Ethics Run-Down, 2/5/2019: Neeson And Nipples

I’m calling it a run-down because I’m run down.

1. THANK YOU…Ethics Alarms readers who contributed—by tuning in to the Puppy Bowl or something, anything— to the NFL’s worst ratings for a Super Bowl in a decade, and by some metrics (percentage of homes) the worst ratings ever. True, nobody knows exactly what kept viewers away—the looming Kaepernick controversy, the blah game, LA being sick of getting beaten by Boston, the prospect of being preached to by virtue-signaling corporations, the uninspiring half-time show, families being smart enough to try to steer their kids away from football—but progress is progress. Someone will have to explain to me the “boring game” theory: who does someone know the game is going to be boring without watching it?

2. Oh, Great—thanks to Liam Neeson, we are one step closer to punishing thought crimes. What possessed the often thoughtful actor to expound on a period in his life when he hated blacks?

In an interview, published by The Independent,  Neeson, who specializes in revenge fantasy action movies, that 40 years ago he walked the streets with a weapon looking for black men to attack because friend of his had been raped by a man she identified as African American. The actor said he “went out deliberately into black areas in the city looking to be set upon so that I could unleash physical violence”.

Now he is being attacked as a racist. And he’s surprised? The governor of Virginia is being attacked as a racist for dressing up as Michael Jackson when he was a student, and he wasn’t even trying to hurt anybody. Liam, Liam, Liam. Asked what he wanted people to learn from his experience, he told ABC’s Robin Roberts today, “To talk. To open up…We all pretend we’re all politically correct in this country…in mine, too. You sometimes just scratch the surface and you discover this racism and bigotry and it’s there. ”

Fine. Everyone has unethical, even evil thoughts and impulses on occasion. If we are normal, ethical, rational and reasonable, we deal with them in a healthy way. There is nothing unethical about thoughts. Unfortunately, we are plagued in the culture right now with those who want to dictate our thoughts and punish those who do not conform in order to control our liberties, expression and conduct. Neeson just gave those people, and Hollywood, where he works, is crawling with them, an opening to punish thoughts, specifically his.

Next time, Liam, talk to a priest, a psychiatrist, a spouse, a trusted friend, anyone but a journalist. If there is a next time: I fully expect Neeson to be effectively blackballed in his profession.

3. KABOOM! The stupidest Super Bowl ethics controversy ever! Actress Abigail Breslin—you may recall her fondly  in “Little Miss Sunshine,” not so fondly as “Baby” in the beyond horrible live TV version of “Dirty Dancing”— doesn’t understand why why Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine was allowed to go topless during his Super Bowl performance when Janet Jackson was so heavily criticized for her contrived nipple flashing during the 2004 Super Bowl Halftime Show. “Nipplegate” got CBS a $550,000 fine.

Levine removed his shirt to show off his heavily tattooed body as he performed, and a number of social media users, including celebrities, questioned why it was OK to see his top half and not Janet’s. You know. Morons.

“I have nothing against Adam Levine whatsoever and actually am a huge fan but it’s messed up that society seems it acceptable for him to be shirtless during the halftime show and Janet Jackson was chastised because her top half was accidentally exposed at the same event. #doublestandards,” Breslin tweeted. “It’s unfair that she was ridiculed for an accident that wasn’t even her fault but a man can take his shirt off on stage and it’s no problem….I’m saying neither should be fined. Or both should be fined. It’s not fair an accidental slip is cause for a fine but a man ripping his shirt off on stage is chill. It should be a fine for both or a fine for none.”

Actress Rosie Perez—is she more or less of a hasbeen than Breslin?— tweeted “Okay. Hold up. Are they going to go in and penalize # AdamLevine for showing his t*ts like they did @JanetJackson ? Just asking.”

Ugh. As Ethics Alarms has explained before, there was nothing accidental about Jackson’s flashing, and the risible claim that poor Janet had a “costume malfunction” (wink-wink) has entered the realm of fake history, less annoying but equally as false as “Hands Up! Don’t shoot!” But never mind that: have these actresses never been to a beach? A volleyball tournament? Do they live in nudist colony? Civilized society permits some parts of the male anatomy to be exposed in public, while some parts of the female anatomy are not considered appropriate for public display. The system has worked pretty well. Are feminists really going to try to label this a form of sexism?

