End Of A Bad Ethics Week Sign-Off, 5/6/2022: Espy, Psaki, Chappelle, And Terrible Movies

Is it unethical to make really bad movies? I’m talking about irredeemable garbage, not inspired lunacy like Ed Wood films, so mind-blowingly terrible that they are hypnotic as well as unforgettable. Isn’t it irresponsible to spend money and mislead audiences when you have no talent whatsoever?

I’ve been thinking about this ever since we tried to watch “Birdemic: Shock and Terror,” which we were counting on to be amusingly bad, and it was, instead, bad beyond all expectations. Though it was obviously modeled on “The Birds,” no birds appeared until half-way through the film, and they may have been the worst special effects I have ever seen anywhere. The sound quality was poor, and the writer-director makes Wood seem like Orson Welles by comparison. The movie also makes Mystery Science Theater 3000’s “Manos, the Hands of Fate” seem like “Casablanca.” (That famously awful film, at a $19,000 budget, was still almost twice as expensive to make as “Birdemic.”) We had to bail on the film when the birds appeared, because screeching woke up Spuds and put him in a panic.

Here’s the whole film. The “birds” appear at the 47 minute mark, but the acting and dialogue really has to be experienced to be believed:

There is a sequel.

1. Is Jen Psaki the worst weasel ever to serve as a Presidents paid liar? It’s hard to say, but her exchange with Peter Doocy on the doxxing of the Supreme Court justices is truly despicable. (No wonder MSNBC wants to hire her.)

Doocy: “[Y]ou guys spent some time…talking about what you think are…extreme wings of the [GOP]. Do you think the progressive activists that are now planning protests outside of justices’ houses are extreme?”

Psaki: “Peaceful protests? No. Peaceful protest is not extreme.”

But the question wasn’t about peaceful legal protests. It was about illegal protests that violate the privacy—how’s that for hypocrisy?—of Suprem Court members and their families.

Doocy: “Some of these justices have young kids. Their neighbors are not all public figures, so would [Biden] think about waving activists that want to go into…neighborhoods in VA and MD?”

Psaki: “Peter…our view is that peaceful protests, there is a long history…of that.”

What? A long history of harassing and trying to intimidate SCOTUS justices at home? Even if that wasn’t an outright lie, the fact that there’s a long history of misconduct doesn’t excuse the misconduct. She could have given the same answer regarding tar and feathers.

Doocy: “Is [protesting outside the homes of justices] the kind of thing [Biden] wants to help your side make their point?”

Psaki: “Look, [his] view is that there’s a lot of passion, a lot of fear, a lot of sadness…We want people’s privacy to be respected.”

Translation: “Emotion justifies everything, and I don’t want to answer your question.”

2. Too bad Dave Chappelle isn’t a pro-trans activist; then the guy who tackled him on stage would be charged with a felony hate crime. But just normal hate isn’t enough: Isaiah Lee will not face felony charges, just misdemeanors. Lee is being charged with battery, possession of a weapon with intent to assault, unauthorized access to the stage area during a performance, and committing an act that delays an event or interferes with the performer.

This is California, where holding criminals properly accountable is racist, or something.

3. Ann Althouse’s tangents often drive me crazy, but this is a good one…she’s been obsessing lately abut how various sources are avoiding the use of the words “women” and “woman.” Here she writes,

In “Abortion bans and penalties would vary widely by state,” Politico quotes Farah Diaz-Tello, senior counsel to something called If/When/How:

“Even if a bill doesn’t allow pregnant people to be charged directly, we’re concerned about the ways increased surveillance could lead to people being criminalized for an abortion or another kind of pregnancy loss….These bills create an environment where a person’s private health information, their affect and demeanor and whether they are sufficiently distraught, could all become evidence in a case against someone else. They could still be treated as a suspect.”

Here‘s the webpage for If/When/How, subtitled “Lawyering for Reproductive Justice.” It describes its purpose without saying “women”:

“If/When/How envisions a transformation of the legal systems and institutions that perpetuate oppression into structures that realize justice, and a future when all people can self-determine their reproductive lives free from discrimination, coercion, or violence. We transform the law and policy landscape through advocacy, support, and organizing so all people have the power to determine if, when, and how to define, create, and sustain families with dignity and to actualize sexual and reproductive wellbeing on their own terms.”

A commenter reacts, “Trans Genders and their allies began stealing the word “woman” when they differentiated between cis and trans. Now they’ve shoved biological women aside with terms like “birthing person”. A trans woman is a full woman; a biological woman is a person with a cervix. They’ve completed the theft; the Professor has noticed and is spreading the alarm.”

4. Biden’s not even trying to be responsible at this point. The White House is raving about its replacement for Jen Psaki being “historic” because she’s a black lesbian. Oh, who the hell cares? What does that have to do with the job? If Mike McCurrey was the first White House press secretary to master the Kama Sutra maneuver “The Bridge” did we need to know? Would that have been “historic”? Why do we need to know what and with who or what a spokesperson does in the bedroom?

However, it is relevant what kinds of biases a press secretary arrives with. This one,  Karine Jean-Pierre, is married to CNN correspondent Suzanne Malveaux. She also is an anti-Israel shill who worked as a senior advisor and national spokeswoman for George Soros’s MoveOn.org, a truly ethics-free organization that was trying to censor free speech before the democrats caught the bug.

