Ethics Warm-Up, 8/26/2020: Impending Zoom

This, as some of you might recall, is the logo for the old PBS kids series, the lively cast members of which are now middle-aged and arthritic. i don’t like to think about it…


I’m hoping to get this posted while I’m simultaneously preparing for a three-hour legal ethics seminar for CLE credit sponsored by the D.C. Bar. Zoom seminars are grueling, and they remove my major asset, which is facilitating lively discussions about various ethical dilemmas.  Participants just don’t talk, and for all I know they are watching porn.

Incidentally, if you haven’t seen “Host,” you should. It’s a horror film about a Zoom meeting that goes really, really wrong. And its less than half as long as the seminar I’m about to do.

1. And speaking of horrorWhat the hell?

This is D.C. Comic’s new, politically correct, non-sexually objectified, woke Wonder Woman. Why can’t a plus sized woman in mom jeans be a super-hero, the artist asks.  Well of course she can, just as a fat ,flabby, bald , half-shaven, acne-suffering man can be Spiderman, if he gets bitten by the right arachnid. There is nothing wrong with idealized heroes, however. No matter how much the feminists try to brainwash little girls, Fat Barbie is never going to be a thing.

I hate to be conspiracy-minded, but chunky, A-cup Diana Prince reeks of Maoist cultural brain-washing. It’s suicidal virtue-signaling by D.C., who are deliberately alienating WW’s teenage  male fans, who will not get excited about a Wonder Woman movie starring Rosie O’Donnell, no matter how progressive that is.

2. And now, the rest of the story…When we last left  Liberty University President and Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., he had taken a leave of absence after the Evangelical leader inexplicably posted a photo of himself with his arm around a young woman who wasn’t his wife, showing both of them with their pants unzipped. This week he resigned his position with the school hours after another scandal broke. (Marshall’ First law Of Unethical Celebrities: “There is always another shoe.”) According to Reuters, Falwell had his wife sleep with one of his business business partners while he watched. Kinky!

3. Is it racist to exclude a juror who states that she will vote to acquit any black defendant regardless of the evidence? A Prosecutor asked potential juror who had written on her jury questionaire, “I support Black Lives Matter,” if she supported “destroying other people’s property.” Reed said no. Nonetheles the prosecutor used a peremptory strike to remove Reed from the jury for the 2016 trial.

The ex-juror told The Marshall Project (no relation!), “I felt targeted It was a life-changing experience for me, personally. And I still talk about it to this day. I tell my kids about it. Not to scare them but to make them aware.”

The legitimacy of using Reed’s support for Black Lives Matter to remove her as a juror will be considered by a California appeals court in the coming months. Lawyers for the defendants in the double-murder trial say the decision to remove Reed violated the U.S. Constitution’s ban on excluding prospective jurors based on race.

4. This clearly proves all police are vandals. In New Jersey, two Asbury Park police officers admitted  that they vandalized a pair of cars as revenge against their owner,  a man who had filed an internal affairs complaint against them, The ex-cops  pleaded guilty to fourth-degree criminal mischief and and may not seek or accept any future public employment in the state.

This sort of thing does not help. [Pointer: valkygrrl]

5. From the “Able to dish it out but unable  to take it” files: I don’t hold it against comics if they are jerks, for the most part. They usually are. If they are fair and funny, and don’t take themselves too seriously, I can forgive almost anything. BUT…

When the town of Danbury, Connecticut,  named their sewage plant “The John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant.” because, officials said, it was full of crap just like the HBO comic, Oliver thrw an epic, and unfunny, hissy-fit.

“If you are going to forget a town in Connecticut, why not forget Danbury because, and this is true, fuck Danbury,” Oliver  ranted on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.“ he continued.

“Danbury Connecticut can eat my whole ass. I know exactly three things about Danbury:USA Today ranked it the second-best city to live in in 2015, it was once the center of the American hat industry, and if you’re from there, you have a standing invite to come get a thrashing from John Oliver, children included, fuck you.”

