Monday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/11/2019: Weenies, Bubba The Love Sponge, Fake Citizens, A Heroic Jaguar And Captain Marvel

Our hero! (Item #6)

Good Morning!

1. Synchronicity! Note that today’s first post and yesterday’s last one (on “peer pressure”) essay are integrally related. I had thought, or hoped, that the latter would prompt considerable discussion, but to the contrary: all commenting has seemingly dried up. Surely Facebook’s embargo can’t be THAT effective. Well, I’ve never understood the ebb and flow here, and lately I understand it less than ever.

2. Nah, Democrats don’t want open borders! While House Democrat  were in the midst of  passing HR1, the entirely symbolic “elections reform” bill that is an open admission that loose election controls elect Democrats,  Republicans  forced a vote on proposed language stating:  “Allowing illegal immigrants the right to vote devalues the franchise and diminishes the voting power of United States citizens.”

All but 6 Democrats voted against the addition. All but one Republican voted for it.

3. Stop making me defend Tucker Carlson! Media Matters, the one-way-only media watchdog that makes its opposite number “Newsbusters,” look like a paragon of objectivity by comparison, pulled a version of the Hader Gotcha! on Fox News pundit Tucker Carlson. Instead of unearthing old tweets to attack him, MM found audio of old interviews with Tampa shock jock “Bubba the Love Sponge” during  which Carlson made some less than nuanced comments that Media Matters pronounced “misogynist” and “sexist.” Some were; most were not. Media Matters, like the party it swears allegiance to, is addicted to gender-baiting: Carlson’s belief that rape shield laws “totally unfair” is a valid opinion that many non-sexists, including me, agree with.

To Tucker’s credit, he responded to Media Matters’ hit with this statement: mailed to the Washington Post:

“Media Matters caught me saying something naughty on a radio show more than a decade ago. Rather than express the usual ritual contrition, how about this: I’m on television every weeknight live for an hour. If you want to know what I think, you can watch. Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why.”

Adds Althouse, “I’m resistant to getting excited about something somebody said years ago because somebody is telling me that’s what everyone is supposed to get excited about today.”

4. Speaking of Althouse...she does an epic job taking apart Democratic hopeful John Hickenlooper, until recently Governor of Colorado, who exposed himself on “Face the Nation” yesterday as a mealy-mouthed weenie who if he lasts until the debates, will be this cycle’s version of Lincoln Chaffee.

Here’s the cringe-producing transcript. Hickenlooper isn’t just mealy-mouthed (Ann’s description), he’s a coward. He wants to run as a moderate but is afraid to say he’s a moderate, choosing instead to argue against “labels.” The best is this part:

GOV. HICKENLOOPER: Well try- if I’ve tried to avoid this all the labeling that goes on. You know, I mean…. I’m running for president because I believe I could beat Donald Trump… but I also believe that can bring us together on the other side and begin getting stuff done. And that’s one thing I think that I bring to the table is I’m a doer. I’m not someone who’s- I mean I’m a dreamer too and I- I believe in big visions….

Snarks Althouse, most appropriately: “A doer who’s a dreamer, a dreamer of big visions. In his dreams, he beats Donald Trump. Noted. “

5. The word is “grandstanding.From CBS News:

“High school senior Jordan Nixon was confident she would get into a few schools. But she was shocked as the acceptance letters piled up — she’s gotten in to 39 colleges and universities so far. Her high school in Douglasville, Georgia, said no other student at the school has ever gotten this many acceptances. “The crazy thing is, I’m still waiting on decision letters, but I was not expecting that at all,” 17-year-old Nixon told CBS Atlanta affiliate WGCL-TV. Nixon applied to about 50 schools all together, and she didn’t just choose them on a whim. She specifically researched schools that are diverse and have her desired major: International Business…”It’s shocking, each and every time, you’re taken aback every time you open one,” Nixon said. 

I suspect that no other student has gotten 39 acceptances because no other student who was qualified to go to college has been so foolish as to apply to 50 schools. I know there’s a fee to apply, but this is just narcissism, grandstanding and wasting lots of people’s time in order to get cheap publicity or to indulge in a self-esteem rush. Why hasn’t she chosen the school she wants to attend and withdrawn the applications to the schools she knows she doesn’t want to attend?

6. A heartfelt Ethics Alarms salute to the jaguar who clawed an idiot trying to take a selfie at the Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium and Safari Park.  The woman crossed a concrete barrier to get a really cool shot, and as a result traumatized the cat, closed down the exhibit, and got her arm ripped up. (Good.) The woman’s name isn’t being released, and like the rape shield policies, anonymity for morons too reckless and stupid to be allowed to visit zoos is also unfair. The public has a right to know the names of the worst idiots among us so we can give them a wide berth.

