Mid-World Series Hangover Ethics Warm-Up, 10/27/2018: Mike Tyson, Intimacy Coordinators, And The Blackface Teacher Principle

This is how my morning began…

1. To get this out of the way..I watched every  second of every inning on last night’s longest post-season baseball game in history, as any loyal, ethical baseball fan is obligated to do. It was worth it, too, even though my team lost. The game was the sports equivalent of The Odyssey, “War and Peace,” “King Lear,” “The Ring Cycle,” “The Ring Trilogy,” “Nicholas Nickleby” or “The Seven Samurai,” a complex morality and adventure tale that had suspense, disappointment, wonder, exhilaration , humor and tragedy, heroes and villains. Such games reward all of the time and suffering a fan puts into following baseball seriously. It is worth the investment.

Ironically, this epic occurred shorty after the Wall Street Journal published a truly ignorant and idiotic opinion piece called , “Our Insane Ideas to Save Baseball/Baseball has problems. There aren’t enough hits. There are too many pitchers. The games take too long. So we bullpenned our solutions. Are you ready for Strike Four?”

It is a wonderful example of the incompetent variety of criticism I call “Wanting to change what you haven’t taken the time to understand.” I get it: the authors don’t like baseball, and barely pay attention to it., or, in the alternative, they are just seeking clicks. In any event, you can’t argue with people who say that the problem with opera is that it’s too often in a foreign language, or that the problem with hip hop is that it isn’t music, and shouldn’t, or that the problem with our democracy is that people can say things that upset other people. And you shouldn’t argue with them. They don’t respect the topic enough to be educated about it.

2. Of course, baseball games ARE too long, and the overwhelming reason is TV ads, which add about a half hour to every game, and more to post-season games. The disgusting response of Fox is to stick 10 second commercials into a split screen during the game, like between batters. Here’s a slugger walking to the plate in a tense situation, and half the screen is devoted to a quickie plug for “Ralph Breaks The Internet.” I hope fans are burning up social media attacking this greedy new form of broadcast pollution.

3. How is this possible? In a #MeToo Mad era when simply being accused of sexual assault without proof is deemed by even lawyers who should know better as sufficient justification to inflict serious and permanent consequences on the accused, Mike Tyson is the star of an animated TV show, is cast in movies, and is now shopping a TV show, based on the ex-boxer’s life as a marijuana grower and marketer, starring him and called “Rolling With the Punches.”

Mike Tyson isn’t just accused of sexual misconduct, he’s a convicted rapist. Somehow, the popular culture seems to find him cute, and the usual standards don’t apply. He must be a Democrat…

4. “Intimacy Coordinators”? It’s about time. Some conservative pundits are mocking the fact that HBO is now staffing every one of its television shows and films that have sex scenes  with an “intimacy coordinator.” The euphemistic name can be mocked, but the practice shouldn’t be. Women, and sometimes men, are sexually abused on stage and on film as a result of directors who push the realism of sex scenes too far, or performers who take advantage of the opportunities such scenes present. This has been going on for as long as such scenes have been permitted by law, and if this is a #MeToo development, it is one of the good ones.

The presence of an objective monitor to prevent sexual abuse in rehearsals and performances needs to be an industry norm, to combat the industry norm of harming performers, sexually exploiting them, for the amusement and enjoyment of unscrupulous actors and directors using “art” as an excuse to get away with molestation, harassment, and assault.

5. In honor of Megyn Kelly, The Blackface Chronicles. A. Two campaign staffers for Democratic candidate for Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker were fired after one of them wore a charcoal face mask in an Instagram post, making it appear to some that he was wearing blackface. Here’s the photo:

“This photo was posted on a private Instagram account and after finding out about it this morning, both individuals were immediately suspended without pay. After further investigation, both staffers have been fired,” the campaign said in a statement, according to the Chicago Sun Times.

Verdict: This is nuts. That’s a charcoal mask, and obviously so. It isn’t blackface. On the other hand, if you work for a Democrat or NBC, it’s too close to blackface for enterprising panderers and virtue-signalers to resist as an opportunity for grandstanding.  Earlier this month, ten current and former campaign employees of Pritzger’s campaign filed a discrimination lawsuit alleging they had been harassed and discriminated against as a result of their skin color, so naturally the opportunity to sacrifice these two staffers was too good to and well-timed for the campaign to pass up.

