I am feeling stressed because there are a lot of Ethics Alarms projects and commitments that are languishing: I’m trying to work out the logistics of a Zoom symposium for commenters; I have to compile the many submissions for the corporate and organizational grovels to the George Floyd mobs so we can vote on the best and worst; I am finishing the Ethics Alarms glossary of fake news categories, and I still owe Michael West his prize from an Ethics Alarms contest he won a couple of years ago—and that’s still not all of them. The best I can say is: please be patient, because I’m not.
1. Is this a good sign, or something else? I turned on Sirius-XM’s “Comedy Greats” channel while driving to pick up some prescription and heard a segment of a Nick DiPaulo routine that was unbelievably politically incorrect, or, as many would say today, racist, misogynist and anti-trans. The audience was in hysterics; several of the jokes were so extreme—but funny!—that I nearly lost control of the car. I had to check: no, he hasn’t been assassinated yet. Neverthless, I felt like I had fallen into a parallel universe. DiPaulo makes Dave Chappelle seem like Art Buchwald.
2. How about “Lady Asshole”? Several readers sent me links to this story, telling us that the Grammy-winning vocal group formerly known as Lady Antebellum, having decided to ditch the second half of their name to grandstand and show that they support tearing down statues, are now suing Anita White, a blues singer who has called herself “Lady A” for decades, because she wouldn’t sell the rights to that name to them for a price the group found reasonable.
I can’t imagine anyone being sympathetic with the group, especially a jury. Nobody made them change their name, and choosing “Lady A” without doing sufficient research was negligent. The group is using wealth and fame as a cudgel, with three rich white jerks trying to bully a local (and black) artist into bending to the their will. I hope someone has started a GoFundMe page to help Anita with her legal fees.
3. Find my 2011 post on Donald Trump running for President, substitute Kanye West’s name for his, and you’ll have the Ethics Alarms position on Mr. Kardashian’s candidacy. I know a lot of celebrities and too many members of the public don’t comprehend this, having the civic literacy of gerbils, but our democracy is not a game. Running for President as an exercise in ego-massage and branding is wildly irresponsible, and threatens to distort voting and results. West is not a serious candidate, but he’ll attract attention and the support of those who vote purely on the basis of group biases. But the news media will give him more attention than he deserves, which is none, and he could easily take votes away from Democrats.
The good news is that since Kanye has approximately the attention span of a mayfly, it’s a good bet that this impulse will be fleeting, just as Trump’s was in 2011.
4. While we’re on the topic of undermining democracy, there is a groundswell among some fearful Democrats—how ironic that name is now!—for Joe Biden to refuse to debate President Trump. Never mind the various rationalizations offered: the reason is that they are terrified that once put on the same state with the President, Biden will reveal that he’s old, enervated, mentally diminished and unable to function when he’s not working from a script.
Well, if that’s the case, the public has a right to know, because they have a right to know who they are voting for. The fact that Democrats and left-leaning pundits would even suggest this shows their lack of respect for elections and the public.
5. Hint: If you can’t control yourself sufficiently to avoid confirming the worst of what activists are saying about people like you, stay away from demonstrations and better yet, self-quarantine.
Better still, move to Brazil.
In Elizabethton, Tennessee, Sonya Holt shouted at a teenage girl, “White lives are better!” while confronting Black Lives Matter protesters; later she told another protester, “You’re a gay homosexual piece of crap who’s going to burn in hell!” A man standing next to her shouted to the protesters, “We should have kept you fucking slaves, that’s what we should’ve done!” What lovely people!
Of course, the exchange was caught on video.
Of course it was posted. and of course, it “went viral.”
And of course, Sonja lost her job a result. (I don’t know about the nostalgic slavery fan.)
Later Sonja apologized, sort of, saying, “I would like to apologize to the little girl. I did not know that she was a minor. If I had known she was a minor, I would have never spoken to her.”
I don’t think Sonja gets this whole racism thing. Or the apology thing, for that matter.
6. Mary Kay Letourneau has died. (A thank-you and a pointer to Neil Dorr for alerting me.) I wrote several posts about the ethics corrupter grade school teacher, who raped a student in her 6th grade class, went to prison, then married him on her release. There were three posts about her on Ethics Alarms, and more on its predecessor, the Ethics Scoreboard. She is the poster girl for Rationalization #23 A, Woody’s Excuse: “The heart wants what the heart wants”; in fact, I’m seriously considering exchanging her name for Woody’s and renaming it “Mary Kay’s Excuse.”
What was so infuriating about Letourneau is that she never showed any remorse at all for her betrayal of trust, always insisting that love transcends age,that she and Vili Fualaau were soul mates, and that the loving couple was being persecuted by a cruel society.
In this post, the last one I authored about Mary Kay, I offered ten observations in response to this nauseating family photo:
I’ll just re-post the last one:
10. No: the daughters of Mary Kay Letourneau Fualaau and Vili Fualaau who posed in that happy photo should not cannot be considered trustworthy to teach children.