Monday, January 24, 2011

Make Em Laugh

One of the things I try not to do in my life is take myself too seriously. In fact, I don't think anyone should take themselves too seriously. Obviously there are times for seriousness (of course), but I just think it's crazy to take anything or anyone TOO seriously.

We are all human. We all make mistakes. We all stick our feet in our mouths and embarass ourselves and make bad decisions. We all have faults. That's a part of life and we have no control over it, so it's important to not dwell on such things - to work on them, but also accept the things we can't change or control and be able to move on.

Some of you may have heard that the host of this year's GG's, Ricky Gervais, was on Piers Morgan's talk show last week defending the jokes/monologues he performed on the show. I say "defending" because it appears many people complained that some of these jokes were in bad taste (including my mother), and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association went so far as to call his remarks "unacceptable". Many felt that Gervais was "mocking" the stars and their various personal problems.

Considering I watched the entire telecast, I can say with authority that, yes he was "mocking" the stars and some of his remarks did shock me a bit. But I didn't once think "wow, that's going too far". I actually thought he did a good job and I enjoyed his jibes at the celebrities' expense. You could almost feel them squirm at some points and (for some reason) I found that amusing. I guess I thought it was refreshing that he didn't hold back and "sugar-coat" his comments. I'm sure that sugar-coating would have been preferable for the stars and the producers, but it sure would have been more boring. As many people have commented, he was telling the jokes for the audience watching at home, not the people in the room. So, I suppose (as a viewer) at home, I appreciated that.

Ok, I could see how some of his comments could be seen as offensive. But here's my take on it: LIGHTEN UP!! Remember when I said you shouldn't take yourselves too seriously? Well, I'm talking to you actors! First of all, you're not perfect or superhuman; you are not "above" scrutiny. Second of all, the GG's are often described as an "informal" awards show where attendees can relax, so for a so-called "laid-back" event, the atmosphere was rather uptight. Thirdly, you are mocked on a daily basis in tabloids, on entertainment shows and blogs, and other online forums, so shouldn't you have developed thicker skin by now? I guess it's ok when there is some distance between it and you, but when the barbs are flying directly into your face they must pierce a little more sharply. Fourth, you make like a bajillion-kajillion dollars a year and can basically do whatever the hell you want, so quit whining! Besides, you are pretty easy targets for mocking when you think about it, because lets be honest here, some of you make some pretty stupid choices in spite of the fact that you can (as I mentioned) do whatever the hell you want and are AWARE that your every move is being watched.

I would also like to remind you (actors and Hollywood Foreign Press Association - whoever you are) that Gervais is a comedian - that's his profession - and comedians are hired to TELL JOKES. And most comedians have a reputation that precedes them (i.e. they tell a certain kind of joke). What did the producers think he was going to do when he got up on the stage, make balloon animals?
I would also like to remind you (stars) that, whether you are used to it or not, the jokes that were directed at you last week were jokes that have been trotted out about you many times before. The joke about Robert Downey Jr. being of LA County Jail/rehab fame is not new! You would have to have lived under a rock for the past 15 years to not know about his checkered past. So, why all of a sudden is it SO taboo to refer to it?
Besides, look at what he's done with his life since! He's completely resurrected his career and has earned an enormous amount of respect from the public and fellow actors (I seriously have never heard anyone say they aren't a fan of his). Ironically, the comments made about him were some of the more offensive ones of the night and yet he seemed to not be bothered by them in the least. I guess once you get made fun of for being a drug addict and criminal enough times, you just learn to take it with a smile. And this may be news to you, stars, but generally the public will like you more if you are self-deprecating and humble (for me, this is actually part of the appeal of RDJr...though it does help that he's yummy).

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I think those that made a stink about Gervais' jokes need to lighten up and stop taking themselves so seriously. And there are many people I've met in my everyday life that I'd like to say these words to as well. Just relax, people! Learn to take a joke. In my experience, most people that poke fun at you are either A) genuinely kidding and don't mean any offense whatsoever, or B) are just trying to get a rise out of you. So, either way, moaning and groaning about it won't help you. The best solution is just to roll with it. I'm willing to bet both kinds of people will have more respect for you if you do.

Trust me, I've done and said some incredibly stupid things in my life, but guess what - so has everyone! NO ONE is immune to stupidity. And it's only natural to feel embarassed and silly in the moment - I have felt incredibly embarassed and stupid at times, so much so that I've hidden in bathroom stalls and bawled. And I'm sure I will again. But I take solace in the fact that, even though I feel embarassed now, I will laugh my ass off about it later.


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