Comment Of The Day: “A Trigger Warning About A Trigger Warning: Audiences Should Walk Out Of The Movie Theater When This Appears”

“For May wol have no slogardie a-night.
The seson priketh every gentil herte,
And maketh him out of his slepe to sterte.”

  Now who can argue with that?  The passage is from a story Geoffrey Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” “The Knightes Tale,” the English  classic written between 1387 and 1400. I did not expect a substantive comment regarding Chaucer to follow an Ethics Alarms post (Chaucer has been mentioned in passing here in the context of the evolution of the English language), but there it was: Michael West revealed his fascinating discovery that Chaucer may have been a pioneer in more than just English literature. Michael’s Comment of the Day is unusual in another way besides its erudition. It was a comment on a post that is nearly two years old. It concerned the jaw-dropping warning that preceded the “Darkest Hour,” the acclaimed film about the wartime heroism and brilliance of  Winston Churchill:

“The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke.”

I wrote at the time,

Winston Churchill, you see, smoked cigars. Actually he chain-smoked them, and inhaled. They were among his trademarks. Any adult who doesn’t know that should not have graduated from high school. Interestingly, shooting and bombing people are also serious health risks, so I don’t know why it wasn’t noted that the depictions of warfare contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration.”

Whatever “based solely on artistic consideration” is supposed to mean…

Of course, showing Churchill smoking cigars is not an “artistic consideration,” but one of historical accuracy and integrity. Does this mean that there was really a debate in the studio about whether or not Churchill should be shown smoking, so as not to trigger good little progressive totalitarians, who believe in changing the past for the greater good of the present? I wonder if they considered making Winston, who was fat, appear slim and ripped, since the surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with obesity and over-eating. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, if they felt that showing people smoking in the 1930s, when almost everyone smoked,  might be interpreted as promoting smoking today.  Churchill also drank like Bluto in “Animal House.” Why no warning about that? Uh-oh—does this mean that the film, for artistic considerations, only shows Winston sipping soda water and prune juice?

That warning says to me, “We, your Hollywood moral exemplars, think you are an ignorant, illiterate  dummy who can’t tell the difference between a historical drama and a tobacco commercial. We also support the government’s belief that it should impose on every aspect of your life, including your entertainment, to protect you from yourself.”

I had, mercifully, completely forgotten about that asinine warning, and now I’m ticked off all over again. Gee, thanks, Michael, for reminding me.

Here is Michael West’s Comment of the Day on the post, “A Trigger Warning About A Trigger Warning: Audiences Should Walk Out Of The Movie Theater When This Appears”... Continue reading

A Trigger Warning About A Trigger Warning: Audiences Should Walk Out Of The Movie Theater When This Appears

This is not a joke. This is not The Onion. This is real. And frightening.

At the beginning of “Darkest Hour,” the new film about the wartime heroism and brilliance of  Winston Churchill, this warning appears on the screen:

“The depictions of tobacco smoking contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration and are not intended to promote tobacco consumption. The surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with smoking and with secondhand smoke.”

Winston Churchill, you see, smoked cigars. Actually he chain-smoked them, and inhaled. They were among his trademarks. Any adult who doesn’t know that should not have graduated from high school. Interestingly, shooting and bombing people are also serious health risks, so I don’t know why it wasn’t noted that the depictions of warfare contained in this film are based solely on artistic consideration.”

Whatever “based solely on artistic consideration” is supposed to mean…

Of course, showing Churchill smoking cigars is not an “artistic consideration,” but one of historical accuracy and integrity. Does this mean that there was really a debate in the studio about whether or not Churchill should be shown smoking, so as not to trigger good little progressive totalitarians, who believe in changing the past for the greater good of the present? I wonder if they considered making Winston, who was fat, appear slim and ripped, since the surgeon general has determined that there are serious health risks associated with obesity and over-eating. I don’t see why they wouldn’t, if they felt that showing people smoking in the 1930s, when almost everyone smoked,  might be interpreted as promoting smoking today.  Churchill also drank like Bluto in “Animal House.” Why no warning about that? Uh-oh—does this mean that the film, for artistic considerations, only shows Winston sipping soda water and prune juice? Continue reading

Prediction: Stories Like This Will Be Compared To “Reefer Madness”

ReeferMadness_04

Because elite potheads love their weed, nobody has the guts to stand in their way, and consequences be damned.

The CNN story describes a new study that suggests that smoking a lot of pot, especially if you are young, makes you dumber.

It’s not conclusive, of course. Research seldom is. It also doesn’t matter, since a combination of relentless pro-stoner advocacy, resulting contempt for the law and the fact that a disproportionate number of minorities and poor are getting caught with the drug and going to jail—making the prohibition itself racist in today’s “race trumps everything” political culture—has assured that marijuana will join tobacco, alcohol and legalized gambling as socially destructive—but lucrative! Profits! Taxes! Yum Yum!—forces in our society. Lives will be ruined, shattered and lost, real costs in money and productivity will be huge, and little positive will be gained in exchange.

It just seems so obvious that we should know how harmful these kinds of things are before we legalize them, and not start looking into it after the horse is gone, the genie is out and Pandora’s Box is open and lying on the floor.

It just seems dumb to…Hey! Wait a minute…

________________

Pointer: Fark

Facts: CNN

Attorney General Holder, Fast and Furious, and Congressional Perjury

"Oh, NOW I see where the confusion is...AG Holder thought the Congressman was asking about when he saw the MOVIE called 'The Fast and Furious.' It's an honest mistake. The Attorney General loves his Netflix!"

It is looking increasingly likely that Attorney General Holder lied to Congress on May 2, 2011, when he was asked by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa about when he knew about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious gun-running fiasco. In this he is following a grand tradition among U.S. Attorney Generals: the last one, Bush crony Alberto Gonzalez, almost certainly lied under oath to Congress too.

Fast and Furious was a botched gunrunning enforcement operation in which illegal guns that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives intentionally allowed to be smuggled into Mexico ended up being used to kill an Immigration Customs Enforcement agent and a U.S. border patrol guard.  Holder was called before Issa’s committee in a typical “what did the top guy know and when did he know it?” inquiry. In response to the latter part of that question, Holder told the Committee that he was “not sure of the exact date, but I probably learned about Fast and Furious over the last few weeks.”

CBS and Fox News have uncovered a series of e-mails and memos that show unequivocally that this was not true. Continue reading

Comment of the Day: “New Jersey Lottery Ethics…”

Tom Fuller, who can be perceptive when he isn’t peppering us with the quotations of others (all right, even sometimes when he is) makes a useful distinction in the Comment of the Day, on today’s post about the New Jersey Lottery:

“Don’t get me wrong. I’m no fan of government-sponsored lotteries, and I share all of the concerns about them mentioned above. But a facile slogan like “lotteries are a tax on people who don’t understand math” is, like most facile slogans, too simplistic a way of making the arguments. There are plenty of psychological and economic reasons why even people who understand the math buy lottery tickets that are, quite literally, bad bets. There is lots of research on this; one of the better articles is now 21 years old, but is still cited as a good, brief, and comprehensible overview.”  [You can read it here.]

“Every gamble is a losing bet in the long run; otherwise it wouldn’t be a gamble. The trouble with state-run lotteries is not so much that they exploit those who “don’t get it”; they exploit anyone, even a mathematical genius, who is drawn towards what society generally regards as undesirable actities, thereby sending the same mixed messages as taxes on tobacco and alcohol.”