January 8, 2020

"... Gervais neatly illustrated exactly why so many people so resent the increasingly ritualized ceremonial sanctimony."

"Because it turns out that this may be exactly what makes people hate hypocrites so much: They fool us into giving them credit for holding potentially costly moral beliefs without actually paying those costs. A 2017 paper from the journal Psychological Science reported a series of experiments demonstrating that we give people moral credit for condemning bad behavior — more credit than we give them for just stating that they themselves behave morally. But by the same token, we resent people who condemn others while privately indulging the same vices even more than we resent those who falsely claim to do the right thing. In fact, the people they studied seemed willing to give people a pass on hypocrisy if they admitted they didn’t live up to their own ideals. What bothers us most, this suggests, is not the disconnect between values and behavior, something we’re all guilty of, but rather trying to gain social status by pretending to be more moral than you are."

From "Ricky Gervais teaches Hollywood what speaking truth to power really means" by Megan McArdle (in WaPo).

62 comments:

tim in vermont said...

A quick glance at his Twitter feed would tip anybody off as to what was coming. I am giving the Golden Globes credit for putting him on since they knew what they were going to get. They have never been The Oscars. Good for them. It’s the foreign press, who seem less caught up in wokeness, and more amused by it

Rusty said...

The last honest liberal in Hollywood.

Darrell said...

The Golden Globes were shown to be an invention of the Hollywood studios a decade ago--long suspected, but proven beyond doubt by some of the last of the real journalists. There is no foreign press to co-ordinate awards/voting. The studios pick the members of the foreign press to come here, pay their expenses, and tell them how to vote/sign off on what is already printed. Nobody set up any sort of commission or independent group to insure Hollywood changed their ways when the deception was proven.

Narayanan said...

After Ricky's tirade? did awardees Desist or Persist and Resist?

Darrell said...

The Academy Awards would line up exactly with the Golden Golden Globes if the studios controlled that completely. Academy voters always throw in some oddball pick to signal their wokeness/ideological purity.

Rick said...

But you can’t deny that Kaepernick was actually taking a serious personal risk, one that ultimately cost him years of playing football and a great deal of money.

This part is not true. Kaep probably cost himself several years as a backup but the contract Nike offered only because of their desire to tie themselves to wokeness pays far more than he would have made as a backup.

That said another good column by McArdle.

Darrell said...

Kaep didn't join his teammates in standing up because he was throwing a hissy fit about being benched--nothing to do with social justice. Another lie perpetuated by our trusted Media.

Peter said...

It's not surprising that the right is lauding him for calling out the hypocrisy of the liberal woke beautiful people so cleverly, much like they do with Dave Chappelle. But it does intrigue me that conservatives, who were once associated with prudery, don't seem the slightest bit troubled by the fact that both men are very vulgar and can be almost scatological in some of their schticks. Bring on those f-bombs in the name of liberty and free speech! Meanwhile, the liberal left reacts more and more like Victorian spinsters with fits of the vapors over the use of an ever-expanding list of prohibited words and thoughts. I'm starting to imagine a group of aging conservative Boomers gathering secretly to watch a forbidden showing of Animal House, while outside humorless millenials and Gen Zs are scouring the neighborhood to find and shut them down. It is indeed a funny old world.

Darrell said...

Conservatives are "conserving" the liberal views of the Founding Fathers. Revolutionaries are seldom prudes.

Temujin said...

I'll bet that Reese and Meryl (fresh from the earlier post) went right out after the Golden Globes and ordered dozens more scathing sweaters from Lingua Franca. Such revolutionaries. Affecting more change!

Paul Snively said...

“Hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue” — Fran├žois de La Rochefoucauld

tim in vermont said...

You can’t be an elite NFL quarterback without living breathing football 24x7x365.25. Kaepernick got bored of it. I saw a little of his video and his throwing motion reminded me of Larry David’s golf swing. If he really wanted to be a QB, he would be polishing that every day. He would be playing in the CFL, proving he rated the huge investment an NFL franchise makes in a QB, and I am not just talking about money, I am talking about picking players to match his strengths and cover his weaknesses. An offense is designed around the QB.

Warren Moon really was kept out of the NFL by racism, until he played so well in Canada that he could no longer be ignored.

tim in vermont said...

"The studios pick the members of the foreign press to come here, pay their expenses, and tell them how to vote....”

The studios are in it for the money, so I am fine with that.

Peter said...

@Darrell

Revolutionaries are seldom prudes.

Maybe not, but are they always so potty-mouthed?

Kevin said...

But it does intrigue me that conservatives, who were once associated with prudery,

Not by themselves.

Labeling someone and then attaching them for not living up to that label is one of the lowest forms of bigotry.