Signature significance.

26 thoughts on “Ethics Warm-Up, 8/26/2020: Impending Zoom

  1. My employers have a hard time shutting me up on video-conferencing

    1. They’ll never top Lynda Carter.
    2. Wow, that got weird fast.
    3. Wait, did she say she would vote to acquit any black defendant or is that just implied by what she wrote on her questionnaire? If she said the former, it’s not racist to drop her; she’s not an impartial juror. I’d question her objectivity over the writing on the questionnaire, too, but it’s less clear than indicating flat out how she’d vote before hearing any evidence.
    4. It’s going to become a stereotype rather than a false narrative if they don’t watch out.
    5. That’s because he’s not a comedian. He’s only a comedian when his inane comments are taken seriously and he needs a fallback position.

    • In the Wonder Woman movie, they kept trying to make it about female empowerment, but all I could think about was that she was literally a goddess.

  2. Regarding #5: any decent comedian could have come up with a better comeback than John Oliver did. Hell, I could probably come up with something better. But just imagine what a Groucho Marx could do with that.

    Hell, just off the top of my head:Danbury Connecticut wishes it was as full of shit I am, but, let’s face it-it’s no New Haven.


  3. Is it racist to exclude a juror who states that she will vote to acquit any black defendant regardless of the evidence? No.

    Is it racist to exclude simply because of a person’s race? Yes.

    Is it racist to exclude based on fundamental belief of the juror that cops are out to harm blacks ? (Note: you can substitute any ethnic or racial group following the word harm) No.

  4. Checking the timeline of events; the John Oliver quote you posted is actually from *before* the announcement that the sewage plant would be named after him. It was a tongue-cheek gag from a segment talking about how two major cities in Connecticut were accidentally left off the state’s jury selection computer program, and that if you’re going to forget any town in Connecticut, it might as well be Danbury; in fact, he starts the gag by sincerely complimenting Danbury’s railway museum and Hearthstone Castle. From the clips I’ve seen of his show, I think he’s privately quite happy to have a sewage plant named after him; this is the same rat-faced bastard (in his own words, I believe) who celebrated having a koala chlamydia ward named after him.

      • Several sources, beginning with the Hollywood Reporter. Since he didn’t mention the sewage plant in rant #2, some want to claim t was unrelated, but most sources think it’s reasonable to conclude that the sewage plant bit set him off—which is ridiculous.

        Ah, how much easier life would be if stories like this were reported equally by all sides of the media, but Oliver is a full-time Trump-basher, so he gets protection.

      • Upon trying to check sources and timelines, I am officially confused. I have no idea if John Oliver said “Fuck Danbury’s children” before the plant name or after now. Since he’s an asshole either way, it’s not worth my time to go Woodward and Bernstein on this. I’ll accept your and Julian’s conclusions, but It’s not worth issuing a correction. My conclusion stands.

        And I’ve been to Danbury. Nice town. Home of Joe Lahoud, who looked exactly like Carl Yastrzemski at the plate, and hit more home runs just foul than anyone I’ve ever watched.

    • If you can’t clear the bar, demand it be lowered.

      If you don’t happen to be beautiful, don’t just live with it and get on with your life, insist beauty be redefined. I don’t see this tactic failing and falling out of favor any time soon.

      • Being beautiful actually takes a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

        Of course, it’s easier to complain and attempt to change other people’s perceptions than to change yourself.

