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Accept your award and please sit down
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

Ricky Gervais is a British comedian who is a bit abrasive. No, he is very abrasive. He is like Comet and steel wool combined.

Recently, he was again selected to host the Golden Globe Awards. I didn’t watch it, but now, you don’t have to watch anything. The video clips were available before the show was over.

Gervais suggested that the award winners leave their politics behind. He said the winners should thank their agent, their God and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which present the annual awards. Then, he said they should sit down.

I don’t know if I’m now a Ricky Gervais fan, but I liked what he said.

It is of no concern to me what some movie, TV or Internet star cares about the president, the environment or some portion of society for which they are wearing a ribbon or something.

By the way, there are some actors who don’t appear on the big screen or TV. They only show up on the Internet. I don’t understand all of that. It took me until about two years ago to get a VCR to stop flashing “12:00” over and over again.

I have a wide array of friends and acquaintances. Some are very liberal and some are very conservative. There are some from both camps that I avoid discussing politics or any other public issues.

I am teaching a course on politics from 1940 to now. A lot of the people I talk about are dead. Some of them are remembered in history books as crooks or nuts. Some are both.

I love to throw a quote from someone on the screen and allow my students to look at it. It takes a minute, but they usually end up laughing.

There was a quote from the late George Wallace, the Alabama governor, segregationist and presidential candidate. He was questioning why the U.S. was spending so much money on new bombers.

“Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining?” Wallace asked.

It is something he actually said and was funny.

In 1955, Gov. Marvin Griffin said “The South stands at Armageddon,” as he described a situation.

No, we didn’t have enemies trying to come ashore along the coast, or take over our cities. Griffin was speaking of Georgia Tech facing Pittsburgh in the Sugar Bowl. Pittsburgh had a (gasp) black player. 

Whether or not I am authoritative (not very), these nice folks are actually paying to hear me lecture about politics. That’s why I reference a lot of dead politicians. They don’t fight back and it doesn’t ruffle many feathers.

There are a lot of actors I like when they are acting. But when they become activists, it tends to rub me the wrong way.

One of the winners on the Golden Globes was Russell Crowe. He could not be there because he was protecting his property in Australia, where they are having massive wildfires.

Someone read a statement saying the fires were a result of climate change. They have arrested more than two dozen people and charged them with arson. The only climate change was in their brains, where it changed from right to wrong.

If you don’t know what you’re talking about, keep it to yourself.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.

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