On multiple fronts, it is beginning to appear that progressive cant is spinning into self-parody.

Here’s Adam, by the way:


I don’t know about you, but I had a hard time finding his nipples.


63 thoughts on “Ethics Run-Down, 2/5/2019: Neeson And Nipples

  1. I’m not sure Ms. Breslin really wants to open a real discussion about “#doublestandards”, as there are more than a few that benefit her gender far more than just being able to air out your nipples in public.

  2. #3 When I saw Mr. Levine’s sleeve and chest tattoos, I joked to friend that I don’t know if he’s going to be able to find a job.

  3. 3. Well, I guess we’ll have to have a federal law punishing any entity or person who tries to require women to wear shirts or tops almost anywhere. A twelve year old boy’s dream come true. “Thank you, God.”

    • What are persons of African descent called if they are citizens of some other nation, African Canadians or African Norwegians?

      Perhaps we might want to consider their method of describing black citizens.

      • Let’s fisk the actual sources, first you and then the interview.

        In an interview, published by The Independent, Neeson, who specializes in revenge fantasy action movies, that 40 years ago he walked the streets with a weapon looking for black men to attack because friend of his had been raped by a man she identified as African American [emphasis added].

        No, she did no such thing. This is what the interview really said:-

        It was some time ago. Neeson had just come back from overseas to find out about the rape. “She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson says. “But my immediate reaction was…” There’s a pause. “I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person [emphasis added].

        “I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could,” another pause, “kill him.”

        Even if the culprit really was African American, even a travelling African American, no, the victim did not identify him as one.

        You have fallen into the same error as the journalist who changed all references to “black” to “African American” in an article about Nelson Mandela.

        • Honetsly? I don’t care. I’m stuck with the common parlance used here. A-A means black. That’s because the activists here dictate what they must be called or you are guilty of being politically correct. First it was Negto, then negro, then Black, then black, then “people of color”, then African American. Go complain to the NAACP. That’s one gotcha double bind that I won’t play. If they want to be called Pluckyducks, its fine with me.

          • I know you don’t care. That’s the problem. But it’s signature significance, about you. Do you recall another post when I told you that I would stop bringing out that, just there, you were being sloppy in a certain way until you did it again, as you were dismissing it as an unimportant and isolated incident? Well, you just did it again. You keep doing it, because you have a blind spot that always tells you that it’s an unimportant and isolated incident. Instead of learning from these incidents and building your self-discipline while the cost is still small, you are feeding your bad habit – and that means that, in due season, you will screw up big time. And you will probably still think you are right.

            • I don’t care because it is completely irrelevant to the issues in the post. You enjoy tangential attacks on such matters, that’s fine. Whatever makes you smile. It’s still petty and, in the end, unproductive. I have limited amounts of time, and when exactitude is important, I take the time to ensure it. The fact that what Americans call “African Americans” are in fact just blacks, whether they are African or American or not, is not worth anyone’s time at this point. Even yours.

              • Here I have to agree with P.M.Lawrence. To call anyone who is not American but has African ancestors an African American is both wrong and lazy. For the journalist to change Neeson’s description from black to African American is incompetent.
                And to say a discussion is not worth anyone’s time is a rationalization that I generally find is usually brought up by people who can’t find a good counter to someone else’s point, rather than trying to save the other person time.

                • The issue is nonetheless absolutely irrelevant to the post, though, Errol. It is the definition of a tangential issue (and somewhere I wrote about it). Again, this was created by the ongoing minority/group ID game of constantly changing what a group regards as an acceptable label, so people who missed the last memo can be called bigots. The term A-A mixes up ethnicity with race, just like the pompous “people of color” mixed up skin tone with race AND ethnicity. The “victims” of this linguistic confusion did it to themselves.

              • Sigh. I thought you would miss the point again, what with that blind spot.

                You are making out that this is simply about conflating “black” and “African American”. It isn’t, it’s about your pattern or habit of casual imprecision, which will some day come back to bite you. I’m trying to warn you about that whenever I see it, not so much to stop you now as I see that you are intransigent, but so that you have food for thought when that day comes. That way, you’ll be better equipped to pick yourself up then.

