Thursday Ethics Thirst-quencher, 8/20/2020: Actually, This Doesn’t Taste So Good….

I filled in a gap in my history knowledge today, one I’m embarrassed to have had for so long. I remember being creeped out the first time I heard John Hinckley crooning the song he dedicated to Jodie Foster on her answering machine at Yale. “Ohhh Jodie! Ohhh Jodie! My love will turn you on!” All these years, I thought Hinckley had composed that song in his sick infatuation. Today, almost 40 years later, I found out that he just ripped off a John Lennon song called “Oh Yoko,” which I heard for the first time on the Beatles Channel on Sirius-XM. Am I the only one who didn’t know that? My ignorance is my fault: I would no more listen to anything extolling Yoko than I would voluntarily groove on “William Shatner’s Greatest Hits.”

And what was it about  Beatles compositions that inspired aspiring killers?

1. Yes, this seems rather irresponsible...Here’s a trailer for an upcoming Netflix series:

Over at The American Conservative, columnist Rod Dreher is disgusted, with good reason. He writes in part,

“Twerking their way to stardom. Eleven years old….These are little girls, and this Netflix show has the acting like strippers as a way of finding their way to liberation. What is wrong with these Netflix people? Do they not have children? Do they think our daughters are only valuable insofar as they can cosplay as sluts who are sexually available to men? ….There is nothing politicians can do about this…I hope sometime this fall a Senate committee calls Netflix CEO Reed Hastings] to Capitol Hill and forces him to talk about how proud he is that he has 11 year olds twerking on his degenerate network.”

2. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is not an ethical principle. Yesterday President Trump offered praise for the right-wing conspiracy theory-mongers  QAnon because they “like me very much” and “love our country.”

I suppose that’s true enough, but the group is either made up of wackos or liars, and complimenting them comes perilously close to doing for real what his fact-challenged foes falsely accuse him of doing when they claim he said the Charlottesville white supremacists were “fine people.” QAnon spreads rumors that there is a secret conspiracy run by political elites, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities who are also pedophiles and  working against Trump. Facebook and Twitter have banned its posts.

“Well I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said during a White House briefing. “These are people that don’t like seeing what’s going on in places like Portland, Chicago and New York and other cities and states. … I’ve heard these are people that love our country and they just don’t like seeing it.”


To think that the United States avoiding a take-over by Leftist, racist, anti-American totalitarians depends on this guy. What sick Master of the Universe writes this junk? Does He think it’s funny? It’s not funny.

3.  I’m confused. Wasn’t it obvious that Bill de Blasio was an incompetent, arrogant ideologue when he first ran for mayor? Wasn’t it even more obvious by the time he ran for re-election? Now that his city is falling apart in chunks, do the fools who voted for him really expect any sympathy? Here’s the New York City’s socialist mayor’s latest:

The publication The City reported that Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s wife, nearly doubled her staff at City Hall while she prepares  to run for Brooklyn borough president. Meanwhile, her husband threatens to cut 22,000 jobs due to revenue shortfalls. McCray’s new hires  at taxpayer expense include a $150,000-a-year senior adviser who was hired during a hiring freeze, and a $70,000 videographer whose “work for McCray includes a ‘Baking with the First Lady’ feature.”

How could this be more unethical?  For the mayor, allowing his wife to spend city funds like this  is the epitome of an appearance of impropriety,  as well as a conflict of interest. Nonetheless,  de Blasio defended the indefensible,  telling reporters that critics do not “take into account the work that’s being done.” McCray is not a city employee, yet has a 14-person team that costs NYC $2 million annually.

The New York Post notes that de  Blasio defended his wife”despite his insistence that there’s not enough money in city coffers to maintain parks or pick up trash.”

4. I told you Goodyear was lying! In newly released audio posted by Topeka’s WIBW-TV  an unidentified Goodyear instructor can be heard telling employees that they are permitted to express their views on social justice or inequity matters on their clothes, as long as the sentiments  support Black Lives Matter or LGBTQ issues.

