” ( the lyrics in a proposed audience sing-along that another high school teacher placed in a “holiday program” to the shock of many students and parents), there was a parents’ meeting, in which Augusta County parent Kimberly Herndon protested, “if my truth can not be spoken in schools, I don’t want false doctrine spoken in schools; ” anonymous threats; and this statement of support from the school district for LaPorte, denying  that the teacher was attempting to indoctrinate students into the Muslim faith:

“Neither these lessons, nor any other lesson in the world geography course, are an attempt at indoctrination to Islam or any other religion, or a request for students to renounce their own faith or profess any belief.”

Then the district decided to close all of its schools…just to be on the safe side. Great assignment, Cheryl!

Your Week Before Christmas Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz today is...

Was the assignment unethical, naive, or legitimate?

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Filed under Around the World, Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Quizzes, Religion and Philosophy

Ethics Quiz: The Fick Calls Loretta Lynch’s Bluff

bluffing

When I read that our Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, made this provocative statement—

“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence. Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric—or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much—when we see that we will take action…I think it’s important that as we again talk about the importance of free speech we make it clear that actions predicated on violent talk are not America. They are not who we are, they are not what we do, and they will be prosecuted.”

…my first thought was “oh-oh” and my second thought was, “Boy, Obama’s appointees are as careless with their rhetoric as he is, or Hillary.

For what really was she saying? It sounds like a threat, but is it?  What does “edges towards violence” mean? Violence? Calling for violence? Or rhetoric anti-gun progressives will blame if there is violence? What does…let me rephrase that…What the HELL does “the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric” mean? For that matter, what are “actions predicated on violent talk”? Does an action that would not be a crime without violent talk become one based on the rhetoric that inspired it? You’re a lawyer, Ms Lynch, how about speaking precise English? What exactly are you trying to say?

So my third thought was, “Well, we better find out, since is this our top law enforcement official talking and if she is really saying, as one might reasonably interpret her vague and convoluted statement to mean, that she’ll be arresting anyone who dares to venture a harsh judgment of Muslims, it would be good to know.

Donald Trump, I’m sure, would like to know.

And  lo and behold, here comes former GOP tea party congressman turned radio talk show host Joe Walsh to settle the issue! He provides a rant on his Facebook page: Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Religion and Philosophy, Rights

Ethics Quiz: The Barefoot Bandit Cashes In, Sort Of…

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You may remember Colton Harris-Moore, aka “The Barefoot Bandit,” who while still a teen in 2009 went on a wild, two-year crime spree involving more than a hundred burglaries, thefts, and destruction, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash and property, including a plane, a boat, and automobiles.  When Harris-Moore was sentenced to six and a half years in prison in 2012 , U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said, “The plea agreement makes very clear that he will not profit directly or indirectly nor will he help anyone else to profit from these crimes.”

I’d like to see the agreement. For Harris-Moore has signed a movie deal with 20th Century Fox, “waiving” the rights to his life story in exchange for the film company paying up to $1.3 million toward the $1.4 million he owes as restitution to his victims. Now I’d call this “profiting.” If someone pays what I owe on my mortgage, I benefit. I profit.

I’m sure the argument for permitting this deal, which is the kind most states and the federal government regard as contrary to public policy and prohibit with so-called “Son of Sam laws,” is that Barefoot’s victims are needy and innocent  beneficiaries, since it is unlikely that they would ever get much, if anything, in payments from the imprisoned felon. Thus the usual objective of keeping criminals from turning their crimes into cash and celebrity should yield to the greater good.

Today’s Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Should the Barefoot Bandit be allowed to make this deal?

I’ll leave this one to you.

But I’m dubious.

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Filed under Business & Commercial, Character, Law & Law Enforcement, Quizzes, Rights

Ethics Quiz: “Don’t Eat The Daisies” Ethics

I’m trying to take a breather from the Syrian refugees, President Obama, Presidential candidates and rampaging college students, and an ethics issue from a 1960 Doris Day comedy is as far away as I can get.

In “Don’t Eat the Daisies,” a movie loosely (very loosely) based on the humorous mommy anecdote best seller by Jean Kerr, wife of then New York Times  theater critic Walter Kerr, newly appointed prime drama critic Larry McKay (David Niven), his lovely wife Kate (Doris), their four rambunctious kids, their sheep dog and their wise-cracking house-keeper (Patsy Kelly)—yes, this was essentially the “Brady Bunch” without the girls—move to the country. Doris gets roped into the annual musical (for charity, natch) of the very amateur Hooten Holler Players. They ask the Larry for a play they could use, and he isn’t very helpful, so Doris calls up Alfred North, an old friend of the couple and a successful novelist played by Richard Haydn, best known as the sneaky Max in “The Sound of Music,” who has just had his first Broadway play skewered by McKay (Integrity! Integrity!). He is secretly seething and seeking revenge. The betrayed playwright siezes his chance: he sends Doris an obscure, terrible Foriegn Legion melodrama by an unknown author, and the Hooten Holler players turn it into a musical spoof.

Days before its ready to open, after all the tickets have been sold, Doris asks David to watch a rehearsal. He immediately recognizes the plot and some particularly awful lines: he wrote the  play under a pseudonym! “BWAHAHAHAH!” laughs Max, or rather Alfred. Larry’s  onetime friend, now relentless foe, has set the critic up for humiliation and professional doom, for other New York critics have been tipped off that the play getting its world premiere by the Hooten Holler Players is in fact the creation of the hypercritical critic himself. Once this abysmal mess is seen and taken apart by the critic’s rivals, his judgment will never be taken seriously again.

Niven demands that the production be cancelled, and forbids the Players to perform his work. Doris, who stars in the play, begs him to reconsider: the humble theater group will be ruined, and the charity will lose much needed support. The critic explodes: why does she care more about the amateur theater group than her husband’s career? She tells him that his theatrical power and fame has made him petty and mean. Their marriage seems ready to disintegrate.

Your retro-Hollywood Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is..

What’s going on here, and what do you do about it?

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