09 January, 2020

We actually need celebrities to be political

The world destroying itself either through accident or design was not enough to completely overshadow something as really important as an awards night.

And ZOMG - did you see Ricky Gervais? He totally flipped call-out culture. Amazing!

Well, up to a point...

"You're in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world."

And Gervais does? He says "you," not "we," so I'm assuming he thinks he does.

And it's not as if Gervais himself doesn't do a good line in lecturing the public about animal cruelty - which I completely endorse. It just makes me wonder why he thinks he's different to the rest of them.

Predictably enough, the hit-and-miss Jonathan Pie has chimed in with his defence of Gervais, hitting a few more easy targets.

Now they both make a few good points. No-one denies that celebs who constantly bang on about some political hobby-horse can be pretty bloody tiresome. But the truth is, we need them.

We need them because there were people watching the Golden Globes who can spell Joaquin Phoenix without Googling it, and can list the entire Kardashian family tree from memory, who have no idea who the prime minister is.

If Gervais and Pie were half as in touch with "the real world" as they would like to think they are, they would understand this. Or perhaps they do, and are just using it for their own self-promotion. They're celebrities too, after all.

But what the educated elite (in which I include Gervais, Pie, myself, and you too most likely) need to understand is that these slightly embarrassing, not always well-informed speeches are not aimed at us. They're aimed at people who can recognise who designed Nicole Kidman's dress but not what party their representative belongs to. They're aimed at people who can dispute the legality of a touchdown or an LBW, but not of the government's actions. They're aimed at people who vote every week on Dancing with the Stars but never in an election.

They're aimed at a president who is a TV addict, and known to tune in to these shows just to live-tweet how boring they are, and it might be the only thing he hears that comes from outside his own echo-chamber.

Pie rightly suggests that Scott Morrison's views on global warming are more important than any celebrities. But let's take a look at Scott Morrison meeting a voter at a time when Morrison had been all over the news:

Now if Gary Ablett had spoken to this bloke, he might just have paid attention.

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