Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/9/2021: It’s A Great Stupid Christmas, Charlie Brown! [Corrected]

It’s Christmas season song time, and that means more political correctness “updates” of classic songs that someone spent a lot of time figuring out how to be offended by. #1 on the political correctness hit list is the Frank Loesser naughty duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” which I admit to calling “date-rapey” six years ago. I regret that, which is an over-statement, but not this post (#3 in a 2017 Warm-up) that expressed my annoyance at the song being treated as Christmas fare at all.

But I didn’t know until today that the song debuted in the Esther Williams watery 1949 musical comedy”Neptune’s Daughter” (which I have never watched), that it had nothing to do with Christmas in the film, and that the movie presented the song in two versions, one in which the man (Ricardo Montalban) is trying to get the woman (Esther) to stay over—neither of them can sing, incidentally—and a gender-flipped version later where an aggressive Betty Garrett (who can sing) is trying to seduce a reluctant Red Skelton (who can’t). Salon, of all places, featured a balanced analysis of the song last month, here.

1. Deception by omission, as usual. Kyle Buchanan, the New York Times movie columnist (“The Projectionist”), issued a column about how to “fix” the Oscars broadcast, which has seen its rating fall like Joe Biden’s approval numbers in recent years. Now what is the most obvious and annoying reason for much of America tuning out the Academy Awards when once following them was considered a national tradition? It’s the politicizing of the event, the woke speeches and virtue signaling, the decision to base awards on diversity rather than merit, the oppressive partisanship and Trump-bashing, and the stars revealing their depressing ignorance by shooting off their mouths as if anyone cares what they think, of course. Buchanan doesn’t mention any of this! It’s a Jumbo: “Politics? What politics?” Yes, it’s another “Bias makes you stupid” classic. Buchanan doesn’t think the oppressive politicizing of the broadcast is a problem, because it’s consistent with his politics.

2. Speaking of woke derangement…Times theater critic Maya Phillips’ pan of the new Broadway musical “Mrs. Doubtfire” states that the original film “may now be — understandably — considered transphobic.”

3. If you thought Rep. Massie’s Christmas card showing his grinning gun-toting family was in bad taste, how about this…

Broebert guns Christmas

Yes, it’s in-your-face conservative Republican Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, currently embroiled in a controversy over her nasty anti-Muslim shots at nasty Muslim Rep. Omar.

4. I don’t understand this at all. The same pundits who called President Donald Trump a racist for referring to the virus China sicced on the world a Chinese virus and “the Wuhan virus” are calling for more serious sanctions against the country because of its human rights violations, like slave labor, political oppression and genocide. Here’s a typical piece on the subject by Kurt Streeter, the Times sportswriter who only writes about sports to provide a platform for his progressive political screeds. For once I agree with Streeter on a lot of his points; the main one is that corporate sponsors of the Olympics should boycott the Winter Games in China even if the U.S. won’t.

But if it is racist to simply call a pandemic that was fueled by Chinese government deception a Chinese virus on the theory that doing so will cause idiots to attack Asian-Americans, why doesn’t the same “logic” apply to calling China a human rights abuser, which is also true? His print headline is “Putting Profit Over Morality by Keeping Quiet on Human Rights Abuses.” How is keeping quiet about the responsibility for killing millions of people the right thing to do?

For that matter, how is allowing American athletes to do their thing at the price of giving China a stage for televised propaganda not putting sports over morality? I don’t understand that either.

5. Of all the high-profile trials going on now, this is the most perplexing…We just finished the Rittenhouse trial and the trial of the killers of Ahmaud Arbury, and now we have the trials of Jeffrey Epstein henchwoman Ghislane Maxwell, fake hate crime purveyor Jussie Smollett, and Theranos fraudster Elizabeth Holmes in the news. The strangest trial in the news, however, is that of Kim Potter, the white ex-Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed motorist Daunte Wright when she mistakenly grabbed her gun instead of her taser. She’s charged with manslaughter, among other charges, though both sides agree that the shooting was accidental. Potter intended to stun Daunte Wright, who appeared to be preparing to flee after a traffic stop, to protect another officer who was leaning into the passenger window of Wright’s car.

Potter has been fired, which was reasonable. I find it hard to believe that she would be standing trial if this were not the city where Derek Chauvin employed The Knee Felt ‘Round the World in a non-racial incident that is still falsely characterized as one. There’s no evidence that Wright’s race had anything to do with his death either, and I doubt that Potter would be on trial if he were white.

Once again, the threat of rioting hangs over a Minneapolis criminal trial, raising the question of whether it taints the proceedings. Also again we have a case where a black suspect resisted arrest or tried to flee, and a police officer is facing prison because her reaction in the moment turned fatal.

