Ethics Thought Experiment: Let’s Play “What If?”

"This SWAT gag is, like, hilarious, Kendall!"Totally, Kylie. Hey, look! They just shot Khloe!""Awesome!!!"

“This SWAT gag is, like, hilarious, Kendall!
“Totally, Kylie. Hey, look! They just shot Khloe!”

“Swatting,” the ultra-vile and dangerous “joke” in which someone falsely calls down a SWAT team on a household that is neither in peril or threatening it, is seriously and criminally wrong—even when the victims are the almost as vile, if not necessarily dangerous, Kardashian family. The victims of a “swatting prank” yesterday, the rich, spoiled, vulgar and useless reality show family immediately reminded us of why someone might be moved to swat them by making a big joke out of the whole thing, or at least the younger generation of Kardashians did. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner are posing in obscenely tacky and expensive boob-exposing outfits while having inane and semi-grammatical conversations on their own E! reality show. SWAT me now, Lord!

But let’s not talk about how unethical swatting is, which is obvious, or how depressing the celebrity of the Kardashians is, which is makes me want to stick my head in a fryer. Let’s muse on what will happen if and when one of these swatting incidents leads to an exchange of gunfire—perhaps because a Second Amendment enthusiast is convinced that President Obama is making his big move to enslave the populace, and by God, he’s not going down without a fight. Let’s also muse on what will happen if that exchange of gunfire results in the deaths of one or more children. Just to make sure something happens in our hypothetical, let’s stipulate that the dead children are white, cute, and recently recorded a tear-inducing video urging world peace and racial harmony. Continue reading

Unethical Feature: “Top 10 People Who Don’t Deserve To Be Millionaires”

And leave Bubbles alone.

I know: it’s a feature, it’s a gag, it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I don’t care: the underlying attitude behind The Daily Caller’s recent slideshow, “Top 10 People Who Don’t Deserve To Be Millionaires” is too common these days to be emulated, even in half or whole jest. The belief that citizens of the U.S. “don’t deserve” to have the money they do is at the root of toxic politics, bad economic policy, class resentment and self-excused jealousy, and it shouldn’t be encouraged. If there is a genuine and persuasive argument to be made that people don’t deserve the money they earn, then make it, and you have to do better than “you didn’t build that!”

Taylor Bigler, the Caller’s entertainment editor who compiled the list, doesn’t. She just appeals to jealousy, as if nobody really really does resent people who have made more money than they have so its fine to pretend they do. “Now, some people are millionaires because they are ambitious and kept their noses to the grindstone,” she says. “Those people certainly deserve their hard-earned success. But honestly, there are many other people who are millionaires that simply don’t deserve to be.” Like? Continue reading

Unethical Quote of the Week: Kim Kardashian


“After careful consideration, I have decided to end my marriage. I hope everyone understands this was not an easy decision. I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned.”

—-Kim Kardashian, reality star and cornerstone of the ongoing famous-for-being-famous Kardashian family media scam, announcing her sudden divorce filing –apparently explained to the celebrity gossip site TMZ before being revealed to her soon-to-be ex—-from husband Kris Humphries, to whom she had been married for 72 days.

In the dark days of the Great Depression, unscrupulous promoters held dance marathons across the country, the first “reality shows” since Nero fed Christians to lions for sport in the Roman Colosseum. Desperate people stayed on their feet dancing with only brief rest periods for thousands of hours, with participants getting meals for their suffering and the last couple standing getting a cash prize. Sadistic Americans paid admission fees to watch the carnage. One of the most popular gimmicks in the marathons was the fake wedding, in which the MC would proclaim that two of the courageous contestants had fallen in love, and would be married right on the dance floor. Continue reading

The SATs: Flat Learning Curve=Unfair Questions

The secret to acing your SATs? Know your Kardashians!

After all the anger, debate and controversy in the Sixties over affirmative action and the Scholastic Aptitude Tests, with the case finally being made to the public’s satisfaction that including test questions  based on cultural references likely to be unfamiliar to African-Americans or lower-income students (such as, famously, questions about yachting) negatively affected their test scores, wouldn’t you think that it would have been thoroughly understood by the people who make up the SAT scores that questions with a cultural bias were inherently unfair and incompetent questions?

Here is the prompt for the essay question in the SAT test given to high school students across the country last week : Continue reading