Monday, January 15, 2007

Hey Ricky, you're so fine...?

Here is a link to Nice Man's blog where he prints Ricky Gervais's email with permission. They have exchanged a few emails and I think that Ricky may play the ME routine a bit differently in future shows, stating that ME is real, and perhaps using the clear irony that he gives other routines.
I think it's laudable of Ricky Gervais to enter into a one to one correspondence with someone who was offended by the routine. It is also a testament to Nice Man's diplomacy skills. I would not have expected Ricky (or anyone) to respond to a 'you are horrible and unfunny' type email. To arrive at this position feels like a kind of comedy Darwinism - various events coming together to morph the comedy into a more adaptable and viable creature. If it's truer, it'll be funnier.
I really wanted to give Ricky the benefit of the doubt. I said I might never feel warm to him again. And now I do. I can't help myself.


Anonymous said...

Well done to your Nice Man for writing to him. I like Ricky Gervais, he makes me laugh and we all need that, but it was with sadness that I read his comments on ME. However, he has acknowledged Nice Man's correspondance and not just ignored his concerns, which makes me feel slightly better.
Best Wishes

CatherineNiven said...

Good on Ricky for replying - at least he has taken the time to consider his comments. Whether he withdraws them for future performances is still to be seen. And good on Nice Man for writing to him - you are lucky for having such great support.

sofamum said...

Nice Man is a hero. Thank you on behalf of all us PWME. It's so heartwarming to have one's cause taken up by a "wellie" who is a little less vulnerable to attacks on ME. I'm also impressed by Gervais' personal reply and will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Anonymous said...

"Gervais defends joke about killing prostitutes"

jed said...

Well, having seen the latest comment about RG's 'joke' about the murders in Ipswich that just about takes the biscuit.

I live about 8 miles from Ipswich and if he DID dare to make that joke there he'd be lynched: quite right too.

I've been following this thread all the way through and contemplated adding my thoughts and then held back.

I have ME too. Personally I dont like RG's work anyway, but that's beside the point here. The main fact seems to be that he is willing to make a joke that is tasteless, cruel and unfounded whilst hiding behind his 'ignorant bigot' persona as he calls it ( see RG's reply to Nice Man's comments on his ME jokes). After RG had taken time to personally respond I was ready to forgive him but now I see that that personal response is just a sham and my instinct that he will pick on any subject/group for a cheap laugh was well founded all along.

There does seem to be a fad for this kind of cruel comedy now. Last year I emailed RG's chum, Jonathon Ross, because he'd made a dreadfully cruel remark about people with learning disabilities on his radio show. I'm certainly not 'Angry from Tunbridge Wells' and have never complained before about a TV or radio show but his comments were frightful.

Ironicallly I know that he does a lot of good work for charities including one whcih raises money for children with a very rare syndrome from which my son suffers.

Sometimes I wonder if people like JR and RG just don't think about what they've said or if their desire to get a laugh or appear one of the lads over-rides their common sense. Certainly they both have a penchant for attacking the vulnerable and blameless. Maybe they should just grow up --- those sorts of jokes are the kind that insensitive 13 year old boys make to look clever.

Ciara said...

Hi Jed,

After reading Ricky's responses I do believe that his intention is to play the bigot so thers can laugh at bigotry as opposed to the vunerable groups he is 'joking' about. Everything is perception, of course, so the audience will have different views as to whether he achieves this or not. I hope his irony is now more obvious in his ME routine.


jed said...

It's heartening to know that you are such a forgiving soul and trying to see the best in people.

Certainly it does no good to bear a grudge but the bigot aspect has little place in the Ipswich joke, which, IMHO, is even worse than the M.E. joke. RG's not trying to to purport to be a bigot over the murder of five vulnerable women --- a bigot over what? prostitution ? murder? drug taking ??

He's just trying to get another cheap laugh and I doubt very much if the parents of those women, or most of the populace of Ipswich who lived in real fear for 3 or 4 weeks, would see the funny side.

Oh well -- on with the motley. Personally, I shall ignore RG's output as I did before all this blew up and take pleasure in the things that make ME smile........each to his own. I find that one of the ways of living with M.E. is to make the most of the small things that bring pleasure and ignore or bear the rest.

You've got a great blog and I've enjoyed exploring your links


Ciara said...

Thanks Jed,

I full agree with that 'make the most of the life's good things' philosophy.


nmj said...

Is heartening that Ricky Gervais replied to Nice Man, but I think that Ricky believing or not believing in ME is not truly going to get our illness more understood or misunderstood. The danger, as we all know, is that the science of ME is still so all over the place, there is no universal truth that makes it safe to joke about it. And of course it upsets us that he made an ignorant joke, but I agree with Jed, the Ipswich joke was even more tasteless. With regard to ME, it's the medics who have to understand the illness and spread the word. They are the ones who have power, after all. There has been so much in the media about it being a real illness and yet the negative image prevails because of the bizarre theories perpetuated by those who have power. Ricky G is really just reflecting the views that NICE etc continue to peddle.