Sunday Ethics Reflections, 5/5/2019: Whew! Barely Got Three Items In Before My Head Exploded…

 

I’m writing this bleary-eyed, in large part because our 15-year-old Jack Russell Terrier chose 3 am  to demand that we play what we call “The Bisky Game” –I don’t know what he calls it—a diversion of his own invention that involves tossing or nosing a dog biscuit at the nearest human, barking sharply two to four times, and demanding that the treat be flipped back to him, whereupon he will reject it by growling, barking, and tossing it back, until some mysterious force tells him that the game is over, whereupon he eats the damn thing. Usually this takes between five and ten tosses, but last night Rugby went for a record, and rejected his biscuit at least 15 times. Finally he ate it, licked my arm for about five minutes–a pre-bedtime tradition— and  went to sleep.  I did not.

1.  Live by bigotry, die by bigotry. “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson, who got her big break in part because Marvel decided to turn a traditionally male superhero into a female, has pandered to social justice warriors and progressive bigotry in just about every way possible.  During the promotion of the hit film,  she said wanted more people of color to review her films, not white men. [ The ethical position would be to want competent reviewers to review the film, recognizing the competence is color-blind.) She that she doesn’t care what old white men thought of films that weren’t made for  them. She has said that we need more gay superheroes. Funny: as long as I’m being rescued and the world is being saved, I don’t care what the color, gender or sexual orientation of my hero is. How old white man of me.

Now, taking the grandstanding, virtue-signaling actress at her word—almost always an unwise thing to do when dealing with performers, someone has launched a  petition demanding,  “We need Brie Larson to step down from her role to prove she is an ally of social justice and ensure a gay woman of color plays the role.”

As of this writing, the petition currently has nearly tripled  its 3,000 signature goal. Good. Heck, I might sign it . Everyone should be required to abide by their publicly proclaimed principles, though such a rule would mean that Joe Biden would vanish from the face of the Earth. [Pointer: RedState ]

2. From the Ethics Alarms “Denial” and ” What is this ‘Accountability’ thing of which you speak?” files: professors Ethan Porter of George Washington University and Thomas J. Wood of Ohio State University have determined that when comedian Jon Stewart departed “The Daily Show,” its ratings fell, and this, they say, “spurred a 1.1% increase in Trump’s county-level vote share.” This from what passes today for a scholarly  paper, “Did Jon Stewart Elect Donald Trump? Evidence From Television Ratings Data” published in the journal Electoral Studies.

Kyle Smith of “The National Review” points out what should be obvious about this junk science…

Hillary Clinton’s defenders will never stop making excuses for why she lost in 2016: It was Matt Lauer! It was James Comey! It was men being sexist! It was women being sexist! It was voter suppression! It was Citizens United! It was fake news! It was WikiLeaks! It was Facebook! It was the Russians!…Correlation does not prove causation… Detecting polling movement of 1.1% may sound like a modest, defensible claim, but it is a massive number for a presidential election in which Trump won Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin by less than 1%….But how big of an influence could Stewart have been, considering the average audience for his top-10 most-watched episodes of “The Daily Show” was less than 3 million people — not even 1% of the population and not all of them of voting age? Anyway, under Stewart’s successor, Trevor Noah, the new “Daily Show” only sank about 30% in the ratings (before it ticked up after that). …So losing Stewart cost “The Daily Show” not even 1 million viewers per night in a country with 300 million citizens. I’m kinda skeptical that Stewart’s Obama-worshipping audience suddenly lost interest in turning up to vote because they could no longer watch Stewart make mock-horrified faces at out-of-context sound bites.

Ya think?

3.  Ah, those committed, wise beyond their years student activists!  Oops! My tongue just broke through my cheek! Apropos to the last earlier post about student protests,  MSNBC reporter Savannah Sellers interviewed two students, 12 and 13, who took part in a New York City protest demanding climate change measures.

“So, I’ve been skipping school for eleven weeks now and, it is a sacrifice that we have to make because we are missing important things but we realize that if we don’t skip this school we might not have a future,” said one of the students.

