The Jury Talks Back

1/6/2020

Thank God Ricky Gervais Doesn’t Care Anymore

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:52 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last night’s Golden Globe Awards show opened with a caustic bang as British comedian Ricky Gervais delivered a take-no-prisoners monologue that sliced and diced Hollywood’s elite, proving that, as he repeatedly proclaimed, he really doesn’t care anymore:

Sparing no one, Gervais took particular aim at Hollywood’s sanctimonious compulsion to lecture others on how they should live in spite of their own rank hypocrisy, and summed up his take with this beautifully aimed barb:

So 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. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

Cue the outraged response. Los Angeles Times media critic Lorraine Ali was dismayed by the comedian’s failure to recognize the “sober mood” of the evening:

What, your sober moods aren’t punctuated by sipping fine champagne and partying with the elite while wearing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of designer couture and waving to fans as you strut down a red carpet before dining on chilled golden beet soup and king oyster mushrooms made to look like scallops, as you laugh and joke with your equally-precious colleagues??

Further validating Gervais’s correct take on the insular, self-important community of Hollywood and its collective lack of self-awareness, Ali writes :

The last thing anyone needed was for the smirking master of ceremonies to reprimand them for having hope, or taunt the room for trying to use their influence to change things for the better.

Suffice it to say that it’s not surprising that a media critic would be unwilling to be an equal-opportunity critic, and would rather avert her own haughty eyes to that which is painfully obvious: Gervais wasn’t taunting the audience for having “hope”. He was taunting them for their smug hypocrisy, hectoring, and self-aggrandizement. Her response clearly demonstrates the need for a public figure who truly doesn’t care and is willing to be pull back the curtain, no matter the professional repercussions. Ali also assumes that the political policies that Hollywood advocates for would change things for the better, while ignoring that a huge swath of the population view those policy preferences as anything but changing things for the better. And the fact that Ali refuses to acknowledge that is yet another reason why watching Gervais publicly pull the mask off of a tone-deaf and insular community is so delicious. Yet as Gervais is cheered on by average Americans, there will no doubt be accusations that his fans are displaying little more than bitter envy at a privileged community of money, power, and position. For those who do make such accusations, all I can say is, you are only reinforcing the absolute rightness of Gervais’ commentary.

You can read the full transcript of Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue here.

–Dana

John Bolton Announces He Will Testify If Subpoenaed

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 11:51 am

[guest post by Dana]

In a statement released this morning, former Former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who, according to his lawyers, has first-hand knowledge about about “many relevant meetings and conversations” connected to the Ukraine, announced that he would testify if the Senate issues a subpoena:

During the present impeachment controversy, I have tried to meet my obligations both as a citizen and as former National Security Advisor. My colleague, Dr. Charles Kupperman, faced with a House committee subpoena on the one hand, and a Presidential directive not to testify on the other, sought final resolution of this Constitutional conflict from the Federal judiciary. After my counsel informed the House committee that I too would seek judicial resolution of these Constitutional issues, the committee chose not to subpoena me. Nevertheless, I publicly resolved to be guided by the outcome of Dr. Kupperman’s case.

But both the President and the House of Representatives opposed his effort on jurisdictional grounds, and each other on the merits. The House committee went so far as to withdraw its subpoena to Dr. Kupperman in a deliberate attempt to moot the case and deprive the court of jurisdiction. Judge Richard Leon, in a carefully reasoned opinion on December 30, held Dr. Kupperman’s case to be moot, and therefore did not reach the separation-of-powers issues.

The House has concluded its Constitutional responsibility by adopting Articles of Impeachment related to the Ukraine matter. It now falls to the Senate to fulfill its Constitutional obligation to try impeachments, and it does not appear possible that a final judicial resolution of the still-unanswered Constitutional questions can be obtained before the Senate acts.

Accordingly, since my testimony is once again at issue, I have had to resolve the serious competing issues as best I could, based on careful consideration and study. I have concluded that, if the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify.

President Trump, who has pushed for a speedy trial and has accused Nancy Pelosi of being “afraid” to begin the trial, has not responded to Bolton’s announcement – yet.

Of course Bolton’s decision to testify if subpoenaed, puts some pressure on Sen. Majority Leader McConnell and Republicans who have resisted having public witnesses in the Senate trial.

Meanwhile:

The timing of a trial also remains uncertain. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has yet to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, and it’s unclear if and when she will. Pelosi has demanded McConnell specify the procedures for the trial before she sends the articles to the upper chamber.

–Dana


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