Being A Comedian Is Not A Licence To Be A Jerk

Tricky Ricky

So, I logged on to Twitter this morning and saw that Ricky Gervais had appeared to have poked a hornet’s nest with a stick again. Nothing unusual there, I thought – he’s always coming out with jokes designed to outrage people (that’s his shtick he shares with his fellow outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins). What did stop me short though was that one tweeter had objected strongly – and in strong language – to a joke about self-harming, having been a self-harmer herself.

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And Gervais had retweeted her without comment, or responding to her. What followed for the unfortunate critic was several hours of non-stop vitriolic abuse. Gervais, hours after the fact, deleted the retweet that had kicked it all off. He then deleted the passive-aggressive abusive subtweets he’d aimed at her, but alas for Ricky, the mighty Print Screen button has been the downfall of many an ass-covering attempt:


It’s pretty clear from those tweets that not only did Gervais know what the result of him retweeting her would be, he didn’t care.

Finally, hours too late, he instructed his pack of wolves to leave the poor woman alone –

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This was utter bullshit. Gervais’ actions were the equivalent of throwing chum in shark-infested waters. He knew what would happen. He knew his followers would rip her to shreds. Because he’s done it beforeand bragged about retweeting people who insult or criticise him and siccing his 4 million followers on them. Now, here’s where some point out well, these people are abusing him, they want him to see their nasty or critical tweet, so they’re getting what they deserve. Except for that number I mentioned above: 4 million followers. One retweet from Gervais and these nobodies on Twitter attract the instant ire of at least hundreds of rabid fans, who proceed to fill their mentions columns with particularly poisonous bile. As a comedian, Gervais should have a thick skin. In addition there are the options of blocking or ignoring the tweeter. This is not an equal power dynamic. Gervais gets one uncomplimentary tweet from them, they get hundreds of people abusing them back. It is cowardly. In other words, it is also bullying. And bear in mind this is a man who’s considered ‘edgy’ and ‘brave’ for mocking Hollywood moguls at an awards ceremony.

Moving on then – in other news, Ricky Gervais is teaming up with Katie Price to end…online bullying of people with special needs.

You’ll appreciate the extreme irony already, but the irony intensifies and becomes more bitter when you discover what he, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington did to Victoria Wright, a woman with facial disfigurements which they cruelly mocked on the Ricky Gervais Show. It happened 10 years ago, but this kind of cruelty scars people, especially those who receive it regularly in a world that’s not kind to those who are different. Victoria tells her story here.

So, it’s great you want to end the bullying of the vulnerable Ricky, but first I suggest you look up the saying ‘physician, heal thyself’.

Rufus Hound? More Like Rufus Dog

In the same 24 hour period, another British comedian, Rufus Hound, displayed a deeply unsavoury side in a tweet to former Tory MP Louise Mensch:

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Charming.

Whether you agree with Mensch’s politics/approach to feminism or not (and she has plenty of detractors) this is beyond the pale. Hound pathetically attempted to justify this misogynist slur in a long equally misogynist tweet saying how in his experience, it wasn’t sexist. Oh and how suggesting a woman’s blowing her boss only in a figurative sense is totally not sexist. Yeah, you’re not a woman, Rufus – you don’t to be the arbiter of what is or isn’t considered misogynist, OK? And let me tell you now – the tweet was definitely sexist, and in that follow-up tweet you took an industrial digger and tunnelled all the way to Mansplainersville.

Which brings me to a wider pattern I’m noticing among modern-day comedians. I enjoy black comedy and edgy humour that cuts close to the bone, but there’s an increasingly nasty undertone or basis to a lot of jokes and skits these days. And judging from these comedians’ behaviour off-stage, it’s less to do with them trying to be provocateurs than the kind of person they really are. Ricky Gervais exemplifies this – we have two clear-cut examples of him bullying two women who are ill-equipped to deal with it, and it’s not a coincidence that the conceit behind his highly successful series An Idiot Abroad is he and his mate putting another of his mates in increasingly uncomfortable situations. The difference of course is Karl Pilkington’s in on the joke, but part of the humour (aside from Karl’s reactions, thoughts and sayings) is derived from him making someone uncomfortable.

