This really is a catch-up, because i never got yesterday’s Warm-Up posted, and a lot has been going on…
1. Systemic denial! Name that rationalization! Governor Cuomo’s ridiculous excuse for his serial sexual harassment—that he’s touchy-feely-huggy-kissy with everyone, not just comely females in the workplace—needs its own rationalization along the lines of “I’m like this to everyone equally, so it’s OK!” it would be a sub-rationalization to #1, “Everybody Does It.” But I am torn: should I name it after the governor, or after George Bernard Shaw’s misanthrope Henry Higgins, who memorably argued (in both “Pygmalian” and the musical based on it, “My Fair Lady,”) that “the great secret…is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls”?
I’m tending toward “Higgins’ Misconception.”
2. Also in the category of reader feedback is my call for answers to this question, raised in the lively thread following the recent Comment of the Day: “How many of the Ethics Alarms readers know Idina Menzel, Kelli O’Hara, Laura Benanti, Audra McDonald, and Sutton Foster? How many could recognize their faces or voices?” My theory: systemic live theater decline…
3. Systemic confusion… Kate Coyne-McCoy, the top Rhode Island Democratic Party strategist and political consultant, sent a now-deleted tweet this week coyly wishing death on GOP Senator Lindsay Graham after his recent positive Wuhan virus test despite being vaccinated.
“It’s wrong to hope he dies from Covid right? Asking for a friend,” Coyne-McCoy tweeted. And who should register a protest but the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island political action committee, which issued a statement condemning Coyne-McCoy’s comments as “extremely distasteful and insensitive.” “Regardless of political affiliation the disregard for human life is unacceptable and should not be tolerated anywhere within any political party,” the group said. “How can we trust someone with such blatant disregard for human life with the will of RI voters?” The group added, “BLM RI PAC strongly urges RI Governor Dan McKee and House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi to call for her immediate resignation, as those views regardless of political affiliation should never be accepted.”
What’s going on here? Is BLM suddenly going bipartisan? Is this a trick? And aren’t they saying that “all lives matter”?
Since the criticism came from a group she cares about rather than just Republicans, Coyne-McCoy tweeted an apology: “I made a mistake. I used poor judgement which I obviously regret.” That’s an apology that doesn’t accomplish anything, if you think about it. The ethical issue isn’t her tweeting a sentiment that reveals that she is a hateful, untrustworthy individual with poor judgment, but that what she tweeted shows that she is a hateful, untrustworthy individual with poor judgment. She can apologize for being a wretch and an asshole, but that doesn’t mean she’s any less of one.
4. Systemic pandering. There was nothing at all wrong about the Obamas planning a huge, celebrity-studded, outdoor birthday bash for Barack on Martha’s Vinyard, other than the fact that extreme birthday parties are a sign of runaway narcissism— this is Barack Obama: what else is new? But the Obamas, who had asked guests to be vaccinated and were going to have a “COVID Coordinator” on the premises to ensure protocols were followed, were apparently afraid of being bashed by the Right for Wuhan Hypocwisy and the Left for not supporting the latest pandemic panic-mongering.
5. Systemic racism...Today we learned that Lincoln Center has named a new artistic director. I played a little game with myself on reading the headline: what color would she be? Since George Floyd was killed by a bully cop’s knee (maybe) last year, dozens of arts organizations have added new artistic directors or leaders, and so far, all the changeovers I’ve seen involve “of color” replacements and an occasional pale woman, but no white men at all.
It’s pretty clear that arts organizations, with overwhelmingly woke contributers, Democratic constituencies and progressive artists to deal with, have decided that virtue signaling and pandering are more important than merit, experience and fairness, because it would be downright weird if the best qualified individual to fill each of these openings just happened to be non-white, and non-male.If the race-obsessed Left’s favorite device was applied, disparate impact, these results would be called racism (and sexism).
Oh, the game: I won! The new Lincoln Center AD is named Shanta Thake—could be Irish!—and she’s the right color: half German-American, half Indian. If she had exactly the same resume and experience but had no Indian ancestry, do you think she’d have the job? Sure she would. Sure.
(As I was researching Thakes’s bio, I learned that the prestigious Second Stage in NYC just named Khady Kamara executive director. Yes, of course she is. Notes industry publication Backstage, “That these welcomed but overdue announcements are coming in clusters is unsurprising, given the widespread Black Lives Matter protests that have been ongoing since the spring, as well as calls for antiracist protocols specifically within the theater.”
They are welcome, you see, because they were made on the basis of race and gender
That’s one hell of a way to fight racism.