Ricky Gervais, who has basically shrugged off all pretense of being anything but a self-important garbage nightmare at this point, continues to fantasize that he is a courageous free-speech champion because he refuses to concede that using the word "mong" is contemptible.
Ricky Gervais has been criticised by disability groups for repeated use of the word "mong" on his Twitter feed.It's so bingotastic I would swear he was doing performance art as a defensive dipfuck steeped in impenetrable privilege if I didn't know that he's actually a defensive dipfuck steeped in impenetrable privilege.
The comedian's recent tweets have included phrases like "Good monging everyone", "Night night monglets" and "Two mongs don't make a right".
The word is sometimes used offensively about people with Down's Syndrome.
Mencap said using it could reinforce prejudice but Gervais insists the word has changed meaning and that he never meant to refer to people with Down's.
The Office star criticised "the humourless PC brigade" on his Twitter feed and said the term is now commonly used to refer to someone who is very stupid or idiotic.
...On Sunday, he tweeted: "Well done everyone who pointed out that Mong USED to be a derogatory term for DS [Down's Syndrome], Gay USED to mean happy. Words change. Get over it."
Setting aside the irony of pointing to idiotic as a justification for using disablist language, and the pitiable tedium of his reflexive accusations of humorlessness, and the audacity of his sneering admonishment that people hurt by the oppression he's facilitating should "get over it," let us examine his invocation of the evolution of the word "gay."
It's a popular comparison, one I've seen made many times before, by people arguing, as Gervais is here, that language evolves and so their use of a pejorative in a way they have redefined it is justifiable. Except:
Gay used to (primarily) mean joyful; gay now (primarily) means homosexual.
Mong used to mean a person with Down's Syndrome; mong now means a person who acts "retarded," or "idiotic," or in some way mentally deficient.
That's actually not a meaningful difference in usage. It's simply the broadening of a slur.
Gervais is simultaneously asserting that "mong" has moved on from its original meaning, while using it in a way that only makes sense if one understands its original meaning. That's not the evolution of language; that's creating just enough space so privileged shits can use marginalizing language then claim they're not perpetuating institutional marginalization.
"I'm not using it THAT way."
[H/T to Shaker Jen for both the article and post title.]