The responsible questions to ask at this point were, “Why are your parents allowing you to skip school all that time? How exactly does your skipping school advance the cause of addressing climate change?”

Nah. Remember, this is MSNBC.

Sellers then asked the second student about what kind of political action she was seeking.

“So it kind of makes me think that in the 2020 election I’m scared for my future, I’m scared that the politicians won’t be declaring a climate emergency, won’t be taking climate action,” she said. “That’s why, because I can’t personally vote, and I’m begging my parents to vote for the candidate that wants climate action that wants to make sure fossil fuel companies don’t have taxes on them, I want like, I want change and I hope my parents do too.”

This is the kind of answer that reminds us why education is more important than protesting about things you barely know anything about.

“Well it’s amazing that you guys are doing this,” Sellers responded, just like any 12 or 13-year old might.

KABBOOM!

There goes my head…

 

29 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Reflections, 5/5/2019: Whew! Barely Got Three Items In Before My Head Exploded…

  1. I am quite respectful and certainly admire the young folks willing to sacrifice and commit to change that they have so eloquently spoken of. That is a risky business and both are quite intelligent and certainly clever. In my day I had to feign some obscure illness to miss a day or two of school. They have adroitly managed to catch the progressive unicorn and turn it to their advantage. Undoubtedly a solid A+ is awaiting this semester for their devotion to a cause du jour. A nice “community service” that will appeal to the “adults.” Good work, kids! Played well!

      • I will make an assumption that the educators will probably advance them an extra grade for their work or give them an Al Gore Scholarship.

        • Just once I’d like to see a reporter who is trained in writing push back. The kid said she is begging her parents to vote for a “candidate that wants climate action, that wants fossil fuel companies don’t have taxes on them.” Does this child really want fossil fuel companies to pay no taxes? This is how the can grow up and say things like “court ordered surveillance” ala James Comey, as distinguished from court approved surveillance.

          No one ever pushed Comey on his statement and is technically a lie.

        • It is called service-learning. It is a big thing. They probably will get A’s in their classes because their ‘service learning’ will take the place of what they should be learning in the classroom.

          • When I taught it was called “Community Commitment Program” and was an elective, but kids loved it based on the options presented. Of course, the intrusive government stepped in: Can’t do the animal shelter – liability. Can’t clean up a baseball field – liability and needles. Can’t work in a food pantry even on days when they were closed – may have “seen” someone who takes a handout. I’ll jump to a conclusion again and say that those still stand, but “approved” political activism is certainly acceptable. With “approved” being the key word.

  2. RE #2: or, it could be that politics notwithstanding, Jon Stewart is actually funny, and Trevor Noah is not.

  3. Re: #1

    While Brie Larson seems obnoxious, I don’t see it as that big a deal that they put Carol Danvers in as Captain Marvel. She was a character in that storyline and was involved with the male Captain Marvel.

    This is just like putting Scott Lang in as Ant-Man. He was not the original, but Hank Pym, the original, still appeared in the movie.

    Interestingly enough, the black female Captain Marvel, Monica Rambeau, did appear in the movie as the daughter of Captain Marvel’s friend. I don’t know if that was what the petition was getting at, or not; just found it interesting.

    As I suggested before, that is why I don’t want to stick too close to the source materials. Appreciate the changes from the source material, and appreciate the similarities, as well.

    -Jut

    • I believe Monica was in a a trapdoor option. You meet kid Monica in the movie in 1995, so at the time of the Avengers’ movie Monica will be the ‘right’ age to be a hero (and Carol now has a benchmarked age close to 50, way too old for Brie to want to be aged,,,) I haven’t signed it, but I am tempted, more because Brie is going out of her way to alienate the paying demographic and now won’t have Endgame hysteria to boost admission for her next movie.

