Sunday Afternoon Ethics Reflections, 11/20/2022, Part 2: The Rest Of The Stories…

[Part I, consisting of the introduction to today’s random collection and a related selection from the EA archives, is here…]

1. This marks the official beginning of the yearly holiday runaway emotions train wreck for me, with which I have permanent love-hate relationship that grows more intense each year. I inherited from my mother an immediate nostalgia, regret and sense of loss with this season, typically kicking in with the first Christmas song, which Sirius was cruel enough to offer weeks ago. I think that’s why I gravitate to the Karen Carpenter version of “Home for the Holidays,” because her early loss was so tragic, and her unique voice was so emotionally expressive. This coming week is our 42nd anniversary, of which I am proud from a perseverance and integrity standpoint, since almost nobody among our contemporaries are still on their first marriage, Thanksgiving, which will have fewer people around the table than ever before, then the anniversary of my finding my father dead in his easy chair on my birthday, followed by the annual hell of getting 2000 lights on a live 8 foot tree, a task that falls entirely on me now, and then Christmas madness. What fun. And yet I love the memories, the lights, the music, the spirit and the values the season represents.

Rats. Here we go again…

2. List Ethics: Thanks, I think, to Pennagain, who pointed me to this incredibly atrocious, lazy, offensive and incompetent list that purports to contain “The 70 Best Christmas Movies.” To begin with, there aren’t anywhere near half that many good Christmas movies, but that’s just the tip of the unethical iceberg. This mess isn’t just clickbait, it is insulting, misleading, confounding clickbait. I’ll agree to excuse calling “Die Hard” a Christmas movie, which is dumb (why not call “Three Days of the Condor” a Christmas movie, since it also takes place around Christmas, or “The Godfather,” which has a Christmas shopping scene? For that matter, if “Die Hard” qualifies, why not “Die Hard 2.” an inferior sequel, but much, much better than most of the movies that make the list. For example, one of “the best” is the beyond terrible “Jack Frost,” about a neglectful father reincarnated as a…snowman. The list includes “Black Christmas,” a pure (and well done) slasher film in which Christmas is only incidental. It includes “Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ which is about Thanksgiving and never mentions Christmas. It includes the Peanuts Christmas cartoon and Rankin-Bass’s “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” neither of which are movies. What’s not among the 70 Best Christmas movies? Oh, just “A Christmas Story,” considered good enough that several stations run it all through the 24th and 25th of December. And get this: the list doesn’t include a single film version of “A Christmas Carol.”

3. Most obnoxious ex-First Lady ever. Well, there was Mary Lincoln, but she may have been insane. Michelle Obama, flacking her book in an interview with Ellen DeGeneres, once again denigrated the portion of American public that wasn’t her favorite color, dishing: “As black women we deal with it, the whole thing about do you show up with your natural hair? … As First Lady, I did not wear braids. Being the first – yeah, we had to ease up on the people … I was like, it would be easier. Nope, nope. They’re not ready.”

No, YOU weren’t ready, you hypocrite. Americans elected your natural-haired spouse, and you would have been plastered on every fashion and women’s magazine cover if you had looked like Phyllis Diller, because your husband was a Democrat. It was a glamorous Republican First Lady they weren’t “ready for.”

4. Wait, when did the failure of “Jeopardy!” contestants to know a “question” become justification for criticism by newscasters? CNN pseudo journalists Poppy Harlow, Don Lemon and Kaitlan Collins felt that they had to express their disgust and horror that all three Jeopardy! contestants whiffed on the “answer,” “She’s the first black woman on the Supreme Court and the first justice to have been a federal public defender.” not even buzzing in. The correct response, of course, was “Who is Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson?”

Drama queen Don Lemon took his glasses off and sighed mightily after CNN rolled the clip. All the contestants were white.

Co-host Kaitlan Collins:“I don’t think that’s surprising, I will say.”

Racist white people. She knew where Don was coming from, so she was sucking up.

Lemon: “But these are smart people in the world.”

No, these are the kind of people who go on “Jeopardy” and gorge on trivia, you putz.

