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Thursday, March 15. 2012
The best you could say is that he at least defends Limbaugh's right to speak. Beyond that, this is a very pale attempt to sidestep outrage at his otherwise outlandish and clearly misogynist use of language. He claims because he gets a laugh, it's fine to use words that demean a woman. What he's really saying is it's fine to use those words regarding Sarah Palin or any woman on the Right who he dislikes, especially if it gets a laugh.
The outrage regarding Fluke was about the use of the word, and had little to do with context. That, somehow, just using it was wrong. Limbaugh didn't use it to label all women, it wasn't a misogynistic commentary. He did not show hatred or distrust toward women in general.
Maher was not misogynistic, either (to be fair, my original statement above was meant to be sarcastic). But he cannot distance himself from Limbaugh on this. Both of them utilized language and imagery that is inappropriate. Getting a laugh, I have been told by my Human Relations Department, does not make something okay to say. Now, Maher lacks an HR Department, but common sense is clearly lacking if he thinks that just because people laughed, his jokes were acceptable. And being a "pottymouth" doesn't make it okay, either.
We all use words, from time to time, we wish we hadn't. Limbaugh apologized for using his. Maher tries to rationalize his.
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Maher's audience is self-selected for mostly liberals and all slackers. You couldn't pay me to join it.
Limbaugh's is self-selecting, as well, though of a different quality (I am not a fan, my father is).
I used to like Bill Maher very much when he had Politically Incorrect, and saw it in studio several times. It was terrific, and he was very fair and just, back then. Since 9/11, Maher has entered a downward spiral of vitriol and madness which astounds me. He was, long ago, a good Libertarian. Now he is a bitter statist.
I believe it stems from his hatred of religion, which he never exhibited back in the 90's. In fact, he was relatively fair and even-handed toward the religious believers back then. Not sure when he went completely off the rails, but it definitely started sometime around 9/11.
Maher's rationalization is to be expected. It's the classical appeal to numbers logical fallacy. Since everybody laughed in approval, it's ok to use crude insults.
Women have to man up. Somebody called you a name, stop fainting.
Nobody should have apologized.
Geez. What a fuss over nothing at all.
Finest use of the c-word in literature, Barthelme's Snow White
begins to show some of its performance.
Its components are (1) attractive to men female genitals, and (2) trouble that comes with it. Context can relate these variously, and the word can put forth various doctrines of women. It's really a word you can't do without.
In Palin's case, Maher is saying that she's trading on her sexual attractiveness, and (to guys) watch out, that's all.
Which I think is correct.
The right way to handle it is to take it seriously as saying something, just as that's the way to take Limbaugh.
It's not abuse, or merely abuse. We have the words for a reason. They reflect an interest and have developed around that.
Maher is not only a misogynist, he is obscene with the worst pornographic speech on any broadcast, and he is an extreme anti-Catholic and anti-Christian bigot. There is nothing of any value whatsoever in his disgusting performances. Lenny Bruce had a point, Maher doesn't.
Maher is a piece of human filth who must be purged from the public airways. His fans are likewise human filth.
I'm Catholic. I agree he's anti-Catholic. He's really anti-religion, however. Which I have a level of respect for (at least he isn't supporting one over another, he treats them all equally poorly), although I don't agree with his view.
I disagree that he is misogynist. He definitely uses colorful language. Perhaps too colorful for his own good.
But I do not believe in censorship, or purging airwaves. I have a channel tuner which I use, a volume control which I use, and an on/off button which I use. I am also able to listen to opposing viewpoints, provide them the platform they require, but then oppose or rebut them as needed. This is the nature of a free market and democracy, and it must be respected.
A free market of ideas means there's an awful lot out there I cannot stand, but I don't have to accept it, and I always have the choice to not listen.
In the case of Maher rationalizing his situation, however, I believe he takes his point to illogical conclusions. He sets himself up as something he isn't - purely and simply a comedian. He is a manipulator of opinion, using comedy as his toolkit, much as Jon Stewart does. The problem with comedians like these men is they defend their positions by saying "it's just comedy", but then use it as a sledgehammer to drive opinion. So, yes, it is comedy - but please remind your audiences that the opinions are not meant to inform, and then belittle your own positions. Because the mark of GOOD comedy is the ability to laugh at oneself.
Many women utilize their looks. Palin is more than just looks. I am no longer a fan of hers, but that's because she allowed the media to define who she is and what she represents, then took it to the extreme. She's a victim, as far as I'm concerned.