  4. I wouldn’t be surprised if this petition is revealed to be alt right trolling, which invalidates it, since nobody from the right can have an opinion on anything. Since it’s actually alt right gaslighting, and not a serious progressive proposal, Brie Larson’s career is saved and she’s free to ride that gravy train for years to come.

    • Nothing is sweeter than using Alinsky against progressives.

      What is funny is that progressives are doing similar things to themselves without help from the right.

  5. Re #1. While Capt Marvel was originally portrayed as male, Carol danvers has been around a very long time. See the Wiki article for a brief synopsis; Carol Susan Jane Danvers is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Gene Colan, Danvers first appeared as an officer in the United States Air Force and a colleague of the Kree superhero Mar-Vell in Marvel Super-Heroes #13 (March 1968). Danvers later became the first incarnation of Ms. Marvel in Ms. Marvel #1 (cover-dated January 1977) after her DNA was fused with Mar-Vell’s during an explosion, giving her superhuman powers. Debuting in the Silver Age of comics, the character was featured in a self-titled series in the late 1970s before becoming associated with the superhero teams the Avengers and the X-Men. The character has also been known as Binary, Warbird and Captain Marvel at various points in her history. Danvers has been labeled “Marvel’s biggest female hero”,[2] and “quite possibly Marvel’s mightiest Avenger”.[3][4] In 2012, Danvers’ incarnation of Ms Marvel was the highest ranked female character (at #11) on IGN’s list of the “Top 50 Avengers”.

  6. Regarding your prologue. I know it’s annoying when dogs decide to do something wacky in the middle of the night. I used to be irked when Lucky would decide to bark at air at 1 AM or scratch to go outside so I would get up from the computer desk, giving him the chance to jump on the chair and see if I left any crumbs on the desk.

    Now, I can’t tell you what it would mean to me to be able to let him out or hear that weird howl of his.

    But, I know you know all this. Sorry Rugby wanted to play right then, but you were a good pet parent to indulge him.

  7. Carol Danvers has been Captain Marvel for over 6 years, not to mention that the second Captain Marvel was female (Monica Rambeau, as JutGory mentioned) way back in 1982, and of the 5 “real” Captain Marvels (not counting a short-lived Skrull imposter or an unrelated character who went by the same name), three of them have been female.

    The role has a long history of being filled by people of different races, sexes, and species. It’s unfair to call it pandering or a sudden change of course.

    • Point of order! The sentence was, “Captain Marvel” star Brie Larson, who got her big break in part because Marvel decided to turn a traditionally male superhero into a female, has pandered to social justice warriors and progressive bigotry in just about every way possible.” I said Larson has been pandering, not Marvel, though Marvel HAS been pandering for decades. And if turning Thor into a girl isn’t pandering, I don’t know what is.

      Note also that I didn’t say when Marvel changed Captain Marvel’s gender. The sentence as written was fair and accurate.

      • Point of order reversal! while you were – technically – accurate, it borders on deceit to imply connection between a female captain marvel and the casting of Brie Larsen, since they’re disconnected by about 30 years. You can also hardly say a character is traditionally male when the role gender flips constantly.

        I think this is a case where your ignorance of the source material is impeding your analysis (not that you’re alone in that boat). The recent storyline where a woman wields the hammer of Thor got media attention as a big feminist/SJW move, but it’s nothing new. The mantle of Thor has also been held by a frog (Throg) and a space horse (Beta Ray Bill), just off the top of my head.

        Marvel and DC are on endless quests to put new twists on old characters. Trying to use a single storyline as evidence the company is pushing a particular social narrative is a stretch.

        • Luke, Marvel has directly stated that it is pushing a social narrative. Of course, more busty women in tights won’t bother its main audience of adolescent boys, but still—why did Marvel make an issue of the Punisher’s sexual orientation? Who cares about the sexual proclivities of super-heroes? That was pandering. The creation of T’Challa was pandering.

          Your defense is admirable, but come on. From Wikipedia: At the time of the publication of Ms. Marvel #1 in 1977, the title was self-consciously socially progressive for its time. This was reflected in the use of the word “Ms.”, then associated with the feminist movement,[2] and in Danvers fighting for equal pay for equal work in her civilian identity.

