I’d call this a palate-cleanser except for Pillar 7, which seems antithetical to palates altogether, but it’s well worth watching nonetheless. Chris Pratt, star of the Guardians of the Galaxy films in the Marvel Universe franchise, received the “Generations” award from MTV on Monday. Pratt had a few morsels of wisdom for the next generation, which may be a depressing thought in itself as Pratt is only 38 years old. (Buddy, you are the next generation, at least from my vantage point. And get off my damn lawn.)
His speech was anything but depressing, however, and reflected a deep faith and commitment to country that one rarely sees in entertainment awards shows. And, in a couple of instances, some practical advice too:
Chris Pratt with all of the wisdom #MTVAwards pic.twitter.com/eu5cXU7WcQ
— Fandom (@getFANDOM) June 19, 2018
Thanks to my colleague Andrea Ruth at RedState, we have the Nine Pillars of Wisdom in text form:
No. 1: Breathe. If you don’t, you will suffocate.
No. 2: You have a soul. Be careful with it.
No. 3: Don’t be a turd. If you are strong, be a protector. If you are smart, be a humble influencer. Strength and intelligence can be weapons, so do not wield them against the weak. That makes you a bully. Be bigger than that.
No. 4: When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a little piece of hamburger and they won’t even know they’re eating medicine.
No. 5: It doesn’t matter what it is. Earn it. A good deed. Reach out to someone in pain. Be of service. It feels good and it’s good for your soul.
No. 6: God is real. God loves you. God wants the best for you. Believe that; I do.
No. 7: If you have to poop at a party, but you’re embarrassed because you’re going to stink up the bathroom, just do what I do. Lock the door, sit down, get all of the pee out first. And then, once all the pee is done, poop, flush, boom! You minimize the amount of time that the poop’s touching the air. Because if you poop first, it takes you longer to pee and then you’re peeing on top of it, stirring up the poop particles, create a cloud, goes out, then everyone at the party will know that you pooped. Just trust me, it’s science.
No. 8: Learn to pray. It’s easy, and it is so good for your soul.
No. 9: Nobody is perfect. People will tell you that you are perfect just the way that you are, you are not! You are imperfect. You always will be, but there is a powerful force that designed you that way, and if you are willing to accept that, you will have grace. And grace is a gift, and like the freedom that we enjoy in this country that grace was paid for with somebody else’s blood. Do not forget that. Don’t take that for granted.
It’s fun to watch the reactions of the audience and the co-presenters during Pratt’s delivery, especially during his explanation in #7 of Number Two at parties. It doesn’t all work with his live audience, but Pratt’s smart enough to know that (a) the funny bits will resonate with the “next generation,” and (b) it will keep them listening for his main points.
It’s clear that Pratt is a man of faith (which we already know), but it’s unusual to see it presented so clearly and yet so subtly. Pratt notes that “grace is a gift … paid for with someone else’s blood,” as deeply Christian a statement as one will ever see on MTV, or for that matter any other awards show without attaching it to a political hobby horse. So too is the pushback to pop culture’s insistence that everyone is perfect and should be totally accepted as such no matter what. No one is perfect, as Pratt knows, and we have to accept that in order to exemplify true caritas.
For the entertainment industry, Pratt gave quite a subversive acceptance speech. And it’s well worth watching more than once, especially to hear the Blue Swede “ooga-chucka” version of “Hooked on a Feeling.” Well done, Mr. Pratt.