  5. Resident comics geek popping in here:

    This isn’t “DC’s New Wonder Woman.” It’s art for a one-shot comic about a WW-inspired character. Robin Eisenberg’s art niche is twofold: she draws aliens hanging around like regular earth schlubs, and she draws adaptations and alternate looks for famous female characters. Wonder Woman is getting a PR push right now as part of the marketing for her upcoming film. When comics companies want to build buzz, alternate-universe and alternate-reality and non-canon stories are an easy way to do it, especially if they’re visually eye-catching. For this, DC got Eisenberg to do the art for a single-issue story about a WW-inspired alien. This type of thing isn’t at all unusual in comics publishing:

    “Red Son” was a story about Superman landing in Russia and being raised as a Communist. “Injustice” has the Joker murdering Lois Lane and Superman deciding to become a murderous global dictator. “Flashpoint” showed, among other things, a young Bruce Wayne get murdered outside a theater causing his father to become Batman and his mother to become the Joker. “White Knight” had a suddenly-sane Joker becoming Gotham’s newest force for law and order. Even back into the Golden Age “Imaginary Stories”: Batman “kills off” Bruce Wayne and takes on the identity of a taxi driver. Captain Marvel causes a nuclear war. Batman gets married. Superman gets married. None of them changed the core characters, they were all just limited stories that said “what if something were different?” before going back to the normal character.

    So what you’re really complaining about here is a company continuing to sell everything it normally sells but also selling something ADDITIONAL. Is it designed to target the kind of person who cares a whole lot about seeing a big-waisted, small-chested, natural-haired Wonder Woman? Sure. But I also don’t care if my favorite restaurant starts offering vegan food to target that kind of person, when they’re still cooking everything I like.

    • It is, by definition, “DC’s new Wonder Woman.” It’s new, it’s DC, and it’s Wonder Woman. The fact that it may not be a permanent version or that there are other versions is irrelevant.

      See Rationalization #64. The context is useful, though.

      • Adendum: I re-read the post. I did not “complain.” I wrote,

        I hate to be conspiracy-minded, but chunky, A-cup Diana Prince reeks of Maoist cultural brain-washing. It’s suicidal virtue-signaling by D.C., who are deliberately alienating WW’s teenage male fans, who will not get excited about a Wonder Woman movie starring Rosie O’Donnell, no matter how progressive that is.

        I couldn’t care less about Wonder Woman. Never have, never will. She can be reincarnated as a lizard, for all I care.

      • Come on, Jack, you’re playing word games. Your post clearly implies that traditional Wonder Woman has been replaced, and is a complaint about the art. Or do you think “We still have the original version, that is still the official version, but here’s a single comic that looks different” is “Maoist cultural brian-washing?”

        • I absolutely did not say, or think for a second that Wonder Woman had been “replaced.” I know a little about comics and their constantly shifting “alternate realities,” gender switches and new versions that are floated and retracted. This particular one was 1) jaw-droppingly stupid, and 2) a reflection of a troubling effort at cultural re-shaping that is positively Mao-esque. Yes, without that Marxist tilt we are watching, no one but a satirist would envision a flat-chested WW in baggy genes.

          “So what you’re really complaining about here is a company continuing to sell everything it normally sells but also selling something ADDITIONAL.”

          Not even close.

          • “Not even close.”

            I fail to grasp your nuance then. Wonder Woman is what she’s always been, in film and on the page, and remains for sale to everyone who wants her. There’s a single issue comic coming that shows a Wonder-Woman-esque character done in an alternate art style, designed to appeal to people who aren’t the traditional comics customers. A company recognized an untapped customer base and offered something to appeal to them without taking away from anything they were already offering. Which part of that isn’t what’s happening? Or do you just object to a company making a move at a customer base that likes things you don’t like?

            • What part of “I don’t care” eludes you?

              The point is that NOBODY likes superheroes that are unattractive and unremarkable physically. Almost literally nobody. This is political. That’s all it is. It’s not commercial, it’s not logical, it’s not exciting, it’s not entertaining. It is someone using comics—not for the first time—to try to change American values and perceptions The fact that this particular norm is being deconstructed in this version of WW is a symptom of the growing influence of Marxism. That’s all. Poor Diana is a victim. That’s an observation. I leave the complaining to her fans.

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