Ricky Gervais told a joke that made journalists cry
The Manchester Evening News ran a story claiming the comedian Ricky Gervais has suffered “a huge backlash” over a joke. The only problem was that there wasn’t that much backlash. Also, it’s a hilarious joke.
In fact, most of the responses to the tweet were laudatory, laughing emojis and gifs. The “backlash” was based in the journalistic bad habit of journalists finding a few Twitter accounts here and there that post distaste for something and then claiming that those couple of dissatisfied remarks quantifies a thorough backlash. It doesn’t.
A joke like Gervais’ isn’t controversial—it’s actually speaking truth to power. Gervais was vocal throughout the media coverage of Yaniv’s case over the summer. One wonders how a comic like Gervais would have been able to keep even the illusion of a straight face over a story about a woman who demanded that other people wax her balls.
It was with the full backing of legislation that Yaniv was able to harass women small business owners and bring the absurd charges. Yaniv received all of the protections under the law, complete with privacy of her name, until she revealed it herself all over social media, and the media ban on Yaniv’s identity was lifted.
Yaniv, as everyone is thankfully now aware, is emblematic of the abuse of the system that is now possible if you are from a protected class. This is why the definition of protected classes cannot include those who claim to be oppressed based on a conflation of identities that are void of any basis in biological reality.
The fact that Manchester Evening News journalist Helen Carter refers to both Yaniv (the jerk who tried to force immigrant women to touch his hairy dick and balls and then punished them when they refused by running them out of business) and Gervais (the man who simply made fun of the jerk) as equally “divisive” tells you all you need to know about her agenda.
Carter mischaracterizes Yaniv’s complaint, as well, writing that “while the tweet could have been regarded as offensive at face value, it was in relation to Jessica’s fight after trying—and failing to find a beauty salon in Canada willing to wax her male intimate area.” This is not quite the story. Yaniv sought out small business owners instead of taking her hairy balls to any of the Vancouver salons that specialize in male waxing.
Yaniv lost her case to force estheticians to wax her balls, but as Carter notes, has vowed to continue her fight for transgender rights. Perhaps the next step can be prohibiting any jokes about the absurdity of her original undertaking, or the myriad women she’s had banned from social media platforms for speaking honestly about her gender conundrum, or making sure that more leftists are blinded by their own compassion into ignoring the very serious problems this kind of inquest entails.
It would be unkind to tell a comedian that he can’t make a joke about a lady who wants to wax her balls. At some point, we have to admit that shutting off our critical faculties just so that we can force ourselves to believe that which we know is untrue, namely that ladies don’t have scrotums, is not reasonable. Gervais refused to lie to himself, and we should all do so as well.
In The Spectator, the great Twitter troll Jarvis DuPont takes all those who would bemoan Gervais’ joke to task “Despite how many times [Gervais] is educated by people with their pronouns listed in their Twitter, this only appears to make him more impervious to criticism.” He’s being sarcastic, for all those wokesters who couldn’t tell.
What we assume Carter meant to say was that there was “a huge backlash” in her gated community of elite establishment media friends who fritter away their days patting themselves on the back for the empty virtue-signalling and shrill woke-scolding they perform in 800-word think pieces day in and day out. Gervais is not the problem. Even Yaniv is not the problem. The problem is the preponderance of people wagging their fingers and telling us what is and isn’t funny.
We’re thankful for Gervais. Not only is he one of the brave comedians who will actually stand up to political correctness and the excesses of identity politics, but he consistently reminds us of how we will eventually win this wretched culture war. The key is to never stop laughing.
A Quebec judge rejected part of comedian Mike Ward’s appeal regarding a joke about a disabled boy.
Ward was ordered to pay $35,000 to Jeremy Gabriel, who suffers from a genetic disorder that causes facial deformity and affects his hearing, due to a joke the comedian told at shows between 2010 and 2013.
Two of three judges ruled Mike Ward’s comments regarding Gabriel were not justifiable in a society where freedom of expression is valued.
Ward was originally ordered to pay an additional $7,000 to Gabriel’s mother—a fine which the courts overturned due to the indirect relationship between the joke and the boy’s mother.
The joke in question was regarding Gabriel’s disability. In 2005, Gabriel sang to Pope Benedict and Celine Dion to flesh out his dream of becoming an international singer.
