Ever heard that one before? It’s the late Art Carney, best known for his reliably brilliant portrayal of sewer worker Ed Norton as Jackie Gleason’s foil on “The Honeymooners” pioneering Christmas rap. Carney also won an Oscar, like a lot of comics managing a successful late career pivot from clowning to drama, and had another Christmas credit on his CV. Art starred in “The Night of the Meek,” a memorable “Twilight Zone” episode in 1960 that aired on December 23. Carney played a drunk and depressed department store Santa who, through wishes, fate and the regular “Twilight Zone” magic, becomes the real Santa Claus in the show’s climax. Rod Serling, who wrote the episode, ended it thusly,
A word to the wise to all the children of the twentieth century, whether their concern be pediatrics or geriatrics, whether they crawl on hands and knees and wear diapers or walk with a cane and comb their beards. There’s a wondrous magic to Christmas and there’s a special power reserved for little people. In short, there’s nothing mightier than the meek.
Some politically correct idiot at CBS deleted Rod’s Merry Christmas wish from the episode in the 1980s. Can you believe that? “And a Merry Christmas to each and all” is not heard in reruns, VHS releases and the five-DVD set “The Twilight Zone: The Definitive Edition.”
1. Here’s as good as an apology as you can make when you are videoed trying to kill someone. New England Patriots great Willie McGinest, a three-time Super Bowl winner, issued an abject mea culpa on social media after an ugly incident in which he attacked someone in a restaurant this month in California turned up streaming on the web. The onetime star linebacker was seen on video obtained by TMZ Sports punching a man in the face and then attacking him with a bottle. McGinest was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, then was released on bond. He wrote on Instagram:
This apology would rate a #1 on the Ethics Alarms Apology Scale, as it hits all the marks. It also convinces me that the scale needs to be revised, something that has been suggested by several commenters over the years. There has to be a special category for professionally-crafted public apologies designed to avoid the natural consequences of outrageous conduct. Can one adequately and credibly apologize for attacking someone in a restaurant? Should they be trusted again? Attacking someone with bottle in a public place is signature significance, is it not? Someone with adequate ethics alarms doesn’t do that even once.
Oh, I’m sure Willie is sorry: that video can cost him a great deal…much more than he paid his PR firm to draft it. [Pointer: Arthur in Maine]
2. Speaking of “hate speech”…Inspired by a Pew survey that found a majority of Americans believe there isn’t any agreement on what language is considered sexist or racist because the boundaries keep shifting, the New York Times had the Morning Consult conduct a poll asking 4,423 subjects whether they would say various words and phrases. Here are the terms more Americans would say than not…
Gee, I’m sure glad slightly more Americans than not would say “illegal aliens,” since that’s what they are. That figure is testimony to the power of repetition, euphemisms and brain-washing inflicted by the media.
Here’s the words or phrases that a majority won’t say (or claim they won’t):
Who picked these? Where are“grandfather,” “stupid” and “blackball?” Heck, where are”nigger,” “fuck”, and “retard?” Ten percent of the public will use “chestfeeding”? Kill me now. What’s the matter with “primary bedroom”? What’s the matter with “low-income” to describe low incomes? Who talks about “spirit animals” who’s worth talking to? I don’t know what the hell “AAPI” is…I guess I’ll google it when my Christmas Eve sock drawer duties are done. “Global South?” [Pointer: Ann Althouse]
3. This is why governments have deficits.…San Francisco, where human feces on the sidewalks is a major problem, spent $550,000 designing a new trash can over a four-year-long process including a design contest and testing. The city chose the super-keen-o model because, it says, the can is tamper-resistant, easy to clean, durable, and makes rummaging through it more difficult. It has openings for trash and recycling (gotta have that), a curved top to discourage people from leaving items on top of it, and is mostly transparent. Sounds worth the money to me! And besides, what else important does San Francisco need that would put a half-million dollars to better use?
It looks like each can will cost between 12,000 and $20,000 each. Let’s have a pool to guess which end of that range is more likely to prevail. Here’s Supercan!
4. There’s nothing like pandering when you have no clue what you’re pandering about. Nancy Pelosi ended her final speech as Speaker of the House by wishing everyone a “Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a Happy Shwanza.”
5. Finally, a Kristmas KABOOM! City-Journal reports that at Thomas Jefferson High in Fairfax, Virginia (not to be confused with Thomas Jefferson Junior High and Community Center in Arlington Virginia, where I directed the theatrical production that I am perhaps most proud of: “Follies”—and confusing them is what I did originally, both being called “TJ” locally), two administrators have been withholding notifications of National Merit awards from the school’s students awarded them, most of them Asian. This denied those students the chance to use those awards to boost their college-admission prospects and earn scholarships. The author believes that this was intentional, a part of “the school district’s new strategy of “equal outcomes for every student, without exception.” School administrators, for instance, have implemented an “equitable grading” policy that eliminates zeros, gives students a grade of 50 percent just for showing up, and assigns a cryptic code of “NTI” for assignments not turned in. It’s a race to the bottom.”
The school’s leadership is acting as if it was just an oversight—for at least three years. Read the article. [Pointer: Mark Metcalf]