Insomnia Ethics Obsessions, 6/19/2021: Bad Art, Bad Employee, Bad Children’s Book, And Other Bad Stuff

Sleeping disorder or insomnia concept

I’m starting this post at 4:11 am. Is the infuriating Red Sox loss because an umpire called an obvious ball four a strike responsible? Is it the Facebook friend’s fatuous post about how opposing the teaching of systemic racism is systemic racism? Or is it the picante sauce and Tostidos at 11:30? I may never know.

1. When ethics alarms don’t ring in Shanghai...The OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT), a Shanghai museum advertised artist Song Ta’s artwork with the Chinese title “Campus Flower” and English title “Uglier and Uglier”featuring a collection of still images and videos completed in 2013. Ta recorded women passing by him, then he rated them and numbered them according to how beautiful (or not) he thought they were, showing them in a seven-hour video from prettiest to ugliest.

For some reason, the women included without their consent and others with a shred of decency had a problem with this. After furious criticism, the museum announced that it would immediately remove the artwork, saying,

“After receiving criticism, we re-evaluated the content of this artwork and the artist’s explanation, we found it disrespected women, and the way it was shot has copyright infringement issues. As a museum that supports diversity, we will take this as a warning, improve our services and treat everyone with empathy.”

Sure. If the individuals running the museum remain in charge, I wouldn’t hold out much hope that the management would be able to recognize an unethical exhibit if it contained neon signs flashing UNETHICAL.

2. Here’s a fanatic’s reaction to the passage of “Juneteenth” as a national holiday! Let’s play “When did the writer lose all credibility?” It was here: “Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas reintroduced his Saving American History Act, which would ban federal funding to schools that have New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic, “The 1619 Project,” on their curricula. Like his fellow Republicans, Cotton is about as concerned with saving American history as GOP-led state legislatures passing voter suppression laws are interested in protecting election integrity.” Citing winning a Pulitzer Prize is a dishonest appeal to a discredited authority, and calling the thoroughly debunked and discredited 1619 Project epic, or even history, is proof or an opinion writer whose opinions aren’t worth considering.

3. Another unethical “Take this job and shove it” story. A yet-to-be identified-McDonald’s employee in Louisville, Kentucky, closed up his restaurant early and put a paper sign on the drive-thru monitor: “We are closed because I am quitting and I hate this job.” A customer photographed the sign and put it on social media, where it has, as they say, “gone viral,” with far too many sympathizing with the quitter…including the guy who posted the photo. “I think that people are just frustrated, especially the working class people who are there in the front line … things that are in a boiling point where I can definitely see where someone on a Saturday night that doesn’t want to be working the drive-thru — wants to just call it quits,” he told a reporter.

Nobody put a gun to the employee’s head to force him to take the job. It’s not a great job, but if that’s how you treat employers and the public, leaving them in the lurch so you can throw a tantrum, you don’t deserve a great job. In fact, you don’t deserve a job at all.

4.Still steaming over my Facebook friend’s smug assertion...Andrew Sullivan, who is one of the progressives being pushed back to his conservative roots by The Great Stupid, writes about the the indoctrination of kids into seeing the nation from a systemic racism and Critical Race Theory perspective. How crazy is it? This crazy: Sullivan reveals that anti-white race huckster Ibram X. Kendi “has written an AntiRacist Baby Picture Book so you can indoctrinate your child into the evil of whiteness as soon as she or he can gurgle.” KABOOM! There goes my head! Here’s selection:

Nati-racist baby

The translation of the above: “Be hyper-conscious of race, because it’s the most important thing.”

Sullivan: “It’s a little hard to argue that CRT is not interested in indoctrinating kids when its chief proponent in the US has a kiddy book on the market. The goal of education of children this young is to cement the notion at the most formative age that America is at its core an oppressive racist system uniquely designed to exploit, harm, abuse, and even kill the non-white. This can be conveyed in easy terms, by training kids to see themselves first and foremost as racial avatars, and by inculcating in them a sense of their destiny as members of the oppressed or oppressor classes in the zero-sum struggle for power that is American society in 2021.”

