Morning Ethics Round-Up, 3/5/2018: An Oscar Hangover, A Panamanian Mess, An Australian Play, And A 7-11 Moment

Hello!

1 Let’s get the Oscars out of the way. I didn’t watch, choosing instead to finish streaming Netflix’s excellent “Seven Seconds.” I have skimmed the transcript and checked the reporting, however, and these items leap out..

  • On the “red carpet,” Ryan Seacrest was snubbed by the majority of the stars he tried to chat with them. Seacrest was accused of sexual harassment by his ex-personal hair stylist last year. His employer hired an independent counsel to investigate, and could not confirm her allegations, so he kept his job.Never mind: he was snubbed like a leprous skunk at a picnic anyway.

This is a flagrant Golden Rule fail. Not one of the over twenty stars who walked by him while he was trying to do his job would feel fairly treated if they had been in his position. It also is as perfect and example as there is of how the #MeToo movement is a witch hunt, not interested in facts, or fairness, just power and the ability to destroy without due process.

If I was going to watch the Oscars, the treatment of Seacrest in the pre-show would have changed my mind. These are awful people. To hell with them.

  • The disgusting and smug Jimmy Kimmel hosted, because he’s “America’s Conscience of America” despite seeking ratings by encouraging parents to be cruel to their own children for his amusement.

He began the night with a penis joke.

  • As I noted in yesterday’s Warm-Up, the Oscars are now part of the effort to divide the nation. Bigotry is good, as long as it’s trendy bigotry:

…Presenting the best director award, Emma Stone introduced the nominees as “these four men and Greta Gerwig.” Nice. Misandry is funny! (Gerwig lost. GOOD.)

Maya Rudolph assured the presumably racist white viewers, “Don’t worry, there are so many more white people to come.” Bite me, Maya.

…And, of course, “Get Out!,” the racist film that I have already written about more than it deserves, won Best Screenplay, because representing all white people as monsters is award-worthy.

  • In the past I have devoted whole posts to the Academy’s snubs in its “In Memoriam” segment, which is supposedly Hollywood’s final salute to film artists who made their final exits. At this point, I really don’t care what the Academy does, but the loved ones and fans of the snubees care, and that should matter to the Academy. Here is the complete list of omissions that at least someone has complained about. I’ve highlighted the ones who really should have been included:

Bill Paxton
Stephen Furst
Powers Boothe
Juanita Quigley
Ty Hardin
Francine York
Miguel Ferrer
Skip Homeier
Anne Jeffreys
Lola Albright
Lorna Gray
Dina Merrill
Conrad Brooks
Robert Guillaume
John Hillerman
Jim Nabors
Rose Marie
Adam West
David Ogden Stiers
Dorothy Malone
Della Reese
Dick Enberg
Tobe Hooper

The names fall into five categories. Bill Paxton is in one of his own: he was left out of the list due to a silly technicality: he died right before last year’s Oscars, so it was too late to include him in 2017, and some jerk decided that since he was a 2017 death, he couldn’t be honored this year either.  The second category is flat-out mistakes: Dorothy Malone won a Best Actress Oscar; if that isn’t enough to be listed, what is? Director Tobe Hooper was responsible for a film that revolutionized horror movies, “The Texas Chain-Saw Massacre,” and also directed “Poltergeist.” He was an important director. When two of your films launched sequels, remakes, sequels to remakes, and endless knock-offs, Hollywood should show some respect: it made millions because of Tobe Hooper.

Category 3: John Hillerman and Powers Boothe were successful and prolific film actors in some major movies, though both are remembered best for their TV work. There is no good argument for omitting them.  In the fourth category are TV actors who made a few mostly  forgettable films: West, Jeffreys, Merrill, Ferrer and Hardin. I can see the argument: they will be honored at the Emmys.

Stephen Furst deserves a category all his own. He played a memorable character in a classic, iconic film: “Flounder” in “Animal House.” That should have been enough to earn a place in the roll call.

That’s it for the 2018 Academy Awards.

Let us never speak of it again.

2. Just like the good old days. The wind storms in the area knocked the power out in some places around our neighborhood. My wife needed to pick up something and found the local 7-11 dark and closed. However, the owner/manager recognized her, and beckoned her inside. He unlocked the door, and since the computers were down, allowed her to take what she needed without paying. He wrote down the merchandise along with his initials, the date, and her name, and said. “Don’t worry, I trust you. We can settle up later.”

How often does that happen any more?

