Got up on the wrong side of the bed today..
…and trying to recover.
1. Finally! The Ultimate Trump Derangement Home Test! This is wonderful, and we owe a debt to CNN for making this available. NeverTrump neocon Max Boot, who has been a “rseistance” ally since the 2016 election and who also writes op-eds for the Washington Post, presented this hilarious—but don’t tell anyone you are using the to test hilarious—visual aid to his recent Post screed:
Isn’t that great? I initially thought it was a Saturday Night Live parody, but how could that be, when SNL is all Trump Derangement All The Time itself? All you have to do is show this to a suspected TDS sufferer, and wait for the response. Hearty laughter followed by something along the lines of,” Wow! I didn’t think even CNN would stoop this low, but there it is!”, and you know your friend or family member has escaped the jaws of madness. If the subject’s reaction is to point and shout, “See! See! I told you the election was rigged!”, then it’s time for cold compresses and a 911 call.
Once again, I miss the fevered passion of the self-exiled Trump Deranged commenters on Ethics Alarms, to see exactly how far gone they are, if they are. Hilarity was bound to ensue.
I was tempted to do a whole post showing how every one of Boot’s “reasons” are strained circumstantial evidence at best or utter nonsense at worst, but two words, “confirmation bias,” pretty much covers it, along with a third, “desperation.” Meanwhile, just as self-amusement, I’m working on the list of reasons why Max Boot might be a Russian agent. So far I have Dilbert’s Scott Adams’ observation that while the pitiful Russian fake news on social media couldn’t divide the country, hysterical anti-Trump conspiracy theorists are doing a good job serving Russian interests by undermining the Presidency; Max’s “Boot” code name, which evokes George Orwell’s’ famous metaphor for Communist totalitarianism; and that Curly Howard hair cut, the choice of international anti-democracy villains in James Bond films, “The Man From U.N.C.L.E,” TV’s “The Black List” and everything in between.
That’s only three, though. Suggestions welcome.
2. Is this good news or bad news? “Family Guy,” Seth McFarland’s nastier, cheaper, uglier rip-off of “The Simpsons,” has announced that it will be “phasing out” homophobic jokes. It’s certainly good news if this includes the disgusting and unfunny running gag about the old man next door to “The Family Guy” who has sexual designs on Peter’s idiot son, I guess. The problem is that the only feature of “The Family Guy” that made its intentionally tasteless and offensive humor excusable was that the show was cruel and unfair to everyone, pretty much equally. If the show is now bowing to victim-group pressure, how long will it be before its only targets are white men, conservatives, Fox News and Donald Trump?
If McFarland and the show are now afraid of being politically incorrect when political incorrectness is a career death sentence for everyone else, then it should just kill the show, rather than wander the airwaves hollowed out and submissive like the brainwashed Winston Smith at the end of “1984.”
Oh-oh. Second Orwell reference already today…
3. Perfect: You know how I keep pointing out that the Obama years made the knee jerk Democratic reaction to any criticism to play the “race card”? Here’s some smoking gun evidence: [Pointer: Daily Caller]
Sirius XM radio host and Fox News Contributor David Webb invited CNN analyst Areva Martin onto his radio show to discuss diversity in media. When he noted that he has always considered his accomplishments to be more important than his skin color when applying for employment, Martin reprimanded him for his “white privilege.”
“How do I have the privilege of white privilege?” Webb asked.
“David, by virtue of being a white male, you have white privilege,” Martin replied.
Webb is black. After he told the embarrassed CNN talking-head what color he was, she tried to blame her response on her staff for not properly informing her, so she would know that the playbook’s “you’re just a biased and privileged white guy” cheap shot wouldn’t work.
4. Stop making me defend “Hamilton”! In his play, “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda,” Ishmael Reed attacks the epically successful musical “Hamilton” and the best-selling biography by Ron Chernow it was loosely based on. The program handed out at the first attended reading explains that “The Haunting of Lin-Manuel Miranda” is “about a playwright who is misled by a historian of white history into believing that Alexander Hamilton was an abolitionist.”
Stipulated: Reed can write anything he wants, and if he decides to exploit the success of Hamilton to try to ride its coat-tails to cheap publicity and maybe a buck or two, that’s life in a free country. Attacking a musical version of the life of Alexander Hamilton in which all the white founding fathers are played by blacks, Latinos and Hispanics as historically inaccurate is far more idiotic than complaining about any commercial adaptation of history that makes up facts or leaps to unwarranted conclusions. Movies like “JFK,” “Titanic,” “Selma” and too many others to count present themselves as historically accurate and thus actively misinform audiences who don’t know their history as well as educated citizens should. “Hamilton,” however, makes no overt claims to accuracy, and Reed’s complaint is pointless. Art is one of the few realms where the ends often justify the means. “Hamilton” made scores of Americans aware of the very important guy on the ten-dollar bill, revitalized the waning American musical, stimulated Broadway commerce, employed many penurious artists, and made hip-hop mainstream, to list but a few of its achievements. If a more critical portrayal of the real Alexander Hamilton wouldn’t have permitted any of this to occur—and it would not—then Lin-Manuel Miranda did the right thing.
5. Who needs the Russians? When the news arrived that Virginia is considering a bill to jump the minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour, all my woke, knee-jerk, Democratic Facebook friends circulated the story and pronounced it wonderful. Of course, the evidence is pretty conclusive that a large minimum wage increase will hurt employment, minorities, the unskilled and most vulnerable, put small businesses in distress and crush small restaurants, but never mind: this is the oldest of old progressive cant, and if Democrats are doing it, it must be right. Many, many moons ago, while running the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s public policy research foundation, I got funding to oversee an objective examination of this topic. My researcher went where the data took him, and it took him exactly where the data goes today.
That study helped get me fired, by the way, because it didn’t back the Chamber’s claims that minimum wage increases case inflation. Thus I don’t take kindly to my “friends'” assertion that my study was just rigged to advance conservative talking points. I was hired to be independent and objective, and later fired for exactly that.
Among the easiest ethical points to make in all the world is that making public policy affecting people’s lives should be based on reality rather than ideology, Nevertheless, people still willfully ignore it. Instead, they spread false and misleading information across our media, causing needless damage to the economy and the nation.