“Some people may wish to express their views on social justice or inequity or equity issues such as black lives matter or LGBTQ pride on their face coverings, shirts or wristbands,” the instructor can be heard telling employees. “That will be deemed approved because it applies with a zero-tolerance stance. However, if any associate wears all, blue, white lives matter shirts or face coverings, that will be not appropriate…. We all work together to make tires, that’s what we do. That’s what we get paid to do. So, let’s continue to do that and do the right thing and keep this place what it has always been, a good place to work.”

Earlier this week, Goodyear had denied that reports of the company instructing employees in such a policy were accurate.

17 thoughts on “Thursday Ethics Thirst-quencher, 8/20/2020: Actually, This Doesn’t Taste So Good….

  1. 1. Sexualization of children: old-hat, standard current cultural fare. I want to check the credits for this production to see if any go to Jeffrey Epstein, or Ghislaine Maxwell…or Sydney Spies’ mother.

    2. Old-hat, standard, off-the-rails, self-indicting narcissism, shitthink, and shittalk for Trump. Yeah, I’m voting for him AGAIN, too. All I can say in self-defense, and in consolation for others, is that you are correct, Jack: the un-funny writer of “this junk” is NOT John R. Lewis.

    3. Old-hat, standard NYC politician corruption.

    4. Old-hat, standard American corporation denialology and self-preservationspeak.

    • Jack, I forgive you for causing me confusion over who shot Ronald Reagan and John Lennon. (Hinckley shot Lennon? Chapman shot Reagan? That’s the confusion I mean.) It’s OK; I can still keep straight who murdered whom because of “Helter Skelter” – probably only because I happened to be a young teenager living near L.A. when that Beatles-inspired depravity was exercised. (Lucky again!)

      • Onward for me, to insomnia land…wondering: if I murdered someone early tomorrow morning, would I, could I, blame it on “Here Comes the Sun?”

    • 1. Sexualization of children: old-hat, standard current cultural fare. I want to check the credits for this production to see if any go to Jeffrey Epstein, or Ghislaine Maxwell…or Sydney Spies’ mother.

      Sexualization of children is just the logical step when the object has been to use sexuality, and sexual seduction, as a tool of social and political manipulation.

      I have been given, and I have also taken the role of saying what others will not say. And perhaps seeing what others will not see. The essence here is this: if you corrupt woman (your women) it is through that corruption that you can access other levels of political control. We are now living in a cultural and social situation where we see, all around us, the effects of a more general seduction. The things that we see going on are *all of a piece* and are connected to one another.

      Undermining and cultural subversion start with the seduction of an individual. What seduction is and how it functions has to be studied. It is a malicious and a dangerous tool.

      In the end the issue is far more than ‘politics’. It resolves into issues of freedom and definition. Sexual slavery — slavery to passion — is the way that man loses his sovereignty. And when the focus becomes woman (your women, the women that make up your culture) it will then, quite logically, be brought to your girls and children.

      Here you can see how this functions. The First Order of activity is to seduce men away from duty. And then to go after woman. From there to girls and children.

  2. “QAnon spreads rumors that there is a secret conspiracy run by political elites, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities who are also pedophiles and working against Trump.”

    Is it really that inaccurate (especially considering item #1)? Seems to me the only real errors are the conspiracy’s not a secret, and not nearly as organized as its participants would like.

    • I concur with this. It seems the blanket rejection of the claim that the world is controlled by a coven of satanic cannibal pedophiles is founded exclusively on a premise of “that just sounds insane”, and it died with Epstein and the discovery of his pedophile island complete with wacko pagan temple. If I heard tomorrow that there’s a CIA task force specializing in vampire hunting, and the major media began mocking it as a clearly insane rumor, I would remain undecided.

    • Michael Barkun on QAnon:

      “Q claimed not only to have knowledge of a deep state conspiracy but to know how its supposedly malevolent designs were going to be defeated. In a culture already saturated with beliefs about plots and cabals—as contemporary America is—these claims were enormously enticing, despite the total absence of external evidence to support them. As Trump’s own rhetoric has become increasingly inflammatory and apocalyptic, it converges with the ideas of Q and their followers so that what was once the world of the fringe now meets the mainstream. Indeed, some QAnon supporters believe that Q is Trump—the president and the prophet combined. If there is any lesson to be taken from this bizarre episode, it is that, in the age of Trump, no claim seems too preposterous to find an audience and that, in the age of the internet and social media, these beliefs and those willing to accept them are only too easy to bring together.”

