The Wall Street Journal got such a huge response to Ricky Gervais’ essay about why he’s an atheist that they asked him to respond to some readers’ questions and comments. Here’s the followup.
Gervais’ “Out Of England 2” standup special is nearly as good as the first one, which was terrific. One of the extended bits involves a children’s book about the biblical story of Noah, which Gervais completely dissembles.
While I’m going on about Gervais, I might as well add his movie, “The Invention of Lying,” to my Movies You Might Not Know list. It’s a brilliant satire about a society in which everyone tells the truth all the time, often brutally so, until Mark Bellison (Gervais) lies to his mother on her death bed about what will happen after she dies. Nurses and a doctor (Jason Bateman) overhear his story and, because there’s no such thing as fiction in their world, believe every word he says. Soon, Bellison has hundreds of people outside his apartment building who want to know more. His friends (Jennifer Garner and Louis CK) encourage him to share his “knowledge,” so he makes up more lies about The Man In The Sky, and presents it to the assembled multitude Ten Commandments-style, with pizza boxes as his tablets.
Unfortunately, I can’t embed that scene here, but I loved Gervais’ simmering frustration with the questions from the crowd — and imagine the echo in his head as he wrote the responses to the Wall Street Journal readers!