Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Faulty Syllogism

As most baseball teams celebrated opening day yesterday, the world of Formula One racing was discussing what to do about its president who appears in a sex tape of “a sadomasochistic orgy with five prostitutes that reportedly involved Nazi role playing.” Portions of the tape are available on YouTube. Apparently, the Orgy and the Nazi role playing have been cut out, because all I saw was an old man being spanked by a couple of folks in black leather and then, without explanation,, all (still disrobed) drinking a cup of tea together. Ah England !


It is the Nazi part of the story that has everyone riled up, especially Karen Pollock, the Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust who is quoted as saying that it was “sick and depraved..I am appalled. “  The Formula One group (FIA) has said that Mosley’s job is not in jeopardy and that he is not going to resign. “It sounds to me like a set-up.” Said one Formula One executive.”Set up” may be stretching it. I mean, it’s hard to convince someone to report to a dungeon, take off his clothes, get beaten and then drink tea with prostitutes. I could see the tea drinking part of the set up, but the rest sounds (and looks) like something Mr. Mosley habitually engages in.


The Nazi angle is tough because Mr. Mosley’s father, Oswald, was founder of the Pre- World War Two British Union of Fascists. There are some old pictures of Max (and that name sounds suspiciously Nazi like) giving what is described as  a heil Hitler salute. But it is one thing to be labeled a sexual pervert, and quite another to be called pro- Nazi. I just do not see this as a Nazi issue and believe that Mr. Mosley is still suffering for the sins of his father in this regard. It is true that all Nazis wore black leather(at least in the movies) but not everyone that wears black leather is a Nazi. It is a syllogism as faulty as Woody Allen’s was in “Love and Death” which, as I recall ran, A. All men are mortal,  B. Socrates is a man , C. All men are homosexuals. At least Allen had anecdotal evidence of his syllogism, claiming that certain ancient Greek philosophers used to all rent a big house together every summer on Crete.


I do have to admit to being a little shocked that the Formula One folks are taking the thing so casually. I mean, what would the fellow have to do to get fired from his job ? I don’t care if people who work for me trundle off to dungeons to get beaten, but I would damn sure would  draw the line when the video tapes started making the rounds and attached my company’s name to it. Competition is tough, and being known as a place that hires sadomasochists, on balance, hurts more than it helps. I have to believe that despite Mr. Mosley’s “stiff upper lip”  it might soon be deemed better for formula One Racing if  he resigned. I’m pretty sure they would fire the Commissioner of Baseball if he did this, then again, these European sports play by different rules. It is undoubtedly a violation of the European Union labor laws to fire a fellow for this type of behavior. I think that the Netherlands specifically recruits workers for these very jobs. It would be hypocritical to get upset about it now. So perhaps Mr. Mosley will survive, and, if he does not, there is always NASCAR. Maybe they could use some new blood.


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