Fandango’s Provocative Question #35

FPQWelcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration. By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

For this week’s provocative question, I am going to leverage a comment that one of my followers made on one of my posts. He wrote, in response to the lyrics of a song I posted, “You might say that we shouldn’t apply today’s standards to history, but I disagree.”4961E034-9D24-4249-A85C-62E09CA6F6F8This got me thinking about the positions former US Senator, former Vice President, and current Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden took decades ago on issues such as busing, at the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas with respect to Anita Hill’s allegation of sexual harassment, on criminal justice laws, etc.

It also called to mind what was just revealed about a telephone conversation that former President Ronald Reagan had with Richard Nixon, in which Reagan said, “To see those, those monkeys from those African countries — damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes!”

So the provocative question this week is this:

Do you believe public figures (e.g., politicians, celebrities, athletes, authors) — or anyone, actually — should be judged by today’s standards for their words or actions from decades earlier? Why or why not?

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments.

The issue with pingbacks not showing up seems to have been resolved, but you might check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

21 thoughts on “Fandango’s Provocative Question #35

  1. sca11y August 7, 2019 / 3:38 am

    Oh, wow, I’m surprised you remembered it!

    To add a little, the reason that ltric makes me uncomfortable is, if someone has a certain amount of wealth, you should behave one way toward them. If they don’t, you don’t need to worry, you can behave differently. I’ve tried since my comment to think of more innocent meanings of those words, but haven’t really succeeded. The closest I got was “it’s only a song lyric”, but even so, why would you write something which is *the opposite of* how you see things?

    On the question itself, I think there is a difference between socially acceptable/unacceptable and right/wrong. One might change with time, the other not so much. I grew up in the 70s and am reminded of a comedyon UK TV which cheerfully referred to nig-nogs. You can guess what that meant. For me, it was always wrong, yet it was obviously acceptable enough at the time to be used on national tv.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango August 7, 2019 / 6:28 am

      I thought you posed an interesting question and I’m looking forward to see how others will respond.

      Liked by 1 person

      • sca11y August 7, 2019 / 9:33 am

        I shall enjoy them too. I probably take myself too seriously sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Léa August 7, 2019 / 4:22 am

    It appears that you may have glanced over my shoulder as I have been working on such a piece and taking a poem that is over one hundred years old and taking it into today’s reality…

    Liked by 1 person

      • Léa August 7, 2019 / 6:56 am

        I’ll let it slide this time… 🤣 You would need a teleporter to try. Europe isn’t in your nighborhood.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango August 7, 2019 / 7:23 am

          If things continue the way they are in the U.S., I may have to find a new neighborhood! 😱

          Liked by 1 person

          • Léa August 7, 2019 / 7:28 am

            I understand. Alas, I’m glad I left when I did but I do care about what is happening. Take care.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Richmond Road August 7, 2019 / 4:31 am

    I don’t really have a problem with those lyrics. I find them a bit confronting, perhaps … and maybe that was the author’s point. Maybe not. Either way – they are what they are – I am not going to question anyone’s right to create them.

    But you can only make judgements based on your current perspective … you can’t say “well …. I think human slaves are a bit non-PC now, but they were OK back in the good old days”. If slavery is wrong now then it was always wrong.

    But am I more ‘available’ because I am poor? Maybe I am.

    I’m fairly sure, anyway, that I would be found to be much better looking if I was obscenely wealthy.

    How sad. I want to publicly denounce such attitudes.

    Until I win the lottery.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. crushedcaramel August 7, 2019 / 5:14 am

    That is interesting….hmm. I am going to think about it because the implications of the answer to that question can be applied elsewhere.

    Hmm. I think it might take me a while to contemplate this…not promising a post, but will have a think about it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango August 7, 2019 / 7:04 am

      Take your time. I’m interested in hearing your thoughts.


  5. PCGuyIV August 7, 2019 / 5:40 am

    The issue I see with the lyric in question is that it implies that a rich father is going to care more about what happens to his daughter than a poor father… or rather that a rich father is more capable of doing something about what happens to his daughter than a poor father. If you take the sexual context away, then you have someone trying to impress a rich father (taking his daughter to a nice dinner out), vs. not having to impress the poor father, so any date whatsoever is perfectly fine. Alternately, they could be saying that it’s harder to impress someone from a wealthy family, but a nice dinner out should do the trick, but you could have any kind of date and it would impress someone from a poor family. Regardless of the final intentions or who’s supposed to be impressed, there is the concept of treating people differently based on financial status, which is not a good thing no matter the intent or societal norms in play.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie B Cee August 7, 2019 / 9:29 am

    Erg. I got so caught up in the QUESTION that I forgot to address the lyrics you shared. Since I happen to really like that particular song, I don’t take offense at the implication, that because my own father was a poor man, that I might be more readily available for some scallywag to try it on with me (this is obviously meant “in the day”). My father is dead now (and I bet you he’s damned glad he didn’t have to live through modern times too) and nobody is knocking on my door to demand their due. Have rich people always seen things a great deal differently (and more entitled in my opinion) than poor folk? Yep. Because the two class distinctions have no real tangible notion of how the other half lives.

    Here’s my link:

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Marleen August 8, 2019 / 1:26 pm

    Kinda depends on if the person is still alive. Also, there are different facets to the answer. Additionally, there is a difference between judging the word/work products/actions and what that stands for versus banning the person or the work itself. There’s a difference, as well, between not banning (particularly the record of speech or ideas) as contrasted with celebrating or affirming (or not putting it in context as pushed to the past).

    If the person is alive, they should’ve learned something (assuming that person acted in ignorance) or reformed (if having been more like corrupt or evil*) — and, if the person is a politician (or anyone), change should be organic… personally explicable.

    * Especially in this regard, an individual can be forgiven for his own life but isn’t entitled to be a leader.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.