                As I see that this antagonises you (which suggests something deeply at work in you that rejects discussion of all this), I will stop poking this particular pig in this particular instance of that general pattern in this particular post, though I will tell you again when I see you doing it again. But I hope that, even though you continue to dismiss these incidents as immaterial and unimportant, you will at least register that they keep coming up – that there is nothing isolated about these incidents. And I hope that, when you do fall so badly that you do notice it, you won’t reverse the idea of moral luck into this rationalisation: “hey, nobody could have known that, it’s sheer luck that casual imprecision had such bad results this time, so it’s a good practice after all”. But you should know what happens to the pitcher that goes too often to the well.

                In baseball parlance, this is strike two since I started noting them openly. It could well be many more than three until you fall over, but you will, Oscar, you will.

  4. Is “indecent exposure” a crime for the female anatomy too? Are women who expose parts of their body deliberately treated as criminals or sexual deviants the way men who flash their penises do? Have women been convicted of indecent exposure or similar crimes? If not, the male nipple “privilege” stands.

  5. I would not be,surprised if Liam Neeson was attempting to innoculate himself against a charge of racism; sort of in the spirit of Amazing Grace – I was once lost, but now I’m found.

    It appears he was trying to use some sort of plot line to show how racism is in all privileged people and how he overcame that sinister force of evil. In short, he fought some natural impulse and he is so woke he wants to let the world know that through his experience he can lead the rest out of the wilderness of their own inherent racist beliefs.

  6. I visited my mother over the weekend–she lives over 200 miles away–and was in the car driving back home on Sunday evening during the game. The traffic was as light as I’d ever seen.

    I commented to Mrs. Zechman (the one married to me, not the one who gave birth to me) that the drive home was so easy that we should drive home during the Super Bowl every time we visit, even on holidays!


    • I noticed the same lack of traffic driving home from taking my grand daughter to see “La Traviata” on Sunday afternoon, Dwayne. Few if any over the road trucks were out, come to think of it. Delightful.

  7. 1. And thanks to you for finally convincing me to stop watching.
    2. May Liam become an unwitting ethics hero by helping society recognize our minds go to some very dark places at times.
    3. Uh, Jack, there’s a very helpful hand in there pointing the way.

    • I don’t really feel sorry for Liam Neeson. He went wandering around with a club to attack someone based on a racial description? He had no idea who they were, he just decided to attack someone based on skin color? That is some serious anger management problems and some serious racial issues. I understand the rage, but to go out wanting to attack what is in effect, a random person over it is scary. I mean, I understand it, I had those type of anger issues in junior high school, but most people work through those in adolescence. I know that he wanted the person to give him a reason, but how much of a reason was he going to require? Was he going to only attack if it was necessary, until it was legally justified, or use a lesser standard? Those three are not the same.

      • I wonder whether the whole tale is fabricated to generate publicity for his current movie? It just strikes me as being as contrived as his movies’ plots.

        • That is also what I am wondering. Who would actually do something like that? If you did, would you reveal it on national TV knowing what would happen to you. It would be one thing to reveal it in a support group or therapy session, but on national TV?

          • Except that the LA premiere has been cancelled over this issue and some are actually calling for him to be digitally removed from the upcoming Men in Black movie. If it is a publicity stunt, it misfired badly.

  8. 1.If the NFL is wise they’ll look to the classical crossover community for their anthem singers and Nashville for their halftime acts going forward. A nation can’t be praised and a crowd can’t be entertained by those who have contempt for both.
    2. When I was in college I said openly that I wanted to walk through Provincetown with a club on my shoulder – I was a dumb 19yo guy in the 1980s. I’m also not dumb enough to repeat it now many years later.
    3. You said it all.

    • 1. I think those sorts musicians appeal to demographics – older and rural people – who the NFL would like to leave behind them. They’re probably more interested in international audiences than in heartland America today.

      • The NFL isn’t the NBA. They know a big chunk of their audience is vets, Republicans, and small-town America. They’d be idiots to discard them in the name of just trying to attract the young, hip, and darker-skinned. If the NFL really wanted to move away from their core audience they’d have made damn sure Krappernick got signed.

  9. Why on earth are you always commenting on whether or not someone is a has-been in the eyes of Jack Marshall? Why does that matter? Even if they were at the top of their game, you would argue that their opinion doesn’t matter because they are entertainers, so cut it out. It’s just a cheap way to further denigrate someone with whom you don’t agree.