B. The superintendent of the Davenport School District in Iowa told reporters in an email that Megan Luloff, a first-grade teacher at Walcott Elementary,  is under investigation for going to a Halloween party this week with her face painted black for her costume as Lafawnduh, a black character in the 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Luloff also posted a photo to social media…

What an idiot.

Verdict: This is “The Blackface Teacher Principle,” I guess. You have every right to dress up as anyone or anything you want in your home or with your friends, but if you are an elementary school  teacher, and for whatever reason allow photos of you dressed as Hitler, or Bull Connor, or a penis, or as Mammy in “Gone With The Wind,” to get on the web, you have no basis to complain if it loses you your job.

22 thoughts on “Mid-World Series Hangover Ethics Warm-Up, 10/27/2018: Mike Tyson, Intimacy Coordinators, And The Blackface Teacher Principle

  1. The first game of the Japan Series was declared a 2-2 after the maximum 12 innings were completed. Time of game: 4 hours, 38 minutes. The Hiroshima Carp and SoftBank Hawks will suit up again tomorrow to try to get this baby off the ground.

    • The 12-inning quittin’ time rule in Japan is so that people can get home before the trains stop – otherwise the fans would be stranded, and in this case, especially since a lot of workers go to the office at least a half day on Saturday. Otherwise they’d be playing til the cows came home and went back out again.

  2. Part of the “problem” with baseball is that is is unique. At their very most rudimentary level, soccer, football, hockey, and basketball (throw in rugby and lacrosse if you want) are the same game. They go back and forth between end goals. There is a very predictable sort of flow to the games and they end after a certain point in ties (except basketball, I think, it has been so long since I watched the NBA, but I don’t think there are ties in basketball-gosh, I sound stupid even typing this-or more stupid than what preceded it, your choice).

    Tennis and Volleyball? Same game.

    Baseball is not like them. Innings are closer to sets that you might have in volleyball and tennis. But, innings disrupt the sort of flow you get in hockey (etc.). Hockey and basketball are fast-paced in their flow (and soccer fills the role of pace car for that brand of sport). Innings make baseball a periodic sport in the way the others aren’t. You have 9 (or 18) distinct chapters in a full regulation game. Each team gets 27 outs to win (subject to any number of exceptions that can creep in on that format); the other games are based on time.

    So, yes, because a baseball game is not based on time, games can run long.

    Still ticks me off that he called a tie in that All-Star game….


    • I love this observation, Jut. Turn-based vs. Real-time is the terminology used in computer games. In that sense, Baseball has more in common with Golf than it does with Football / Soccer / Basketball / Hockey / etc. (Granted, Golf inherently encourages its players to win by minimizing how many times they hit the ball–and indirectly, the time spent completing the course–which Baseball does not.)

      The addition of the clock creates pressure, which creates drama, which is interesting and exciting to watch. Hell, Iron Chef can made cooking into a spectator sport by making it a race against time.

      Television game shows know it too. There are plenty of formats that offer a “taking turns” format, but many MANY of them end up finishing the show with some kind of “bonus round” that’s timed (Family Feud and Pyramid are excellent examples) unless it the format really doesn’t make sense (like say, Jeopardy).

      But a game that fundamentally eschews the clock and systemically encourages players to win by indirectly making the game last longer?!? There is only Baseball.


      * P.S. …and I suppose that this unique feature makes it something to love, or hate, about Baseball.

      • No clock? That’s why Baseball is Life. The clock is an artifice. It’s like chess and other games of strategy. like Risk, Diplomacy, Monopoly, Dungeons and Dragons: the game takes as long as the game takes. Or a novel: some games are “War and Peace,” some are “Good Night Moon.” Different stories to tell.

        If you hate the lack of a clock, you don’t get the game.

        • I almost used Chess as my main example, except it’s common for Chess games to have timers as a part of the game too.

          Maybe a better way to make my point is that I can’t think of any other game that’s turn-based and open-ended (meaning there aren’t a finite number of turns like in tic-tac-toe or Jeopardy) and that actually encourages players to make the game last longer rather than bring it to a conclusion.


