It was the slam heard ’round the world.
After a steady stream of verbal right and left hooks, comedian Ricky Gervais went for a devastating uppercut to the perfectly chiseled jaws of the gilded coastal elite that had the audience members in the cheap seats cheering.
“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything,” said Gervais. “You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”
“So, if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent and your god, and f**k off,” finished Gervais.
Gervais spent the rest of the night essentially shrugging off these celebrities who had made it a point to dress to the nines and celebrate each other with all the self-importance you’ve come to expect from the bubbled elitists.
Some took it in stride, others clearly weren’t pleased with how they were being laughed at. Needless to say, those were the faces that needed this dressing down the most.
You’re going to see a million and one think pieces about Gervais’s speech last night, and while this is actually a really good thing, I want to highlight something important.
It should be noted that even after the Gervais monologue, celebrities still got up there and made political statements. That was going to happen regardless of anything anybody did. It’s just kind of become a thing we expect now.
Patricia Arquette and Michelle Williams got up and made speeches about the importance of abortion and anti-patriarchy. Both had the same overall theme of “Vote Democrat in 2020.”
But at that point, their words were more or less empty. They brought proverbial guns to the stage and began pulling triggers only to find Gervais grinning like a Cheshire cat with all their ammunition tucked under his arm. He had neutered them.
The words that came out of their mouths at that point seemed silly and self-indulgent. The only people seemingly inspired by the message were a few other celebrities in the crowd and the woke scolds on Twitter. For everyone else, we just wanted them to get off the stage. Only Brad Pitt seemed to understand that any messaging at that point is useless, and he relegated his speech to thank the appropriate people and then adding a very simple message at the end.
“Hey, if you see a chance to be kind to someone tomorrow, take it. I think we need it,” he said before walking off stage.
It was a message, but a message that had no real divisiveness. It’s hard to disagree with, and thanks to its neutral simplicity it didn’t really get hit by Gervais’s pre-detonated truth bomb. Pitt kept it light and without pride. He just said a “good guy” thing.
Two different approaches from two different celebrities, both ending in different ways. Pitt kept his elitism in check while Williams didn’t. One walked away looking like an everyman whom we can all get behind, the others looked like self-important political activists who think they can lecture us from an imagined place of superiority. All of it being seen through the lens Gervais gave us from the outset.
The point here I’m making is pretty simple.
Here we had sacred cows that were summarily slaughtered by a comedian. If they held any weighty importance, they didn’t after he had his way with them. The comedian had reduced everyone in the eyes of the public. He had disarmed them and removed them from their thrones by pointing out their hypocrisy and glaring flaws.
Laughter was used as a weapon last night and to great effect. Even as we speak, anyone who is attempting to slam Gervais and put their issues back on their respective pedestals is, themselves, being ratio’d into oblivion. It’s too late for them.
Even on YouTube, the people are voicing their satisfaction over Gervais telling the elites what we’ve all been thinking.
Dear Hollywood, pic.twitter.com/r2jj6mHOAA
— Brandon Morse (@TheBrandonMorse) January 6, 2020
It’s not just Gervais either.
As I write this, I’m looking at a great number of leftists complaining incessantly about the presence of The Babylon Bee. The Bee, a wildly popular Christian satire site that makes it a habit of slamming the self-importance of the left, is currently being attacked for being something people take as a legitimate news source.
This is, of course, ridiculous. While it’s undeniable that some people will see stories and think it true, people are quick to point out to those mistaken that the Bee is strictly a comedy site, and the Bee makes no attempts to hide that fact.
To put this in perspective, this is the same number of engagements the top NY Times and CNN stories on Facebook had over the past week.
A lot of people sharing this "satirical" story on Facebook don't know it is satire. https://t.co/HnDjuqw2si
— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) January 5, 2020
This is insulting to a lot of people’s intelligence as most people understand what the Bee is about, but I digress.
The real point is that they don’t like something that makes fun of the left being this popular. They don’t like to be laughed at. Their primary power rests in their being taken very, very seriously. With comedians continuing to take potshots at everything they hold as holy, people are beginning to see the gaps in the armor, or that the Emperor has no clothes. More and more people are laughing, and as more people laugh, more people shrug them off.
It’s hard to make people believe they’re going to die in 12 years from climate change if they’re laughing at you.
This can all be summed up in a quote from C.S. Lewis.
“Above all else, the devil can not stand to be mocked.”