Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Understand The Art

The man to the left is comedian Gerry Dee. Gerry Dee is a successful comedian with his own TV show that just finished its final season before he goes on tour across this great nation. Like any comedy, though, you may not find Gerry Dee funny, and that's fine. Comedy is a subjective thing, and what I may find funny may be far different than what you find different. C'est la vie, and I accept that. What I don't accept, however, are people criticizing the artist without understanding the art. Allow me to explain this sentence.

Gerry Dee decided to have a little fun with some of the CWHL All-Stars today in helping to promote the players, the All-Star Game, and the league itself. Gerry's style of comedy when it comes to interviewing athletes usually sees him pander and call out the athletes in a series of chirps that one normally wouldn't expect from an interviewer. This style was on full display when former Canadian sports highlight television network The Score hired Gerry Dee to run a bit called "Gerry Dee: Sports Reporter" where he used this pandering interview style with a number of high-profile athletes. As an example, he interviewed NBA legend Charles Barkley and, well, things kind of got out of hand with Sir Charles.
Maybe you found this interview goofy and dumb. That's cool. Again, comedy is subjective. There were a lot of people who found this funny, however, and it's why Gerry Dee remained as a fixture on The Score until the network was bought by Rogers Media.

This is the point where I likely will draw ire from the women's hockey community because it seems that the immediate reaction to Gerry Dee's video today was a pure demonstration of the blatant ignorance, oft-seen assumptions, and amazing stupidity made by those who call themselves experts in the coverage of the sport.

First, let's look at Gerry Dee's video about the CWHL All-Star Game before we go any further. Here is the video that was posted to twitter today by the comedian.
It seems that Gerry Dee has reprised a role that he once did for The Score with his chirps towards the best women's hockey players on the planet. The key in this is that Gerry Dee is not only very aware of who these women are, but has the utmost respect for them as both a hockey fan and comedian. He is a hockey fan that not only follows the game, but is very well read in the sport.

It's easy for me to look at the reaction from the American women's hockey writers and fans today and take comfort in knowing that their ignorance being displayed is a direct result of them not knowing who Gerry Dee is and not knowing his previous work. This ignorance doesn't excuse their brutal overreaction and absolute misinformed opinions about Gerry's video and the purpose of it, but why bother learning about the artist when you can simply crap all over them for one piece of art that hits your desk?

It's a little harder for me to understand Canadian women's hockey writers and fans in not knowing who Gerry Dee is or what he did, but it occurred to me that the majority of those who took offence to what Gerry did in his video are young and likely had no clue that Gerry did his Sports Reporter bit on The Score ten years ago and likely never watched his popular TV show titled Mr. D. Not to generalize too much, but their ignorance is likely due to them not paying attention to sports during their formative prepubescent or teenage years. That's not a free pass for what they said today about Gerry Dee or his work in the video, but, again, why bother taking the time to learn anything about the artist when you can simply tear him apart?

I sat there today reading all the vitriol spewed towards Gerry, and one scene from a movie popped into my head because it literally is what happened here today with Gerry Dee.
Every single person who hopped onto social media and ripped into Gerry Dee is Will Hunting. And everything that Sean, Robin Williams' character, said in this clip is entirely right about each and every one of you who decided that Gerry Dee was the worst human being on Earth - you don't have the faintest idea of what you're talking about.

All it would have taken was a quick glimpse at Gerry Dee's twitter timeline to see this post from January 7.
Maybe the next thing you would have done is used the old Google machine to find out who this Gerry Dee guy is and what this Sports Reporter thing is all about. Even if you didn't see the tweet from two days ago, maybe it's a good idea to find out who this Gerry Dee guy is before grabbing the pitchforks and torches to hunt down this male who disparaged your precious women's hockey... even though he didn't. At some point, I'd expect that all of these women who call themselves "journalists" who were calling for Gerry Dee's head might get into a little background research on this Gerry Dee guy to find out who he is and what he stand for, but apparently that expectation is setting the bar impossibly high to clear because it seems very few decided to understand what Gerry Dee was doing in this video.

Not getting the joke doesn't give you the right to attack Gerry Dee personally, though, and that will never be acceptable in any form. The burden of explaining the joke doesn't fall on Gerry either, so stop attacking him because you don't get it. That's your problem, not his, so stop accusing him of things he never did.

To those who watched the video and got the comedy - including the majority of players in the CWHL - good for you in catching that Gerry isn't serious and is actually doing a bit. To those who failed to grasp the concept of Gerry's video and went off about his disrespect and disservice to the players and league, I'm sorry you missed the joke entirely. I hope to have brought a little clarity as to why Gerry's video is funny, and I totally get it if you still don't find his brand of comedy funny. That's what makes us different, and that's perfectly acceptable.

If you attacked Gerry for this video, just know that you're not the butt of the joke. You're simply an ass.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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