Letters to the editor: Ricky Gervais satire ‘is more than debunking wokeism’


National Post readers speak out on current issues, including comedian Ricky Gervais’ attack on political correctness

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“Gervais succeeds as a comedian because serious people understand that irony governs life”

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Re: Kudos to Ricky Gervais for resisting revival, Rex Murphy, May 26

Rex Murphy’s emphasis on Ricky Gervais’ stand-up comedy and interpretation of his latest show – SuperNature – as a critical rebuttal of extreme enlightenment is a fair comment and therefore worthy of public mirth. However, context matters and to be fair, wokeism, which as its religious metaphorical name suggests is a born-again sensibility, did not simply emerge in a cultural vacuum. Wokeism is a true cultural movement – brought about by society’s tolerance of persistent immoral injustices against certain ideas associated with and expressed by identifiable minorities.

In fact, Gervais’ satire is more than demystifying wokeism. Instead, it’s timely and meaningful because its comedy addresses the misfires humans are prone to whenever they undertake anything. That is why social justice warriors and reactionaries to social progress should recognize that good intentions and bad intentions produce unintended consequences. In fact, Gervais succeeds as a comedian because serious people understand that irony rules life and we are most ridiculous when we resort to rationalizing our misunderstandings to justify them. As such, don’t laugh, his public service as a moral teacher on cultural issues is akin to Adam Smith’s moral teachings on economic issues. Both recognize the madness and saving grace of self-interest in shaping society for the better.

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Smith inherently understood that individuals, like “the butcher, the brewer or the baker”, were not motivated by self-sacrifice but by self-interest, which in turn produced the aggregate wealth of nations. Therefore, his understanding of the social benefits of individual self-interest should be applied to cultural issues. Ironically, the reawakened and the anti-reawakened would both benefit socially when each “…address not their humanity but their self-esteem, and never speak to them of our own necessities, but of their advantages” .

So, laugh at isolated cases of woke who become ridiculous when they ignore the self-interest of others. But also, to be fair, pay attention to cultural issues where minorities are excluded for no other reason than their identity.

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Clearly our human comedy is ironic in that historically the pursuit of self-interest has produced social benefits for all and a more moral society.

Tony D’Andrea, Toronto

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“The case of an elite attacking elites”

Subject: Elite attacks on Pierre Poilievre only make him stronger, Aaron Wudrick, May 26

Pierre Poilievre has been an MP for Ottawa for 18 years and has enjoyed all the benefits and privileges that come with being a parliamentarian. If Poilievre isn’t an Ottawa elite, I don’t know who is. This is the case of an elite attacking elites. Isn’t there a bit of hypocrisy here, and just for the sake of gambling and pure political gain?

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Douglas Cornish, Ottawa

Use of the notwithstanding clause

Re: Liberals to ‘reconsider’ Supreme Court ruling on mass murders, but will respect ruling, May 27

Patrick Brown rightly believes that terrorists belong in prison. He also believes it’s appropriate to invoke the notwithstanding clause to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling that the Quebec mosque worshiper killer only needs to serve 25 years before seeking parole. Having opposed Quebec Bills 21 and 96, Brown presumably also opposes Quebec’s use of the notwithstanding clause to shield these laws from Charter challenges. He cannot both support and oppose the use of the notwithstanding clause. At the same time, the identity-based social justice agenda of Justin Trudeau and the Liberals has made a mockery of due process and the rule of law in Canada. The invocation of the notwithstanding clause and the Liberal attack on due process is the greatest threat to the individual liberties of Canadians. As a Conservative, Patrick Brown should reject both instead of doubling down on misguided public policy.

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Paul Clarry, Aurora, Ont.

Why a fuel tax exemption makes sense

Re: A fuel tax exemption makes sense, but make it permanentJack M. Mintz, May 27

Jack Mintz provides several good reasons why a fuel tax exemption makes sense. I would like to add one more. The cost of transportation is one of the main causes of inflation, raising the prices of all goods sold in Canada, which, of course, affects businesses and low-income people the most. Eliminating fuel taxes won’t stop inflation, but it will slow its rate – perhaps more than raising interest rates.

Chris Holdsworth, Calgary

The National Post accepts letters to the editor (preferably 150 words or less). Letters should be emailed to [email protected] Please include your name, place of residence (city or town and province) and daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length or clarity.



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