Political Correctness Can't Beat Having Good Taste
Fake news used to be called propaganda, and being politically correct once meant being eloquent. Words change meaning, but there's still no replacement for good taste, says Garlin.
Jeff Garlin is a comedian, actor and writer, perhaps best known for his work on Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Goldbergs. Garlin also spent three seasons on NBC's Mad About You in the role of Marvin, and has a variety of television and film appearances to his credit including Dr. Katz, Arrested Development, Everybody Loves Raymond, The Late Show with David Letterman, Tom Goes to the Mayor, The Daily Show, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Daddy Day Care, and WALL-E. He has also had his own HBO half-hour comedy special.
Jeff Garlin stars in, directed and co-wrote the film Handsome, out now on Netflix
JEFF GARLIN: By the way, everyone has the license to disobey political correctness. I feel that everything is about good taste and self-restraint.
My favorite comedian of all time is Richard Pryor so I'm not a prude, but I think some things maybe you can say more eloquently. Some things you can say in a way that if you're intelligent you'll pick up on it, and if you won't, you don't. Subtleties, nuance—that's what gets lost in the whole big battle of political correctness. I don't believe in any political correctness. I don't think even if I'm talking about like, you say to me, “Who's your favorite comedian,” or, “Who do you think is up and coming,” and I name two male comedians, that does not mean that I think female comedians aren't funny or I don't have a favorite female, it just means in that moment I thought of those two people. Yet there are people who will have a strong opinion on that moment. They would write underneath on the comments: “Why aren't you talking about the funny women?” Just because I didn’t! I didn't make a blanket statement! So political correctness is wrong, is super ignorant—super ignorant—and super partisan.
Let me tell you something: I'm not a centrist. I'm not right. I consider myself a liberal, but not a lefty if that makes sense. I'm liberal-minded in that I'll vote for anyone who is a good human being, whether they're from the Green Party, Democratic Party, Republican Party. For me it's about humanity. And partisanship? I’ve got to tell you, I read everything on the Internet and just as many liberals are as annoying as right-wing people. They're all annoying, everyone with this, “Be like me or you're wrong.”
People used to make a decision; they'd see something and they'd decide if it was true or not. Now they base truths on their own truth. “I see what I believe as opposed to I'm trying to believe what I see.” But even the term of fake news—fuck that. Fuck fake news. Fuck all these terms because they're only terms that are used by the douche bags. They're not terms—I'm not saying you're a douche bag for saying it, it was a question—but the point being is: do you think I live my day reading all sorts of material from the Washington Post to the National Review if I'm interested, whatever it is, do you think that any of it I look at and go, "Well that's fake news, fake news. What about fake news?" I think these are just words that are thrown at us, they're words that are currently in the lexicon. They'll be gone. It all changes, man. It does.
Fake news used to be called propaganda, and being politically correct once meant being eloquent. Words change meaning, but there's still no replacement for good taste, says Garlin. The Second City alum, who once displayed his improv skill alongside classmate Stephen Colbert, takes issue with the policing attitude of political correctness. Conforming to another person's standard of etiquette isn't
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- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.