Meryl Streep and The Great Dictator

Practically everyone has, by now, no doubt heard about Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes, about her “attack” on Donald Trump, and his subsequent – and typically immature – response on Twitter. I wonder though, how many people out there have actually watched her speech in its entirety. I know I hadn’t. I had heard about it, on the news and on social media, and heard what everyone else had to say about it, but I hadn’t seen it for myself. So, this morning, I took a look at YouTube to see just what it was that had got Donald’s toupee in a twist.

I have to say, I was quite astounded, not least for the fact that Meryl Streep did not once mention Donald Trump’s name. Of course, everyone knew about whom she was speaking – no one else has, to my knowledge, recently made public fun of a disabled reporter. The speech is nevertheless brilliant in it’s simplicity. Just like Ms. Streep’s acting performances, it is not overdone. What it is, however, is a call to arms. A call to what she terms “the principled press” to hold those in power to account, so that their immature behaviour does not trickle down into society and create the impression that bullying and bigotry are OK. In case you haven’t yet seen it, or if you simply wish to watch it again, here is Meryl Streep’s speech in full.

I would like to add something to Ms. Streep’s speech, and that is to extend the call to arms to all you bloggers out there. When bullying and bigotry take center stage, they use intimidation to disarm their prey. Yet what they fail to realise, what every bully, dictator, despot, call them what you will has consistently failed to realise, is that you can’t intimidate everyone. And you can’t stop them thinking. So all you bloggers out there, all of you who put your thoughts and feelings and dreams and desires out into the ether for us all to see, I urge you to call out bullying and bigotry whenever you see it, no matter how big that bully or bigot may be. As the great William Garrow once said, “Let us be multiple fleas in the ear of the same horse.”

While I am on the subject of speeches, I would also like to share with you a speech which, I believe, is one of the greatest ever written. It is performed by Charlie Chaplin in “The Great Dictator”. The words spoken by the man who is most famous for his silence, are spine-tingling and heartrending. Above all though, they are inspiring!

 

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7 thoughts on “Meryl Streep and The Great Dictator

  1. Hi – I don’t know where you are, geographically, but if you do happen to get the new series (series 4) of “Sherlock” starring Benedict Cumberbach, look out for a serial killer called Culverton Smith in programme 2. English villain but unmistakeably Trump-inspired, right down to the once-popular game show and the weird hairdo, with the addition of bad teeth. I wonder if it will even be shown in America. Great drama, of course, for its own sake.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I saw it on Sunday! I live in Belgium, but we get BBC via satellite (cheaper than cable) and I saw the same comparison. To me, it was his notion that he was impervious to censure or being brought to account in any way. Like Culverton Smith, I predict that it will be his need for attention, his desire for limelight and, ultimately, his inability to keep his mouth shut, which will be his downfall.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brilliant! I’m so glad you got to watch it and saw the similarities. I am torn with this Trump thing, between incredulity that anyone could have voted for him and real fear – for the effect he could have on world economies, wars, and all our futures. And then a sort of gruesome fascination, as to how and when it will all start going horribly, delightfully wrong!

        Liked by 1 person

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