1. Loyalty dilemma. I have deliberately refused to watch the last two Red Sox games against the Yankees. This, for me, is high treason. For more than 50 years, I have supported the team through its darkest hours, thus entitling me to take special pleasure during its greatest triumphs. There was stretch of 15 years, many of them with dreadful Red Sox teams,in which I watched, attended or listened to every game, even when it required standing on a chair while holding the radio to the ceiling, as Lithuanian folk music broke into the broadcast without warning. However, the current edition looks like it has quit. I get it: the team lost its manager, Cheatin’ Alex Cora. It had to trade its best player, Mookie Betts, to the Dodgers because he was determined to sell his services to the highest bidder after this season. The team’s ace, Chris Sale, is out for the year after arm surgery; last season’s biggest winner got a heart infection from the Wuhan virus and has to sit out the season as well. The team traded last season’s #2 starter because he was absurdly overpaid, and let the #3 sign with the Mets because he was a poor gamble at 20 million a year. Even with all that, the team figured to be competitive because it had, or was supposed to have, a dominant offense. Yet the Red Sox have the worst record in baseball, even worse than the Marlins, who lost half its squad to the pandemic, and with only 40 games left, things aren’t going to turn around.
It’s not the losing I mind: I’ve endured that before. I love baseball: watching your team lose games can still be exciting and fun. But the Red Sox players look like they’re just waiting for this strange, shortened, season without fans and with piped in crowd sounds to end. Why should I watch that, when it take three hours out of my day, the team is behind by 5 runs by the fourth inning in every game, and watching is less fun than “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee”?
And I’m not even considering the giant “Black Lives Matter” banner across the Fenway Park center field bleachers…
Or, having derived so much wisdom, perspective, diversion and joy from Boston’s iconic team throughout my life, am I obligated to stay the course, even if it is just one more thing to make me miserable?
2. No. Just no. Ethics professor Parker Crutchfield is troubled that everyone won’t follow Wuhan virus protection measures, writing,
“COVID-19 is a collective risk. It threatens everyone, and we all must cooperate to lower the chance that the coronavirus harms any one individual. Among other things, that means keeping safe social distances and wearing masks. But many people choose not to do these things, making spread of infection more likely.”
Crutchfield, therefore, who teaches at Western Michigan University, argues that we need to “morally enhance” citizens using hormones and drugs. He’s a totalitarian, in other words.
If you need an explanation of why the ethicist’s solution is unethical, not to mention scary, impossible, and bats. Richard Weikart provides such an explanation here.
You shouldn’t need one.
3. Stop making me defend the Democratics! The Democrats are getting lots of ridicule over their virtual convention, mostly focusing on how dull and enervated seemed on Day #1 Here’s my old friend and former American Century Theater board member John Podhoretz:
Few major American events in my lifetime have been as low energy as the Democratic National Convention’s first night….It was the opposite of stirring, motivating, thrilling, exciting. By the time the two hours were over, America was so dehydrated it needed a saline drip….So what is going on? What does it mean to have a convention without conventioneers, a political rally without the rally, a populist speech that is not interrupted by applause? Think of this as the political version of caffeine-free diet soda…What we learned last night is that when you sever the last connection to the conventions of old—the people—you divorce them completely of any meaning, even vestigial meaning.
Stephen Kruiser snarked, “Let’s be honest, the real fun at every DNC and RNC is watching the freak show of people covered in buttons and weird hats. Bernie in front of a cord of winter wood just isn’t bringing the magic. John Kasich in an empty field is a cry for help.”
All true, but unfair. Conveying energy in an viral event via remote online streaming is impossible. I’m one entertaining and energetic speaker, and on Zoom, I feel like a dud. If I pushed the energy to compensate for the lack of direct evidence contact, my presentation would be unwatchable. This is why stage plays look phony and forced when they are filmed. It is why the most successful TV performers tend to be low-key.
There’s plenty to criticize the Democratic National Convention for—a party that is nominating a woman who disgracefully suggested that Brett Kavanaugh was a rapist featuring serial sexual predator Bill Clinton as a speaker while Sen. Harris runs on a ticket headed by accused rapist Joe Biden is my personal favorite—but on lack of energy, the Democrats deserve a break.
4. Combine hypocritical speakers with the previous post’s reference to “kids in cages” and you get.. last night’s speaker, Michelle Obama! From the Seattle Times:
MICHELLE OBAMA, on Americans: “They watch in horror as children are torn from their families and thrown into cages.”
THE FACTS: The reference to cages is misleading and a matter that Democrats have persistently distorted.
Trump used facilities that were built during the Obama-Biden administration to house children at the border. They are chain-link enclosures inside border facilities where migrants were temporarily housed, separated by sex and age.
At the height of the controversy over Trump’s zero-tolerance policy at the border, photos that circulated online of children in the enclosures generated great anger. But those photos — by The Associated Press — were taken in 2014 and depicted some of the thousands of unaccompanied children held by President Barack Obama.
Not surprising, though, when one remembers that the entire Democratic Party has endorsed Facts Don’t Matter.