          Hmmm…1977…what was going on in 1977? Oh, right: THIS;

          The differences between these two groups—feminists and conservatives—came to a head in 1977 in Houston. Inspired by a well-received, United Nations-sponsored event from two years prior, President Gerald Ford had established a national commission to investigate women’s issues, and Congress later voted to provide $5 million to fund the organization of regional conferences and a national gathering as the conclusion. The result of these efforts was the National Women’s Conference.

          The conference was meant to unite all women and give them an opportunity to voice their hopes for the future of the government. Instead, the conference became a battleground, with Schlafly declaring it to be “Federal Financing of a Foolish Festival for Frustrated Feminists.” Schlafly led a counter-rally of 15,000 “pro-family” supporters, who proudly announced that they had paid their own way rather than relying on Congressional funding. The rally took place just five miles from the National Women’s Conference, and included pronouncements against abortion, lesbian rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. The sudden visibility of Schlafly’s counter-protest and her vocal followers led to a schism in political support for the women’s rights movement that has continued to this day.

          [Read more: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/1977-conference-womens-rights-split-america-two-180962174/#cYo2fqxodaqkjXlL.99%5D

          Marvel was taking sides. That’s fine, but it still changed the gender of the original character to be “hip” and try to cozy up to the activists and their supporters. You can’t say it was just a normal development in comic book land.

          • Carol Danvers as “Ms. Marvel” was a sidekick/secondary character to “Captain Marvel,” who was still in existence in his original male alien identity. She wasn’t a gender swap. Then, in the 80s, a different woman entirely took on the Captain Marvel name (they killed off the original as part of an AIDS awareness storyline). Then a few more aliens held the role and/or took the name but had different powers, while Danvers had a few other superhero identities. Then she eventually became Captain Marvel (for now). I think you’re collapsing a long timeline for the sake of drawing convenient conclusions about cause and effect.

            • It wasn’t a gender realignment, but making “Captain Marvel” a woman is certainly a gender swap. But never mind that: explain how 1977 was just coincidentally the year they decided to make the Captain a “Ms.”

      • What I took issue with in your statement (though did not make of a point of it), was “turn a traditionally male superhero into a female. “Turn” and “traditionally” are the tricky words. While Captain Marvel was originally male, using a 50 year old character (Danvers), who eventually assumed that name, years after another female already did, seems uncontroversial. Also, given the way she appears to be used in the overall storyline, the original Captain Marvel would have been out of place. I think they needed a human Captain Marvel; the original would not have worked.
        -Jut

        • Agreed. And to add, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pretty consistent in using the characters as they are in their current comic iterations (doubtless to sell more comics). If you put an alien guy named Mar-Vell into the movies and then viewers head to their local comic shop to check him out only to be told “sorry, he’s been dead since the 80s, here’s some blonde chick who’s doing that now” they get confused and don’t buy anything.

  8. Ah, those committed, wise beyond their years student activists! Oops! My tongue just broke through my cheek! Apropos to the last earlier post about student protests, MSNBC reporter Savannah Sellers interviewed two students, 12 and 13, who took part in a New York City protest demanding climate change measures.

    “So, I’ve been skipping school for eleven weeks now and, it is a sacrifice that we have to make because we are missing important things but we realize that if we don’t skip this school we might not have a future,” said one of the students.

    The responsible questions to ask at this point were, “Why are your parents allowing you to skip school all that time? How exactly does your skipping school advance the cause of addressing climate change?”

    why is there so much attention, o many protersts over mere climate science?

    Climate science is merely studying one planet in one corner of ther universe for a century- completely insignificant in cosmic terms.

    Why not protest for a solution to Quantum Gravity?

    Or the Black Hole Fireall Hypothesis?

    Or the Reimann Hypothesis?

    Or the Goldbach Conjecture?

    What could be the reason climate science draws activists, whie mathematics or astronomy does not?

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