  3. In regard to Item 2:

    In his book The Paranoid Style in American Politics, Richard Hofstadter wrote: “It had been around a long time before the Radical Right discovered it—and its targets have ranged from “the international bankers” to Masons, Jesuits, and munitions makers.” He associates the paranoid style with many phases of American history.

    From Wiki: “In developing the subject, Hofstadter initially establishes that his use of the phrase “paranoid style” was a borrowing from the clinical psychiatric term “paranoid” to describe a political personality, and acknowledges that the term is pejorative. Psychological projection is essential to the paranoid style of U.S. politics.”

    Psychological Projection:

    Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the human ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others. For example, a bully may project their own feelings of vulnerability onto the target. It incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.

    The interesting thing about the present ‘psychological projection’ is that here, on these blog pages, it is clearly and definitely noticed that the Democrats are doing this. But it is much harder, or so it seems, to recognize that this ‘paranoid style’ and the embellishment of hot narratives is part-and-parcel of the perceptual life of Americans generally.

    It is true that QAnon is part of a culture-wide phenomenon in which people work with and work off of their limited perspectives, their limited capacity to see and to understand, about the machinations and the machinery of social and political control within the US and also in the world. Michael Barkun wrote of this phenomenon in A Culture of Conspiracy: Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America.

    My view is that people who do not have the means to understand their world well, and who are kept away from such an understanding by the forces within ‘the system’ itself, which obscure their activities and motives and try to represent their motives as being *part of the good* or as *good*, when in fact we generally understand that motives are always mixed; that this in a sense creates an mental atmosphere of ‘paranoid speculation’. So, to conceive of a ‘conspiracy’, to feel that one can see what other people — the sleeping sheeples — cannot see, or will not see, is in a sense a power-gaining or power-recovering strategy. To be able to *explain* something is in a definite way to have some power over it.

    In regard to the New Right in America, or the Trump-inspired Right, or the long-existing Radical Right, or the American Christian Identity Movement within America, Richard Hofstadter wrote:

    Why They Feel Dispossessed

    If, after our historically discontinuous examples of the paranoid style, we now take the long jump to the contemporary right wing, we find some rather important differences from the nineteenth-century movements. The spokesmen of those earlier movements felt that they stood for causes and personal types that were still in possession of their country—that they were fending off threats to a still established way of life. But the modern right wing, as Daniel Bell has put it, feels dispossessed: America has been largely taken away from them and their kind, though they are determined to try to repossess it and to prevent the final destructive act of subversion. The old American virtues have already been eaten away by cosmopolitans and intellectuals; the old competitive capitalism has been gradually undermined by socialistic and communistic schemers; the old national security and independence have been destroyed by treasonous plots, having as their most powerful agents not merely outsiders and foreigners as of old but major statesmen who are at the very centers of American power. Their predecessors had discovered conspiracies; the modern radical right finds conspiracy to be betrayal from on high.

    I wish to present a view that is a bit *synthetic* toward the entire picture. First, there is an entire American Mythology which ‘the patriotic American’ refers to when defending his country. I have often noticed that this is more an expression and enunciation of his own view of himself. In any case, the patriot defends his country, and indeed understands it, through a projection of his own self onto the country. He explains himself and his own motives as being those of the country itself. And since he defines himself as *good* — who in fact accurately sees himself as neither good nor bad but as a mixture of mixed-motives? — the motives and actions of his country must similarly be *good*. And the Patriot explains his country as if he is explaining a person, a specific personality.

    There is of course a great deal more to explore about this topic. A ‘culture of conspiracy’ and a nation of paranoid hysterics is, of course, what we all know we are seeing and dealing with. And to one degree or another we will have no choice but to participate since, and this seems true, an hysterical social climate is psychologically infectious.