Ward’s jokes called Gabriel a bad singer, stating that he was “terminally ill” and that Gabriel not passing away meant that his “Make a Wish” was invalid. Gabriel was not actually terminally ill, as Gabriel’s genetic disease—Treacher Collins syndrome—does not generally have an effect on lifespan. He was also not a Make-a-Wish kid, as Ward was embellishing the story for the sake of the joke.
Ward added that he tried to drown Gabriel, but he wouldn’t die.
The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the joke discriminated against Gabriel and his parents, ordering Ward to pay damages for “making discriminatory comments regarding Jéremy Gabriel, infringing his right to equality.”
Ward later tweeted that he would not be paying any fines, and planned to take his case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
“In a ‘free’ country, it shouldn’t be up to a judge to decide what constitutes a joke on stage,” he wrote. “The people in attendance laughing already answered that question.”
Ward’s lawyer, Julius Grey, believes the decision seriously impacts the world of stand-up comedy.
“In this particular case, if the judgement is maintained, no one will be able to dare to be a stand-up comic, because normally you make fun of things that are controversial—otherwise it’s not funny,” Grey said. “If anything that is controversial can authorize someone to say ‘I was hurt, I’m going to court,’ we’re finished.”
Ward will appeal the case to the Supreme Court, Grey said on Thursday.
While the Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees freedom of expression, the Appeals Court ruled that Ward had gone too far, passing what’s permissible by law.
“What is funny for some can be considered bad taste by others … Humour, especially the kind of humour that Mr. Ward practices, can appeal to sarcasm, mockery and even insult. The border between a limitation to freedom of expression in the name of dignity and censorship is thin. … Comedians must realize, however, that artistic freedom is not absolute and that they, like all citizens, are responsible for the consequences of their words when they cross certain limits.”
The holidays can be a tough time for lots of people, and if the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has its way, they’ll be even worse. The annual family get-togethers have taken on an added significance since the beginning of the Trump presidency. No longer just times to swap recipes and pretend you have your life together, now they are stages set for activism, disagreement, and political animus.
Just in time for American Thanksgiving, the ACLU tweeted some of their favourite Thanksgiving conversation starters in a holiday tweet.
There’s this idea that the holiday table should be turned into a court, the passing of potatoes a referendum on your racist uncle, and of course, the assumption that you have a racist uncle who needs to be schooled in the proper way of thinking.
Holidays are divisive enough already without going in armed with a series of adversarial conversation starters and assumptions about how your family needs to be educated in wokeness. But in today’s political and cultural climate, we’re supposed to believe that every conversation is an opportunity to tutor the uninitiated into progressive ideology.
The American family is on a long decline. Many families are broken, blended, confusing places. If anything, the ACLU should be promoting family bonds, not ensuring strife. When we feel connected, have a safe place to land from the turmoil of the world, and can take solace in our families, life is better.
We don’t have to agree with everyone we love to love them. We don’t have to coerce our families into sharing our views. After all, no one likes to be evangelized to and the best way to change hearts and minds is through actions, not lectures. If there are true bonds of family, they don’t need to be pressed with rhetoric, and if those bonds are tenuous, strengthen them. You don’t have to fix everyone in your family, and no one likes to be criticized. Instead of starting conversations with assumptions and accusations, start with kindness.
Probably your family is already aware of these things, like trans and LGBT rights, after all, it’s in every publication, and in the Supreme Court. This objectionable ACLU family is a straw family, they don’t exist. Where is there a family who is so insular that they don’t have LGBT people in them as relatives or friends? And you might be dealing with much bigger issues than that which carries importance for legislation and federal policy.
We have prepared some alternatives to the ACLU conversation starters, The Post Millennial holiday conversation starters:
Instead of “my pronouns are … ” try “how have you been?”
Instead of bringing up hiring problems for LGBT people, ask “how many jobs are you working these days?”
Instead of “who loved Pose season two?” Ask what a person’s favourite tv show is, and talk about that.
And don’t ask people to “please pass the pie and the Equality Act,” instead ask if you can help get the desserts on the table, and maybe listen for once.
If you have political or theological disagreements with your family, what is the basis for the opposing beliefs? Why do people believe what they believe? Find that out before belittling anyone. And if you really want to promote civil liberties and charity, propose some holiday service. You and your family can team up in helping the less fortunate at this trying time of year.
The transformation of the ACLU from an essential civil liberties organization to a group of woke zombies virtue signalling social justice platitude after social justice platitude has been particularly painful to watch. While they still advocate for the abolition of the death penalty, and against the authoritarian implementation of facial recognition software, the incessant thought policing makes it hard to get behind them.