Collins: “That’s a good point.”

No, it really isn’t. All medium-to-easy human knowledge is fair game on the show, and everyone has gaps in their knowledge. Under pressure, on TV, all three contestants couldn’t fetch the name of the most recent SCOTUS justice. Big deal.

Lemon: “When you go on ‘Jeopardy!”…”

What? When you go on “Jeopardy!’ you must know what Don Lemon thinks is important? You must know what Don Lemon knows? What Don Lemon doesn’t know that most American should know would fill a library.

Poppy Harlow: “She was just confirmed, it’s been in the news!”

Most Americans can’t name how many Justices there are, the Chief Justice, or the names of even one or two. They’ve all been in the news.

Lemon: “If you’re standing outside, I think Kaitlin’s right, if you’re standing outside of a mall or whatever, people may not know, when they do the man on the street thing, yes. But when you’re smart enough to be a contestant on ‘Jeopardy’?”

Collins: “You gotta know about current events!”

They do. They just missed this single clue. Why don’t you go on “Jeopardy!,” Kaitlan? Then we can call you ignorant when you can’t come up with the right response.

Harlow: “And history-making ones!”

All Supreme Court confirmations are “history-making,” you pandering hack.

Lemon: “Yeah! Yeah!”

In related news, the new CNN management announced that it won’t have Don Lemon getting smashed on camera during the next New Years Eve broadcast.

5. A lot of progressives and Democrats really don’t like freedom of speech, do they? Attention must be paid. Here are some of the reactions to the most recent former President having restored his opportunity to express his views on Twitter like virtually every other politician and public figure:

Sure, Meathead. Your misinformation is good, Trump’s is bad.

Now here’s Clinton’s socialist Secretary of Labor:

Right, Bob. Trump “incited’ an “insurrection.” See comment on Rob Reiner’s nonsense above.

As always: shut up and sing, Bette. And here’s journalist, but a progressive one, so he only selectively approves of core individual rights:

No hysteria there! I know, I know, words are violence…

9 thoughts on “Sunday Afternoon Ethics Reflections, 11/20/2022, Part 2: The Rest Of The Stories…

  1. Right now, here in Victoria, authorities are investigating a speaker at a recent anti-lockdown rally for “incitement” over her metaphors about our pro-lockdown Premier.

  2. Skipping to the end so I can get this comment in before I forget-or get side-tracked.

    There is a new take on the Christmas Carol with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds.

    The review I heard was complimentary (if you can overlook the fact that neither Reynolds or Ferrell are known for their signing voices.

    However, if you are an aficionado of Christmas Carol Movies, it is probably compulsory viewing.



  3. Another quick hit before my upcoming phone conference: An attorney in my office came in last week and was telling me about a very strange FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) case that came out recently.

    He was talking about how Thomas joined in a dissent with a lot of the liberal justices. He mentioned Breyer, and I told him Breyer was not on the Court anymore, but I would not have been able to name his replacement.

    He said it was from last term and so we started trying to name who was on the Court. We got stuck for probably a minute trying to name the last person.

    The Winner? Gorsuch.

    Eventually, Ketanji Brown Jackson will get committed to part of my memory, but is not there yet.


  4. Congrats on anniversary no. 42, Grace and Jack. I bet the EA commentariat has a lot of enduring marriages in its ranks. Mrs. OB and the undersigned will be at 48 this coming Patriot’s Day/Running of the Boston Marathon.

    When we were probably around thirty, we attended a law firm classmate’s (first) wedding. A couple celebrating their 50th anniversary were in attendance. Someone somewhat showily asked the husband to share their secret to marital success. “Never got divorced,” responded the laconic fellow with a shrug, as if to say, “Next question?”

  5. #4. Maybe those newscasters would drop their criticisms if they knew the definition of trivia.

    There’s two levels of gameplay here, and the contestants took the least bad one. Guess right and you only won that round in the game. Guess wrong, and you lose both the round and are labeled a racist.

    If nobody makes a guess, then everyone can make a credible defense that they don’t categorize people by skin color.

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