Day Before The Night Before Christmas Ethics Package, 12/23/2019, Now UPDATED With The Meme I Stupidly Didn’t Post Despite Polling On It (Sorry!)

Merry Christmas!

TWICE yesterday store employees returned my “Merry Christmas!” with  a “Happy Holidays!” that was delivered in a tone that to my ear was intended to convey, “No, THIS is what you should say.” Both times, I was tempted to call them on it, but did not. Maybe I was being hypersensitive, maybe that wasn’t their intent…but of course it was. The next clerk or cashier who does that to me might get a “No, Merry Christmas. Do you have a problem with that?” back.  I’m that close…

1. ARGHH! “Baseball” censorship! Here’s another nauseating example of the capitulation to the word-banners. The MLB TV channel, which, like its satellite radio counterpart, is challenged to come up with programming this time of year. (The radio version held a quiz last week in which we were challenged to identify expressions of despair and horror as either coming from Cleveland Indians fan tweets about the trading of ace pitcher Corey Kluber, or from reviews of “Cats.”) Yesterday the channel was showing Ken Burns’ terrific documentary “Baseball.” In the segment on Ty Cobb, we were told about in infamous incident in which Cobb jumped into the stands to beat up an abusive fan, who, it turned out, had no hands. When the crowd shouted this fact at the infuriated player, he reportedly replied that he’d throttle anyone who called him “that” even if he had no legs. What was “that”? Why, it was that Cobb was a “half-BEEEEEEEEP!” Yes, a loud, high-pitched beep was injected into the narration instead of the word itself, which was in Burns’ original work (I own a copy.) Morons. If the word is  discernible from the context, then the beep equals the word, so just use the word. If it isn’t clearly indicated—and while I was pretty sure, knowing the story, but uncertain enough that I had to check—then it is incompetent to leave viewers wondering. Half-crazy? Half-wit? Half-lizard? Half-breed? No, Cobb was called “half nigger,” and the exact word is essential to understand the incident but also a key component of Cobb’s character. Did Burns approve the marring of his soundtrack? I doubt it.

This has got to stop.

2. Great: colleges are now free to bribe students to renege on their promises. In a proposed agreement announced this month in response to Justice Department antitrust accusations, the National Association for College Admission Counseling said it would allow its member college and university counselors to recruit students even after they have committed to another school and would permit members to encourage students to transfer after they have already enrolled. From the Times:

Now, colleges will be free to offer perks, like special scholarships or priority in course selection, to early-decision applicants, students who are less likely to need tuition assistance and use the process to secure a spot at their first-choice schools. …Institutions will also be able to continue recruiting students beyond a widely applied May 1 deadline that is typically imposed for students who have applied through a regular decision process and are considering offers based, at least in part, on financial aid packages.

The promises to commit to a school that gave you an early admission were never legally binding, just ethically binding. And they still are. Any college whose applicant reneges on such an agreement after being seduced by another college should send a letter telling him or her, “Thank you for voluntarily withdrawing your acceptance. Our school wants only students of good character, who are trustworthy, honest, and value integrity. Now that we know that you do not honor commitments, we realize that we erred in accepting you. We’re sure you will fit right in at the school you chose, however, and wish you the best in your years there.”

3. The “OK sign is a white supremacy dog-whistle” troll is really an idiot test…and it works! Fresh off the West Point and Annapolis investigations over the multiple OK signs that flourished among students at the Army-Navy game (Surprise! They were playing the old, infantile,”made you look!” game) is this story that is much, much dumber. Oak Park River Forest High School the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, is paying $53,794, to reprint the senior yearbook because it contained 18 photos in which an upside-down OK sign was shown by students and captured in a photo. What makes this flagrant waste of funds especially stupid is that the school admitted that  those shown using the gesture  included “students of various races, ethnicities, genders, and grades.” What makes it stupid stupid is that the photos were taken and approved “before the gesture was widely known to have any association with white nationalism.”

Brilliant. Schools Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt-Adams agreed  that the Oak Park River Forest students had not meant for the gesture to signal support for white supremacy, but it was still “not acceptable” because it could cause “trauma” to some students,and society has an obligation to protect all citizens from trauma even if it is based on ignorance and hyper-sensitivity.