    Okay, on to nipple gate. Let me preface this with saying that I am a very modest person. Even in my youth, I was more comfortable in a one-piece than a two-piece at the beach. I frequently change in a dressing room at the gym – not the open locker area. My friends frequently poke fun at me for this. With that being said, of course it is a double standard! Your analysis – if you can call it that – was as follows: “Civilized society permits some parts of the male anatomy to be exposed in public, while some parts of the female anatomy are not considered appropriate for public display. The system has worked pretty well.” But you never asked yourself, why or whether or not a change is needed.

    Heck, lots of outdated systems worked pretty well – until they didn’t – feudalism, slavery, etc. If you want to get out of tricky social issues to avoid the inevitable “I can’t believe the liberal mentioned slavery,” let’s go with technology. The United States Postal Service used to be the height of advancement – a letter could travel from New York to California in a matter of days. Unbelievable. Alternatively, if you had the cash and your message was urgent, you could send a telegram. That was our system for a hundred years. But then we got the fax machine. Then we got email, then text messages – to avoid your email getting glossed over in a full mailbox.

    So, let’s look at people going topless. Heterosexual women are attracted to men who have broad shoulders, a narrow waist, and a six-pack. That is way our brains are wired. So, whether an attractive man is shirtless at the beach, running on a jogging path, in a Firefighters calendar, or on stage at a sporting event, that is something that most women – and gay men – will find titillating (pun intended). But we women somehow, in a civilized society, manage to keep ourselves from attacking, raping, or even making inappropriate comments about them. So why can’t women go topless? Again, I do not want to go out without a top on, but why can’t I? In Europe (note, also civilized), public nudity is not a big deal at the beach. I have many friends who go to these beaches when they are abroad. Americans are prudes on this issue – myself included. But maybe we should question why that is, and examine whether or not a change would be the end to civilization.

    • 1. Because this is blog, it’s my opinion, and I give my opinion here on whatever the mood strikes me to give it on. How is that hard? Now, in the case of Abigail Breslin and Rosie Perez, the status of their careers are a matter of record. I mention that status because they are snagging cheap publicity via idiotic tweets about this topic, because its the only way they can pretend they are still celebrities. Alyssa Milano and Rosie O’Donnell are also in this category. I follow this stuff. Most people don’t even know who Rosie Perez and Abigail Breslin are.


      2. Well, you nicked two of my least favorite rationalizations: “They do it in Europe” (Everybody does it) and “It wouldn’t be the end of civilization” (“It’s not the worst thing.” Good job!

      • Pointing out that other cultures do it isn’t a rationalization, it is a matter of fact. It doesn’t make them better, but it also doesn’t make us better. You still didn’t ask why — just stated that this is the way we do it here.

        • it’s a rationalization to use that as authority. Why not point out what they do in Fiji? If you’re just pointing out as a factoid, why? You used it to suggest that the practice is reasonable, because they do it in Europe. They do lots of things in Europe. So what? We see things differently.

        • We’re better than Europe. God, do we really need to pick apart what Europe has been like for the last 100 years or so? The unbelievably dumb shit that they do, usually in the name of “progress” that has ended up being nothing more than cultural, financial, or literal suicide?
          Besides, if Europe is the shining beacon of progress and enlightenment, why don’t Frenchmen (and others) bathe?

      • I had to look them up. Rosie’s time has come and gone, she’s a peri-menopausal C-lister. Abigail Breslin is a former child star whose time has also come and gone (hoping this won’t be Jackie Evancho’s fate). Rosie O’Donnell? Alyssa Milano? Never liked the former, stopped caring about the latter well before Charmed.

        With respect, Jack, I think “they do it in Europe” is SLIGHTLY distinguishable from “Everybody does it.” Everybody does it just means something is common and doesn’t become ethical just because it’s common. They do it in Europe is more “Everybody who is smart/enlightened does it, and we wouldn’t want to appear dumb or unenlightened, would we?”

        • Yeah, but what makes it invalid is the same. Who does or how many do something in no way proves the value or legitimacy of doing it. A single person bucking the trend may be the one who is right.