In the last few months, the ACLU has advocated for compelled speech with regard to the issue of preferred pronouns.
They’ve also lobbied on behalf of trans women who wish to compete in women’s sports. It’s an odd position for a civil liberties organization to take—to infringe upon the rights of women to have their own spaces.
When their advocacy fails, they just shout about it.
The change in their priorities and values has led long term donors to abandon their charitable giving.
The ACLU is a storied institution. But they have abandoned their promise of advocating for actual civil liberties, and they are continuing to lose the public’s confidence. It’s part of a trend really—once-respected institutions from The New York Times to the ADL have gone woke and lost the plot over the last 3-4 years. Perhaps it’s due to a panicked overcorrection for the Trump presidency; perhaps it’s just the insidiousness of woke ideology as it has spread from the universities to the larger culture.
The ACLU wants you to confront your relatives about hot button issues in culture. Authoritarians are great at dividing families. That’s how they seize power. They need anger and division. But if you really care about your family, maybe just let the conversation happen naturally, instead of enforcing talking points. Ideological diversity is a strength.
When foundations that are founded on principles switch their focus to politics, those principles get thrown under the proverbial bus. Principles are what hold up, whereas a political agenda is more concerned with achieving its ends than making sure those ends are achieved according to any standards.
Do your best to embrace the differences between you and your loved ones. Use dialogue to open your own mind, and find the places where you do agree. And for the love of God, don’t let the ACLU ruin your holidays or your relationship with your family.
Prisoners often find themselves mixed up in ideological warfare that has nothing to do with their rehabilitation, and everything to do with opposing cultural forces. Such is the case with born-again Christian pop star Kanye West’s recent visit to the Harris County Jail in Texas. West brought his musical worship service to prisoners, leading with light and God’s love, to the people who need it most. For that, the local Sheriff Ed Gonzales, West, and the prisoners were admonished by anti-faith group The Freedom from Religion Foundation.
Sheriff Gonzalez and the prisoners at Harris County Jail had a different take.
While The Freedom from Religion Foundation primarily files lawsuits and does not go into prisons to help prisoners in their journey toward atonement, forgiveness, and reentering society, they took issue with West’s work to actually help people. This is some of the most elitist, entitled, patronizing displays of legal bludgeoning since The Freedom from Religion Foundation took issue with the federal funding of a mentorship program for the children of prisoners.
West made the appearance at the Harris County Jail for a worship service prior to attending televangelist Joel Osteen’s ministry, and repeatedly told the crowd of men in orange jumpsuits that “This is a mission, not a show.” It was that mission that got him in trouble with the atheists, who must think there is some better way to salvation and healing than seeking forgiveness and absolution from a higher power. Perhaps they have a plan to go into prisons and give a concert about how a secular life of consumerist materialism will lead to healing. But probably they don’t.
Despite the downturn in religious practice in the United States, faith in God is still often a way for people to discover a healthy path toward healing and becoming their best selves. While the argument against the intrusion of church into state affairs is judicially established, the emergence of atheism as a religious force should now be subject to those same considerations. Organized atheism is very similar to organized religion, except adherents rally around the absence of God instead of his existence.
Atheism is not neutral, it is, in fact, its own growing belief system. It is just as intrusive to bar religious practice in favour of anti-religious practice, because both are belief systems. If prisoners would rather not be party to either kind of faith practice, or worship service, or nothing service, they don’t have to be. What The Freedom from Religion Foundation doesn’t want to admit to is that putting trust in a higher power in order to become a better person more aligned with the values of kindness, love, and forgiveness, works.
The Freedom from Religion Foundation has that much beef with God and faith that they deny a person’s betterment by demanding that only non faith-based intellectual and emotional tools be sanctioned. Their argument is that classic separation of church and state squabble that keeps prayers out of schools, the mention of God off of memorials to fallen soldiers, and money flowing away from programs that actually help people instead of keeping their feet nailed to the same detrimental path that brought them to prison in the first place.
The argument made against West’s mission was that the prisoners are “literally a captive audience—who have a deep and immediate interest in being seen favourably by the jail staff.” The Freedom from Religion Foundation thinks so little of prisoners’ ability to think for themselves that they would rather deny those who want to participate in religious service than believe that those who don’t want to attend will feel coerced to do so.
