For Amherst College Students, A Values And Self-Respect Test…

…and for Amherst itself, a test of how well its totalitarian indoctrination program is working. Just look at this head-exploding thing:

Well.

The new policy at Amherst College has each student and teacher fill out an anonymous survey to state whether they want a mask mandate in their classroom. If a single student, or the instructor, so desires, everyone will be required to wear a mask, despite the fact that masking as the paranoid and largely useless security-blanket response to the lurking Wuhan virus and its relatives is no longer required by CDC guidelines (Science!) and that masks are now almost exclusively worn by phobics, lock-step progressives seeking to show their fealty using the equivalent of a Nazi armband, and people so immuno-compromised that they probably shouldn’t be out in public at all. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: The Return Of Sacheen Littlefeather

Apparently the Oscars are looking hard for virtue-signaling opportunities.

In this instance, they had to travel back in time 50 years and decide to make amends for one of the more ludicrous examples of celebrity grandstanding in pop culture lore. Marlon Brando, a cinch to win the Best Actor statuette for “The Godfather” in 1973, decided to snub the Academy of Motion Picture Sciences, his Hollywood colleagues and the Oscars’ TV audience by sending an obscure, Native American actress named Sacheen Littlefeather to go to the podium when Marlon’s name was read and make a statement about the abuse of Indians at Hollywood’s hands while announcing that Brando was rejecting his honor in protest. You know, because “The Godfather” was all about Native American mobs, or something.

It was a complete non sequitur, and many suspected that the whole stunt had little to do with Native American portrayals in film (about which Brando had previously said nothing) and more to do with the famously weird actor’s desire to stick his thumb in the eye of the industry that had made him rich and famous. He might have just as well had his statuette rejected by Bozo the Clown; maybe it came down to a coin flip: heads, Sasheen (it was an Indian Head nickel), tails, Bozo.

The young woman’s appearance did not go over well. “Mr. Brando very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award,” Littlefeather said. “And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee.”  That was a reference to a protest a month earlier,when the American Indian Movement had occupied the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, site of the infamous massacre, to protest Hollywood’s killing and..no wait, it was the U.S. government’s treatment of Native Americans that protest was about. What did it have to do with movies, Brando, and the Oscars?

Oh, nothing. Continue reading

From The Book Of Great Stupid: Pat Benatar’s Virtue-Signaling Self-Censorship

It is kind of sad, really. So many progressive ideologues are so bereft of persuasive arguments, real facts and non-emotion-based analysis that they must resort to a paltry supply of tools, most of which are unethical: insults, fear-mongering, intimidation, race-baiting, bullying, protests and rioting, and attempted restriction of speech and expression. It is the last that is the topic here at the moment, and an especially stupid example.

Senior rock singer Pat Benatar now refuses to perform her hit song “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” as a protest against mass shootings. That song is 42 years old, and, correct me if I’m wrong, but is the song Benatar is most associated with. Her refusing to sing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” is like Andy Williams refusing to sing “Moon River.” But you see, in increasingly delusional Woke Land, eliminating words, pictures and song lyrics that relate to bad things, event, people, places and things, like guns and shooting, is a step toward making everyone “safe.”

Except that “hit me with your best shot” doesn’t refer to guns or shooting at all, but never mind: anything to signal virtue, however moronically. Benatar is removing a popular, indeed classic piece of popular culture to accomplish absolutely nothing constructive at all, while standing for the fatuous proposition that banning artistic works that mention guns ( even though her song doesn’t) will help address the problem of homicidal gunmen. Or maybe her idea is to hold her own song hostage until the Second Amendment is repealed.

Hmmm…is that a more or less stupid theory than the first one?

Continue reading

Even More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid! WaPo Publishes A Peak Stupid Op-Ed, Then Censors Readers Who Say It’s Stupid

I really do wonder at what point the vast majority of Americans who have not become irreversibly deranged by the confluence of the Trump Freakout, the George Floyd Freakout, the Trans Freakout ,the Wuhan Virus Freakout and the Roe Reversal Freakout sharply slap their foreheads “I could have had a V8!” style and ask, “Why are we letting these unstable, untrustworthy people dominate our discourse and manipulate our culture?”

For the provocation keep escalating. The Washington Post’s editors actually thought that a Poe’s Law evoking piece headlined “My name is a Confederate monument, so I cross it out when I write it” was worthy of publication. In an orgy of narcissism, U.S. history-hatred and virtue-signalling, a writer named Bayard Woods saluted his ridiculous habit of crossing out his own name, which he says, “had stood as a Confederate monument over every story I had ever written.” See, the Bayards and the Woodses had owned slaves. By this brilliant logic, I should cross out my name too, since Chief Justice John Marshall was a slaveholder and “Jack” honors Jack the Ripper.

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Ethics Dunce: The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.)

The Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced on April 6 that Russians and Belarusians who had been accepted to compete in the 2022 Boston Marathon and are currently residing in either country, will not be allowed to compete.

“Like so many around the world, we are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” said President & CEO of the B.A.A. Tom Grilk. “We believe that running is a global sport, and as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine.”

Morons.

Clearly, The Great Stupid (TGS for short) has variants like the Wuhan virus. This one is not directly related to George Floyd Ethics Freakout like the original “antiracism”/ let’s pretend every couple in America is biracial and make race and gender the most important criteria for goddamn everything TGS, but it’s almost as brain-crippling.

