I had one last chance to use the cheery song from “Camelot” again, so I took it. The 2023 revival of that show opened to near unanimous pans from critics in April (ironically); the book had been over-hauled by “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin, and arrived with black knights of the Round Table among other panders to the woke Broadway crowd. It also arrived without Julie Andrews and Richard Burton, which was the real killer: the original “Camelot” had iconic stars, lovely stars, spectacle, and a really bad book (unlike the classic book it was based on, “The Once and Future King” by T.H. White. It also had a wistful title song that was turned into the valedictory of the Kennedy Presidency, ending with “Don’t let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot!“
In Sorkin’s version, Guenevere refers to the song as “dumb” and, later, as “that stupid song about the weather.” Nice.
Cheer me up with fascinating ethics observations, please:
16 thoughts on “Last May 2023 Open Forum!”
Big brouhaha over in Jeopardyland of late.
One contestant’s Final Jeopardy answer was ruled incorrect. The correct answer was “Beatrice and Benedick,” the two leads in Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing. He wrote “Beatrice and Benedict.”
In a different game, the correct answer for Final Jeopardy was the “Appalachian Trail.” One contestant left off the final “a” in “Appalachian,” but her answer was considered acceptable because it was “phonetically correct,” and they “don’t take off for spelling.”
Thing is, most American dialects don’t really let a terminal “t” be truly plosive: we move the tongue into place on the upper palate, but it stops there rather than snapping off it to create a sound. (One of the first things for Americans to do in learning most middle- and upper-class British accents, for example, is to fully articulate terminal consonants.)
So the phonetic difference between “Benedick” and “Benedict” is almost imperceptible: it exists, but so does the difference between “Appalachian” and “Appalachin.” Had the questions required oral responses, as literally every prompt other than Final Jeopardy does, it’s virtually certain that both contestants would have been considered to have answered correctly.
So–did the judges rule correctly? Or should both responses have been considered correct? Both incorrect? Or at least the same, whether correct or incorrect?
Enquiring minds want to know.
These controversies come up from time to time on “Jeopardy!” and, in general, I usually side with the show. The contestants are informed of the rules before the game so they should know what does and does not count.
In the case of this one, I dunno. Could the show be thinking that Benedict is not the character in question, though – clearly – they know what the contestant was thinking? If the contestant had written Romen instead of Romeo with the answer otherwise correct, would that count?
In that same game, one contestant didn’t finish writing “Romeo and Juliet” in time, so it came our as “Romeo and Juli.” It apparently would have been counted as correct had those characters indeed been the right response.
Interesting question. I wonder if this is rule only applicable to “Final Jeopardy”. If the rule is they don’t deduct/reject answers for phonetic errors, then both answers should have been acceptable. I don’t know the rules but it would seem that application of the rules is arbitrary and inconsistent. “Appalachian” vs. “Appalachin” seems like the same error as “Benedict” vs. “Benedick”. In fact, I would argue that “Appalachin” should be rejected because contestants on Jeopardy should be more familiar with US names then the characters in a Shakespeare play. I am not certain I would have realized there is a “k” vs. a “t”. If the show allowed “Appalachin” then it should have allowed “Benedict” but that inherently breeds chaos into the show. In those situations, strict application of the rules is the only proper policy. It’s harsh but for the show’s credibility, it has to do that to avoid appearances of favoritism or
Here is an article of interest.
These people are delusional. They think their own fear requires everyone else to abandon their rights. They eat, drink and sleep propaganda, mainline propaganda straight into their veins, and then accuse everyone else of ignoring the truth.
That is a lot of vitriol directed at a dissenting voice. The dissenter must be on to something.
The left might gain more traction with their crusades if they didn’t spend so much time engaging in rampant hypocrisy. The article rails against people not vaccinating their children, but look here:
Apparently, illegally crossing the border to enter the United States somehow automagically renders one immune to all those diseases that citizens have to inject their kids with! Well, if jumping the border illegally provides disease immunity, why not just take all the kids to Mexico and have them run across?
Maybe an interesting article, but there is a limit to how much nonsense I’m willing to read at one sitting.
But just one observation from the tail end of the screed — if anyone thinks that American parents want to eliminate all vaccines for childhood diseases, they need a major reality check. Skepticism about the Covid shots (I decline to refer to them as vaccines) resulted from the manner in which their promoters misled us, took away our liberties, and generally acted as tinpot dictators. Yes it has resulted in a lack of trust in public health authorities and it is their own damn fault.
One of Churchill’s strengths during World War II was that he realized the British people would rather be fed the raw meat of truth, even though it might be brutal. So many leaders wrongly think that the public cannot be trusted to know the facts of a crisis.
My 50th HS Reunion is fast approaching, and the last ~ year has featured a predictable uptick of alumni joining the “official” (since RENAMED/another rant for another time) James Madison Memorial website.
I’d been receiving “alerts” from many of these new members: “Hi Paul, I’ve just joined the site. Glad to see you on here!”
Funniest thing; all these alerts were exactly the same, word for word, despite my never knowing a number of the “alerters” because we never fraternized.
Always…um…quick to recognize a trend, I posted to the site:
Paul Schlecht ’73 said–“Hmmm; I’ve received the same message…VERBATIM…(Hi Paul, I’ve just joined the site. Glad to see you on here!) from any number of ’73 grads who’ve recently joined this site. Something’s afoot…..AI/algorithm in an under-handed, ethically suspect effort to drum up site traffic; others?”
Some time after that, the site started adding the following disclaimer to the message:
(This is a group message sent by (new member) to all classmates)
I don’t believe that crock of shinola for a second; IMO, the site’s just trying to cover their dishonest @$$ because both the approach and the addition are unethical.
One more thing:
Stay off my lawn…
So can we assume that they plan to change the town’s name as well? I assume it is named after the very same person.
“So can we assume that they plan to change the town’s name as well? I assume it is named after the very same person.”
Correct on the latter, the former would require a level of self-awareness rarely found in your career Lefty…
Boycott ethics question.
First, let me state what I believe your position on boycotts is. I believe that you state that for a person to boycott a product/store is perfectly fine, but calling for a public boycott is unethical. Is this correct?
What about a partial public boycott? By this I mean calling on a certain population to boycott a certain product based on a behavior.
For example, if I were to call on all parents in my community to boycott the public elementary school and homeschool instead because the principal sexually harasses the female teacher and the majority of the local school board as well as the state superintendent is related to him either through blood or marriage, and so keeps protecting him. Is that boycott unethical?
Now a little less personal and far more recent and realistic example. The LA Dodgers have been supporting a virulently anti-Catholic group. As such, a California bishop is calling for a boycott of the Dodgers for the Catholic faithful. Would you call this boycott unethical too?
The Target boycott, I think is a step up, where Target has chosen an “in your face” LGBTQ+ marketing strategy that it used after choosing to emphasize a supplier that focuses on satanic wear for children after denying a faith-based children’s clothing supplier. (This is what I have heard from many people discussing the boycott, which far more focused on the satanic vs Christian debate rather than the LGBTQ+ issue, but I have not done due diligence on the claims.) People started calling for EVERYONE of a particular ideological bent to boycott Target, not just a community, or a specific religion.
Where do you draw the line to call a boycott unethical?