All right, the last part was me, not her. Pruitt-Adams also said that the school’s pulping of the now dangerous yearbooks was motivated by a desire to be on the “leading edge” of the issue. In other words, this was virtue-signaling at a price tag of $53,794.

4.  Unethical? Divisive? Fearmongering? Here is the meme President Trump tweeted out last week in the wake of his sort-of impeachment:

Now, a poll:

My reactions, briefly: it is brilliant, true, fearmongering but regarding a legitimate fear, and utterly necessary. I am nor certain about whether Trump himself should be circulating it, but of course he would.

5. From the “Nah, the impeachment isn’t part of a coup attempt!” files: Yesterday New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick, whose magazine has been relentlessly attacking President Trump from the beginning of his tenure in office, told CNN’s “Reliable Sources”:

“The stakes here are immense. It’s not just about the political future of one man, Donald Trump. It’s about the future of democracy and democratic process, and this is a trend throughout the world. It’s about the future of the Earth.”

This is just a more elaborate way of saying what Rep. Al Green told the news media in May, that “if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.” The idea, as Remnick’s comments confirm, has been to find some way to remove Trump because of what he might do (because he’s evil, and also not a Democrat). That’s not what the Constitution says impeachment is for, of course.

Amusingly, Remnick also said, “We don’t understand why the evidence of things, why facts don’t penetrate so many of our brothers and sisters in the United States of America. And this is a source of great frustration for the press.” Actually, the fact that the Democratic Party/”resistance”/mainstream media effort to undo the election and remove this Presient without the inconvenience of an election has “penetrated” the “brothers and sisters” far more than Remnick and his allies thought possible.

18 thoughts on “Day Before The Night Before Christmas Ethics Package, 12/23/2019, Now UPDATED With The Meme I Stupidly Didn’t Post Despite Polling On It (Sorry!)

  1. On 3;

    To start this off, I don’t ascribe to the holy diocese of Progressivism, so I don’t put much stock in many of their theories, but “Cultural Appropriation Theory” has always hit me as particularly ill-conceived.

    Believing that cultural appropriation is 1) a thing, and 2) evil, deserving to be stamped out is both a misunderstanding of culture, and is an impossible standard to live up to. As with so many things, progressives pushing this theory have created a purity test that they themselves cannot live up to, and then flounder around like fish out of water in an attempt to delineate how *their* appropriation is good.

    The “OK” sign, or even “The Circle Game (or made-you-look)” are cultural artifacts, they might look the same, but context obviously matters, and while they might be newer bits of culture, and we might not take them as seriously, they are every bit as legitimate as any other cultural artifact you could name. “dreadlocks”, in the cultures they came from, were never restricted by skin tone until progressives decided that white people couldn’t style their hair that way, and so a thousand-year long practice all of a sudden became stigmatized by people unable to see further than skin deep. In short: they were never taken seriously wither until progressive purity tests started becoming vogue.

    So… If the answer to white people wearing dreadlocks is to scream at those white people and threaten to cut their hair for the grave sin of cultural appropriation, because dreadlocks are for brown people and need to be conserved against interlopers…. Then why do white supremacists get the OK sign? Why aren’t all you squealing little examples of arrested development howling at the white supremacists to stop appropriating zoomer culture? Why isn’t every use of The Circle Game a stunning and brave example of resistance? Why are you letting the racists own things that aren’t theirs?

    Real question: Can anyone answer the question without inferring a melanin-based argument?

    • I will give the question a whirl:

      The current cultural trend is to assume that Rastafarians from Jamaica, embracing their Ethiopian heritage, established the Mighty Dreads (in the words of Bob Marley). Dreadlocks, contrary to popular belief, did not originate in Jamaica or the “New Indian Islands”, or the Rastafarians or reggae acts. If anything, they are misappropriating European cultural! Take that, progressives!

      In fact, the horrible hairstyle dates, quite possibly, back 3600 years where reliefs show dreadlocks in Minoan civilization, one of Europe’s earliest civilization centered in Crete. In fact, other frescoes from ancient Egypt show dreadlocks and mummies have been discovered with locked wigs have also been recovered from archaeological sites. Additionally, During the Bronze Age and Iron Age many peoples in the Near East, Asia Minor, Caucasus, East Mediterranean and North Africa such as the Sumerians, Elamites, and Ancient Egyptians were depicted in art with braided or plaited hair and beards.