Perhaps up next will be the legal removal of every kind of religious services from prisons, chaplains from the armed forces, and crosses atop churches from being visible. If these atheists really cared about the welfare of those men and women suffering in our overcrowded prison systems, they would use their legal funds to bring programs to those incarcerated souls who need uplifting, who need to hear a message that life has meaning and that caring and love are truly possible. Using the court system to belittle and demean those who have already been subjected to the inequities of that system is certainly unreasonably cruel.
Yesterday, journalist and The Post Millennial editor-at-large Andy Ngo was suspended from Twitter for the following tweet directed at Chelsea Clinton: “The US is one of the safest countries for trans people. The murder rate of trans victims is actually lower than that for cis population. Also, who is behind the murders? Mostly black men.” Ngo has been banned from Twitter for saying a true thing. As a journalist, his job is to expose the truth. Twitter has deemed the speaking of facts to be “hateful conduct.”
Ngo’s tweet was in response to Clinton’s Trans Remembrance Day post honouring murdered trans women. He showed that Clinton’s tweet was misleading. There has been much talk about how many trans women have been killed for being trans in the United States. Many trans activists claim that it is an epidemic. It should go without saying that harming someone for any reason, other than self-defence, is not acceptable, but in the facts vs. feelings war regarding the murders of trans people in the States, facts have been getting the short end of the stick. America is actually the safest place for trans people to live.
A widely purported stat is that trans women of colour have a life expectancy of just 35. This has been stated as fact. But what Katie Herzog uncovered for The Stranger is that this number was taken from the life expectancy of trans women in Central America, where violence of all kinds is incredibly high. That makes this not a valid stat for the United States, but activists tout it anyway. In the U.S., there were 118 trans women murdered between 2015-2019. In 2016 alone, there were 3,895 women murdered in the US, mostly by men in domestic circumstances, and that number is rising. No one calls that an epidemic.
In many of the trans murder cases, the trans women who were murdered led high-risk lifestyles. That doesn’t excuse their murder, but it does mean, that for the most part, they were in dangerous situations, and their deaths were not a result of identity-based hate. “What we do know from all available resources is that the violence these individuals experience occurs to a very broad range of people with diverse backgrounds and identities,” writes Chad Felix Greene for The Federalist, “It is clearly more an issue of high-risk environments than identity-based discrimination.”
Today, Twitter has rejected Ngo’s appeal for suspension, claiming that “Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision. You will not be able to access Twitter through your account due to violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our rules around: Violating our rules against hateful conduct. In order to restore account functionality, you can resolve the violations by logging into your account and completing the on-screen instructions.”
So there you have it: Ngo and Twitter are in a stalemate. Apparently, telling a statistically verifiable fact on Twitter is grounds for indefinite suspension. Meghan Murphy said women aren’t men, and it was curtains for her. Posie Parker was recently banned from Facebook, and interviews with her were removed from YouTube. Gender critical feminists have been taking heat for posting facts and the only thing Twitter has to say about it is that it’s hateful. Conservatives, too. James Woods tweeted, “If you try to kill the King, you best not miss #HangThemAll” in reference to the Mueller Report. He, too, was banished. Meanwhile, a quick Twitter search of the acronym “terf” reveals thousands upon thousands of abusive and threatening tweets, all in the name of social justice.
Discussion around trans issues is infused with feelings. When facts make an appearance, and those feelings are exposed as perspective and not reality, journalists and investigators are called out as transphobic. It’s as though the demand that we buy into the delusion that there is no such thing as biological sex transcends across the spectrum of feelings.
What happens next is unclear. Ngo may be the next Twitter exile, following in the footsteps of Meghan Murphy and James Woods, who paid the ultimate Twitter price for speaking their truth. Ngo tells us that “Twitter has determined that a verifiable empirical claim can be deemed ‘hateful conduct’ if enough people find it offensive. We know this only works in one direction.”
Indeed. As time marches on, so does Twitter, swiftly on its way to an Orwellian hellscape where only the approved may speak. The judgement process is opaque, the terms change definition depending on who is using the words, and the only appeals process is to apologize and submit to censure. It is into these hands that we have placed our free speech rights. It is beneath this gaze that we are exposed. That’s why it’s not enough to chalk Twitter’s practices up to corporate decision-making whimsy. We need to hold their feet to the fire. We cannot let the arbiters of truth be those who label facts as hate.