Good morning! Good Afternoon!
I started this post at about 10 am, and again, and again, and each time another post topic intervened, pushing the daily Warm-Up from the beginning of the day to the end of it…
1. Yet another shield becomes a sword…Add caller ID to the list of useful developments ruined by unscrupulous technology. I was recently tricked by what my phone said was a call by the Social Security Administration, and it included a phone number that I had recently received a legitimate call from, via an agent. This call was a scam. Investigating, I found that there are inexpensive apps available at the Android and Apple app stores with no limitations on who can purchase them that have few if any legal of legitimate purpose. SpoofCard, TraceBust, Fake Call Plus and more allow a caller to enter any ID they choose, and any number. They also offer menus of background sounds, various voice pitches and other features to facilitate fraud.
When ethics fail, the law must step in, and these apps should be illegal.
2. Mona Lisa Ethics. “Leonardo’s painting is a security hazard, an educational obstacle and not even a satisfying bucket-list item. It’s time the Louvre moved it out of the way” shouted a New York Times sub-headline.” It’s hard to argue with the article’s conclusion….or its author’s contempt. Here’s a photo of the typical crowd in the Louvre’s room where the Va Vinci painting is exhibited:
The Times observes…
Content in the 20th century to be merely famous, she has become, in this age of mass tourism and digital narcissism, a black hole of anti-art who has turned the museum inside out…Relocated to the Richelieu painting wing, the Mona Lisa reduced the museum’s Flemish collection into wallpaper for a cattle pen, where guards shooed along irritated, sweaty selfie-snappers who’d endured a half-hour line. The overcrowding was so bad, the museum had to shut its doors on several days. “The Louvre is suffocating,” said a statement from the union of the museum’s security staff, who went on strike…[The author] went up with the crowds recently. Things were no better. Now, you must line up in a hideous, T.S.A.-style snake of retractable barriers that ends about 12 feet from the Leonardo — which, for a painting that’s just two and a half feet tall, is too far for looking… visitors…could hardly see the thing, and we were shunted off in less than a minute. …Pathetic new signs [read]: “The Mona Lisa is surrounded by other masterpieces — take a look around the room.”
Morons. These are the fruits of celebrity culture and the spread of the sick addiction to self-celebration. Taking selfies of an art masterpiece only has the objective of proving an idiot was there, for other idiots who are impressed. Meanwhile, those who might really appreciate the painting are prevented from doing so.
3. More on the Houston Astros cheating scandal. Reports out of Boston and New York implicate Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, in 2017 Astros bench coach, and newly named New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran, then the Astros DH, in the season-long sign-stealing the year the Astros ended up as World Champions. Cora has thus far refused comment, and Beltran denied the allegations. I wouldn’t oppose fines and even a suspensions for the two if their complicity were proven, but how far should the shared accountability go, and what should MLB’s policy be toward coaches and other team personnel when its management—in this case, Astros manager A.J. Hinch, approves a cheating scheme? Anyone who served as a whistleblower would be an instant and permanent pariah, like a police officer who “rats” on his fellow cops. What is a fair policy in such a culture?
4. Cultural airbrushing and trigger warnings from Disney: On its new streaming service, Disney feels it necessary to stain its past animated masterpieces with this warning:
“This program is presented as originally created. It may contain outdated cultural depictions.”
History isn’t “outdated.” and cultural artifacts from another era are not “outdated” either—they are from another era, and always should be watched with that in mind, but objectively, and without bias. It’s educational and provides perspective to see how earlier generations and their artists saw the world, especially before oppressive progressive censorship and threatened punishment intervened.
5. It should not surprise anyone to know that Jane Fonda is a totalitarian at heart. Octagenarian Jane, who finally may be having trouble getting acting gigs when she looks like one of the reanimated corpses played by Meryl Streeo and Goldie Hawn in “Death Becomes Her,” has now taken up residence in D.C. to make a protesting menace of herself.
On the debut of The Impeachment Show, the longtime Ho Chi Minh admirer said that there’s “literally a ticking time bomb over everything” (because of climate change, naturally), and claimed “our government is being ruled by fossil fuel” and that “democracy is teetering on the edge of collapse.” Her solution? Oil executives and enabling politicians “should all be tried for crimes against humanity and nature.” “So, you want to see sort of a Nuremberg trial for climate criminals?” her host “Yeah, I would,” answered Henry’s baby girl.