      So, to accuse Whites donning the mighty dread to misappropriating Black culture is to be culturally and historically ignorant.

      jvb

      • That these people are historically ignorant, seems obvious to me: They believe in cultural appropriation. Culture isn’t, and has never been a race to plant your flag in cultural iconography to prevent those icons from being used in other cultures, or licensed out in some kind of perverse cultural licensing scheme.

        My question was how can they hold their beliefs that cultural appropriation is a thing, and evil, and then surrender cultural artifacts to white supremacists.

        As a bit of an aside;

        There was a story surrounding the release of Cid Meyer’s Civilization VI, which is a turn based strategy game where players are dropped on a generated map, and work through time from 4000BC to the space age to build a civilization in a very tenuous representation of what history might have been like if a million things were different. One of the calling cards of Civilization games is that the leaders of the civilizations are real people from history; Well, some native Americans were *outraged* that 2K games dared to include Chief Poundamaker of the Cree as the leader of a civilization, saying, and I’m not making this up, that the producers of 2K games should have met with the leaders of the Cree, bringing gifts of tobacco, and used said tobacco, meeting, and an undisclosed monetary consideration to bribe the blessing of those leaders to use the historical image of Poundmaker. There was also a little kvetching that the starting stats of the Cree civilization didn’t accurately reflect Cree values.

        How…. Entitled…. Does one have to be to assume that your culture owns productive licensing rights over historical figures? As I said in one of my most viral Twitter moments: Do Italians go moaning for meatballs every time someone makes a Mafia or Borgia movie? Must one bribe Germans with Schnitzel in order to invoke Hitler?

        No, our shared human history cannot possibly be held hostage by greedy gatekeepers, both because it is abhorrent to suggest otherwise, and because it’s pure folly, and I’d like to see them try.

        • https://nationalpost.com/news/saskatchewan-first-nation-outraged-as-video-game-depicts-legendary-leader

          “The new instalment of the game Civilization, due out next month, includes a main plot line about the Plains Cree, under the leadership of Chief Poundmaker, in which players advance by developing trade routes, building infrastructure, forging alliances, and other elements of statecraft.

          But this use of an historical figure, and the name of a modern First Nation, without the consent or involvement of the Poundmaker Cree Nation, is a dishonourable method of making money off a culture that was nearly exterminated by the Canadian government, according to a community leader.

          “There’s no consent given to this company to go ahead and use Chief Poundmaker in their game,” said Milton Tootoosis, Headman of the Poundmaker Cree Nation in Saskatchewan, northwest of Saskatoon, speaking on behalf of the chief, who was not available.”

          The video game makers “should have approached the community directly,” Tootoosis said. “They should have inquired about our local cultural protocols. They should have done the honourable thing and at least offered tobacco, and approached the community through the leadership and the elders, and then have a dialogue. They should have shared the script. I think we would have been honoured to have Poundmaker used in a game like this, but in a culturally appropriate manner, not in this manner.” “

          • Ooh, I can have fun with THAT. When I wrote my one man Darrow play (still being performed 2p years later, and I never made a cent from it!), David Rintels, who authored the Broadway one man show that ran on Broadway, claimed that he owned Darrow’s life for theater purposes because he had the idea to do the first one man show! David, I wrote, you have to know that you can’t have exclusive rights to history. I am a lawyer, you know. This isn’t even a good bluff

  2. #4 That meme is slightly off base. A more correct version should read…

    IN REALITY THEY’RE NOT AFTER ME, THEY’RE AFTER OUR CONSTITUTION AND WE’RE IN THE WAY!

    If you disagree with the left, they don’t want you at all.

  3. Remnick is a poster child for one of my favorite admonishments, “hyperbole is not your friend”.

    And yes, I feel exactly the same way about Trump’s idiotic hyperbole.

  4. I voted for true. I am unwiling to go as far as brilliant because it is not original. Rush Limbaugh has been making this same argument for a year.

    I also have a hard time with the notion that it is unbecoming for the president to use this type of meme. If we are to hold any president to such a standard we must hold all elected leaders to the same standards. We cannot expect any one elected to be a punching bag for his or her opposition. I do not wish to condone memes that are not uplifting but to demand one type of behavior from one but not all others leads to more destructive memes that divide us all.

