Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 11/4/2018 (Part II): Halloween Leftovers, Hot Yoga, And Polls

Today’s extended Warm-Up continues…

5. Halloween ethics left-overs:

  • Nah, there’s no Trump Derangement…In Hastings, Michigan, young Benny Drake wore a Donald Trump mask and costume around the neighborhood to solicit candy. At one house, the woman who answered the door threw candy at him and “asked me if she could slap me,” Drake said.

Benny should build a wall around her house.

  • Confession: I once wore a KKK-themed costume to a party. In Fort Smith, Arkansas, a Ku Klux Klan costume won a Halloween contest and a prize at the Lil’ Dude Tavern. After the photo of the costume “went viral,” the bar was attacked on social media and condemned by the local NAACP. A few points:

a) Many of the news media reports discussed the costume but wouldn’t share the photo with readers or TV viewers, presumably out of fear of upsetting some of them. This is incompetent and cowardly journalism, in the same category as writing about the Danish anti-Muhammad cartoons without showing them, or writing that an “epithet” set off a controversy without stating what the epithet was.

b) I assume the ethics issues here are the same as in the Hitler costume controversy, correct?

c) When I wore a KKK-themed costume decades ago, it was after a prominent white supremacist had been killed in a plane crash. KKK costumes always looked a lot like ghosts to me,  so I made a hybrid ghost-KKK costume and carried a travel case with the victim’s name on it and the airline’s sticker.  And I won a prize, too: for Costume in the Worst Taste.

  • I don’t understand this one at ALL.  In Vermont, a trick-or-treater received a bag of poop deposited in his candy bag. According to police, who investigated, it was just a mistake. How could something like that be a mistake? If the bag contained rat poison or an “explosive device,” would “Oops! Silly me!” still be an effective explanation? What if the kid ate the poop, and got violently ill? Same result?

6. Naming ethics. A family collected about $11,000 from KFC for naming their daughter after the fried chicken company’s founder, Col. Harland Sanders. Her name is now Harland Rose. Of course, she may choose to drop “Harland” for Rose when she’s older. Nonetheless, the parents allowed a fast food company to entice them into making their daughter a living, breathing, ad for fried chicken. Would they have accepted money to name her “Adolf,” I wonder? Is this just “Ick” or is it unethical? Harland isn’t necessarily a bad name for a girl or woman. The ethics issue is parents taking money to slap a strange name on their own child, and letting the baby be exploited for commercial purposes.

Let’s have a poll!

7. Regarding “hot yoga” and “hot yoga instructors”: several readers have pointed out that “Hot” in the headline I wrote about in #3 of Part I of today’s warm-up refers to “hot yoga,” which is a thing, and not “hot instructor,” which is how I read it.  If so, and I don’t doubt it, the headline was misleading and inept (I suspect that Heavy wanted to have it both ways), but I’m curious: how many readers have heard of “hot yoga”? I hadn’t, but then yoga is so far off my radar screen that it would take light years for me to reach it.

Let’s have ANOTHER poll!

30 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 11/4/2018 (Part II): Halloween Leftovers, Hot Yoga, And Polls

  1. “KKK costumes always looked a lot like ghosts to me”
    According to one of my elementary school textbooks, that was originally the point of the costume design, to personify the ghosts of the Confederate dead.

  2. 5. Not absolutely sure it matters, but since we’re talking about TDS, I couldn’t tell from the news report whether the woman was pro- or anti-Trump. If she is anti-Trump, I think it’s TDS resulting in bad behavior to children. If she was pro-Trump, it’s just garden variety bad adult behavior to children.

  3. I had the same comment as others about the hot yoga article. But, I agree with you: a double entendre was probably intended.


            • I thought it was Prince Albert. In fact, I still hear the ad on one of the OTR programs (c.1947) I enjoy online now, so I asked Wiki. Turns out they had both of the poor fellows in a can: One of the lines about PA made me laugh: “When the unsuspecting clerk responds “yes” …” Unsuspecting? Whoever wrote the piece did not understand how ubiquitous sixth-grade humor was — a piece on Sir Walter’s can-confinement says that was the optimum age for phone pranks — so that any clerk would have known it. Today’s pranks at that level are probably most popular among second or third graders on their iPhones.

              • Piece of trivia for you. The Prince Albert can had rounded ends, and the lid was a hinged flip-open. It also held just slightly less than one ounce of pot. Hence, the sale-unit came to be what the lid would hold, called, appropriately enough, a ‘lid’. At one time, you could a ‘lid’ for a nickel ($5.00).

                • Do you have a date for that D_D? I remember where the $5’s went – in sandwich baggies that spilled out in your jacket pocket (and got stuck in the seams, and mom was really surprised that I paid to have my old jacket dry cleaned) – but that was the 60s. If it was the same in the 40s, that was some high priced weed.

  4. Given that some names can give a head start for a kid, and others pull him back… let’s look at it from a purely utilitarian perspective: A reasonable name as the same character of a popular TV show to promote it might be offset by a few thousand dollars. Something more unique (sorry U’nick), might be worth at least 6 figures. A terrible one better set the little one for life.

    I probably wouldn’t take the money, but if it offsets the downsides it sounds terribly tempting.

  5. 6. On one hand, Harland Rose is pretty cute, and wouldn’t be out of place for a girl in some parts of the country (the South). She can go by Hallie or Harley, and most people will assume Harland is a family name. The actual origin will give her a (chicken) leg-up playing Two Truths and a Lie when she’s older.

    On the other hand, she’ll probably resent her parents for selling her out as a baby to a silly social media campaign. $11k toward college is not nearly enough. That will cover about half a semester, and won’t make up for being known around the sorority house as the KFC girl or attracting moochers who think she’s a Sanders heiress.

    Overall, I’d want more details about the contract between the parents and KFC. Is there any stipulation that the parents can’t change Harland’s name once they have their money and the campaign winds down?

    • Well, the $11k could go a lot further if she’s attending the local state college/juco. Or if she gets additional scholarships at a pricier institution. It’s not a lot, but it’s not nothing.

      • For sure, especially with 18 years of compound interest, and it’s a nice chunk of change to begin with. Still not enough, I think.

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