I used to be a fan of comedian Bill Maher, but after many years of apparently having no one in his inner circle who dares tell him he is ever wrong about anything, the man who used to pride himself on being such a supposed deep thinker as a stand up comedian is now "jumping the shark" on a regular basis. For the first time in many a moon I caught the last 20 minutes of his weekly HBO show last Friday night, and I couldn't believe all the idiotic bullshit that was pouring out of his mouth.
It started with he and Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie basically saying that they agree with xenophobic conservatives that, compared to other religions, a majority of the world's Muslims are irrational hotheads without ever once acknowledging that many Muslims residing in the Middle East and South Asia who have been the victims of America's murderous imperialistic war polices might actually have legitimate grievances. Now I would expect Rushdie, who after all has been living under an Ayatollah-imposed death sentence for nearly a quarter of a century, to be a tad bitter towards Islam, but I was appalled when Maher nodded like a sock puppet while Rushdie asserted that half a century ago cities in the region like Tehran were "open, cosmopolitan cities," rather that the hotbeds of radicalism they are today.
Yes, Salmon, Tehran back then was indeed an absolute paradise of open-minded tolerance for you as a citizen of a brutal British Empire that was only just then deigning to grant the "ignorant savages" independence the world over. Unfortunately, and this might have escaped your notice up there in your fucking ivory tower where the air apparently gets a little thin and kills off the brain cells that enable critical thinking, the average Iranian during that period lived every day in fear of being abducted, tortured and disappeared by the U.S.-backed Shah's Gestapo-like SAVAK secret police force. Maybe, just maybe, it makes more sense to blame the U.S. for engineering the 1953 coup that overthrew the democratically elected Iranian government and set the conditions that ultimately led to the 1979 Islamic Revolution which brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power. To argue that Islam has become "radicalized" in the past 50 years, as Rushdie did with poodle Maher by his side, without once acknowledging the role of Western imperialism in stoking that radicalization puts Rushdie and Maher intellectually on par with the likes of Dick Cheney or Paul Wolfowitz.
A little bit later in the show, referring to Mutt Romney's little 47% problem, Maher lamented that it has gotten to the point where no one can get up on stage to address an audience anymore without someone making a recording of it and placing it on You Tube. Maher then bizarrely compared the crap Williard has been getting for his comments to the infamous Michael Richards and smarmy douchebag Daniel Tosh notorious comedy club meltdowns.
Apparently, in the increasingly addled mind of America's most lovable atheist, no one should be able to hold you accountable if you get up on stage as Richards did and repeatedly call a black audience member the n-word while advocating that he be lynched or, as Tosh did, tell a female audience member that she deserves to be gang raped for calling out to you that she doesn't think rape jokes are funny (oh, and not incidentally, Tosh's meltdown was NOT caught on video but merely blogged about by the victim of Tosh's vicious verbal assault). Obviously I'm a huge fan of risque humor myself, but heaven forbid that the world is no longer safe for blatantly racist and misogynist stand up comedians to keep earning a buck after exposing their ugly inner thoughts onstage. Bill Hicks was a master at verbally destroying hecklers--but he knew how to do it without resorting to such garbage. Oh, and he was, you know, actually funny.
But Maher reached a new low even for him during his "new rules" segment when he called undecided voters "dipshits" who should "stay home on election day." Here is The Raw Story with the details:
“If you’re one of the 5 percent of American voters who are still undecided on who to vote for, it’s okay to admit you just don’t really give a shit,” Maher began. “Seriously, if you still can’t figure out who you like more –Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama– stay home… because you probably couldn’t find your polling place anyway. I mean, what more information does someone need to make this choice? Obama has been President for nearly four years. And Mitt Romney has been running for President since 1971, when his space egg incubated and he burst out of an astronaut’s chest.”Yeah, Bill, you are such a superior thinker being a "high information" voter and all that you laughably believe that it will make ANY fucking difference whatsoever in the lives of the average American who wins the election in November. In fact, despite President Hopey-Changey having sold the liberal and progressive movement down the river on every singe issue of real importance since his inauguration you still inexplicably donated a cool $1 million of your own money to Obama's super PAC for his reelection campaign. And this happened AFTER you publicly proclaimed that you were "disappointed" in Obama last year for "giving away the store" as you so memorably put it your own self.
But Maher’s criticism wasn’t merely for the “undecideds,” but for notion that mainstream media outlets give their opinions weight.
“Can we please stop treating them like they’re more noble and discerning than the rest of us? …[Undecided voters are] put on a pedestal by the media, as if they’re Hamlet in a think tank, searching out every last bit of information and high-minded arbiters pouring over policy positions and matching them against their own philosophies. Please! They mostly fall into a category political scientists call ‘low-information voters’ –otherwise known as ‘dipshits.’”
So tell me, Bill, because as someone who is a "high information NON-voter" I'd really like to know the answer to this question...who's the true dipshit, the low information voter who can't make up their mind, or the smug, self-satisfied talk show host who despite all of the evidence to the contrary is still desperately trying to convince his delusional liberal and progressive audience that it matters either way?
Bonus: Here is a video of the Rushdie/Maher conversation if you can stomach it. Pretty sad when a hack like Chris Matthews serves the voice of REASON in any political discussion.