  3. The Blackface Teacher wasn’t kidding around either. She was doing it up … ah… brown. Though I thought her friend with the tats and the mouse get up — assuming that’s another teacher — needs some investigation as well, mainly into what planet they’ve been living on. In fact, none of them appear to be conscious of having macroaggressed just by smiling along with her.

    I suppose that there must have been some people, somewhere who didn’t know what a Commie was during the McCarthy years.

  4. 3. How is this possible? In a #MeToo Mad era when simply being accused of sexual assault without proof is deemed by even lawyers who should know better as sufficient justification to inflict serious and permanent consequences on the accused, Mike Tyson is the star of an animated TV show, is cast in movies, and is now shopping a TV show, based on the ex-boxer’s life as a marijuana grower and marketer, starring him and called “Rolling With the Punches.”

    I watched a couple of excerpts of the adult cartoon and, of course, it is vulgar, perverse and irreverent (and pretty stupid). It makes Tyson appear as a dim-wit ‘Negro’ (to quote Don Lemon and this is not language I use) and that would to me seem very offensive if I were Black in America. He can’t talk right, mis-pronounces ‘big’ words and this mirrors, I think, the Stupid Negro of those racist minstrel shows.

    How utterly bizarre . . .

    It involves I guess some mind-bending to figure out an answer to the question posed: How is this possible? I guess one would have to say that the #MeToo Movement is a form of a sham. It has other functions than those it purports to have. Therefor, if this is true, one must attempt to locate and explain what those *other functions* are.

    It is beginning to appear in greater clarity that a good number of the *causes* that are being circulated in the hysteric present have this *sham* quality. They purport to be thus-and-such, and they are made into grand moral issues, but the whole charade collapses when one notices the hypocrisy. It is about POWER. It is based in a sham of morality and a high-tones moral pose, and yet it is devoid of (what I understand to be) morality. It celebrates the amoral and the immoral: a significant transvaluation of values. Is that its real purpose? I just don’t know.

    It is interesting to me that the general content of the cartoon, based on the 2-3 minutes I bothered to watch, is geared toward vulgarity and — I would notice this of course — sexual immorality especially. The Pigeon character is foul-mouthed, hires whores off the Internet, and masturbates in public — those are just a few eccentricities I noted. Ha ha ha. Pretty funny.

    This sort of immorality is fine, I guess, but it demonstrates something rather strange and hard to define about the seeming Puritanism of the #MeToo-ers. I really cannot grasp it.

    • I wouldn’t ascribe too much general racism to the cartoon depiction of Tyson. It’s Mike Tyson, so the garbled language and general dim-wittedness is a pretty accurate portrayal of the actual, real life Mike Tyson. Like most aging boxers, his brain is little more than a plate of overcooked scrambled eggs at this point.

      The Pigeon character, I will grant you, is unlike any real-life pigeon I have ever seen…

      • I see your point. But what is confusing is that he does the voice overs and therefor practices the mis-pronunciations, as if he is cooperating in offering a non-intelligent rendition of himself.

        • If you didn’t realize that #metoo was a sham from the start, I am sorry. This came from the same group of people who try to tell you that the ACLU is on the side of civil liberties and the Southern Poverty Law Center is there to provide legal services to the poor in the south. Maybe I have just been burned by this group too many times, but I saw this coming the moment it started. Burn me once…

  5. Do you really think a lot of Progressive women are going to watch this Tyson show? I’m pretty sure we are not the target audience …..

  6. 1)Well, the WSJ article is behind a paywall, but we keep hearing about how baseball is losing fans and declining in popularity. I don’t buy it.

    Yes, if you try to directly compare MLB to the NFL, it seems not to come off very well. There’s not a robust national audience for most regular season games. But if you look at how baseball is marketed and how its fan base works, I think it’s in pretty decent shape. The overall revenues for MLB are actually fairly comparable to the overall revenues for the NFL — they’re both over $10 billion per year.

    The NFL is shown and marketed nationally, whereas MLB is much more of a regional sport. Stadium attendance is more robust and more important to MLB than the NFL. Teams garner their revenue through local or regional TV and radio broadcast rights, rather than a share of the national TV contracts.

    So they’re different, but I think both are doing quite well for themselves. A lot of this, I think, is determined by the way each of their seasons works and the ebbs and flows of the seasons.

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