  5. Prologue: My guess is that they’ve been told they have to say, “Happy Holidays” even if a customer specifically says “Merry Christmas”. I don’t hold it against them. They’ve got jerk employers. They already know that.

    3. My hand, at rest, often makes a gesture with my figures that greatly resembles the okay sign. I think this is getting out of hand. Fifty grand could have paid a teacher’s salary, greatly enhanced the art program, bought a few new instruments for the music department, provided copies of the U.S. Constitution for every student and staff member or, what the heck, buy new uniforms for the football team.

    Instead they threw it away by reprinting the stupid yearbook.

    These are the people who want our tax dollars.

    4. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. I think it’s brilliant. The President does lots of irresponsible things. This is at the bottom of a long list of them. They are trying to undo an election because the votes of 63 million people don’t matter to them.

  6. 2. This is interesting. I think the complaint was well-reasoned. I do understand the reasoning for having the recruiting rules — it’s an attempt to level the playing field and prevent wealthy, name-brand colleges from dominating the marketplace.

    I don’t agree with the Justice Department’s allegation that the rules were meritless, but they were unquestionably anti-competitive, and intentionally so.

    I am not really convinced allowing cut-throat competition is actually a benefit to students. Often, unrestrained competition results in inferior products tied more to name recognition and perceived market value rather than actual quality. This is particularly likely to be true of colleges and universities.

    So while I applaud the logic of the Justice Department’s argument, I lament that the likely outcome is not going to be better for students — most likely just for certain name-brand universities.

    3. OK sign

    Idjits will be idjits, and #woke idjits are the worst of the lot.

    4. Trump meme

    I don’t think it’s really appropriate for a president to tweet a meme like this, but then again, that “norm” died back before Trump was even elected with “pajama boy” and other examples.

    Having said that, I think:

    a. It is true — or at least, close enough for me.

    b. It has been up on at least one conservative website for months, so it isn’t new or “brilliant,” because it wasn’t Trump’s construction.

    c. What is fear-mongering anyway? If it’s true, just because it encourages a fearful reaction doesn’t negate or even affect the truth of it. In fact, this particular meme highlights a “truth” that the intelligentsia in our country doesn’t want revealed, let alone highlighted. So in my view, it is more educational than fear-mongering.

    d. Irresponsible is a word that no longer applies to politics. We’ve seen the House impeach a duly elected president on one made-up non crime and one indefensible claim of a high crime. It is the height of abject irresponsibility. That this is now the new normal is regrettable, but probably an unavoidable consequence of the gradual coarsening of discourse generally.

    Some will claim that Trump started this spiral of declining virtue in politics and communication, but I don’t agree. Obama was the major flash-point, spiking the football at every available opportunity, taking executive authority to new heights of divisive partisanship, and doing it all with smooth lies and smiles.

    Which is worse — the unabashed cad who represents himself accurately, if crudely and with no homage to tradition or rectitude, or the smooth-talking, handsome deceiver who beguiles people by using the desirable qualities above against them?

    Give me the cad, please. I like my assholes right where I can see them, not hiding behind smiles and lofty rhetoric.

    5. It’s about the future of the Earth.

    I believe The Bard would say something like, “His wit’s as thick as a Tewkesbury mustard.”

    If he actually wonders why most Americans look askance at his claim of “facts” that justify the removal of a duly-elected president, he is just too stupid or blindly partisan to be taken with even the tiniest grain of seriousness.

    It must be frustrating to be a complete idiot and wonder why nobody agrees with you.

  7. Sure, it would be great if Trump were more elegant, didn’t tweet all the time, and better fit our ingrained “image” of POTUS. All the Democrats are doing is shooting themselves in the foot: the combination of the unending, irrational trashing of Trump, and the unbelievable line-up of Democrat candidates — couldn’t they really, really find just one sane, sensible, and/or intelligent candidate? — practically ensures Trump’s re-election. I am not a fan of Trump, particularly, except that he has guts and after 8 years of Obama, that is kind of refreshing. I don’t think he’s a sociopath: and believe me, we’ve had plenty in the White House. Where’s Teddy when we need him?

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