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!