3. Shouting “Fire!” in a crowed theater? Written by Australian playwright David Finnigan, “Kill Climate Deniers”opens the 2018 season of the Griffin Theatre in Sydney, with the final show scheduled for April 7. What do you want to bet this play is rapidly exported to the U.S.? I suppose, from a free speech perspective, any play title is unassailable, right? No matter what follows “Kill…”. correct? “Kill Democrats”? “Kill the President”? “Kill Pro-Choice Advocates”? “Kill Atheists”? “Kill the Jews”?

If someone can see a coherent line to draw between inciting violence and protected speech, I’d love to have it pointed out for me, because I can’t see it at all.

4. Here’s a pretty mess: The Trump business organization is in a messy conflict with the shady Panamanian owner of a hotel bearing the family name. This is the kind of thing that was predictable with all of the President’s business holdings and activity around the world. Nobody paid much attention to it before the election, because nobody thought Trump would win. Once he did win, there were no precedents to follow and nothing to force him to meaningfully divest himself of everything that bore his name. The various situations that this business/leadership conflict could create are infinite, and naturally, especially with this President, critics are eager to turn every one into a scandal.

No, we never should have reached this point, but the time to address it was before the election and during the campaign. The news media, Democrats, and Trump himself were negligent in not doing so. An international business owner is by definition conflicted if he or she is elected President. Do we want to just make it impossible for such individuals to run for office? New regulations and laws have to be developed, and it won’t be easy.

60 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Character, Daily Life, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights

60 responses to “Morning Ethics Round-Up, 3/5/2018: An Oscar Hangover, A Panamanian Mess, An Australian Play, And A 7-11 Moment

  1. Paul W. Schlecht

    ”(Kimmel) began the night with a penis joke.”

    What choice did he have, “Fat Jokes” are currently out.

    Funniest thing; they were all the rage after President Trumps’ physical: i.e. “Let’s see his Girth Certificate,” etc., etc., etc.

    When did things come to a screeching halt? A nano-second after this hit the E-Bricks.

    “ENTIRE WORLD LOSES ITS MIND AFTER GIULIANI MAKES JOKE ABOUT HILLARY BEING A FATASS”

    https://downtrend.com/vsaxena/entire-world-loses-its-mind/

  2. Rusty Rebar

    If someone can see a coherent line to draw between inciting violence and protected speech, I’d love to have it pointed out for me, because I can’t see it at all.

    It seems our current understanding of it is pretty good. If it meets the following elements, then it can be restricted:

    1. The speech is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,”

    AND

    2. The speech is “likely to incite or produce such action.”

    I cannot see how a play title, a book title or anything of the sort can satisfy those elements.

  3. 2. My father was a businessman and his contract was a handshake and his word. His business generated a lot of scrap metal and he would have a yearly contract with someone in our neighborhood who specialed in scrape. My father would get a set price for each type and during the year it would be weighed and shipped out. I remember as a kid looking at the piles that were stored near the plating department. My father paid little attention to that market. But what happened is the price of metals had plummeted and his friend was taking a fiscal bath. My father was unaware of the situation, but when he found out he simply said we will rewrite our contract based on market and not a set figure. The rewrite was a shot of whiskey and a handshake.

    There’s a lot to “hate” about the old days, but a lot that will be missed and never seen again.

  4. I’m not sure David Ogden Stiers is a fair complaint. He died Saturday morning, the day before the broadcast, not last year or even January.

  5. dragin_dragon

    In some places, a handshake is still a contract…most (but, sadly, not all) of Texas, for instance.

  6. adimagejim

    Nearly 30 years of business. Never a contract. Handshake only. My first ever client is still my client today.

    Sent 3 kids to college and have lived quite nicely the entire time. Got burned two or three times tops. Most, if not all, of those were shame on me for not choosing wisely.

  7. Other Bill

    Flounder’s dead? Has anyone told his brother? About his car?

    • Fred was very upset. About the car, not Flounder.

      • Other Bill

        Hah! Next time to talk to him, tell him the car’s worth much more to a movie museum or a movie memorabilia collector as the Deathmobile than it is as a run of the mill, slab-sided ’64 Continental.

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          hey H</b<ey, HEY! A little respect guys; Flounder was a Legacy!

          He was also the recipient (IMHO) of one of the most poignant cinematic lines EVAH, and one from which any number of kids these days might benefit:

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          OB;

          “a run of the mill, slab-sided ’64 Continental.”

