If there’s one lesson we on the freedom side of the argument can learn from Ricky Gervais’s superb, heroic, life-affirming performance roasting the Wankerati at the Golden Globes, it’s never, ever, ever apologise; always double down.
It’s, of course, possible that by so spectacularly dissing the hypocrisy of Hollywood culture, Gervais will have killed his U.S. career. But I think it’s much more likely that it will propel him to the unassailable league of Dave Chapelle – another of those rare celebrity voices who stared into the abyss of woke and – unlike Kevin Hart – refused to blink, and emerged stronger and more popular than ever before.
Chapelle, I thought, had set the bar pretty high for sheer daring and tastelessness with his quips on his brilliant recent Netflix show Sticks & Stones – like the one about Macaulay Culkin and Michael Jackson.
Last night’s Golden Globes were Gervais’s hold-my-beer response.
James O’Brien’s book How To Be Right has been spotted in the online equivalent of the remaindered pile.
His book, which only came out three months ago, has had its price slashed from £12.99 to 99p. This is not a sign of success.
Normally I’d be far too generous and sweet-natured to gloat over a fellow author’s failure – even an author as irksome and vindictive as James O’Brien, a self-hating public schoolboy with a radio show in which he rants about how awful Brexit it is and accuses everyone who disagrees with him of being a racist.
But on this occasion, I have to make an exception. Here is why:
God’s Wolf tells the story of Reynald de Châtillon, largely written out of history.
For your perfect summer read I’d recommend Zoé Oldenbourg’s 1949 classic medieval adventure The World Is Not Enough. It’ll comfortably occupy you for a good fortnight and while it’s thrilling, romantic and heartbreaking enough to keep you turning the pages, it’s also so beautifully written and historically illuminating that you won’t feel the emptiness and self-disgust you do when you’ve finally got to the end of a bog-standard airport thriller.
David Cameron was in the news again this week after being paid £1 million a minute to give a speech explaining why Brexit was a terrible mistake at the annual Gay Stranglers’ Guild gala dinner at a brutal dictatorship in central Asia, before spending a week cruising the Baltic on the yacht of Putin’s second-favourite oligarch with the prettiest members of the Russian men’s lacrosse team.
No, wait. My bad. Had he done that, as we know from similar cases, he would have got off scot-free. Instead, the ex-PM did something far, far worse in the eyes of our ever watchful media: he was photographed enjoying himself at a Cotswolds pop festival with a glass of booze in one hand and a fag in the other.
The press launched themselves on Dave with all the ravenous glee of those evil- parasitic sea fleas that gnawed the leg of the Australian boy who went paddling in the sea off Melbourne and turned it into a jellied pulp (just Google it — but only once you’ve had your breakfast). That’s because, get this, our Dave hadn’t just been caught out-rageously letting his hair down at Wilderness Festival; he’d been photographed talking to a woman wearing a sequined jacket with a neon pink heart embroidered with the word ‘Corbyn’. Oh the hilarity!
According to the Independent (an online freesheet) it was Just. About. The. Most. Embarrassing. Thing. Ever. It quoted the jacket’s owner, Lucy Edwards, as saying: ‘He was so mad when he saw me walk off with what was on my back.’ Which I’m sure was exactly what Cameron thought — he wasn’t just being polite to a pushy stranger at a festival or anything.