This song is about ethics, right?
Well, to me it is…
1. Unethical non-traditional casting. Harvey Fierstein is playing Bella Abzug on Broadway. I know that Harvey, being a very large, undisguisably gay, 65-year old actor with a voice that sounds like he gargles piranha, has a tough time finding outlets for his acting and comic ability (he can be terrific, as he was in his Emmy-winning performance in “Torch Song Trilogy”), but that’s no reason to take it out on the late New York Congresswoman. Abzug was a woman, and being a woman was central to her career, appeal, legend, and legacy. She was not, to say the least, an attractive woman, but that does not mean that it is fair or respectful to cast a 275 pound unattarctive MAN to play her on Broadway. Feirstein is an LGBTQ activist and icon, but he’s ethically confused here.
2. Trump shouldn’t have backed down from holding the Group of 7 Summit at the Trump luxery golf club in Miami. Apparently he did so because Republican members of Congress complained about it, and they complained about it because they knew it would spark more bogus accusations of Emoluments Clause violations (Impeachment Plan C).
Any and every negotiations specialist will tell you that holding a meeting of adversaries in your own territory is a massive advantage. That is why such meetings are often held in Switzerland, or other neutral sites. Holding the Summit at a Trump property makes the President stronger at the meeting, and that benefits the country.
It would have been nice—responsible, educational, fair, honest—if the news media explained this basic principle to the public, but it doesn’t want to justify the President’s decisions or find benign reasons for them. It is in thrall to “the resistance,” and doing a complete analysis of factors involved in a decision like where to hold the Summit just detracts from the effort to undermine President Trump and characterize him as a corrupt and crooked fascist who must be removed from office at all costs.
Republican joined the ignorant stampede because, unfortunately, they aren’t very bright, or very brave. Thus the U.S. voluntarily forfeited a diplomatic advantage because Republicans couldn’t articulate why there was nothing sinister, and much advantageous, about a world leader holding a meeting at a property that bears his name.
3. “Mr. Mercedes” ethics. Now in its third season, the David Kelley-produced cable series based on Stephen King’s Bill Hodges trilogy ( “Mr. Mercedes,” “Finders Keepers,” and “End of Watch”), gave its audience a very warped version of “justice” that it implied was an ethical one. It isn’t.
Brady Hartsfield is a deranged serial killer who disrupts a community by deliberately driving his car into a crowd of people at a jobs fair. At his trial, a woman, Lou Linklatter, with whom he had been romantically involved, walks up to him with a 3-D printed gun and shoots him in the head. At her trial, her lawyer essentially argues that the maniac “needed killing,” and, absurdly, that this was not premeditated murder (despite the fact that she carried a loaded plastic gun past the security scanners), but a spontaneous crime of passion, and one that the community should applaud, not punish.
The jury, accepting part of this jury nullification defense, finds her only guilty of second degree murder. Then the judge, after a moving plea from private detective Bill Hodges, who captured Hartsfield arguing that a good person saved the community from a bad one, and no system of justice that the public can respect would punish its savior, sentences Lou to a long prison term, but suspends all of it. She is free. The spectators applaud.
Ridiculous, and ethically indefensible.
4. Why wouldn’t anyone trust Facebook? (I’m kidding.) Mark Zuckerberg, telling Congress that he hopes one day to have Facebook issue crypto-currency, said, “I believe this is something that needs to get built, but I understand we’re not the ideal messenger right now. I know some people wonder whether we can be trusted to build payment services that protect consumers.”
Ha! Last week, the Facebook CEO extolled free expression at Georgetown University, in defiance of Democratic politicians demanding that he take down “false and misleading information,” as opposed to the false and misleading information the mainstream media publishes to advance those same politicians’ agenda. Earlier, he had met with President Trump and Republican lawmakers deny that Facebook gives priority to liberal-leaning content.
I just tried to link on Facebook the post regarding the Houston Astros excecutive. It was rejected because the source—this source—does not conform to Facebook community standards. I’ve been trying to get the platform to address this for months.
No one should trust Facebook.
5. I don’t understand this at all. In 1955, the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till was pulled from a river where it had been dumped after the boy he had been kidnapped, tortured and lynched for looking at a white woman. In 2008, various memorials were raised in honor of Till, whose death continues to fuel the civil rights movement. The sign at the Tallahatchie River, however, marking where his body was recovered, location was stolen and thrown into the river. A replacement was riddled with bullet holes. A third was hit with more bullets. Now the community has erected a fourth sign, 500 pounds, made of inch-think steel and reputedly bullet-proof.
I don’t get it. Where is the sick culture that would prompt someone to deface such a sign in 2019 getting its strength and support? The U.S. culture as a whole is more pervasive, and stronger. I assume that the group of people who would deliberately attack a memorial to a young black man who was an innocent victim by any measurement is very small and a freakish outlier. I certainly hope it is.