Friday, April 29, 2005

Real Tame

While HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher has gotten better, after a remarkably weak month upon its initial return, the latest episode featured two glaring weaknesses, which are symptoms of the same problem.

First was the booking of Jeff Gannon™ as an interview guest. This man is not a journalist, no matter how hard you squint, and for Maher to even entertain any notions to the contrary is unconscionable. Maher, whose interview skills are only slightly stronger than those of Dennis Miller in the first place, allowed Gannon™ to dodge even the slight knuckleballs Maher occasionally threw.

Regardless, Gannon™ had nothing of substance to say, nothing interesting to reveal, everything to conceal, and he does have an oddly penis-shaped countenance. Maher would have been better off scrapping this "interview" and doubling the "New Rules" segment, for what he got out of giving credence to a person who deserves none whatsoever, and still has yet to come clean about his role in this administration's ongoing obfuscatory media-disinformation campaign.

The other gaping hole was not the fault of Maher, but that of Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele (who looks remarkably like a milk-chocolate Dr. Phil), who was finally goaded into dropping his moderate Republican guise by the end of the panel segment.

The issue which prompted this revelation was a seemingly small one, with rather large implications -- that of the Republicans currying the "snake-handler" vote, and whether such people deserve to be taken seriously in the political arena, as goofy as they seem to be.

Well, this is a loaded question, to be sure. For one, there simply cannot be that many actual snake-handlers. I could be wrong, but I would think their numbers, even in a country of 300 million, are mercifully small, in the scheme of things. The problem is that they take themselves way too seriously, and their political support, when it exists, is generally deep and unwavering. Suffice to say that they are probably not swing voters, and for that I am actually grateful. I'd be embarrassed to be aligned with such goofballs.

Steele would not (indeed, could not) be honest about these morons, for his party has forged an unholy alliance with religious grifters of all stripes, wacky and otherwise. It is intellectually dishonest to suppose that a person who literally counts on his faith in God to save him from the bite of a highly venomous serpent could be counted on to be intellectually serious about any issue, yet Steele, in his fake avuncularity, supposes exactly that notion, that we must all sit and pretend that just because they believe differently, we shouldn't judge or devalue their opinions.

Bullshit. There's believing "differently", and there's believing stupidly, and then there's the asinine notion that a serious world power should entertain such mental and cultural retardation for even a second when trying to figure out its role in an increasingly complicated and competitive globalized marketplace. It is not only fair, it is an intellectual prerequisite that goofball beliefs be considered as fair criteria in assessing the ability of such people to reach logical conclusions in other, more universally important, areas of public policy decision-making.

So while it seems that we are really just nattering about a few thousand weirdos in Appalachia, soon forgotten and lost to the inherent dangers of their chosen avocation, the "snake-handler" debate is really a proxy for a much larger cultural battle at hand. For example, do pharmacists have the right to deny legal medical prescriptions to their customers, based on their own morality?

Well, merchants certainly have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason, and many have that very caveat on their shop walls. I submit that the people who are currently supporting these idiots in their attempts to moralize to the whores in their sainted communities will hop on to their high horses with a quickness the first time a food service worker refuses to serve an obese person. Gas jockeys and Hummers, yada yada. It's impossibly easy to draw plenty of helpful analogies, we know it and they know it.

Bottom line -- the belief that birth-control pills and morning-after pills are somehow evil is stupid. Those things may not be "nice", but they are legal, and women shouldn't have to jump through hoops of someone else's personal morality to get them, just as fat fucks don't need your sacred imprimatur to get a shopping cart full of Cheetos and SnackWells. And one can quite easily provide a serious commonweal fiscal argument for curbing that sort of self-destructive behavior.

Even more stupid is the ongoing evolution debate. This just in, people -- there is no debate about evolution, at least not in the empirically-based scientific community. Yes, there are professional doubters, generally bankrolled by Dobsonite assholes running their usual grift. But evolution is a "theory" the way gravity is a "theory".

Climb up on your house, and jump off the roof. Experience gravity in all its glory and splendor as you hit earth. Now, read the Bible. Does it mention gravity? No, it does not mention gravity.

Sensible people take nothing from this little exercise, except that gravity works. Retards figure that if the Bible does not mention gravity, then gravity does not exist, at least going by their logic regarding evolution.

Again, there is no debate on this. Oh, there are people from focus groups and religious sects talking, but that is not debate. Debate presents itself with factually-based, empirically-sound proof or disproof. The proof of evolution is all around us, in both the plant and animal kingdoms; only a fucking idiot would deny the empirical fact of its existence.

So why are we all having to sit and pretend that the slow kid in class actually has a worthwhile point? We are not all equally intelligent, any more than we are equally tall or equally pretty. And yet Michael Steele and his hardheaded ilk, enabled by their cohorts in the window-licker media, have perpetuated the awful and ridiculous notion that everyone's view, no matter how stupid, deserves equal time.

We have abandoned our common sense and our judgment, and handed it over to partisan interpreters with one hand in our collective pockets, and the other one over our eyes. We continue to let these idiots bamboozle us at our own peril. No other industrialized country is having these stupid "debates" about all these long-settled issues, while we seem to get off on forever replaying the Scopes trial and the Civil War.

If we do not get our shit together, China and India are going to chew us up and spit us out in about a decade. Bangalore real estate might be the hottest long-run deal going, if the goofballs have their way. It is time we stopped pretending that nonsense and mumbo-jumbo deserve equal footing with empirical science and factual proof, and Maher should know this better than most.


Anonymous said...


Keep up the good hammering.

Heywood J. said...

Thanks. To paraphrase Patrick Henry (or maybe it was John Paul Jones), I have not yet begun to hammer....

vonKreedon said...

It was John Paul Jones who shouted from his sinking ship that he had not yet begun to fight.

Yeah, the intellectual relavitism being displayed by modern conservatism is distressing. You can add Global Warming to the list.

Heywood J. said...


Are you sure it wasn't John Bonham?

Craig Heath said...

vK & Heywood: I thought it was Davy Jones.

I just about busted a vein listening to Steele waffle about how people come to their beliefs in different ways and we should not judge them based on their SELF-identified group orientation. Puhl-eeze! And Maher basically let him get away with it.

Is Maher trying to "play nice" with conservatives who agree to come on his show and give him some sort of "moderate center" cred or something? That bit with Gannon - blech! Why bother with such blather? As you say, he offered nothing but an ugly close-up and the furtive eye movement of a perp under good-cop, bad-cop interrogation. What a waste of...

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought this was the complaint department.

Heywood J. said...


By all means, complain to your heart's content. AFAIC (that's Texan for "as far as I'm concerned", see), it's an open forum. Or something.

Is Maher trying to "play nice" with conservatives who agree to come on his show and give him some sort of "moderate center" cred or something?

Yes. This is the problem in the proverbial nutshell -- playing nice with people who do not even recognize the rules -- much less observe them -- and expect everyone else to just shut up and go along.

Because the tea-bagging corporate running-dog media have been more than happy to go along -- after all, it's the only way a fat tub of shit like Tim Russert gets a relaxed-fit house on Nantucket -- an erstwhile libertarian like Maher has felt the need to show his red baboon ass to the conservatard claque.

Good luck with that, Chief. It's not going to work. They'll do exactly what anyone does with a whore -- break a fat nut across their brow, wipe their messy cock across their cheek, and throw a wadded 20 in the toilet bowl to be fished out.

Anonymous said...


I think Maher's on point with a lot of stuff - especially the whole religius debate.

I don't think he could have so many wing nuts on his show if he hammered them hard. It is a bit frustrating, but I understand it.

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