    I also want to point out that those that we might distinguish as ‘social planners’ or ‘social engineers’ are highly and acutely aware of the necessity of recognizing, understanding and influencing and channeling social paranoia and hysteria. I would imagine that those with the means and resources to influence and control perception as America moves into this very strange and difficult phase, are aware that they must in this sense gain power over the social paranoia and social hysteria. Their object must be to control this wave. To that end it does not seem impossible that they themselves would interject into the social situation that ‘influence’ (organization of perception, presentation of perception) which they could and will use to guide things to some defined or desired end.

  4. In regard to Item

    The revolution in pornography — itself a tool of vast social and political manipulation according to E Michael Jones — will not be re-enclosed again or tamed-back-in. If there is a tendency to ‘obsess’ and if there is a tendency to exacerbate or heighten obsession, what better tool than that of unrestrained sexuality? And what more powerful motivator but ‘teen sex’.

    Once it has been let out of its closet, so to speak, it spread quite literally like wildfire.

    The motivations of the woman who created Cuties (in French it is Mignonnes which means the same) were mixed. On one hand it was to explore the contrast between Muslim sexual repression, and on the other to contrast that with French liberalism.

    This is the original ‘poster’ for the movie for which Netflix ‘apologized. Let’s see if it shows up:

    What is interesting is to associate this Netflix production, and a world-phenomenon of the sexualization of children and girls, with the paranoid notions about world-level pedophilia cabals at the highest levels of power, wealth and influence. And what if one associates that with the so-called Globo-Homo Culture that is being presented to the world in rainbow colors? Hmmmmmm? Well?

    The manipulation of sexual imagery — especially the image of the potentially sexually and maternally productive female — has been a common theme of symbolic imagery, well, forever! I am thinking of the label on the De Cecco pasta package.

    It is an image of Demeter essentially [“Goddess of Agriculture, Fertility, Sacred Law and the Harvest. Demeter is the goddess of the harvest and presides over grains and the fertility of the earth. Although she was most often referred to as the goddess of the harvest, she was also goddess of sacred law and the cycle of life and death”].

    It is a curious moment in conceptual history when Woman is no longer imagined in this, shall I say, *sacred* way. She is transformed into something very different.

    We live in a time of transvaluations . . .

    From The European Journal of Psychoanalysis:

    The notion of perversion has always been in league with norm and deviance, law and its transgression. And this is the reason why, even though the word appeared in the middle of the nineteenth century to designate acts that already existed but which were not qualified as such, this word carries within itself the memory of its Latin origin: pervertere. This term means, first of all, to turn upside down, to overturn (a construction); later it develops a connotation which means overturning customs. Perversitas comes from this: it means something extravagant, astounding, absurd, but later it assumes the connotation of corruption, erosion, disorder, depravation. It signifies a change which, with time, causes something to pass from a so-called normal or healthy state to an abnormal one. Thenceforth, the term is used differently according to different cultures. Perversity is clearly linked to evil (as opposed to good), to cruelty (as opposed to compassion), and lastly to the general disturbance of the normative order. To pervert someone is to corrupt him, to teach him to overturn norms. This leads onto the question of sexuality. In fact, whether it is visible or repressed, sexuality is always involved as though it were present in all types of perversity, and thus perversion. It is, on the one hand, the idea of a dominant subject in relation to a dominated subject (the most significant and real form of class conflict), and, on the other, the diversion from the procreative function. In other words, sexuality is at the heart of all perverted acts, even when they have nothing to do with sexual perversion.

  5. In regard to Cuties:

    (1) It is perhaps a pedantic note, but Cuties is an award-winning French movie that got picked up by Netflix, not a Netflix series.

    (2) The topic of Cuties is the hypersexualization of our culture and the damage it causes to minors.

    (3) Netflix’s handling of the movie — especially in its promotional material — has ranged from the unethical to the spectacularly incompetent. I actually contemplated writing an e-mail to Jack about that, but then found this entry when checking the site to see if he’d already written on it.

    The above said, WordPress tends to get kinda finicky when I try to share multiple citations in a post, so I’ll just (attempt to) share this one:

    … which about sums up most of what I just said, with additional details, documentation, and links.

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