Sunday, February 24, 2008
Blogging Bill Maher
The thing that strikes me about this first segment is how seriously unfunny Bill Maher is. I didn't laugh at one of his "jokes" if you can even call them that. One of my best friends is a comedian, and he's funny, even in casual conversation, but Bill Maher? Hardly. Also, there's this: He bags on Mitt Romney, because Romney bagged on France, and then he makes the observation that Romney lived in France (as I did) yet he doesn't consider that a good reason to listen to Romney when he says we don't want our country to go in the same direction as theirs. Which is just putting-my-fingers-in-my-ears stupid. My conclusion about the first segment: Bill Maher is weak - and not funny - and, yea (being a punk) I'd wear his Bush t-shirt just to piss people off.
On this segment, Maher starts off by naming his guests - mostly Republicans - but then he casually disses the Republican gathering Amy Holmes is reporting on, CPAC. Which, for me, raises the question: If Republicans are such bad people, or so stupid, then why has he invited a bunch of them on this segment? The conversation about McCain goes well, giving some pros and cons about the man, at least from the Republican perspective. The panel discussion starts off as a bust, without much said that was worth the time.
This segment becomes revealing when Matthew Dowd stops Maher's conspiracy theory about terror alerts and gets booed for doing it. It says a lot about Maher's audience that the truth isn't something they want to hear. Much better (I guess) to hate the president, by stoking their anger on their own ass-backward beliefs, than for anything Bush actually did. What losers. Hurting all of us - our standing with each other and in the world - just because they want to believe nonsense. Such people are dangerous. Overall, the cynicism on this program is galling. Here's my message to Maher fans: Being cynical doesn't equal "edgy" but just equals "dark" - like you're viewing each day as though you can't pay your rent - and who needs that? (I certainly don't, so, damn it, donate to this site.)
O.K., here, Bill Maher's nuttiness just gets the better of him and he even admits it ("You're all looking at me as though I'm crazy") as he starts going off on an anti-medicine rant. It's obvious the man is filled with silly conspiracy theories but, incredibly, this nut job is actually taken seriously, by the Left, as a thinker. That's the most hilarious thing about the show. (I like how Jonah Goldberg just sits with his head down most of the time.) Next Maher starts defending Sexy Sadie by refering to him as a spiritual leader - which forces P.J. O'Rourke to add, "Or so he said." - throwing Bill Maher's so-called atheism into high relief. (He's such a NewAger: Everything about these segments say the guy's a fucking flake if ever there was one.) Goldberg's perspective on the waterboarding discussion is kind of informative and, considering the crowd, probably needs to be said. Goldberg's certainly the smartest guy up there, being the only one willing to freely use the words "idiots" and "whackjobs".
"I love liberals, but they are so sensitive" Bill Maher says, completely missing that no one minded the fat joke just before the crack that prompted his reaction. ("The line should be "I love liberals, but they are such selectively PC hypocrites".) The talk about Obama had good stuff in it. And, of course, that was naturally followed by more talk about Bush being simple minded, which is really just too simple minded for comment. Actually, I'm glad that brings the program to a close: It's not nearly as smart as I'd been lead to believe, by a long shot.