This one started in Germany, as I recounted here. Russian conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from the Munich Philharmonic orchestra this week. His offense? He is a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and refused to publicly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. I began by writing that at least that undemocratic version of TGS hadn’t made it to the U.S., but it rapidly made it here. Anna Netrebko, the celebrated Russian opera soprano, failed to submit to the company’s demand that she distance herself from President  Putin, and was dismissed by the Metropolitan Opera in New York. I wrote then,
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Ethics Dunce And Dead Ethics Alarms Don’t Begin To Describe This Admission By The Duck Duck Go CEO

Wow.

What an idiot.

Those who use Duck Duck Go do so (or did so) because the search engine was deemed more trustworthy than Google, the high-tech monster that breaches user privacy regularly and lies about it, as well as plays games with its search algorithms to bolster its ideological agenda, all while actively engaging in censorship with its wholly owned platform, YouTube.

Now Duck Duck Go’s CEO, Gabriel Weinberg, actually boasts about manipulating search results to “highlight” what the company, in its vast and unquestioned wisdom, deems “quality” information, while burying links to what it calls disinformation.

Only dead ethics alarms could explain why he thinks this is a positive revelation. He is admitting that his platform engages in censorship, and does not support free expression, dissenting opinions, or controversial views. As a mass of critical Twitter commenters pointed out, by what divine guidance does he or his underlings know what is “disinformation”? The arrogance is staggering. What does “associated” mean? It is an open ended generality to allow silencing by association. But that’s not all:

  • Weinberg is madly virtue-signaling, presuming that Russia-hate will lead his search engine’s users to applaud a confession that Duck Duck Go will manipulate results when it feels like it, because rigging searches will only hurt “bad people.” I don’t trust Big Tech execs to decide who are bad people; too many of them are bad people. Nobody should.
  • It is more proof (on top of thousands of years of human folly)  that those with power can’t resist abusing that power.
  • His admission of the practice, and the practice itself, is gross incompetence. All Duck Duck Go had going for it was an image of trust. No one can trust a company run by someone who says, openly and without shame, “We manipulate our searches because we know best!” It is signature significance: no ethical executive would approve of  such a policy.

The company’s board should fire Weinberg immediately, and if it doesn’t, its members are as unethical, irresponsible and dim-witted as he is.

More Weird Tales Of The Great Stupid: Anti-Russian Bigotry Mania

I thought the virtue-signaling, mindless attack on all things Russian crossed the line into bigotry and persecution when an eminent Russian-born conductor lost his job with two German orchestras because he refused to publicly condemn Vladimir Putin. (I wouldn’t publicly condemn Satan if an employer ordered me to. That would be submitting to an abuse of power.) Then the Met fired a principal soprano for the same reason, and things really got weird.

Bars and restaurants started banning vodka. Russian cat breeds were banned from cat shows. A popular french fries with cheese curds and gravy dish was taken off menus in France and Canada because the name for it sounded like “Putin.” Today, the Cardiff Philharmonic Orchestra has removed Tchaikovsky from its  upcoming concert because, the announcement said, playing compositions by the Russian composer, who died in 1893 is considered by the orchestra ‘to be inappropriate at this time.’ Continue reading

Has “The Great Stupid” Reached Its Zenith With Anti-Putin French Fries With Cheese Curds And Gravy Sanctions?

I really thought punishing Russian cats to show solidarity with Ukraine was as ridiculous as anti-Putin virtue-signaling mania could get. I was wrong. I stupidly forgot Heinlein’s Law: “Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.”

It is time to officially declare “The Great Stupid” a world-wide pandemic. Woodrow Wilson set the Spanish Flu against the world by sending infected doughboys out to fight in a pointless European war, and now social media combined with Americans’ narcissism and addiction to serial pandering “in these difficult times” has done it again.

Poutine, a strange gloppy dish popular among some in France and Canada, is being pulled from some restaurants in those countries to protest Russia’s invasion. In French, the word for the french fries, cheese curd and gravy recipe, from the French-Canadian pronunciation of the English word “pudding,” is pronounced like the Russian dictator’s name. That’s close enough to justify, in the “minds” of some protesters, punishing the food and its fans.

Removing poutine from menus, it is safe to say, will have as much effect on Putin’s conduct as President Biden slashing U.S. oil production will have on the course of climate change. It’s that stupid.

The move did at least spawn a good formulaic joke on Twitter, as one wag wrote, “Please stop confusing Putin and poutine. One is a dangerous and unwholesome mix of greasy, lumpy and congealed ingredients, the other is a delicious food.”*

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Pointer: Curmie

  • [I’ve eaten poutine. There’s a reason it hasn’t caught on in the United States.]


Comment Of The Day: “An Ethics Alarms Challenge: How Would You Respond To This?” [Corrected]

Dear Friend

As I suspected it might, the Ethics Alarms post challenging readers to propose the best and most ethical way to respond to a lawyer’ self-flagellating declaration that he was a racist and only recently realized it sparked several Comment of the Day-worthy responses. The first is from mermaidmary99, whose comments are almost always spammed by WordPress, including this one. I have no clue why. Here is mermaidmary99’s Comment of the Day on the post, “An Ethics Alarms Challenge: How Would You Respond To This?.”

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Dear Friend,

Wow, thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and personal journey.

In reading your words, I can see you are deeply moved. I’m thankful for your awareness of your experiences.

What I’m not understanding is how what you shared makes you a racist. In fact, that you see there have been injustices to me would show the opposite.

Can you clarify how you specifically are racist? Do you believe Mexicans are lazy? Do you hold that native Americans were savages? That black people are lesser because of skin color? Have you deliberately treated others badly and wished them harm because of their race?

I’m not seeing that in your writing, but if so, then yes, you have acted with prejudice in the past and that’s wrong and good to become aware of.

Continue reading