If the media had portrayed Hillary Clinton as a shrill beast who was so vain she manipulated every aspect of how she entered a room and demanded to be treated like royalty (which is exactly what she is - I have firsthand knowledge of this), people on the Left would go berzerk. They'd demand retractions, play up her 'domestic' side....oh, wait - that's what they did! The Left refuses to let the media define their women...but is more than happy to let the media define women of the Right.
I'm trying to think of a woman that didn't try to get a pass on performance using her looks or just for being a woman.
Vicki Hearne, Anne Carson, both essayists and poets, would qualify. And lots of non-pop singers.
I don't know of any in politics.
The "watch out" warning is strongly justified. You really wanted performance.
Bella Abzug. I wasn't a fan - but man there is no way she could look for a pass based on looks. She went for the hats!
When Pelosi was named Speaker of the House, I'll never forget what I heard one commentator say off screen - "those huge cans will take a woman far."
Naturally, I had to go take a look and see if he was right. She wears suits that accentuate her assets.
But, of course, I shouldn't talk about this because she's qualified, right? So that other stuff is meaningless and therefore not worth discussing.
because she allowed the media to define who she is
Guess she should have just told them to stop, eh? I think she has done damn well. I can't think of anyone else who could have made such a fight of it starting with essentially zero money and few allies among the movers and screwers.
It's not an issue of telling them to stop. She should stop behaving in a manner that only gives them fodder.
I don't agree that she's "done well" at all. For herself, sure. But any fool can make money, if you don't mind being defined as foolish.
I had a very high level of respect for her early on, which I've lost over time. I still think she was the right, and best, choice. I don't regret voting for McCain. But I don't view her as a leader anymore.
Can you elaborate on these examples? Pointing out the inflation of food prices, for instance. Something derided by the Democrats and unmentioned by the Republicans, is that the sort of thing you are talking about.
She's not a professional politician, I don't see that as a bad thing.
She's not, and that is good.
I think the fact that her first post-election move was into reality TV speaks volumes. Scary stuff, shows that she was more into cultivating an image than developing a voice a wider variety of people can relate to.
She utilizes language which I find difficult to relate to, its full of absolutes and characterizations that are extreme. While I can understand the need and ability to hit the Left with the same ammunition they use, you have to do it in a fashion that breaks them down rather than allowing them to hit back with even more damaging imagery.
With regard to her policy positions, I am in agreement with many of her statements. I am afraid there are some areas that we don't agree, particularly with regard to her views on broader economic policy (she would still spend, but in a way that she feels is correct - which is just as bad as the Left). But it's social policy where I have never agreed with her, and where I've had my biggest problems with the Republican Party in general.
I don't the pro-choice movement, but I am most assuredly not pro-life to the degree she is. I think I probably agree with her about the role of evolution (she apparently acknowledges it, though she's never pushed back when the media painted her as a creationist, something I've never heard her say she is), though we have very different views on the role of God and how that should be portrayed or taught (if at all) in public schools. From my point of view, creationism or intelligent design are worth mentioning as alternatives to evolution, but I doubt they can be taught without substantial bias toward particular religious views.
In the end, her failure isn't one of policy, though. It's an inability to understand why people oppose her and how to deal with them effectively. Obama has the same problem, but he has a significant advantage - the press supports him and he can screw up royally and they will find some way to clean him up. As a result, Palin is forced to play the old game that women used to have to play - be tougher than a man, and play it twice as hard. But she doesn't fill that role well. Some people, primarily those who love her and forgive all her faults, think she does it well. I don't. I think it makes her look like a spiteful and angry woman.
This is why I consider her a victim. She has become what they said she was. She didn't fight back effectively, allowed them to set the rules, and didn't know how the game was played.
Not entirely her fault. She wasn't expecting this, and wasn't prepared, so she did it all on her own.
I can respect that. Just like I respect anyone who has gotten wealthy doing what they do - even if I don't like it.
My attitude? Let freedom of speech be. Stop supporting the sponsors who provide the paychecks and let those advertisers know why.
"The bit I did about Palin using the word c-, one of the biggest laughs in my act, I did it all over the country, not one person ever registered disapproval, and believe me, audiences are not afraid to let you know."
In other words:
"My audiences share my biases so it's O.K. to say what I did. Unlike Rush Limbaugh, whose audience also shares his biases, but in his case his biases are bad, so it's not O.K."
Maher is a low life bully who is in need of penance for his transgressions. I think he should achieve that by spending 5 minutes in a closed room with Mr. Palin. I would volunteer to measure Maher's bulbous nose before, and after the meeting.
Todd Palin and Bill Maher simply need to mix more. I'm thinking, fishing trip, Bering Sea, Portland cement, hi Todd, how was the fishing, say where's Bill?
Just kidding of course