I said on Sunday that Gervais may be my favorite atheist (after Hitchens) now after his brilliant, brutally hysterical hosting of the Golden Globes. He upset the status quo: the barrel of a joke is to be pointed one way only.
After The Independent counted itself as the frillionth outlet to blast him for it, I remarked:
Oh garbage. @rickygervais demonstrated that good comedians go after everyone. No one should be safe, but the prevailing thought these past 10+ years is that one group IS exempt. They can lecture from the stage but he can’t mock their inconsistencies? You prove his point. https://t.co/Dr9PKnbUSg
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) January 7, 2020
Gervais reTweeted it, a stick which hit the hive again, prompting numerous comments of these sorts:
Ricky, Do not retweet this person, she does not support the end of game hunting or other animal cruelty for sure. Plenty of other good people loved your jokes…I did and I am a good person.
— Karen Collins (@karencollinsnyc) January 7, 2020
(Who cares about the legitimacy of accusations when their veracity is justified by hate?)
Some assumed that I and others would be terribly upset if Gervais had made jokes at Trump’s expense, which is a bizarre reply. Funny is funny, that’s just it. Wokescolds assume that you are like them, so politically tribal that anything outside of adoration is counted as betrayal.
Still others attempted to admonish Gervais for the sin of RT’ing me due to my support of the Second Amendment and the lawful practice of responsible firearm ownership. You’re disallowed from agreeing with anyone on anything even if you only disagree with them on so little as say, one thing. Common ground is betrayal. What a horribly dull life to only find agreement with people you know already agree with you fully on every matter in life. This sort aren’t interested in any reconciliation, any reduction of division, common ground is a threat to their influence and ability to benefit from control.
I’ve appreciated the comedic skill of numerous comedians, people who do not share all of my views and nor I theirs, but do we have to run cultural credit checks before appreciating good humor, good music, or good art? I’ve been a fan of Gervais since his podcast back in 2005; I watched his animated show on HBO, and his series with Warwick Davis; “An Idiot Abroad” will remain one of my favorite shows — all of this knowing how differently we think on some issues. The definition of good comedy shouldn’t depend upon a person’s politics. Gervais’ politics do not qualify the measure of humor in his jokes, the skill of his writing does. Politics can definitely influence content, but what is funny is funny. I read a piece on comedy awhile back wherein it was observed that the best comedy has within it some kernel of truth. Observational caricatures in the form of verbal vignettes. I’m not a comedian, but I do like to laugh, and this sticks with me. When Gervais joked about “The Birdbox” as “a movie where people pretend not to see anything, like the people who worked with Harvey Weinstein,” it’s funny because it’s true (maybe more than a kernel). I think some of the reaction to Gervais’ monologue and other jokes was that they were funny, they were true, and they were stated brazenly. You’re not to lecture the glamorous assembly, they lecture you both onscreen sometimes and off and to upset this order is crass. Unsophisticated. It “cheapens” the ceremony, The Independent declared.
While many were concerned about “cheapening” the ceremony, Gervais cared about the cheapening of comedy. Sunday night was about more than just the Golden Globes, it was a fist in the air to the demand that comedy cheapen itself to accommodate bland political correctness. I was concerned for the lifespan of comedy, the wild west of expression. Yet after recent specials from Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, others, and remarks from a few comedy icons, I’m beginning to think the reports of its death were thankfully exaggerated.