So if you need an outlet for your unpleasantness, comedians, restrict it to your stage or show. Otherwise it’s just human bear-baiting.

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Not Sure How Much More Of A Beating Irony Can Take, Folks

Posted without comment.

The founder of a movement to increase racial diversity within the Republican Party told a crowd of tea party supporters on Sunday that they weren’t racists because “the Democratic Party is the party of the KKK.

Speaking at the first ever South Carolina Tea Party Convention, Raging Elephants leader Apostle Claver explained that Republicans would need to attract black and Latino voters if they intended to win elections in the future.

“Look around,” Claver told the mostly-white crowd. “Y’all hear me? Turn around and take a look. Where’s our black brothers and sisters? Where’s our Hispanic and Latino brothers and sisters? Our Asian brothers and sisters?”

I will however, note that the Onion’s continuing sustainability is the greatest unsung success story of our time.

Dumb Belles Of The BNP

When I initially read this, I called Poe’s Law – it simply had to be a spoof, because while I’ve seen a lot of breathtakingly idiotic stuff from following US politics, I thought nobody could actually bring the weapons grade stupid you are about to see in this article interviewing BNP ‘babes’. But parody it is not.

You no longer need to be a hatchet-faced National Front refugee to join the whites-only club. The fascist menace no longer wears jackboots. It no longer flags down the number 25 bus with a hearty “Sieg Heil”. Nope, ours is a new, gentler, more airbrushed age. Feminism’s here, so now girls can dig race hate too. As the BNP’s attempts to reposition itself as a mainstream party have advanced its perimeter far beyond the usual crewcuts-n-tats brigade, we spoke to three of the more acceptable new faces of the unacceptable. What a bunch of hotties! Phwoar! Makes you aroused to be British.

Basically, Vice.com decided to interview/take the piss out of these brownshirt bombshells. The result? 24 carat comedy gold. Here’s one of them, Rebecca Edwards, 23, showcasing her formidable intellect:

When people say the BNP is a fascist party, what do you think?
Fascist – I don’t understand that word.

Think of Nazi Germany, or 1930s Italy.
I can’t even remember when that happened really, but I’m against them anyway.

This girl should run for office.

She follows that up with this gem:

What do you think symbolises Britain best?
Well, I used to know Britain as strong, and over the past couple of years, I don’t know if I’ve grown up, but I’ve seen it going soft. The memory I have is the war, and how we fighted [sic] all the people in WWI and WWII, and it makes me proud to be British.

So, she can’t remember when Nazi Germany happened, but World War 2 makes her click her Ginger Spice Union Jack platform heels to the tune of Rule Britannia for a country she loves can’t wait to get out of. Move over Einstein.

What’s the best thing about living in Britain today?
I hate Britain and I want to move to Spain in the next couple of years, ’cause our country’s not England any more. It’s very rare for English people to live here any more. When I went to Lanzarote, I felt more English there than I do here, and that’s no exaggeration.

So, if you just can’t handle your country being taken over by an imaginary tsunami of foreigners, be a foreigner taking over someone else’s country! That’ll learn ’em. Oh and please, please do move to Spain. Britain’s collective IQ would rise at least 50 points, with the added bonus that you would finally have done something genuinely patriotic. Win-win.

Read the whole thing and the other interviews with other hilariously thick racist chicks – and also this interview with Miss Edwards which basically goes: “How dare you post things I actually said? Now people think I’m racist and dumb, which I’m totally not! Dumb, that is.”

Stuff like this proves that Andrew Sullivan and co, instead of promulgating the horrendous Bell Curve bullshit, should consider the theory that there is a strong correlation between racism and lack of intelligence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Huhne Has Been A Bit Of A Twit

Points on your licence for driving like a wally is one thing. Trying to fob them off on someone else is another, being ever so slightly against the law and all. And then trying to cover it up is, well, something that has generally not worked out well for politicians.

Paperback Rioter can exclusively reveal the transcript of a call from the Sunday Times to Chris Huhne after they published the details of the cover-up phone call.

Adding…Dear Lib Dems, if you must get caught with your pants down, can you try and not do it when you are in a strong position to do good (I’m looking at you, Vince and David) or have just managed to secure a rare victory for the left, like the carbon emission reduction agreement?