          Not trying to be nit-picky, but I believe the movie was set in 1962. And is “slab-sided” the same as ”suicide doors?”

  8. luckyesteeyoreman

    Second try…

    1. I hope that next year, you won’t post anything about the Academy Awards. Just ignore the Hollyweirdos. They’re brainwashed, wannabe brain-washers. The vast majority of them are simply leftist bullies who – except for their huge incomes and other fiscal wealth – are total failures as members of civilization. Sociopaths and psychopaths with a virtual monopoly over the “HEY! LOOK at ME!” niche. Misfits with big money – worse than Trump. They hate Trump because he competes with them so effectively. To hell with them, indeed.

    4. We’ll see the usual double standard, which is the standard, soon enough. Trump will go to jail and lose all his assets in forfeiture to federal agencies, while the next POTUS and VPOTUS will see their vast business empires just grow and grow, without the quietest peep about possible corruption or conflict of interest. Who am I talking about? Why, the next Democrat Party ticket for 2020, that’s who. Hlary had her chance, and besides, she’s white and married to another white person – a man, no less, the un-woke fat-a…nkles. I haven’t seen it mentioned on this blog or anywhere else, but I’ll refrain from boasting in case it has been mentioned already – but, just in case it hasn’t been mentioned, I’ll say right now: “If you haven’t seen it yet, anywhere else, you saw it here first: The next President of the United States, and Vice President, will be [drumroll], in their exact offices yet to be determined, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama. My bet would be on Michelle as POTUS and Oprah as VP. But no matter. Those are the girls, no matter which one holds which job – the gonna-be “B.I.C.s.” The Dreamer Team. I have already referred to Oprah as “the promised Ms.iah.” Michelle will be The Wisest Latina. If Trump isn’t impeached by 2020, you can count on those two ladies to wipe. Him. Out.

    • Number 4 is a bit of a rant even for you, lucky. Someone pee in your wheaties? 🙂

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        [sighs] A prophet is NEVER appreciated!

        • On a serious note, I think Oprah has too many racist (against whites) comments out there to get elected.

          And Mooch is the same way.

          • luckyesteeyoreman

            Fair points that you and I would keep in mind, but…voters who go to the polls in the United States these days would, in large enough numbers, flush those points and forget them faster than a “anti-gun” legislator in the same territory flushes respect for due process.

    • Paul W. Schlecht

      ”My bet would be on Michelle as POTUS”

      Don’t shoot the messenger, but it would appear Michelle has no interest in the Presidency; her focus is on something that should benefit us all exponentially more, in her mind, leastways.

      “This is why I’m not going to run for president. Because I think it’s a better investment to invest in creating thousands of mes.” (bolds mine)

      Oy! Factor in that I’ve never been a big fan of hers, but that’s simply off the freakin’ hubristic arrogance charts.

      • Those wascally pwogwessives – they’ll say ANYTHING!

        Michelle REALLY said that?! Well, you just KNOW that ONE of those ladies (Oprah or Michelle) is GOING to be the savior of the D party in 2020. If there is one prophecy which needs neither hubris nor Pollyannaism to utter without reservation, it is this: the next president of the U.S. is going to be a female. From there, deduction is trivial; she will be a Democrat…a very rich Democrat.

  9. Chris


    …Presenting the best director award, Emma Stone introduced the nominees as “these four men and Greta Gerwig.” Nice. Misandry is funny! (Gerwig lost. GOOD.)

    That isn’t misandry. It isn’t anti-male to point out that male directors are given advantages over female directors due to sexism in the industry. Your argument is that pointing out sexism against women is sexism against men.

    …Maya Rudolph assured the presumably racist white viewers, “Don’t worry, there are so many more white people to come.”

    That’s funny. And again, she is pointing out that white people are overrepresented in Hollywood due to discrimination against minorities in the industry. That’s not anti-white.

    • Paul W. Schlecht

      “That’s funny.”

      No Chris, it’s NOT funny; it’s a horrendously weak attempt to offend the right people.

      Kathy Griffin tried that approach a while back; how’d that work out?

      • Chris

        Why would pointing out that minorities are discriminated against in Hollywood be offensive to anyone? And are you really comparing pointing out that minorities are discriminated against in Hollywood to holding a fake decapitated head of the president?

        • How does that comment have any bearing on discrimination in Hollywood? it was addressed to the TV audience. It presumes that they give a shit whether the next presenters or nominees are white, black or green. It’s a smug obnoxious insult, and that’s all it is. It’s funny in the way anyone being a dick can be funny: it’s outrageous. Also cowardly, because no one can slap back in kind.