7. Comment of the Day on a topic that I have a crippling aversion to...the topic being super-hero movies. For some weird reason, the Marvel film giving B league super-hero Captain Marvel a sex-change has been turned into a cultural battle-ground for feminism. Commenter Michael R, in comments to Saturday’s Open Forum, raised a matter of which  I was completely unaware:

“Has anyone followed the censorship/fake news/propaganda machine surrounding the Captain Marvel movie? It just seems insane. Rotten tomatoes cut off the ability of people to indicate that they were interested in seeing the movie when that indicator went under 20%. When the movie came out, the reviews were overwhelmingly negative from the fans (and even the paid shill critics only gave it luke-warm reviews). Then, Rotten Tomatoes purged 54,000 reviews, but the rating only went up from 35% positive to 39% positive. Then, bots for Disney seem to have posted thousands of identical, positive reviews. YouTube changed Captain Marvel searches to News-only, pushing everything but mainstream media videos down the search listing. News organizations have published articles claiming that posting a negative review of a Captian Marvel is ‘trolling’ and is wrong. Articles were published that said that Disney is right to censor negative opinions about the movie. Progressives have been even demanding federal legislation to force people to watch movies they were told they weren’t welcome at.

“Why a full-court press to cover for a movie based on a comic book that has never been successful and had to be rebooted 8 times in the last 20 years? I think it is because the Progressives in Hollywood can’t take another failure. They killed Star Wars (all Star Wars movies are cancelled). They killed the Star Trek movies (although the Picard thing isn’t sure yet). They may have killed the Star Trek TV series. If they kill Marvel movies, who will fund Hollywood? These movies depend on Chinese investors to fund them, Hollywood doesn’t use its own money to make movies, it risks investor money and the investors aren’t getting a return lately. The whole Progressive idea of “The number of fans for (insert genre) is less than the number of non-fans. If we put Progressive non-fans in charge of (insert genre), then non-fans will come watch the genre they haven’t been interested in because they can see the Progressive ideology that everyone loves.” has not worked. We now can see that the entire news and internet media are willing to subvert the truth and their own platforms just to cover for a bad movie. What are they willing to do for something important?”

This is so weird that I suspect it’s all true (especially since Michael R.’s record of accuracy is impeccable.) His last point, or course, is the key.

31 thoughts on “Monday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/11/2019: Weenies, Bubba The Love Sponge, Fake Citizens, A Heroic Jaguar And Captain Marvel

  1. Re 7: Michael is right, I’m more in tune with the culture wars in the ‘net and it always surprises me slightly that people are not at least vaguely aware of these things.

    As for calling Captain Marvel a B-list superhero. Well, he (in the comics mythos) is supposed to be one of the key elements in defeating Thanos. Even Carol Danvers (the gender-swapped version, but still a cool character on her own) could have fulfilled that role in the MCU. So now we have the same explosive mix as with Gamergate, Star Wars sequels, etc: a mix of disappointed fans (raises hand), culture warriors from the right, and out-and-proud misogynists all opining that the movie is terrible. And the powers-that-be are using this last group to illegitimately silence the first two, only feeding to the fire.

    But in conclusion, I take offense to calling Captain Marvel B-list. 😛

  2. When I first heard about the Jaguar incident my first concern was for the cat. Far too often when animals do what wild animals do when stupid humans are involved they come out on the short end of the stick and are euthanized.

    Given that ethical behavior requires a concious choice and the cat was merely reacting, the ethics hero in this case truely belongs to the human that chose not to euthanize the jaguar.

    On the peer pressure issue: Peer pressure can work both ways so those expectations on the left that peer pressure is a winning strategy could find that the strategy can easily be used by the right

    Whether it is an app or a sticker that says I voted the choice to vote and for whom cannot be known unless you tell someone. When my peers start excluding me or pressuring me they will cease to be in my peer group. That has been my practice since I was in grade school.

  3. re: Captain Marvel – I’m thrilled this is on the table now – a part of the MCU. It opens the door for many more things, but primarily, with the Disney-Fox merger, I’m excited that we might possibly get a proper version of Rogue at some point in the next 2 decades.

    • I’m not sure which this is on the table you’re referring to.

      Michael’s right, Danvers is the least interesting Captain Marvel around. #1 is Billy Batson who had the name until the 70s, but DC lost a lawsuit against the bigger Marvel. The Marvel company wasn’t even named Marvel for the first decades of Shazam’s career. 2)Adam Warlock, alien male. He was the one to beat Thanos but why would that matter? 3)Monica Rambeau, a black woman in the 80s, but she was relegated to supporting child in the movie, 4) Ms Danvers, who is the weird feminist combo of the Hal Jorden origin and Linda Danvers appearance and 5) Kamala Khan, a muslim woman, whose intro reads more like a soap opera than superhero. #2 or #5 would have been far more progressive, but they picked the misandry one to make a movie. The geeks are doing some fascinating analysis. (Now I’m sorry missed it as an illness raged here)