5.”The best people,” Part, oh, I don’t know. A big number. Another former Trump official is cashing in with a tell-all book. This one is former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s “A Sacred Oath,” which will be released next week. The excerpts from the book are typical of what Trump got when he was limited to the D and F squad for his cabinet and advisors, because useful, experienced and trustworthy professionals were intimidated and pressured not to help an elected President of the United States succeed. Esper quotes Trump in meetings and conversations where he trusted that what he said would remain confidential, because they should have. Unfortunately, he was dealing with greedy, untrustworthy, unethical creeps like Esper. Trump doesn’t have an aversion to greedy, untrustworthy, unethical creeps, perhaps because he is one. But a President still should not be betrayed.

According to The New York Times, for example, Esper writes that in 2020 Trump asked him at least twice about launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and eradicate the cartels. “They don’t have control of their own country,” Esper quotes Trump as saying.

But he didn’t do it, did he? I am quite confident is saying that 20th and 21st Century Presidents have mused about doing thousands of crazy things to their staff, advisors and subordinates, but most of the people who were in the rooms where the brainstorming happened behaved like professionals, and never talked about it. I have been talked out of some pretty absurd things by those I trusted in various leadership and management positions. Lateral thinkers and creative people think of all sorts of things, and in the moment an idea pops into such an individual’s head, it is often hard to tell the brilliant, bold and revolutionary ideas from the reckless and the ridiculous ones.

Espy is unethical scum, and the authors of all “tell-all” books are similarly disgusting. I blame Trump for hiring such an untrustworthy nightcrawler (actually many untrustworthy nightcrawlers), but not for anything Espy is revealing to justify his book advance.

11 thoughts on “End Of A Bad Ethics Week Sign-Off, 5/6/2022: Espy, Psaki, Chappelle, And Terrible Movies

  1. RE 5
    Launching missiles into Mexico to destroy cartels is little different than using our military and their high tech war hardware to assist the president of Columbia in destroying the Medellin cartel’s jungle cocaine labs. I have a hard time differentiating between using Blackhawk helicopters using rockets and 50 caliber Gattaling guns. So using laser guided smart munitions or missiles in cooperation with Mexican authorities would be theoretically better strategy than putting personnel in harms way. This s is not as far fetched as it sounds when compared to other covert operations undertaken in the region by the US in working to destroy the cartel’s hold on Mexico and other Central American countries.
    Beyond the breach of trust, what makes Esper’s quote particularly reprehensible is that is that it suggest we never ever used our military hardware to combat the drug lords. So his goal was not to enlighten but to smear Trump.

    • Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) said on at least one of his podcasts that we should just annex the northern stretch of Mexico where the cartels have been funneling drugs and criminals our way. Either Mexico let’s us do it, in which case we can use our full military might to police that region, or they bring in their OWN military to stop us, in which case there is still a military presence policing the border. I can think of multiple ways that could go wrong, but I can understand putting crazy ideas like that out there and looking into what’s feasible.

    • The configuration and melanin content of a person’s genitals seems to be very important to Joe Biden’s puppeteers.

  2. Regarding your prologue.

    Yes, I think it’s unethical to produce terrible art. Though there’s an argument to be made that one man’s art is another’s trash and vice versa, there is a great responsibility in wielding one’s talent or, at least, in recognizing when one has no talent at all.

    Of all living creatures, human beings alone are capable of creating, appreciating and being moved by art. We live in a world designed to be beautiful by a God who loves us enough to care about whether or not we are surrounded by beauty. He gave us the ability to create beauty in this world to elevate and inspire others. It’s our job not to misuse our liberty to create by appealing to the lowest common denominator, whether that’s in audience enjoyment or in dollar amounts or in betraying the beholder’s trust by hijacking art to take incoherent political shots.

    I am writing this two days after watching the second season finale of “Star Trek: Picard” in which one of my favorite fictional characters of all time concludes his storyline. I have been an emotional wreck since then, both moved by the final scenes which were wonderfully acted and by my bewilderment at how invested I have been in the fate of a fictional character.

    But that’s what art does. Whether it’s a painting, a piece of music or a well-acted performance (or a natural landscape), we are truly fortunate to be able to be moved by Creation or by a creation. That’s why it’s unethical to waste time and money on what does not entertain, uplift and inspire.

  3. They’ve replaced Psaki with someone who will never have to face acknowledging legitimate criticism.

    No anyone criticizing her will either be a racist or a transphobe.

    The white house has a golden ticket!

      • I know full well, now that conservatism and people who believe in our constitutional republic are starting to get a back bone (I hope not too late) that plenty of people won’t give a damn that the Democrats think they have an impregnable fortress of lies in the new spokesman.

        That still doesn’t mean that the MSM won’t essentially avoid addressing concerns with a super-easy fall back of “racist!” and “homophobe!” as though her responses to their answers were somehow tied to that identity.

        It’s been amusing watching America slowly reassert its pre-FDR “DNA”. Where FDR and the rise of the technocracy convinced the acolytes of state-run-everything that they had an impenetrable cultural hegemony – we are seeing that they only have a very hard to assault cultural bastion.

        But it’s coming down. The next 10 years will show if it collapses or holds.

        I hope it collapses.

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