          You really are good at warping the issue so you have something to grab onto. Get less good at it.

          • Chris E. Boy

            Chris is absolutely right. You can count on your fingers the number of women who have been nominated for directing movies in the 90 year history of Oscar. You can count on one finger the number who have won or the number of women nominated as cinematographer. You can look at these statistics and have one of two attitudes: either there is something inherent about gender that justifies these overwhelming disparities and it is nothing to be disturbed about; or you can see it as a concerning demonstration of conscience or unconscious entranced bias. I personally don’t see anything wrong with Emma Stone or anyone else taking the opportunity of high-profile exposure in order to make a point about this; obviously, other means have not been effective, and one never knows, regarding these matters, what sort of action will serve as, or contribute to, a tipping point and a change of attitudes and outcomes. To accuse her of misandry in the face of these stunningly disparate numbers, however, is literally adding insult to injury. And to somehow turn this around so that it is men who ought to feel persecuted and punished is an astounding demonstration of being blind to privilege and of attempting to morph the aggrieved into the aggressor. I’m shocked to read this distorted perspective from someone whose blog routinely accuses others of bias.

            • No, CB, Chris is erecting a straw man as usual, and it isn’t any less straw because you want to display it too. Here, I’ll repeat what I wrote:

              How does that comment have any bearing on discrimination in Hollywood? it was addressed to the TV audience. It presumes that they give a shit whether the next presenters or nominees are white, black or green. It’s a smug obnoxious insult, and that’s all it is. It’s funny in the way anyone being a dick can be funny: it’s outrageous.

              If either actress wanted to chide the Hollywood brass for bias and discrimination, they could do so fairly without impugning the TV audience as racists, and not disrespecting the male artists while doing so. Cheap shots, insulting, and making targets out of innocent parties.

              • Chris

                How does that comment have any bearing on discrimination in Hollywood?

                This part has been answered. “These four men and Greta Gerwig” means male directors vastly outnumber female directors because of discrimination in Hollywood. “There are so many more white people to come” means the same thing, but about whites vastly outnumbering minorities for the same reason. This is obvious, and shouldn’t have needed to be explained even once. Most people got the joke.

                it was addressed to the TV audience. It presumes that they give a shit whether the next presenters or nominees are white, black or green.

                No, it doesn’t. You really think she intended the audience to perceive the joke as a personal attack on them, instead of hoping they’d laughing along with the observational humor? That’s unreasonable, Jack.

                Here, I have a tip for helping you give this joke the benefit of the doubt: imagine Trump had made it.

                It’s a smug obnoxious insult, and that’s all it is.

                It insults no one!

                If either actress wanted to chide the Hollywood brass for bias and discrimination, they could do so fairly without impugning the TV audience as racists,

                Again, it didn’t impugn the audience, it impugned Hollywood hiring standards.

                and not disrespecting the male artists while doing so.

                It didn’t disrespect any of the male artists. This isn’t even close, like Natalie Portman’s comment was at the Golden Globes; it didn’t imply anything negative about the men nominated at all.

                • Nice how you left out the key section of the quote=—and in this thread, we were not talking about Emma Stone’s insulting comment (are you capable of understanding that insulting the male nominees and reducing them to their chromosomes was unfair, and bigoted? No, you probably aren’t)—but the other one, that was preceded by “don’t worry”. What a cheat. You see, without the “don’t worry”, which IS addressed to the audience (who else?), you would be correct. But she did say that, and, unable to pursue your untenable claims using the actual quote, you changed it, omitting the material phrase that made it an insult and a presumption of racism, that the audience was “worried” that there weren’t enough “white people.”

                  Foul.You lose, and you also lose credibility and integrity points. I don’t continue debates when someone tries something like that.

                  • Chris

                    I left that part out because I forgot about it. And frankly, Jack, the fact that you took the phrase “Don’t worry” as a serious comment that the audience would be “worried” that there weren’t enough white people is ridiculous. It was a joke. No, Maya Rudolph did not really believe that the audience would be worried that there wouldn’t enough white people at the Oscars. Your bias is making you interpret the joke in the worst light possible.

