1 “And the survey says…! The results of the polls in yesterday’s 1/10 warm-up (so far) are..
- Chris Christie is the leader in the “most hubris” poll, with 38.53% of the vote, but its pretty close. I’m pretty sure “All of them” would be leading if I had included it.
(I voted for Steve Bannon.)
- 50% voted that journalist interviewers should be trained to recognize and flag invalid rationalizations.
A solid second was the choice, “They couldn’t do it objectively,” at 43%
- By a 2-1 ratio over either of the other choices, over 50% believe that Plan E, the 25th Amendment removal plot, should be thoroughly discredited but the news media won’t let it go.
2. I also worry about Bobby Darin…Yesterday’s lament about declining cultural literacy and how movie artists that we should remember for our society’s enlightenment, perspective and inspiration are increasingly falling into a dark memory hole is relevant to a current development on Broadway: “The Bobby Darin Story” will kick off the new “Lyrics” season from January. 20 to 22, with rising star Jonathan Groff as Darin. Bobby Darin, one of my favorite performers and an unusually versatile and eclectic one, died before he was 40 and just barely hangs on in the culture now, thanks to his classic recording of “Mack the Knife.” (Also this month, the jukebox musical about Darin, “Dream Lover,” opened in Sydney.) Everything about Darin has been unlucky, his bad fortune culminating in the weird 2004 biopic that starred Kevin Spacey as Bobby. The movie was a bomb, and Spacey’s ugly fall guarantees that the film will be seen by future generations about as often as Annette in”Muscle Beach Party.” As the Cary Grant post noted, sometimes all it takes is a vivid reference to rescue a lost life of note.
Darin’s own lost life is itself an ethics thought experiment. He knew at a young age that he was not going to live long, because he had an irreparably damaged heart. His response was to be furiously creative and to live life at a mad and reckless pace. The new show’s director says, “He lived a gritty, driven life. He hurt people along the way and people hurt him.”
What would you do if you were told as a child that you probably wouldn’t live past 15, and you kept on living? What’s the ethical response? Darin chose to leave a lot behind for us, if we have the sense to appreciate it.
Here’s one of my favorite Darin performances, when he sang the lovely “Once Upon A Time” shortly after the love of his life, actress Sandra Dee, left him.
3. The confusion continues… There have been several perplexing reactions to the post about Pastor Andrew Savage’s well-received spin job regarding his sexual misconduct 20 years ago, none more perplexing than a comment from Andrew Wakeling that complained in part…
Your approach, Jack and others, seems to me to be grossly damaging prospects for adult women escaping ever patronizing paternalism. It verges on insulting. You are heading in the wrong direction. The wonderful young women who pushed in the 1970s for ‘liberation’ (like Germaine Greer) must be aghast. They refused to be victims, and rebelled against the notion that they were scared little flowers needing protection from big bad men. They certainly didn’t want their Dads or brothers chaperoning them, or interfering adults telling them who they could travel in a car with.
To the extent that anyone listens to you, you risk damaging the prospects for young men and young women forming healthy relationships. Young men have pressured and always will pressure young women towards physical contact. The 17 year old women I grew up with knew this well, and most were pretty competent at managing it all.
Ethics Alarms has discussed the current mania emanating from, of all places, feminists and the Left, to make common flirtation and romantic overtures affirmatively dangerous for young men in the absence of anything short of written consent, as well as the dangerous concept of “victims of sexual assault must be believed,” which effectively denies the validity of due process for accused men. I don’t see how mypost has any relevance to the former at all. By no legitimate analysis is a 20-year-old youth pastor driving a 17-year-old woman home, pulling over and demanding sex after exposing himself an ethically, never mind legally, overture to a “healthy relationship. Exposing one’s genitals to a women without consent is a crime, and should be. It is also uncivil, gross, threatening, and disrespectful.
I’m not certain what it is a woman who is determined not to be a victim is supposed to do in that situation. She could, I suppose, jump out of the car and run. If she was a Ninja, she could fight off the guy, I guess. Or is Andrew really arguing that she was complicit in her abuse by not saying, “NO! You can’t make me!” Because, you know, he could make her, and women have ended up dead that way.
Now, there is no question that this is a he said/she said situation, and if Savage denies all or any part of the woman’s claim, there is propably no way she can prove her version of events sufficiently to justify negative consequences for him. This is why subsequent accusations are so critical in these matters. I also think it’s likely that Savage’s tactic of sort-of coming clean is calculated to avoid another of his victims hearing about his denials, thinking, “That SOB did the same thing to me!” and deciding to go public too.
To “the extent anyone listens to me,” I hope that young men learn that using the workplace to stalk potential dates, engaging in virtual kidnapping, exposing oneself and demanding blow-jobs is not the way to commence healthy romantic relationships, whether Savage’s alleged victim’s account is entirely accurate or not.
4. And now for something completely different..and stupid…I highly recommend the book “Atlas Obscura, An explorer’s guide to the world’s hidden wonders.” It channels Robert Ripley and Richard Halliburton, and is by turns educational, shocking and horrifying.
For example, somehow I had missed entirely the ridiculous Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea. The monstrosity is an unfinished 105-story, pyramid-shaped skyscraper that perfectly symbolizes the insanity of the nation’s government. Construction began in 1987, then was halted in 1992 as North Korea’s economy crashed after the fall of the Soviet Union. Construction resumed in 2008 and the hotel was scheduled to open in 2012, the centenary of Kim Il-sung’s birth, but it did not. The building remains unopened, and is believed to have become structurally unsound. The white elephant dominates the city’s landscape, and stands as a national embarrassment. According to “Atlas Obscura,” being overheard joking about it can get you arrested.
This is the nation the United States of America is supposed to cower before when its leader threatens nuclear attacks. As proved to be the case with the Soviet Union, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The truth hurts, and in cases like North Korea, ought to.
But if they launch that thing, we’re really in trouble..