Suffering from low blog traffic hangover…
I know I complain about traffic here too much, but it’s the only place I where can complain about it. Either because of Trump Derangement, ethics apathy in a Nation of Assholes, my exile from NPR (for telling an undeniable truth that was accused of being a defense of Donald Trump), Facebook’s sabotage, or sunspots, Ethics Alarms readership is down significantly since the high point of 2016. Yesterday, the usually lively day of Tuesday did a credible imitation of Saturday, when tumbleweeds roll through here, and I can’t find any reason why. Kept me up much of the night, so now I’m going to be slow, cynical and cranky all day….
1. Speaking of a nation of assholes…Stephanie Wilkerson, the certifiably awful human being who kicked Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of the Red Hen restaurant, was given a forum (disgracefully) by the Washington Post to boast about her “resistance.” Of course she frames herself as a victim, then celebrates the fact that she received support from many Americans who are as hateful, bigoted, and un-American as she is. Depressingly, many of my Facebook friends “loved” or “liked” her nauseating column, which is nothing more nor less that a hard tug on the loose threads on the seams that hold our nation together. These phony advocates of “inclusion” actually favor discrimination and prejudice based on political affiliation and personal viewpoints, which is no less unethical and destructive than discriminating based on race, gender or creed.
Stephanie Wilkerson’s Post column marks her a fick, an individual who is unethical and proud of it.
But I would still serve her in my restaurant.
2. Here’s another topic I’m sick of writing about: We TV, that august cultural institution that features the beneath the bottom of the barrel reality show, “Mama June, From “Not” to “Hot.” is the latest product to use the hilariously clever device of implying variations of “fuck” in its marketing, because saying but not quite saying “fuck” is inherently witty and memorable. The word being so used by We is “flicks.” Get it??
3. Golf ethics. Casey Martin, a now -retired pro golfer who had a leg condition that made walking difficult, won a lawsuit against the PGA to compel it to allow him to use a golf cart in tournaments, even though other competitors were required to walk the course. He cited the misbegotten Americans With Disabilities Act, and the ruling demonstrated what’s misbegotten about it. Applying that law to professional sports is Bizarro World stuff, and Martin’s victory was a text-book example of the maxim, “hard cases make bad law”—except this shouldn’t have been hard.
If a physical handicap makes it difficult to play a professional sport, then the ethical approach is either to do the best one can, or do something else for a living. Forcing the sports organization to give you special accommodations to make it easier for you to play is unfair to the other players.
Nonetheless, for the first time since Martin retired, the PGA granted another “disabled” golfer to use a golf cart. This time it was problematical John Daly, the aging, alcoholic and now obese pro who qualified for this week’s PGA Championship at Bethpage Black because he won this tournament way back in 1991. Daly is arguably self-disabled, as he destroyed a promising career by his lifestyle and addictions. This is, as it was with Martin, a misapplication of the ADA, and Daly is unethical to take advantage of a bad precedent.
I see that Althouse also wrote about this (from a different angle) and a couple of the comments on her post depressed the hell out of me:
I don’t think it a big deal given that Daly is likely no threat to even make the cut, so I think the PGA can defend this on that alone.
See, it’s thinking like this that make me want to hurl myself into a woodchipper.
This is that idiotic and unethical “no harm, no foul” rationalization, # 8. The Trivial Trap or“No harm no foul!” to be precise. As it happens, I was watching a very old “Law and Order” episode in which a judge took a bribe to dismiss a murder prosecution. The District Attorney, Adam Schiff (Steven Hill) confronted the judge, an old friend, who said in his defense, “That family has so much money the defendant would have walked anyway.” Schiff looked at him in disgust and said, “That’s hardly the point,” and stalked out.
So many people, however, think that IS the point.
Here was the other quote:
“Babe Ruth had a kid to run the bases for him, well I knew somebody who knew somebody who knew Babe Ruth, and John Daly, you are no Babe Ruth.”
This is why disinformation and false narratives in the media and popular entertainment matter. Lazy, ignorant people believe them, and then spread them to others. No, you idiot, Babe Ruth did NOT have anyone run the bases for him. The rules of baseball don’t permit that, and never have. This was one of many outrageous gaffes in the awful Babe Ruth biopic “The Babe” starring John Goodman.
4. Don’t suspend it—burn it to the ground. Alpha Epsilon Pi, a fraternity at Hofstra University, has been placed on suspension after a video was posted on social meais showing members holding a puppy the dog upside down while they poured beer into his mouth.
Yes, the university is investigating and the national organization is investigating—never mind. This is signature significance. Any frat where such a horrible example of animal cruelty could take place has been infested with sufficient cultural rot that it cannot be trusted nor allowed to continue to exist. Fraternities and sororities too often degenerate into adaptations of “Lord of the Flies.” Little would be lost and much would be gained if all colleges just banned them.