It’s like heckling a black person for not ordering the fried chicken.

Darrell said...

The studios are in it for the money, so I am fine with that.

I have no problem with that. Just cut the charade, pretending that it's organic and outside of their control.

tim maguire said...

Peter said...But it does intrigue me that conservatives, who were once associated with prudery, don't seem the slightest bit troubled by the fact that both men are very vulgar and can be almost scatological in some of their schticks.

They're not the same conservatives. The ones today who don't mind vulgarity never minded vulgarity. Which I find a relief. Let's focus on what matters. (Gratuitous vulgarity still bothers me, but when it's done with a bit of style, for a purpose, swear away!)

Peter said...

@Kevin

Give me a break. Which side do you think is associated historically with resisting the repeal of obscenity, blasphemy, sedition and criminal libel laws?

Darrell said...

Maybe not, but are they always so potty-mouthed?

From my experience, yes.

If you're not using a version of "fuck" as every part of speech every few seconds, you aren't doing it right. Words as punches. Life ain't no church social.

gilbar said...

as Darrell said...
Kaep didn't join his teammates in standing up because he was throwing a hissy fit about being benched--


does anyone (besides me and darrell) remember that?
Kaep orginally was KNELLING, he was SITTING ON THE BENCH... 'cause he was protesting being benched

Then, people said, that was completely disrespectful, and he should be Fired
THEN Kaep changed it into a politically correct BLM protest
Then, he got rich.

Fernandistein said...

I say, if they like their increasingly ritualized ceremonial sanctimony, they can keep their increasingly ritualized ceremonial sanctimony. Because nobody is forced to partake.

They fool us into giving them credit for holding potentially costly moral beliefs without actually paying those costs.

No, they're not fooling anybody because...

...Psychological Science ... we give people moral credit for condemning bad behavior — more credit than we give them for just stating that they themselves behave morally.

And exactly why is that wrong? Both cases are just bullshitting, not actions.

The author just thinks that most people don't judge moral behavior properly, namely the same way he's posturing in his article.

Peter said...

@Darrell

Right, I get it now. In the immortal words of Patrick Henry, "Give me f#ckin' liberty or f#ckin' death!"

Fernandistein said...

[s]he's posturing in h[er] article.

Jeff Brokaw said...

Mainly these jokes resonated because people are sick of being lectured by pampered clowns who pretend for a living.

It’s not the differing viewpoints as much as the arrogance and the ad hominem attacks, i.e. we’re evil, stupid, racist, blah blah blah.

STFU.

Darrell said...

"Give me f#ckin' liberty or f#ckin' death!"

Give me f#ckin' liberty or give me f#ckin' death! But close!

Michael K said...

The studios pick the members of the foreign press to come here, pay their expenses, and tell them how to vote/sign off on what is already printed.

It's always been a bribing contest.

MayBee said...

It's too bad more people didn't learn about how awful their faux sanctimony is with the Nicholas Sandman incident.

I'm not sure if I can read McArdle's article because I'm not subscribed to the WaPo. I would like it if she pointed out that while the hypocrisy is bad enough, the constant drumbeat of one political viewpoint in all things is really, really annoying. I was reading a book that had nothing to do with politics, and all the sudden in the middle of describing how bad someone was, it was written he seemed like a Republican. It's everywhere and constant. I believe Karol Markowicz wrote that liberals will never understand how it feels to have every cultural reference tinged this way. Well, maybe now they have a little feel for it.

rehajm said...

He would be playing in the CFL, proving he rated the huge investment an NFL franchise makes in a QB, and I am not just talking about money, I am talking about picking players to match his strengths and cover his weaknesses. An offense is designed around the QB.

He was just another one of those good college quarterbacks many saw as inevitable in the NFL but just don't have the skills or talent for it. Kaepernick holds the ball too long, gives up on the play and runs around like a chicken with his head cut off. You can't build a successful NFL offense around that.

QB Kaepernick belongs with the Manziels and the Tebows. Good on him to Kylie Jenner a social media career, though...

JAORE said...

Mr. G and I disagree on a LOT based on his writings. But I delighted in this particular skewering of that particular crowd.

Less education than Greta T..... OMG!

JAORE said...

FWIW those that say Kaep should have a QB job often point to his career highlights, and there were some good ones. His stats for his last three years in the NFL stunk on ice.

rhhardin said...

What they take as moral isn't moral in the first place.

SeanF said...

The definition of hypocrisy is pretending to hold a belief that one doesn't actually hold - It is, therefore, a disconnect between one's words and one's beliefs. One's actions don't really come into it, unless you believe that your actions are necessarily a reflection of your beliefs - which I don't.