              • Chrissy-Boy

                Oh, Jack. Are the delicate sensibilities of men in general, and you in particular, so precarious, your self-respect so tenuous, that you feel seriously put-upon by the comment of a woman at an awards show? Talk about snowflakes. And generally, as a culture, we have been able and anxious to celebrate when people break through barriers (first black in the major leagues, first woman Justice, etc) without presuming that that person’s achievement somehow diminishes or insults the achievements of others in the field. (Gerwig wasn’t the first woman director nominee, but it occurs so infrequently — much less frequently than, say, Olympic Games — that it is notable.) Neither you nor I can or should speak for all of the Oscar audience; that said, and your concern for them notwithstanding, I know that many women and many men did not take offense in the manner you did. Your accusation of me displaying a straw man was not supported (certainly not by the paragraph you copied which, focusing mainly on Maya Rudolph and race, struck me as largely off-topic) and no where did you address my two major points: that the demonstrated and incontrovertible fact of decades of under-representation by women in important jobs that influence so deeply the cultural life of our country and of the world, is not a comparable grievance to a one-liner delivered at an awards show that will be forgotten in two weeks, and your attempt to flip the script and make men the aggrieved party in the situation strikes me as somewhat strange, even warped; and that the argument you made, that a woman expressing concern about that severe under-represention is somehow demonstrating hatred of men, is silly and indefensible, which is, I suppose, why you don’t defend it. Respectfully, an open-minded person reading this exchange would, I believe, fairly conclude (since you have expressed no sympathy anywhere I’ve seen to the central grievance of under-representation) that that egregious under-representation bothers you markedly less than it bothers you to have to hear a woman talking about it, which is a strange place to be in the 21st century. Finally, your “Gerwig lost. GOOD.” should, I believe, be eligible for your Ethics Dunce award. You make no reference to the artistic merit of the nomination, so we can fairly presume that your happiness with her loss is based solely on what was said about her by a third party, which is a totally extrinsic factor to her artistic worthiness to receive the award, and is, in my view, therefore an unethical judgement. Bigotry is NOT good, even if it’s anti-trendy bigotry.

                • “Oh, Jack. Are the delicate sensibilities of men in general, and you in particular, so precarious, your self-respect so tenuous, that you feel seriously put-upon by the comment of a woman at an awards show? Talk about snowflakes.”

                  Level of offense of any particular comment felt by any particular person is immaterial to the ethics of the comment. The comment has been rightly demonstrated to be unethical. Trying to hang someone’s feelings on their argument is just a diversion – or worse a claim that the argument is only based on a bad emotional response.

                  “And generally, as a culture, we have been able and anxious to celebrate when people break through barriers (first black in the major leagues, first woman Justice, etc) without presuming that that person’s achievement somehow diminishes or insults the achievements of others in the field. (Gerwig wasn’t the first woman director nominee, but it occurs so infrequently — much less frequently than, say, Olympic Games — that it is notable.)”

                  Acknowledging the seemingly rare achievements of women in film is great. At the expense of others, the way the comment was made, is not. This is a case where the form and setting of the comment made are the primary ethical considerations here.

                  “Neither you nor I can or should speak for all of the Oscar audience; that said, and your concern for them notwithstanding, I know that many women and many men did not take offense in the manner you did.”

                  #59

                  “Your accusation of me displaying a straw man was not supported (certainly not by the paragraph you copied which, focusing mainly on Maya Rudolph and race, struck me as largely off-topic) and no where did you address my two major points: that the demonstrated and incontrovertible fact of decades of under-representation by women in important jobs that influence so deeply the cultural life of our country and of the world,”

                  “is not a comparable grievance to a one-liner delivered at an awards show that will be forgotten in two weeks,”

                  #22 and #42

                  “and your attempt to flip the script and make men the aggrieved party in the situation strikes me as somewhat strange, even warped; and that the argument you made, that a woman expressing concern about that severe under-represention is somehow demonstrating hatred of men, is silly and indefensible, which is, I suppose, why you don’t defend it. Respectfully, an open-minded person reading this exchange would, I believe, fairly conclude (since you have expressed no sympathy anywhere I’ve seen to the central grievance of under-representation) that that egregious under-representation bothers you markedly less than it bothers you to have to hear a woman talking about it, which is a strange place to be in the 21st century.”

                  Again, this is a time and place argument. Denigrating (regardless of how subtly) fully worthy candidates for the award while communicating the message is the ethical problem here.

                  “Finally, your “Gerwig lost. GOOD.” should, I believe, be eligible for your Ethics Dunce award. You make no reference to the artistic merit of the nomination, so we can fairly presume that your happiness with her loss is based solely on what was said about her by a third party, which is a totally extrinsic factor to her artistic worthiness to receive the award, and is, in my view, therefore an unethical judgement.”

