Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Changing Stripes?

We are seeing Republicans already beginning to try to rebranding themselves so that they will become more successful in the next election. Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio are distancing themselves from the Tea Party, but are they really just a new face on the old hierarchies? Since Karl Rove has proven himself to be an expert at rhetoric, we can be sure that we will see some innovative use of images and words when his new Super PAC presents their choices to challenge right-wing radical candidates.

Is the rebranding going to be the same ole hierarchies, just sugar-coated? A good working knowledge of hierarchies will help us answer and convincingly discuss that question.
Hierarchy conservators are well-practiced at convincing others to remain engaged in their hierarchies that ultimately benefit those on top. They want us to convince ourselves that their hierarchies benefit everyone, when actually the benefits are going to clueless people at the top.

We hope that people who are reading our website will familiarize themselves with the workings of hierarchies, so they can see through the smoke screens that many hierarchy conservators will throw out. All of us must ask, "Who's benefiting?" "What CLUES are hidden behind that message?"

Monday, February 18, 2013

"8" Exposes the Clueless Top

Last weekend we saw the play "8." The script of this play was taken from the transcripts of the trial which overturned of Proposition 8 – an amendment that eliminated rights of same-sex couples to marry in California. Prop 8 was determined to be unconstitutional. The case will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in March.

The lawyers for the plantiffs – one lesbian couple and one gay couple – explain that several people who promoted Prop 8 had given depositions, but only two had agreed to testify for the trial after they were cross-examined. They realized that their outlandish campaign claims such as "protect the children" would not hold up in court.

"8" gives us a good peek at the people putting themselves on top of their hierarchy of sexual orientation – how clueless they are. The Prop 8 supporters look like Toto in the Wizard of Oz who exposes the smokes screens and rhetoric – there was nothing there.

The show – which is educational as well as entertaining – premiered in Los Angeles. The cast includes well-known actors such as Martin Sheen, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, and Jamie Lee Curtis.  The production is available in the full version on YouTube (see link below).


Monday, February 11, 2013

Children See XXX Movies

Actor William H. Macy, who plays the priest in the movie Sessions, expresses healthy ideas about sex and violence in the movies. In an interview for The Guardian, he states that violence is accepted or even celebrated, yet sex is still treated as something that's shameful.

Macy says. "I don't know much but I know this: violence is bad and sex is good. Even the bad sex I've had was pretty good. But violence is bad – it's always bad, there are no exceptions. It's bad. And it's ugly and we've got to paint it as it is."

Chapter 16 of Clueless at the Top (pages 181-185) tells the story of a producer who works to change movie ratings, stating that if we rated sex and violence equally according to what people saw in real life, then the violence that we now think is normal for children to see is comparable to allowing a six-year-old to go to an XXX movie theater and allowing three-year-olds to watch sex orgies!

Macy puts it this way: "I think we're ill-served by our ratings board, who need to get into therapy, in my opinion."


Friday, February 1, 2013

Climbing is Bad for Your Ethics

A study from the University of California concludes that climbing up the wealth hierarchy makes one more clueless.

“Occupying privileged positions in society has this natural psychological effect of insulating you from others,” said psychologist Paul Piff of the University of California, Berkeley. “You’re less likely to perceive the impact your behavior has on others.”

The researches conducted scientific experiments to measure the relationship between socioeconomics (SES) and ethics. They found that rude behavior rose with status, and high-SES drivers were roughly twice as inconsiderate as low-SES drivers. They also found that higher SES people were less likely to be honest, more likely to cheat.

A reviewer of the research said, "This work is important because it suggests that people often act unethically not because they are desperate and in the dumps, but because  they feel entitled and want to get ahead."

According to Piff, unethical behavior in the study was driven by the nature of wealth in a highly stratified society that insulates people from the consequences of their actions.