Okay I confess, I am a fan of the 1988 American comedy-fantasy film Beetlejuice, a Tim Burton classic; not because I think it accurately depicts life after death, but simply because the movie is so silly and irrelevant. In this early “Burton” we find Barbara and Adam Maitland (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) a young Connecticut couple who decide to spend their summer vacation decorating their idyllic country home; unfortunately death intervenes. The Maitlands find themselves “haunting” their home which is not so bad, until the home is sold to a New York family, the Deetzs, who are so radically different from them that the Maitlands immediately find the new homeowners detestable.
The Maitlands travel to a netherworld, where they discover that the afterlife is structured like a complex social services bureaucracy complete with the usual overworked caseworkers. As a side note, one clerk insinuates that the punishment for suicide is spending eternity working as a civil servant in this dark parody of social services.
The Maitlands’ own caseworker, Juno, informs them that they must remain in the house for 125 years and if they want the new “living” owners out of the house, it is up to them to scare the living away. Dejected, having not found more concrete answers to their dilemma, they begin wandering through this netherworld version of social services in search of the door leading back to their home, when one remarks that “This place keeps getting weirder and weirder.” The other Maitland exclaims, “This is our home!” It seems that the new owners, had redecorated the formerly idyllic country home into some sort of post modern, surrealistic statement, at first totally unrecognizable to the Maitlands.
When I see a place that has been redecorated without thought or taste, or even a concept or cultural norm that has been changed so drastically, so radically, that it has little resemblance to its former self, I am reminded of the Maitlands discovering that what has become increasingly weirder and weirder is actually their home. In that light, today’s Chatter Report reflects cultural changes that are getting to be weirder and weirder.
UPDATE: More Joy Reid fallout
In our most recent “Culture Rant Du Jour” of June first 2018 we explored the depth of hypocrisy the left, in particular MSNBC, is displaying concerning the acceptance of the bigotry of Joy Reid while at the same time the liberal left calls for the firing of a conservative guilty of the same crime. Now check this out:
MSNBC issued a statement Friday absolving host Joy Reid of writing “hateful” blog posts — and does not address the FBI investigation that Reid claimed to have initiated in April while claiming that a hacker wrote politically toxic sentiments on her old website The Reid Report.
“Some of the things written by Joy on her old blog are obviously hateful and hurtful,” the statement reads. “They are not reflective of the colleague and friend we have known at MSNBC for the past seven years. Joy has apologized publically and privately and said she has grown and evolved in the many years since, and we know this to be true.”
Source: MSNBC Absolves Joy Reid of ‘Hateful’ Writings
by Joshua Caplan 1 June 2018
The left is so quick to attack Christians, particularly Evangelicals who “forgive” someone whose past actions might have been objectionable. Just as MSNBC states that Reid has grown and evolved, Christians believe that a person can repent ask forgiveness and then attempt to “Go and sin no more” as Jesus told the woman brought before him in John chapter 8 verse 11
This absolution of Reid by her employers is highly questionable not only by conservatives who have been dogged by the left for the same act of forgivness, but the left is questioning as well, particularly fellow staff members at MSNBC who fear that the credibility of the media giant is at stake.
The network‘s failure to address that dubious hacking claim has irked some inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Several employees who spoke to The Daily Beast—on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize their employment—said they were largely unimpressed with the statements, noting that many questions remain conspicuously unanswered. “Everyone in the building is laughing at the idea that it was a hacker,” one MSNBC staffer told The Daily Beast. “It’s just a joke,” said another employee. […] Other staffers who spoke with The Daily Beast expressed a growing sense of alarm about how this ongoing saga may damage MSNBC’s reputation as a news outlet. While Reid is well-liked and respected by colleagues, said one staffer, they are waiting for Reid and MSNBC management to demonstrate a sense of accountability for her inconvenient past writing beyond boilerplate apologies. “It’s very problematic,” said an MSNBC insider. Particularly, several LGBT staffers at the network expressed feeling insulted by how Reid seemingly suffered no consequences for her old homophobic blog posts or transphobic tweets.
Source: MSNBC Staff on Joy Reid: Enough Apologies, We Want Answers, by ANDREW KIRELL, LLOYD GROVE, MAXWELL TANI, writing for thedailybeast.com June 1, 2018
The Death of Civility; RIP
While the statements of Rosanne Barr and the many statements of liberal celebrities and public figures are certainly detestable, one has to wonder, “Why is the situation getting progressively weirder and weirder?” I mean doesn’t anyone stop and think before posting a remark on Twitter or other social media. Does not anyone consider the consequences of their actions anymore? In the case of President Trump and his Twitter feed, I believe that he is fully aware of what he is doing and the implications of his actions. For Trump it is like some three dimensional chess game, and whether our liberal friends like it or not Trump appears to be winning, regardless of their attempts to criticize him for his use of the medium. But others, like Ms. Barr, Ms. Reid, Ms. Behar all seem oblivious to the ramifications of what they say or publish on social media; as if all civility has died, entombed, and forgotten.
Perhaps the weirdest example of the death of civility is the use of profane language by those supposedly more educated and versed in the English language. The most recent shocking and egregious statements was made by talk show host Samantha Bee, who in a Tweet criticizing Ivanka Trump for posting a touching portrait of her and her son, (Bee) said;
“Ivanka Trump, who works at the White House, chose to post the second most oblivious tweet we’ve seen this week,” Bee said. “You know, Ivanka, that’s a beautiful photo of you and your child, but let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices, you feckless c***!”
Source: Two companies suspend ads from Samantha Bee’s show after vulgar remark about Ivanka Trump by Jackie Wattles and Brian Stelter @CNNMoney May 31, 2018
While always in bad taste, the vulgar use of references to feminine anatomy in a negative connotation has been a major social faux pas, an absolutely forbidden tactic that the left, in particular Feminists are quick to denounce, but yet all that we have heard from the left is the sound of crickets (silence) or a staccato machine gun like defense of Ms. Bee.
The first half of Bee’s comment was bad enough but the second was as problematic;
“He listens to you! Put on something tight and low-cut and tell your father to f**king stop it!”
Some have questioned if Bee was implying an incestuous encounter between Daughter and Father might result in Trump changing his immigration policy. Is this how Bee thinks social change can be instrumented, by encouraging incest? One also has to put this entire exchange into context, Ivanka has not always agreed with her Father on the immigration policy that was a cornerstone if not a covenant Trump made with the electorate. But to nonchalantly prescribe an incestuous event, indicates the level to which civility has been lowered. Bee talks as if it is normal for a daughter to use her sexuality to manipulate her father by arousal. Is it not the position of third wave feminists that strong empowered women can bring about policy changes on the merits of their ability to argue their case, and not the merits of their physique? Oh and one other note, Ms. Bee did not censor her language, the “*” and other symbols used to censor or mask her vulgarity have been inserted by others.
The question now arises, how do we resurrect civility?