Now THIS Is Pathological Race Obsession.

How does someone get like this?

Track with me ,if you will, the fevered discourse of some poor social justice warrior named Stephen Galloway, who authored what apparently is intended as a serious critique in the Hollywood Reporter titled, “The Whiteness of ‘Toy Story 4.”

He begins,

Was there any movie this past year as exuberantly entertaining, as creatively conceived as Toy Story 4? Ever since the franchise was launched in 1995, it’s been a cornucopia of riches, from its indelible characters to its unparalleled animation…The picture … left me in awe.

Well, that’s the end of the matter, isn’t it? It should be. This was, the the other three films, a vehicle of entertainment. Virtually everyone who saw it was entertained, even me, and I found it the least of its three predecessors and annoying for its blatant pandering to feminists (Bo Peep suddenly morphed into Lara Croft).

But alas, no..

So why did a slightly bitter taste linger, a sense that something was naggingly wrong? Because in many ways TS4′s worldview seems like an Eisenhower-era fantasy, a vision of America that might have come from the most die-hard reactionary: lovely if you’re wealthy and white, but alarming if you’re black or brown or gay or a member of any other minority — in other words, more than half the U.S. population.

Oh, bite me. The characters are toys. Toys don’t have races. They don’t have sex. I wonder if a single child saw this film and spent one second wondering about why there wasn’t a gay or Hispanic toy, or thought about whether the Potato Heads are “of color,’ being brown, or if “Bunny,” voiced by African-American actor Jordan Peele, is “of color” because he’s blue. Nobody normal, of any age, thinks like that, unless they have been brain-washed into a miserable world view….like the author, who really complains that one of the new characters is “a very white fork.” Oh! Right! The second I saw “Forkie,” I thought, “Another white guy!” Continue reading

Kamala Harris Ethics Week Continues With An Unethical Quote Of The Month!

“Listen, I think it gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy.”

Senator Kamala Harris (D-Ca), giving a wildly irresponsible answer to a question about the legalization of pot.

Ethics Alarms is on record, now and forever, as opposing the legalization of marijuana as an inevitable societal disaster on many fronts, but there are arguably legitimate arguments for legalization.  Harris’s isn’t one. It’s facile, intellectually dishonest, a disgrace for a lawyer and former prosecutor, and a direct pander to the shallow, stupid, and drug-addled among us.

There are many, many kinds of conduct that give people joy that would cripple society if we allowed them without restriction and criticism.. Rape gives some people joy. Swindling gullible people gives people joy. Bullying. Cheating. Lying. Stealing. Sadism. (Professional football….) Moreover, drug-induced joy is the lowest form of the emotion, false, artificial, temporary and without substance. The “joy” pot provides is no more desirable than the joy provided by ecstasy or heroin. Indeed, one of the societal harms created by recreational drugs is that the kind of joy that is real and earned—the joy of creating something, the joy of self improvement, the joy of discovery, the joy of helping others, the joy of loving and being loved, the joy of making one’s community, society and the world better—are too often crowded out by Harris’s chemical joy.

Statements like Harris’s usually signal a politician who lives by smug half-truths, deception and exploitation of the foolish.

Oh, NO!!! “The Mikado” Ethics Again (Political Correctness Division)!

[Here…listen to this while you read the post.]

I am apparently the official protector of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Mikado” from ridiculous accusations of ethics offenses, so once again, I will charge into the breach. No thanks needed, Mr. Gilbert, Sir Arthur—I owe you debts that can never be repaid.

In a brain-endangering op-ed for the Seattle Times, expresses the opinion that the operetta is a “racial caricature,” and thus “every snap of the fan was a slap in the face.” The nature of the complaint has old origins: the original show in 1885 nearly caused an international incident, as Japan registered an official complaint to Great Britain claiming a grievous insult to its people. W.S. Gilbert, who was skilled at such things (a few years later he stifled French indignation over a song in “Ruddigore” that pretended to make fun of the French while actually ridiculing British bravado), explained that “The Mikado” in no way ridicules anything about Japan or its people, but is entirely a witty and original satire on everything British. This was true then, and is true now. Then, however, people, including the Victorian era Japanese, were able to see distinctions, and were not seeking victim status and leave to play public censor under the authority conferred by political correctness. Today, people like Ms. Chan are not so easily calmed.

Thus is art harmed, entertainment stifled, laughter stilled and music forgotten. A good argument could be made that “The Mikado” is the greatest musical comedy entertainment ever written.* It certainly caused the biggest international sensation (the closest rival is another Gilbert and Sullivan classic, “H.M.S. Pinafore”): it is estimated that by the end of 1885, at least 150 companies in Europe and the U.S. were producing the satire. As recently as the 1960s, it was credibly claimed that a “Mikado” was going on somewhere in the world every minute of the day.

The show is fun in every respect: comedy, music, lyrics, satire, characters. It is also fun to act in and produce, for children as well as adults. Unfortunately, several factors have led to the gradual scarcity of productions in recent years, from the cyclical (Gilbert and Sullivan go out of style, but always come back) to the ridiculous ( it seems like every production has to cope with some absurd controversy, like the 2011 Montana production that was accused of threatening Sarah Palin’s life). Political correctness aversion has been the biggest factor in making the very best G&S show rare while productions of Broadway musical junk flourish, however. Since the characters are supposedly “Japanese,” shouldn’t all the singers be Asian? Isn’t Asian make-up offensive like blackface? Oh, hell, let’s just do “The Pirates of Penzance.”

From Ms. Chan: Continue reading

Ethics Quote of the Day: Lori Palatnik

Is "ding-dong" wrong?

“In life we must know what is good and what is evil. Yes, we are commanded to remember that there is evil in the world, and not only are we allowed to celebrate when it is destroyed, we must.”

Mrs. Lori Palatnik, in an essay today entitled “Is It Proper To Celebrate Osama bin Laden’s Death?”

Writer David Sirotka at Salon, among others, has sharply criticized the jubilant reaction of most Americans to the terrorist’s death. He found the chanting crowds in front of the White House and Times Square disturbing, symbolizing a gleeful embrace of violence as the way to address problems, an instance of becoming the enemy in order to defeat it: Continue reading

The Officious Intermeddlers, the Victory Cigars, and Exception Ethics

The Cincinnati Reds just clinched their first post-season playoff appearance since my son was born, and he’s 15. Understandably, the triumph set off the traditional and familiar sports team celebratory nonsense, with grown men shouting and jumping on each other and spraying everyone with champagne. Some of the Reds, led by Reds owner Bob Castellini, lit “victory cigars,” a guy-thing ritual that dates back beyond memory, though it was made especially famous by Boston Celtics coach Red Auerbach, who would light a cigar from his perch on the Celtics bench as soon as he was certain a game had been won. (Yes, upon reflection, it was obnoxious. They loved it in Boston, though.)

No sooner had some of the Reds taken their victory drag on the stogies than several Cincinnati citizens hit the phones, complaining the Reds had broken the law. Continue reading