Do you regret promoting and enabling the political party, ideologies and national figures who are actively allying themselves with Kendri and the racialists, Andrew? Because you did, you know… [Pointer: Advice Goddess Blog]

5. Martyr or Asshole? I vote “Both.” Masterpiece Cakeshop owner Jack Phillips who had a technical rather than a substantive victory when the Supreme Court in 2018 overturned his punishment for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, uses his familiar argument in his denial of a contrived request made June 26, 2017, by a local attorney named Autumn Scardina that he make a custom cake with a blue exterior and pink interior to celebrate \ transition from male to female. As a devout Christian, the now-retired baker cannot “create custom cakes that express messages or celebrate events in conflict with his religious beliefs.” This time he was ordered to pay a $500 fine by Denver District Judge A. Bruce Jones for violating anti-discrimination laws. Scardina’s initial complaint, filed with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, failed, so he or she—I really don’t care which it is— filed another lawsuit with the state court. Judge Jones wrote in his decision rejecting Phillips’ defense, “Anti-discrimination laws are intended to ensure that members of our society who have historically been treated unfairly, who have been deprived of even the every-day right to access businesses to buy products, are no longer treated as ‘others.'”

As I wrote when I first learned of the continuing persecution of Phillips, both Scardina and the baker have behaved like jackasses. While the law remains gray, because custom cake making is right on the line between art, making Scardina’s demand compelled First Amendment speech, and public accommodation, which would make Phillips a bigot, it was unethical to force this into court. Scardina was maliciously targeting Phillips when the lawyer could have had almost any baker make the (trite) cake he wanted. Phillips was and is and has been a jerk: being paid to bake a cake that is pink inside and blue outside constitutes no endorsement of anything. He would have presumably baked one that he didn’t know how it would be used, and it’s none of his business who eats his cakes after he makes them. They are both grandstanding for their ideological allies, and everyone involved in this Asshole vs Asshole battle is supporting bad citizenship, bad neighbors, bad community relations and unnecessary societal division.

5 thoughts on “Insomnia Ethics Obsessions, 6/19/2021: Bad Art, Bad Employee, Bad Children’s Book, And Other Bad Stuff

  1. 4. Wait. Is that a Chinese family behind the black family? Aren’t Asian Americans oppressors? Or are they “of color?” I’m confused.

      • Kind of like having a Joker in the deck.

        Funny how Kamala Harris is oppressed but Indian families (or Asian of all stripes, for that matter) running bodegas and convenience stores oppress the people of color in poor neighborhoods.

        And I see Hunter Biden sees the yellow of certain girls. How is that not all over the media? Can you imagine a Trump son or son in law saying any of the things dear Hunter says or doing anything dear Hunter does? But for Hunter, it’s crickets.

  2. I have a different problem with the article about the McDonald’s employee. The guy who tweeted the photo stole it from a reddit post. The post on the Louisville subreddit was on 6/13 (Sunday). The tweet is from 6/14 (Monday). It’s the exact same photo.

    The tweeter’s timeline was off – he said he went Sunday morning, but I saw the sign there Sunday evening around 7:30pm (it’s the closest McD’s to me so I drove over after seeing it on reddit to see if it was true). So, I checked back under the original reddit post. The poster there says Great Ape Dad stole the photo.

    This is a (normally) very busy McDonald’s. There’s a problem if one person could quit and that would cause the whole restaurant to shut down. (It wasn’t just the drive through, the lights inside were off and it appeared empty.) Surely there was more than one person working on a Sunday evening. They would still be doing steady business at that time. It used to be a franchise McD’s but they sold it to the company several years ago. It hasn’t been as good since.

  3. After reading that an Illinois town is planning to cancel its in-person Independence Day celebration after having parades for “Juneteenth” and “Pride Month,” I begin to wonder if the real purpose of the new holiday isn’t being revealed before our eyes.

    How long before every large city in America first merges the two holidays (a la “President’s Day”) to be celebrated around the ides of June, and eventually just tosses the July 4th holiday altogether? If you don’t think it could happen, I’m going to have to accuse you of naivete.

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