Failing to live up to your own standards isn't hypocrisy, it's human. In fact, I'd argue that if you don't fail to live up to your own standards fairly often, you need to raise your standards.

Haranguing others for engaging in behavior that you yourself engage in is something else entirely, and that's generally what sets people off.

ALP said...

My favorite Gervais bit - his assertion that if ISIS had a streaming channel they'd be calling their agents.

bagoh20 said...

Your beliefs, professed or not, don't mean a thing. Actions are what matter, and professing a belief you do not practice is one of those actions, a bad one that works to damage others and embellish yourself. Nobody really knows what you believe until they see you act. If you thought violating some standard cost you more than the benefit you get from violating it then you simply wouldn't do it. The devil isn't making anyone do anything. He 's just waiting to see who does what? People need to own their actions, not just their carefully chosen professed standards, which are nothing more than fashionable hats.

Carter Wood said...

Gervais' bit reminded me of Bill Hicks addressing marketers.

By the way if anyone here is in advertising or marketing…kill yourself. It’s just a little thought; I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day they’ll take root – I don’t know. You try, you do what you can.

(Kill yourself.)

Seriously though, if you are, do.

Aaah, no really. There’s no rationalisation for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers. Okay – kill yourself.

Seriously. You are the ruiner of all things good.

Seriously.
Etc.

https://genius.com/Bill-hicks-on-advertisers-and-marketing-annotated

South Park used the same theme in its episode about cable jewelry channels. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_for_Gold_(South_Park)

William said...

Compared to what the late nite comedians dump on Republicans, the Gervais monologue wasn't all that vitriolic. The ridicule wasn't all that malicious. What was ground breaking was who it was directed against...The people in Hollywood are frequently ridiculous, but their excesses pass without comment by the comics. I guess it's now okay to joke about Weinstein, but you don't hear anyone making fun of his accomplices and enablers. Roman Polanski is still off limits. You'll never hear a comedian offer a throw away line about Meryl Streep's standing ovation or Harrison Ford going to Paris to hand deliver Roman's Oscar......I saw Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It's a good movie, and it alludes to several Hollywood scandals. But it is ultimately a celebration of the courage and commitment that these flawed humans show to their art.

Known Unknown said...

"I saw Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. It's a good movie, and it alludes to several Hollywood scandals. But it is ultimately a celebration of the courage and commitment that these flawed humans show to their art."

The utter disdain for hippies is what makes OUATIH special.

SeanF said...

Bagoh20, you've never done anything you believed was wrong?

BarrySanders20 said...

Which side now wishes to ban all the things?

Regarding past examples, the most prominent in my mind is Tipper Gore during Al's pre-Release the Chakra years.

JohnAnnArbor said...

After all these years, it's also tedious and boring, on top of all the other criticisms.

tim in vermont said...

"What was ground breaking was who it was directed against...”

Ground well worked by Don Rickles, Dean Martin, etc. It’s just lain fallow for a decade or two.

Ken B said...

The most interesting thing is the number of lap dog defenders of Hollywood, aghast that anyone would ruffle the A-listers.

Gervais was very funny and right on target.

Yancey Ward said...

"Well I was there and I saw what you did, I saw it with my own two eyes
So you can wipe off that grin, I know where you've been
It's all been a pack of lies"

Qwinn said...

Hey liberals, imagine if every single night when you checked all the late night comedians, every one of them was channeling Gervais and mocking you. And only you. Every one of them. Every single night of the year.

That's what being a conservative has felt like for me at least since Jay Leno quit (and he mocked me too, just not exclusively).

bagoh20 said...

"Bagoh20, you've never done anything you believed was wrong?"

As a child maybe a few times, but even then, I was notoriously not willing to break rules I believed in. As an adult, I've occasionally broken other peoples rules becuase it's impossible not to, and I've done some things that are stupid, but I can't think of anything I've done that knowingly hurt someone where I had a legal and moral alternative. I've been robbed, embezzled, lied about, cheated on, and lied to, but I've never done those things to others. I don't think it's all that hard to maintain that, and I bet a lot of people have the same record. It's cost me a lot of money and some opportunities, but so what, I still did well enough.

mikee said...

This guy Gervais is quite simply the Don Rickles of the present day. He rails at the self-satisfied elites, and they demonstrate their superiority to everyone else by rolling in the crap he spews at them. It made for some laughs at comedy "roasts" back in the 60s and 70s, anyway.
I, for one, prefer the even cruder attacks of that insult comic dog hand puppet.

SeanF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeanF said...

Bagoh, let me rephrase my question.

Do you aspire to be a better person than you are?

pacwest said...

"One's actions don't really come into it, unless you believe that your actions are necessarily a reflection of your beliefs - which I don't."