                  Finally, an argument. Though I don’t see how you can make this argument towards Jack while simultaneously missing the problem with the subtle slap in the face of the 4 male contenders for the award.

                  ” Bigotry is NOT good, even if it’s anti-trendy bigotry.”

                • Wow. How weak can you get.

                  Oh, Jack. Are the delicate sensibilities of men in general, and you in particular, so precarious, your self-respect so tenuous, that you feel seriously put-upon by the comment of a woman at an awards show? Talk about snowflakes.

                  This, as I’m sure you know, is the go-to rationalization for incivility and bad conduct generally when someone wants to avoid accountability. Personally, I don’t give a damn what anyone says on the Oscars. If I were a nominated male director, I’d see that as a slur, which it was.

                  Ethical people don’t root against anyone because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation. Those who do are called “bigots,” and someone should let them know. That’s my job. If people like you would be similarly objective and responsible, I would have to do something else.

                  And generally, as a culture, we have been able and anxious to celebrate when people break through barriers (first black in the major leagues, first woman Justice, etc) without presuming that that person’s achievement somehow diminishes or insults the achievements of others in the field.

                  One doesn’t have to denigrate or marginalize the competition to celebrate a breakthrough. Anyone cheering teh fact that a white player no longer had a job because of Robinson would be like what the Oscar demagogues were doing. That’s called divisive.

                  (Gerwig wasn’t the first woman director nominee, but it occurs so infrequently — much less frequently than, say, Olympic Games — that it is notable.)

                  So its notable. And that justifies reducing her equally deserving mail colleagues to their gonads?

                  Neither you nor I can or should speak for all of the Oscar audience; that said, and your concern for them notwithstanding, I know that many women and many men did not take offense in the manner you did.

                  Here, Chris, check that statement against The rationalization list. You’ll find at least five that fit. Anybody else what to try? It’s easy.

                  Your accusation of me displaying a straw man was not supported (certainly not by the paragraph you copied which, focusing mainly on Maya Rudolph and race, struck me as largely off-topic) and no where did you address my two major points: that the demonstrated and incontrovertible fact of decades of under-representation by women in important jobs that influence so deeply the cultural life of our country and of the world, is not a comparable grievance to a one-liner delivered at an awards show that will be forgotten in two weeks,

                  This is also on the list. The comments did not address either issue in a fair and coherent way; Rudolph implied the audience was racist, Stone insulted the male directors, and the importance of race and gender issues does not somehow justify doing either. Hint: You are arguing the Saint’s Excuse (“It was for a good cause!”) and “It’s not the worst thing!” Both are dodges. The conduct was wrongful.

                  and your attempt to flip the script and make men the aggrieved party in the situation strikes me as somewhat strange, even warped;

                  Male directors were insulted and marginalized at an event that was supposed to honor them. What an argument: men can’t complain even when they are mistreated, because women have been mistreated more. I know for a fact that you don’t use such lousy logic in other settings.

                  and that the argument you made, that a woman expressing concern about that severe under-represention is somehow demonstrating hatred of men, is silly and indefensible,

                  Words have meaning. Her words meant, and could only be taken as, “Here’s the female nominee, and the rest I don’t care about because they are men.” Nah, that’s not a bigoted sentiment. Really? You really wouldn’t be troubled if a presenter said, “The nominees are Tom Cruise and a bunch of blacks”?

                  Respectfully, an open-minded person reading this exchange would, I believe, fairly conclude (since you have expressed no sympathy anywhere I’ve seen to the central grievance of under-representation) that that egregious under-representation bothers you markedly less than it bothers you to have to hear a woman talking about it, which is a strange place to be in the 21st century

                  Baloney. I don’t have to cheer bad behavior and hijacking an awards show for political, divisive grandstanding no matter what is behind it, and I won’t. You are making the fatuous claim that rules of decency change according to the motives of the offenders. WRONG>

                  Finally, your “Gerwig lost. GOOD.” should, I believe, be eligible for your Ethics Dunce award. You make no reference to the artistic merit of the nomination, so we can fairly presume that your happiness with her loss is based solely on what was said about her by a third party, which is a totally extrinsic factor to her artistic worthiness to receive the award, and is, in my view, therefore an unethical judgement. Bigotry is NOT good, even if it’s anti-trendy bigotry.