    • Still Spartan asks:

      But we women somehow, in a civilized society, manage to keep ourselves from attacking, raping, or even making inappropriate comments about them. So why can’t women go topless? Again, I do not want to go out without a top on, but why can’t I? In Europe (note, also civilized), public nudity is not a big deal at the beach. I have many friends who go to these beaches when they are abroad. Americans are prudes on this issue – myself included. But maybe we should question why that is, and examine whether or not a change would be the end to civilization.

      There are two ways of examining this issue and many issues in general: one is the superficial or the surface examination. I call this ‘the contingent’.

      The other, is a depth approach. It involves deeper forms of thought and analysis and is more difficult, more demanding. I think it fair to say that we live in a time in which the superficial and the contingent reign.

      The issue here — at least this is how I would describe it — is that of ‘the pornographisization of culture’. As you notice, the purpose of public nudity display is to excite lust. As everyone knows, the same is true when the female body is uncovered. As evidenced by the history of the last 100-150 years this begins with small exposures; gathers momentum; and finally flowers in an openly pornographic culture.

      But it is fair to at least point out that this is not, not necessarily, civilized advance. True, it will depend on how one defines civilization and civilized processes. But pornography is generally recognized as brutal and barbaric. And a culture that comes under the sway of it could be fairly said to be captured in barbaric, not civilized, processes.

      What is ‘woman’ and what is ‘civilization’? These are two extremely important, and deeply interrelated topics. There is no civilization without woman. But this means really, that civilization has been built on the base of specific definitions of woman. Formerly, but far less now, there was a defined ‘metaphysics of the feminine’ and of course the female.

      The question you are asking — it is hard for me not to appear to insult you having read the depthless things you write — is one that could only be formed in an ignorant mind (and yes, I define ignorance and knowledge is certain specific senses as you might guess).

      It comes down to this though (a bold statement of the sort that I often feel I must make!): that when in a cultural process you pervert the woman, or put in another way when you expose her and remove the veil, as it were, that surrounds her being in the metaphysical dimension, you can be relatively assured that you are in a process of the destruction of womanhood and thus of civilization, and of civilization being overcome by barbarism.

      Naturally, I would have to define the specific civilizational processes that resulted in defining woman that have been part-and-parcel of the Occident until fairly recently. To make the definitions would also involve recovering them, accentuating them. This would involve bringing out dissident ideas that clang against ideas common in our present (and which infect us all).

      In order to understand why you — as a woman! — would come to a point of defending the reduction of your sex to pornographisization, and not being appalled that it is going on, nor grasping what its ramifications are for you, your daughters, all of us, and thus your civilization, is a topic that requires in-depth exposition.

      Difficult, but it can be done.

        • I understand your position and your view. But the whole purpose of a blog like this is to submit our ideas to review by people who look at things with different eyes.

          Also, I did not call you *stupid* — you do not seem stupid — I referred to you as depthless.

          It is I suppose insulting to refer to someone’s condition as forgivable because they cannot self-analyze, but this is how I see your condition. It is one shared with tens of thousands of women more or less like you.

          As to interaction: I invite you to interact! How interesting that could be. You refuse that of course, which is silly.

          But if you ever do change your mind . . . you know where to find me!

          PS: Not *racist* in the true and fair definition of the word. But something akin to ethno-chauvinist could be adapted. ‘Race-realist’ is also a good term.

    • “ut we women somehow, in a civilized society, manage to keep ourselves from attacking, raping, or even making inappropriate comments about them. So why can’t women go topless?”
      Well, looks like someone neglected to have “the talk” with you, so I’m gonna take one for the team.
      See, men and women, no matter how many Progs try to force-feed us this castrating “toxic masculinity” bool-shite, are fundamentally different, all the way to the most sub-conscious, reptilian parts of our brains, and that circuitry that cannot be shamed or wished out of existence is bathed in an anabolic/androgenic steroid called testosterone. It is sex in liquid form, and can make any biped with a pulse want to copulate with anything else with a pulse, especially when things like primary or secondary sexual organs are put on display.
      Want to try a fun experiment? Get yourself about 0.5mL of testosterone cypionate from your endocrinologist, and inject it into your thigh. In about 2 days, you will have your answer. It will be a lesson neither you nor your significant other will ever forget.

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