      • To be “on the table” it has to be “seen on screen”. I made no comment about the quality of the film or the storytelling or the decisions they made. It’s on the table. I don’t know why you went ranking Captain Marvels like it matters.
        1) Billy Batson is now a DC property and Marvel couldn’t have made it.
        2) Adam Warlock is not a Captain Marvel and he’s been well teased in the GotG movies.
        3) Monica Rambeau was featured in the movie and is earning her future. You start somewhere and it makes more sense to utilize 1968’s Carol Danvers
        4) Ms Danvers – you got me, who is this? Are you referring to the scantily clad sex symbol Carol Danvers as Ms Marvel in the 70s?
        5) Kamala Khan – the 2014 creation that idolizes Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers – you want to put her on screen before Carol Danvers? No earned story?

        #5 is exactly what I’m talking about – You put Captain Marvel Carol Danvers on the table in the world and it paves the way for Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau and Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan.

        But I don’t care about those as much as I care about incorporating Rogue down the way.

    • Sorry, Tim. It wasn’t a “merger” – it was another giant step in the creation of an entertainment mega-monster. They can do whatever they want. Disney has never been known for being original, serious, grown-up or willing to listen to anything but money. Now that they own 40% of the box office. Read it and weep.
      And since then, they have fired/let go of almost every single one of the people who made all these acquisitions the forces in the entertainment industry that they were.

    • This has been going on for years. They are just now deciding they can get away with not hiding the process.

      The gaslighting continues (“these are not the search results you are looking for…”)

  4. Lions, Tigers and Jaguars. Oh no. It’s bad enough that insipidness emanating from Arizona generally and Phoenix in particular seems to make the national news and even The Daily Mail way too regularly. Now it’s making its way into Ethics Alarms. Sheesh. Depressing. Maybe Arizona is headed toward becoming dependably Democratic. Yikes. May be time to move.

  5. 2. Who are the six Democrats and the one Republican? The six deserve some respect and might want to consider switching parties before the tar and feather resistance crowd camps outside their homes. The one needs to join the party the six should be considering leaving.

  6. 6 One bright spot: Jaguar-snack woman returned to the zoo, apologized, and admitted she was wrong. What should be done, of course, but hat we don’t seem to see done all that often.

    • Did she say she was wrong to criticize the zoo for not making the barrier easier to circumvent? I saw her make that accusation on my local news.

  7. Regarding Captain Marvel:

    I used to read a lot of comics. Never got into Avengers, liked the X-Men, and really followed the Fantastic Four; those three franchises have produced films of quality in the inverse proportion to my interest in their comics.

    (Spider-Man fits in a whole different category, as do the various films.)

    This controversy is silly. People may complain about ways the movie diverges from the comics. I really DO NOT CARE. The movies are not the comics, but they have done a remarkable job of replicating the comic book experience. But, actors age and people can only be resurrected for so long (but CG may change that); this is the comic book world writ small.

    I have liked the incorporation of the comic book storylines, but I try to look at the ways they differ as simply a new storyline that is not to be judged by the source material.

    Some nerdy examples:

    Ultron was created by Michael Douglas (Hank Pym) from Ant-Man and went through many evolutionary forms in the comics (they got up to Ultron-16, or something).

    In the movies, stark made Ultron in an attempt to protect against world invasion as seen in the Avengers movie. Ultron still wanted to evolve, but he us now gone for good (I think).

    The Shocker showed up briefly in the recent Spider-Man movie and probably will never be seen again.

    The Mandarin showed up in Iron Man 3, but showed up as basically a PR campaign. He was not a real villain.

    Klaw showed up as a character in Avengers 2 and Black Panther (I recall). He may never show up as his comic villain persona, but he was used in the storylines where he appeared in the comics.

    And, yes, the Captain Marvel movie uses one iteration of the character. This is likely the only one we will ever see.

    And, that’s fine. These are movies. They are not the comic books. Forget what you knew, and focus on what you see.


    • That’s good advice regarding any adaptation from one medium to another. I remember trying to explain that to all the Stephen King fans who hated Kubrick’s adaptation of “The Shining.”

  8. I am not a huge fan of superhero movies, but my girls begged me to take them to see Captain Marvel. My almost 9 year-old was jumping up and down in her seat with excitement during the fight scenes. Normally, she doesn’t like these types of movies. I think seeing a female as the hero resonated with her. My 10 year-old loved it too — but she is not a good test case as she likes these movies generally. I thought the movie was fine — not as good as Iron Man or Black Panther, but a click above most. And nothing is as good as Spiderverse.

  9. Jack you are the best. You and Ann Althouse are the only ones presenting news, commentary, and analysis in a fair-minded fashion. Keep up the great work. I tell everyone about this site, to try to drive traffic to it.

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