                  The statement was self-explanatory. Any time any competitor is favored because of gender or race, I want to see them lose, so the bigots will be miserable, and, one hopes, learn the error of their ways. The Oscars are moving toward a pure EEOC quota system, and anything that pulls in the other direction is to be cheered. The voters were under pressure to vote FOR the female nominee or face the kind of cheap accusation of bigotry you’re arguing now. They had the guts to refuse. Good.

                  In 1960, Chill Wills, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, made the argument in ads that not voting for him was unpatriotic, since his film was “The Alamo.” He might have won on the merits, but the voters hated the blackmail, and he lost.

                  Good.

                  • Chris

                    Ethical people don’t root against anyone because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation…

                    One doesn’t have to denigrate or marginalize the competition to celebrate a breakthrough. Anyone cheering teh fact that a white player no longer had a job because of Robinson would be like what the Oscar demagogues were doing.

                    That would be nothing like what Stone or Rudolph did. Neither of them were cheering that any previous white or male nominee wasn’t nominated this year, nor did they make any denigrating judgment about the quality of the white and male nominees’ work. They also were not rooting against anyone because of their gender, race, or sexual orientation. Stone didn’t even imply that Gerwig was more deserving than any of the men. What Stone and Rudolph were basically advocating is more competition.

                    Male directors were insulted and marginalized at an event that was supposed to honor them.

                    I don’t agree that they were insulted or marginalized. I don’t think they would agree, either. (And no, that’s not a rationalization. If the targets of a joke don’t take something as an insult, and the joker didn’t mean it as an insult, and the majority of society doesn’t see it as an insult, then it isn’t an insult.)

                    Words have meaning. Her words meant, and could only be taken as, “Here’s the female nominee, and the rest I don’t care about because they are men.”

                    You’ve already been shown that that was not the only way her words could be taken.

                    You really wouldn’t be troubled if a presenter said, “The nominees are Tom Cruise and a bunch of blacks”?

                    If blacks were vastly overrepresented in Hollywood as the result of discrimination against white actors, then I have to say I wouldn’t be troubled by that.

                  • Chris E. Boy

                    You know, Jack, if I watched a hip-hop awards show, and Tom Cruise had surprisingly scored a nomination with an unexpected hip-hop hit, and a presenter or MC made a joke along those lines, I would laugh at it. If I was one of the four other nominees, I would laugh at it and not feel at all offended. It’s about context; it’s about perspective; it’s also, frankly, about awareness of being part of a privileged group, and being, occasionally, graceful, and even deferential, toward those outside of that privileged group. Those four male nominees were not there only because of their gonads, but, let’s be real: They were there in part because of the opportunities they had because of their gender; opportunities that many, most women do not routinely have. Additionally, societal change often is occasioned by crossing lines of decorum. What upsets me about your perspective is that it pretends a fully level playing field on which all, male and female, ought to be treated absolutely the same; but that ignores the realities made clear by the statistics about opportunities for women. I have strong opinions, but I also respect and accept that you have a different opinion about her remarks than I do. I don’t expect to change your opinion, or for you to change mine. I think it’s unfortunate that your remarks in this thread seem so intolerant of those who would dare to come to a conclusion different to yours. You’ve been dismissive, condescending, abrasive, and insulting. You accuse Stone of being divisive. I don’t understand, if that’s something that you consider unfortunate, why you engage with people in such a manner that will most likely encourage division and discourage civility.

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          ”And are you really comparing pointing out that minorities are discriminated against in Hollywood to holding a fake decapitated head of the president?”

          Anyone that thinks Rudolph was trying to address how ”minorities are discriminated against in Hollywood” needs to remove their reality-filtering weapons-grade-hardened-industrial-strength-thickened ideological blinders. (H/T Cornelius Gotchberg)

          But yes, both were stupid attempts to solicit smugly approving chuckles from the woke while at the same time administer a virtual atomic wedgie to the unforgiven.

          • Chris

            Jack: How does that comment have any bearing on discrimination in Hollywood?

            Paul: Anyone that thinks Rudolph was trying to address how ”minorities are discriminated against in Hollywood” needs to remove their reality-filtering weapons-grade-hardened-industrial-strength-thickened ideological blinders. (H/T Cornelius Gotchberg)

            I really sometimes feel we are living in alternate realities. It’s the only fair and rational interpretation of Rudolph’s joke. If that’s not what she meant, what do you think she meant? That white people suck? She’s half-white! This strikes me as another example of looking for reasons to take offense.

