"The Ethicist" is Randy Cohen's long-running advice column in the New York Times. Each week, Gabriel Delahaye's "The Unethicist" will answer the same questions as "The Ethicist," with obvious differences.
This week, a question from the dullest voyeur on Earth, and a woman who is no longer eligible to run for office discusses what to do when "the help" goes "crazy."
For a project on ethnographic research, one of my fellow graduate students wanted to film people in a campus elevator without their knowledge or consent. I think this is an invasion of privacy. He thinks it's fine because the film is for educational purposes and would never be shown publicly. Who is right? — M.S., Rhode Island
The question is not really about who is right or wrong, or whether the restrictive use of the film for educational purposes legitimizes its secretive nature, the question is who fucking cares about people in an elevator?
I'm not a scientist, but I know this: people on elevators are boring and lazy. The problem with graduate students is you idiots are completely detached from the world around you, lost in your elaborate Barthesian theories and exhausting discourses on "the Other." What I'm saying is you need to tape people fucking and/or murdering each other.
And the best part about making snuff films (besides the fucking and murdering) is you don't need to ask anyone's permission because the whole thing, from production to distribution, is totally illegal. Nice!
My nanny recently told me that she takes antipsychotic medication for a bipolar disorder. I've been happy with her for the past two years. She seldom spends long hours alone with my children because I am a stay-at-home mother, and she would never knowingly harm them, but people with psychosis can't always control themselves. You don't fire someone for a disability, and I feel a particular sense of obligation because she is a young undocumented Haitian, but should I dismiss her to protect my children? — K.V., Brooklyn
There was a time in this country when the mentally ill were vilified and hidden from view in poorly funded sanitariums, where they were ill-treated by abusive care-givers and left by shamed families to die. And that was if the crazy person was white!
We've gotten very lax in our treatment of the mentally ill, who are now allowed not only to roam the streets, but to have jobs, and even use the same drinking fountains as the sane. It's like the Will Smith movie I, Robot, except instead of humans growing dependent on machines that will one day go crazy and murder us all, we've grown dependent on crazy people who will one day go crazy and murder us all.
Rebecca De Mornay rejects Asimov's three laws of robotics.
All of that is to say, fucking fire her. Bitch crazy! Bombe éclate!