Make jokes, not war

Published On: 09/02/2014Categories: Life1007 words5 min readViews: 12

In case you’ve been living under a rock since Sunday, nude photos of actress Jennifer Lawrence (and several other celebrities) were leaked to the world after a hacker got access to their iCloud accounts.

Today comedian Ricky Gervais was slammed for making the following comment:

Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from the computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.

When I read that, I lol’d.

He later removed his comment due to thousands of people accusing him of “victim-blaming”, blaming the violation of a woman’s body on herself and being insensitive.

Da fuq is wrong with people.

Firstly, I am a huge Jennifer Lawrence fan. I think she’s an amazing talent, she’s beautiful, she doesn’t take herself too seriously and all the rest of it. In the simplest of terms: she is so cool and I want to be her bestie. I will hands down be the first to admit that.

Secondly, it is DISGUSTING that somebody hacked into her device and stole personal photos to then share with millions of prying eyes. It’s gross and if it were me I’d feel sick and violated. If it happened to a family member or friend, I would be upset and raging beyond comprehension. Nobody should ever have to experience something like that, especially not on a global scale.

Thirdly, I agree with the notion that the way in which you share your body with the world is a personal choice. I don’t believe anyone should be looking at these photos just because they’re out there either. Show some respect and don’t search for them. I don’t believe it is even Jennifer Lawrence’s fault – she should have the right to take photos of herself and keep them private. The person responsible for the leak should be arrested and dealt with accordingly when caught. Absolutely.

Discussing whether or not Jennifer Lawrence deserved to have this happen is not my point. My point is the reaction to Gervais’ comment.

“Furious online backlash”. “In hot water”. Ricky Gervais “backtracks”. These are some of the headings and words used to describe the falling out of his comment. One of the responses to his tweet was:

Ah, victim-blaming at its finest. “If you don’t want people to break into your house and steal your things, don’t own things.”

Uhhhh. No.

If I’ve learnt anything from my time as an Aussie, it’s that we LOVE black humour. As a country, we were making and sharing jokes about Steve Irwin only minutes after his death reached our ears. And not because we were being intentionally insensitive or being assholes – it’s because it’s a form of grieving. It’s how people deal with things. Being sombre and serious all the time doesn’t help anyone.

And you can all keep your pants on – I agree that laughing at something that is tragic or terrible can often seem distasteful and sometimes things go too far. I’m not saying it’s cool to make jokes about a friend’s dead relative or poke fun at a rape you’ve heard about on the news for instance. I’m sure that if Steve Irwin’s family had heard those jokes it would have been offensive, traumatic and would have caused them a great deal of pain. I’m referring to instances within reason, like Gervais’ comment today.

Making a joke about a thing doesn’t mean you condone that thing.

– Ricky Gervais.

Ricky Gervais is a (somewhat controversial) comedian and in my opinion, an absolute fucking legend. He has been stirring the pot since he rose to fame in 2001 and he’s upset a lot of people for basically saying how it is. He says what a lot of us think, but wouldn’t dare say in fear of ridicule, upsetting others, confrontation or rocking the boat. He even jokes about some things that are considered sensitive and taboo by many (e.g. obesity, diseases, religion). I’m sure he offends a lot of people and that many think he is an arrogant asshole (which he can be). But personally, I respect him because he doesn’t conform, he speaks out about what he is passionate about in a way that usually opens up a topic for debate. He brings attention to many worthy causes by way of making jokes. I can only see that as a good thing.

In my opinion, his comment about the celebrity nude photo leaking was making light of an unfortunate and serious matter. He posted what I’m sure millions of people probably thought themselves or uttered under their breaths in the privacy of their own homes. He’s not condoning this behaviour, he’s not actually pointing blame at the celebrities and he’s certainly not saying Jennifer Lawrence brought the violation of her rights and body on herself. He was making a joke. He’s a comedian, that’s what he does best.

And on a final note: why do we have to read into EVERYTHING? It seems to me that today people spend a hell of a lot of time finger-pointing, getting outraged and appalled by comments, passing the buck, suing every Tom, Dick and Harry because they were too stupid to use their own common sense, not building monkey bars on playgrounds anymore because kids can break their arms, having three people on a panel on a talk show every time somebody important gets offended or upset. I’m all for expressing opinions and lively debates, but some people need to stop getting so wound up about every little thing and maybe need to think about channeling that energy towards something more important. Like laughter for instance.

It’s more important to spend your energy trying to stop actual bad things than to run around trying to stop jokes about bad things.

– Ricky Gervais