Sometimes the tide turns in the most unexpected of places and in the most surprising of ways. I have spent the evening watching Ricky Gervais taking a sword to the Hollywood elite. It was his fifth and final time to host the Golden Globes and with the unerring timing of the world class comic that he is, he saved his best wine for his final performance.
From the start of his epic monologue to the last quip, of his last line of the night, he laid bare every skeleton in the Hollywood cupboard and slayed every dragon in the Beverley Hills underbelly. His opening salvo was burning down Twitter long before the end of it’s glorious 7 minutes.
He delightfully exposed the conceit, hypocrisy, narcissism and down-right patronizing entitlement of this particular elite. I’d tell you some of the jokes except they all went viral and you’ve probably already digested them.
In delivering this little expose he also inadvertently stripped bare all the other fiefdoms that share the same orbit as Hollywood.
I’m still trying to figure out if Ricky Gervais did this last bit by accident or design. Gervais, you see, is a genius with the DNA of an everyman – that everyman quality is the defining element of his power – so I’m inclined to believe he knew exactly the effect his words would have on the audience and also on the other targets that were hit by his missiles. For this performance has echoes far beyond the chiseled jaws of the entertainment world.
I am pretty certain that history will record what happened last night in the Beverley Hilton, as an occasion when the lightning storms of the modern world around us were earthed by the lightning rod of a singular wit.
As each empty bullet casing hit the floor from the barrage he unloaded on some of the most famous, influential and powerful people in the world a very curious thing happened.
They took it.
They took it with the muffled groan of an Emperor who knew all along there were no clothes and the ridiculousness of Patricia Arquette merely served to underline the brilliance of the unyielding shelling.
The crowd submitted because deep down most of those present understood the massacre was richly deserved and long overdue. Richly deserved as a collective I hastened to add.
General Norman Schwarzkopf is long departed to that military mess hall in the sky but he would’ve been proud and recognised the character of the man standing at the podium living out his words.
It doesn’t take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle
As I sit and write this all down another curious thing has happened. Large tracts of the media have reacted to this virtuoso performance and seminal moment as if they are mute.
Like it didn’t happen at all, in the way, it most definitely all happened. A couple of large sites are even angry with him. We should allow ourselves an inward smile at this point. Because initial media reaction merely proves the authenticity of Ricky Gervais’s achievement.
The mainstream media is one of the elites with it’s head on the chopping block. His sword has sliced their flesh too.
Critical to the beauty of the evening was the fact that Ricky Gervais is not a Donald Trump supporter. He’s not a God guy either. In essence he is not a guy that is easy to label. As I said earlier an Everyman.
This is vital because no actor or power broker that marched the long lonely journey to the stage could throw any political mud at him as a smokescreen.
Ricky Gervais: “A movie called Birdbox, a movie about people who had to pretend like they didn’t see anything. Kinda like working for Harvey Weinstein. (audience gasps) You did it!…. not me….You did that ”
And again as I sit here and ponder this – another related thing hits me like a tonne of bricks. Donald Trump isn’t the real problem. We are the real problem for the elites. Yes us, the little people – the “un-elite-ified” – Their comfortable hypocrisy depends on our continued support. Our continued willing enslavement to them.
A night of Ricky Gervais tongue lashing is a small price to pay for our continued dimwitry.
Take your pick from any of the most powerful aristocracies of a modern democracy – Global capitalists, the political classes, academia, Big Tech or Entertainment. The last 10 years has shone a very powerful and inconvenient light on the folly of nearly all of these mob families from the global financial meltdown right up to the dam burst of the #METOO movement.
Like clockwork each and everyone of them have landed us collectively in the doo-doo. Each and every time we are expected to pony up their bail. Each time they promise it will be their last time in court.
It never is.
So with our money, homes, freedoms, we keep paying the price. In return for what ?
An addiction to gadgetry or the mirage of a movie star’s unattainable beauty?
The unquestioning acceptance that we are too stupid to survive and need these collectives of fools to protect us, is the essential ingredient for their continued prosperity. Remember though if you are a parent – it is your sons and daughters that will end up in servitude to them for another generation. In worse conditions than you and I most likely.
Enslaved to a world with infinite information sources but denuded of facts, kids lulled into a lopsided mortgage or if not, at the end robbed of a pension. Armed only with a technologically induced and reduced attention span as a means of defence. Which is hardly a defence at all.
A generation of sons and daughters too afraid or too ruined to fuck each other.
Donald Trump didn’t do that. Neither did Bernie Sanders or AOC. Neither did you and neither did I.
It is important to remember that in the midst of the constant mud-slinging we do at one another. Or maybe that’s their secret weapon – to keep providing us with the mud.
Maybe we would do well to remember, during the next pious rage to which our egos succumb – to glance down at our feet. And if perchance those feet are on the ground remind ourselves that ground is part of the Earth. And that Earth is travelling at 67,000 miles per hour around a balling flame of fire in the sky.
And if that is not important enough to think about for very long….
Then neither is Tim Cook’s latest Iphone….