Very nice. Thanks for posting it, Beck!
Really? Ouch. For more awkward political kiss grossness, check out the HuffPost: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/24/awkward-political-kisses-photos_n_1551485.html. They cared enough to give you a whole slide show.
On a side note: Recently, this site has exploded due to an article I wrote last week about Greece, NY school bus monitor, Karen Klein. You can read the original article here: http://rubberchickensociety.org/2012/06/22/you-got-400k-for-what-rcs-forced-to-call-bullshit-on-bus-monitor-debacle/.
First off, I’d like to thank everyone who commented. You created a really interesting discussion which appears to still be going on. Good job!
In the comments section, and on other newsfeeds and blogs that have picked up this article, I’ve been accused of a lot of things — from general total jerkishness to blaming the victim — many of which are probably true. These indictments have really made me think about how I reconcile crimes on what might be called my personal penalty balance sheet.
I guess that one of my biggest faults is that I am altogether too literal. For example, when people say things like, “There’s no excuse for this behavior,” or “Something like this shouldn’t happen to anyone ever,” I take them at their word. My logic says that if “something shouldn’t happen to anyone ever” that means that no matter what the situation, no matter if the person who is abused somehow encouraged it, the crime itself is prima facie wrong. Put differently, that in these cases the CRIME ITSELF bears enough wrongness, is heinous, or unfair enough, that anything that might have spurred it to happen to begin with has to be disregarded. Even in writing this, however, I see how our society doesn’t even begin to judge offenses in that way. That’s why I think that people were so up in arms about defending Karen Klein’s ability to do her job — because if she was just a bad employee, it makes her less of a victim, and (in our world) if Karen Klein WASN’T powerless to defend herself, then the CRIME is mitigated. How can that be correct? If the wrongdoing is heinous no matter who it’s directed at in any circumstance, then why does it matter whether Karen Klein was defenseless or the Grand Vizier of Hero Town? The simple answer: because it does. U.S. legal precedent is riddled with cases wherein the penalty for a crime is mitigated by the behavior of the victim. What about in literature? If stealing is wrong, and Jean Valjean steals a loaf of bread to feed his family, isn’t Jean Valjean wrong? It seems like the answer is, “Yes, but not THAT wrong. He HAD to.” How about Robin Hood? He sure kills a lot of people, and isn’t killing people WRONG? Can the answer truly be that, in reality, the wrongness of an act depends on who’s doing what to whom — that we really think, no matter what we say, that the ends justify the means? And, if that’s the case — WOW! Isn’t life just totally fucking unfair?
As promised, here are a couple of ethical story problems for y’all to work on. Enjoy.
Person A is driving without a license and gets T-boned at an intersection by Person B who runs a stop sign while driving drunk (but who is licensed). Whose fault is it? What if Person A was driving because they really needed a heroin fix and they were out on a mission to buy some drugs? What if Person A was driving their sick child to the emergency room?
Person A knowingly walks thought Murderville on Free Stabbing and Robbery Tuesday. Person A gets stabbed and robbed. Is Person A partially to blame for the incident? What if Person A is taking a risk for the thrill of it? What if Person A DIDN’T KNOW that the neighborhood was bad? What if Person A is a cop?