On October 24, 1945, the United Nations Charter became effective, marking this date as the international organization’s official birthday. What a disappointment the U.N. has been! The idea of a body made up of representatives of the nations of the world dedicated to promoting peace and mutual cooperation for the good of humanity was always a quixotic and probably doomed mission, one shared by the U.N.’s ill-conceived predecessor, Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations.
I am old enough, however, to remember when the American public believed in and respected the U.N. Its meetings were broadcast regularly by PBS; the U.N’s second Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld was one of the world’s most admired men, and the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (ironically, since his father had effectively killed the League of Nations by blocking the U.S.’s membership in the new body in the Senate), was immensely popular. The U.N. has had its moments, notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, but it squandered the public’s trust with outrageous committee appointments, placing brazen human rights violators on its Human Rights Council for example (currently Russia, China and Cuba are members), persistent efforts at world government, which is and should always be an offense to the U.S. Constitution, and corruption at the highest levels that have become impossible to excuse. Today the United Nations’ existence is largely symbolic. Maybe that’s enough to justify the expense, but we once thought the United Nations would be so much more.
1. Searching for an ethical news aggregator...but I can’t find one. I visited the Drudge Report for the first time in months, and saw this link: FACEBOOK Faulted by Staff Over Insurrection…
Drudge has been abandoned by many conservatives over the site’s decision to spin anti-Trump, but continuing to call the January 6 riot an “insurrection” after the FBI’s report conclusively showed it wasn’t one is signature significance for a propaganda site. Over at the aggregator that has snatched away Drudge’s Trump-supporting audience, Citizen Free Press, the coverage of the unfolding Alec Baldwin gunfire accident includes this headline: “PHOTOS — This is the woman Alec Baldwin put in charge of firearms for his low budget film…” and this image of the film’s armorist:
Oh, I see! Based on her looks, we know she must have been incompetent! This is nothing but bigotry, and it is why so many people detest conservatives.
2. Until more people show some courage and principles, this kind of thing will only become more frequent and get worse. Witness the revolting development from Coastal Carolina University. The College Fix reports:
“On September 16, students filed into a classroom, and some students noted the names of several students of color were written on a whiteboard at the front of the class. Thinking this was some sort of list singling out minority students, the offended students planned a campus protest on September 21 instead of going to class.But the names were actually part of a list of students who may want to hang out together, drawn up by a visiting artist who had been counseling two students of color after the previous class. One of the students had said she felt isolated and wanted to get to know other minority students in the theater department, so the group brainstormed a list of potential friends. The school later admitted the list was “a resource for newer students who are looking to be in community with other BIPOC students.”
Never mind; Facts Don’t Matter! The school apologized to the mistakenly offended students with a statement that “faculty and students involved as well as the Theatre Department as a whole are deeply sorry to anyone who was affected by this incident.” That’s right: the school apologized to the students for the students leaping to conclusions and protesting before they knew what they were protesting about. Not only that, the visiting artist who created the list to help the minority students also apologized, calling her actions “thoughtless and careless.” Yes, it is certainly careless to assume that students in the era of The Great Stupid will be capable of being fair, responsible, and reasonable when they have unlimited power to make administrators and instructors lick their metaphorical boots on a whim.
Wait! It gets worse! Dr. Steven Earnest , a theater professor at the school, dared to observe that apologies were unnecessary. “Sorry but I don’t think its a big deal,” Earnest wrote in response to an email from the Department of Theatre’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. ”I’m just sad people get their feelings hurt so easily. And they are going into Theatre?” Good point! I guess theater grads will start screaming “Racists!” from the stage at audiences that don’t applaud their works sufficiently.
But Earnest’s emails were leaked, and newly offended students accused him of showing racial insensitivity. They demanded a boycott of his classes, and some demanded that he be fired. So on September 20, the dean of Coastal Carolina’s College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Claudia Bornholdt, asked Earnest to turn in his syllabus and ordered him not to come to his classes.
3. And speaking of theater and the tyranny of the perpetually offended minority…The New York Times happily reports that the return of live performances to Broadway has been accompanied by multiple shows making changes large and small in order to avoid offending the Radical Woke, and to make sure the words, staging and vibes of the shows properly reflect the fact that a white rogue cop accidentally killed an arrest-resisting petty hood of African American heritage in Minnesota by treating him exactly as he would have treated any other perp under similar circumstances. (Yes, I pledge to keep repeating that accurate description until Floyd’s death isn’t cited by the media as an example of racism.)
Among the sensitive changes: In “The Lion King,” references to the jungle shaman Rafiki as a monkey (he is a monkey) were cut because a black actress occupies Rafiki’s costume. In “Hamilton,” the non-speaking role of Sally Hemmings was re-choreographed to show contempt for Thomas Jefferson in Jefferson’s big number because of “the shameful distance between the liberty he wrote about, and the life he lived as a slaveholder.” In “Aladdin,” the word “barbaric” has been deleted from the opening song, “Arabian Nights,” and replaced with “chaotic.” (The Arab world is barbaric. And chaotic…)
The biggest changes were in the satiric musical “The Book of Mormon,” a capitulation which we should have seen coming….
“Throughout the show, which will resume performances next month, moments were tweaked to sharpen the satire of Mormonism… and to give the Ugandan villagers more agency. A gag in which the villager Nabulungi tries to send a text using a typewriter is gone; now she has an iPad, and the joke is no longer about her lack of sophistication, but about the unreliability of social media. Also: toward the end of the show, it is Nabulungi, not a white missionary, who scares away a warlord. “It’s putting Uganda at the center,” said Kim Exum, the actress playing Nabulungi, “instead of the Mormon boys.” [Pointer: Dr. Emilio Lizardo]
4. From the “Bias makes you stupid” files, cross-listed in the “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!” files. Many conservative wags noted this:
…which those with a minimally functioning brain immediately recognize as conservative mockery of the crazed anti-white supremacy posse claiming that the alleged coded racist symbol was being flashed by sports fans, lawyers, celebrities…anyone, really, that they felt they could bully and smear. But Reuters, like the rest of the mainstream media on high-alert to defend Joe Biden from even facetious criticism, quickly issued a “fact check”:
“A hand gesture U.S. president Joe Biden made during a CNN town hall in Baltimore on Oct. 21 was in reference to corporations not paying taxes. Some social media users are isolating a screenshot of the moment from this context to claim it resembles a white supremacist symbol….”
Morons. Althouse notes,
“Could somebody fact check whether Reuters has a sense of humor? It’s pretty obvious that this humor is intended to mock all the other accusations that the “OK” sign is a white power expression.
Reuters should not insinuate that the gesture is taken out of context to be deceptive. The context, laboriously stated in the fact check, is perfectly evident from the words printed on screen!”