At this rate, nobody who is trustworthy or mentally stable will be willing to accept the risks of being a police officer. [Sources: New York Times 1, 2]

18 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/9/2021: It’s A Great Stupid Christmas, Charlie Brown! [Corrected]

  1. Yes, it’s in-your-face conservative Republican Texas Rep. Lauren Boebert, currently embroiled in a controversy over her nasty anti-Muslim shots at nasty Muslim Rep. Omar.

    What is supposed to be wrong with this picture?

    She has been fired, which was reasonable. I find it hard to believe that she would be standing trial if this were not the city where Derek Chauvin employed The Knee Felt ‘Round the World in a non-racial incident that is still falsely characterized as one. There’s no evidence that Wright’s race had anything to do with his death either, and I doubt that Potter would be on trial if he were white.

    I remember this one.

    She was only enforcing “common sense”, “sensible” gun laws.

    • “What is supposed to be wrong with this picture?”

      It’s sexist. The only person not holding a gun is also the only female. This perpetuates the harmful gender stereotype that men are protectors of women, who are helpless weaklings. Shame on you, Rep. Boebert!

      Also, one kid isn’t looking at the camera. That’s just bad portraiture right there. If you’re going to the trouble of pulling the guns out of the safe for a family photo, at least make sure everyone is looking in the same direction.

      Worst of all, those rifles appear to be chambered in .22lr. Everyone knows that Christmas is a centerfire holiday. Rimfire arms are for Easter.

      • “Worst of all, those rifles appear to be chambered in .22lr. Everyone knows that Christmas is a centerfire holiday. Rimfire arms are for Easter.”
        Good catch, I didn’t notice that. And yeah, deer for Christmas, rabbit for Easter.

  2. Jack… Lauren Boebert represents western Colorado (Grand Junction and environs), not Texas…
    She is actually from the town of Rifle, CO (not kidding)
    Mike

  3. On the topic of movies and especially older films. I’ve gotta stop showing old movies to my kids – there’s some creepy coincidence that seems to occur. Whenever the movie is on, I always look up the old actors and actresses to see everything else they’ve been in and get a general biography of them post-hollywood careers.

    The most recent we’ve watched is Disney’s 1959 Journey to the Center of the Earth. Just a few days ago. Only to discover the actress Arlene Dahl passed away only a week prior.

    This has occurred with several of the recent old movies we’ve watched, where prominent actors/actresses in the films had only died days prior – though I didn’t know until we watched the movie and looked them up.

    • Minor correction: 20th Century-Fox produced the original version. Disney did the vastly inferior remake. It’s probably still my favorite science fiction film. As you probably know, it was a huge influence on Lucas and Spielberg: the sun beam hitting the entrance to the route to the center (transferred to “the Map Room” in “Raiders”) and that huge rolling boulder chasing Pat Boone, and later Indy.

      • Ah dang! See, I got James Mason (of Disney’s 20,000 Leagues under the Sea) criss-crossed here as he led in Journey as well… AND they’re both Jules Verne stories!

        I hadn’t watched it since I was a child, so when we watched it together, and the beam of light (which I hadn’t quite recalled) and the rolling boulder stuck out to me as obvious inspiration for Indiana Jones scenes.

        • Pat was good in that movie; I’ve often wondered why he didn’t make more. The original screenplay had him singing several songs, which were all cut. Easily my choice for the best Saturday matinee flick ever.

    • Welp, time to see if the curse still exists.

      Just watched War of the Worlds from 1953 and a couple days ago we did Fantastic Voyage from 1966. Man as a kid I didn’t realize how hokey some of these oldies were. But from a “thinkie” angle, I can look past the plot holes. They are great enjoyable movies. They may not be deep on philosophy or thought but they are good enough to get you thinking.

      And the kids, armed with the same amazement I was before realizing hokiness, were both enthralled and cheering on the protagonists with some fervor.

      I like how both kids with fantastic voyage figured out Donald Pleasance’s character as the saboteur way earlier than I did as a child. If they’re brighter than me then that’s a parenting success.

  4. Such excellent points here! Re the family photo, you previously nailed it, “There would never be time when such a photo wouldn’t be tasteless” – never indeed!
    As a retired law enforcement officer I sadly agree, who would want to be a police officer? A prosecutor? Or even a juror? The multifaceted downward spiral of law and order is rooting deep into our culture. There is backlash but no true backpeddling.
    Press on Jack!

    • The one time it might not be tasteless is if some thugs were thinking about paying a visit to Rep. Boebert’s home. That photo might likely encourage them to rethink things a bit.

      Just saying…

  5. #5: If I remember correctly from the Chauvin trial, Minnesota has some oddities in how they define their various levels of murder/manslaughter, etc. Still, is a momentary “brain fart” resulting in injury enough to justify a manslaughter charge? Is there no requirement for some other, separate, preceding bad act or negligent behavior?

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