            That there needs to be more female and minority representation in Hollywood was a major theme of last night’s Oscars. The joke makes perfect sense within that theme. Bias is preventing you from giving Rudolph and Stone the benefit of the doubt.

            • Paul W. Schlecht

              ”I really sometimes feel we are living in alternate realities.”

              You don’t say.

              ”It’s the only fair and rational interpretation of Rudolph’s joke.”

              Consider prefacing that with: “As I see it…”

              ”If that’s not what she meant, what do you think she meant?”

              She meant to get a cheap dig in at EVIL whitey, and Jack’s synopsis summed it up tidily enough for me.

              “That white people suck? She’s half-white!”

              WTF does THAT have to do with anything; ever hear any number of Chris Rock’s bits on Niggers or Jerry Seinfeld’s on Jews?

              “This strikes me as another example of looking for reasons to take offense.”

              That’s Lefty’s exclusive province & I ain’t no interloper…

              • Chris

                WTF does THAT have to do with anything; ever hear any number of Chris Rock’s bits on Niggers or Jerry Seinfeld’s on Jews?

                …Yes…but you can’t seriously be arguing that Chris Rock thinks blacks are evil or that Jerry Seinfeld thinks Jews are evil…can you?

                So you’re making my point for me.

  10. Greg

    Good news about the Oscars: The ratings were down 16% from last year, which were down 4% from 2016, which were down 8% from 2015.

    • Anyone know at what point lower ratings hit these hypocrites in the pocketbook?

      • Other Bill

        Some perspective from and article in Fortune:

        Ratings for live broadcasts, including award shows and sporting events, have been steadily declining for several years now. However, those broadcasts still routinely rank as the most-watched TV broadcasts each year, with last year’s Oscars ratings making the ceremony the fourth most-watched TV program, behind only Super Bowl LI and the NFL’s two conference championships, even with the program’s ratings then at a nine-year low.

        So still lots of advertiser dollars to spread around. http://fortune.com/2018/03/05/oscars-ratings-academy-awards-viewership/

      • luckyesteeyoreman

        Wouldn’tcha just love to see advertisers pull their sponsorships? I am frankly surprised that the show didn’t become available only on pay-per-view years ago. (Maybe it already has – chuckling at my own likely ignorance.)

    • Paul W. Schlecht

      ”The ratings were down 16% from last year, which were down 4% from 2016, which were down 8% from 2015.”

      That’s what we in the business call a trend.

      Say, doesn’t that tumble eerily coincide with installing ”America’s Conscience,” Cryin’ Jimmy Kimmel, as Emcee?

      And if it does, would it appear that the viewing public is unreceptive to the fellating homage at the altar of Social Justice and basically telling the Oscars to SHOVE IT?

        • Paul W. Schlecht

          Sheesh, that’s correction territory!

        • I wonder if there is something the speakers say that cause people to be less inclined to watch. I wonder if the movies that receive awards are movies that public actually don’t care about.

          I heard “The Shape of Water” was a box office disaster while other more deserving movies (which were rewarded by the movie going public through massive ticket sales) didn’t get awards.

          I wonder if all these awards shows would do themselves a favor by ceasing their self-congratulatory virtue-signalling…

      • I have a theory…OK, it’s a twisted theory…perhaps. Perhaps not: The rich lefties in Hollyweird are sticking to their script, biding their time. Demographics are going to keep changing, eventually to favor all-lefty, all-the-time – or, so the Hollyweirdos are counting on. “So what?” they think, if they have to go through a couple of years of lean attention. Just ride it out a few more years, let the old folks who never bought into the hippie amoralism even when they were young die off, and all the young-uns left behind will still be rebellious enough (indoctrinated and brainwashed enough) to bring those ratingzzzzz right back up to exalt leftism über alles. Ze plan vill be kumpleet! Und any oppizzishun vill be DJAILT!

        • dragin_dragon

          Lucky, I don’t think they’re planning on ‘jailing’ anybody. With a weapons ban complete, there’s no way anybody can defend themselves, so they become not ‘jailed’ but ‘deader’.

  11. “”We don’t make films like ‘Call Me By Your Name’ for money, we make them to upset Mike Pence,” Kimmel joked.”

    My favorite twitter response to this so far has been along the lines of:

    And yet, the difference between Hollywood celebrities and Mike Pence is that I can safely leave my wife and children with Mike Pence.

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