Sounds like "do as I say not as I do" to me.

Char Char Binks said...

Kaep promotes sweatshops that make the sneakers that his brothers kill each other for by the thousands. You're doing the Lord's work, Colin!

Aggie said...

"In fact, the people they studied seemed willing to give people a pass on hypocrisy if they admitted they didn’t live up to their own ideals. What bothers us most, this suggests, is not the disconnect between values and behavior, something we’re all guilty of, but rather trying to gain social status by pretending to be more moral than you are."

In truth, both hypocrisy behaviors are despicable and insulting when they are done in the public eye by celebrities, who are insulated from direct shame. Some of us actually celebrate the hypocrisy - for instance I've seen some people condemn criticism of Al Gore for his energy gluttony, preferring to grant him a pass as if it's just some kind of unusual base requirement for his creative efforts to make the world better. 'Zee Arteests' must have free-dumb.

Jim at said...

But it does intrigue me that conservatives, who were once associated with prudery, don't seem the slightest bit troubled by the fact that both men are very vulgar and can be almost scatological in some of their schticks.

Don't confuse conservatism with the Religious Right.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Bagoh - I notice you always misspell the word "because," writing it "becuase." You must be doing that for a reason, since there is no variation of the English language that doesn't recognize your spelling as incorrect. Perhaps there is some hidden reason for doing so. Your comments do not betray your being an ignorant person: why let your spelling suggest that? BTW, to others who comment - the past tense of the verb "to lead" is spelled "led," not "lead." I know it's confusing, because (see what I did there?) the past tense of "to read" is "read," pronounced like the metal, lead.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Bagoh - I notice you always misspell the word "because," writing it "becuase." You must be doing that for a reason, since there is no variation of the English language that doesn't recognize your spelling as incorrect. Perhaps there is some hidden reason for doing so. Your comments do not betray your being an ignorant person: why let your spelling suggest that? BTW, to others who comment - the past tense of the verb "to lead" is spelled "led," not "lead." I know it's confusing, because (see what I did there?) the past tense of "to read" is "read," pronounced like the metal, lead.

Char Char Binks said...

Rance, the Human Spell Checker

Or is it "Spellchecker"? "Spell check"? "Spellcheck"?

bagoh20 said...

"Your comments do not betray your being an ignorant person: why let your spelling suggest that?"

Dammit! Now it's out.

Online Dictionary: "becuase. Adverb. Common misspelling of because."

See, "common". I'm perfectly ordinary.

Gervais would say: "I just don't care."

For some reason my spell checker is a common illiterate too. It thinks it's correct both ways, and I need my spellchecker to be on it's game, because my spelling has always been really bad - even easy words. So it wasn't me trying to send a secret meaning, but maybe google is. I never did trust those people.

I'll try to do better. Thanks for pointing it out.

Rance Fasoldt said...

Bagoh - What a nice response to my being a pedant; much appreciated. A warning about modern dictionaries and spell checkers - they have no backbone. They will allow any illiterate definition, and it appears, spelling - just because some people are illiterate. Take boggle, for instance. Boggle is intransitive, so "It boggles my mind..." is as incorrect as "It stumbled my foot..." Yet that construction is commonly used. The mind boggles at what is recognized by modern dictionaries. Vladimir Nabokov suggested that dictionaries that will brand a word or construction as "archaic," also allow words or constructions be described as "illiterate" when that is the case. I'm looking at you, Troy "between he and his coach" Aikman (and sports commentators in their dozens).

bagoh20 said...

"Bagoh, let me rephrase my question.

Do you aspire to be a better person than you are?


I aspire to be a better person than I would be without trying.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Love it...Hate it...Click on it. Some time ago, my local newspaper started a page of idiot Hollywood pap. Subscribers flooded the newspaper with complaints. Turns out, a complaint is as good as a rave. Positive or negative responses are the same thing. BTW MAGA.

SeanF said...

bagoh20: I aspire to be a better person than I would be without trying.
Do you aspire to be better than you've so far been able to be?

If not, you should.

Crazy Jane said...

mikee said:

This guy Gervais is quite simply the Don Rickles of the present day.

No, he isn't. He also isn't today's Lenny Bruce. In China, if he made a joke comparing Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh, it would never have appeared on social media and quite possibly would have got him arrested because the Winnie Xi Pooh meme and the original Winnie have been banned (as heresy!) on social media. Now that is a thin-skinned elite.

Gervais tried to claw back a little bit of free speech before an audience of self-absorbed pseudo elites. Many of them laughed with him, much of the time. Good for him and them.

The barriers may be relaxing, albeit slowly, in reaction to the "You can't say that" crowd's verbal totalitarianism. Not a minute too soon.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Rance- I feel your pain.