WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Post no Bills

Smugness personified

I guess I really have turned a corner. As of last Friday evening, I’ve decided I won’t be watching Real Time with Bill Maher anymore.

Bill has jumped the shark. He’s done it with his remarks on covid, you see, and has joined the ranks of those who’d rather spread disinformation than face reality.

Not only did Bill, in his season premier on Friday, dabble in bad covid and vaccine advice, he let one of his guests, Bari Weiss, declare unchallenged that covid restrictions are a “catastrophic moral crime.” Returning to normal life, whatever that might mean in her reactionary mind, is the be all and end all, even if it results in tens of thousands of excess deaths, not to mention the damage to the health care system and its exhausted workers.

Failing to apply empathy and common sense during a historic pandemic is the moral crime, if you ask me. Maher and Weiss are saying that their comfort and convenience are more important than the safety and well-being of anyone else.

If all of us had cooperated with CDC guidelines at the outset, if more than 63% of us were fully vaccinated, we probably could have avoided all of this and returned to normal a lot sooner. But in today’s America, a toxic, suicidal obsession with “liberty” (as defined by the right wing) has steered us closer to that “every man for himself” mode that will either divide the country into ideological Bantustans or usher in the radical right’s wet dream of minority authoritarian rule. This pandemic will prove to have been the grease that freed up the fascist gears.

Maher and Weiss don’t seem to realize that they’re becoming stooges in a bigger story. It’s a story being written by people who know that self-interest overcomes almost all other motives and blinds us to the wider view. Maher mocks Dr. Fauci, but I’ll put my faith in Fauci every time because he knows what he’s talking about. (We used to respect people who knew what they were talking about.) When it comes to covid and public health and bona fide science, Maher, a comedian, has become one of those MAGA-adjacent types who “does his own research” and concludes that the government is either overreacting or working on some evil covert plan. The paranoid style in American politics redux.

By the way, the Real Time premier didn’t touch at all on the most important stories of the last few weeks, especially January 6 developments, all because Maher and Weiss are “done with covid.” This suits the bad guys just fine. Distraction is essential. Bill wants to go back to his regular gigs, and Bari has this bogus University of Austin thing to cheat gullible young people out of a lot of money, tearing a page from Donald Trump’s playbook. Like I said, self-interest.

So I can’t do it anymore. I’ve given Maher the benefit of the doubt for a few years now, but there’s enough bad info flying around out there that I don’t need to expose myself to more of it voluntarily.

At least I’ve still got John Oliver.

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9 comments on “Post no Bills

  1. loristory
    January 24, 2022

    Well said!! I’ve never liked his snarky know-it-all persona. And you’re right, there are probably more sinister forces at work behind the scenes using tools like him to fuel the flames of division. I wish there were more rational folks (like you) on television. Hey, maybe that’ll be your next career move!

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 24, 2022

      Me? On TV? Welcome to The Grumpy Old Man Show! 😆

      One thing I used to get out of Maher was that he challenged me to think carefully about my liberal positions, since he often skewed rightward or libertarian. Now, though, it feels like the pandemic has made him a narcissist with blinders on. (Though I guess all narcissists wear blinders …)

  2. pinklightsabre
    January 24, 2022

    Yup, I’d stick with John. Wow, that sucks! How could it be, even the clowns have gone rotten?!

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 24, 2022

      If he had the wit of George Carlin, I’d probably give him another crack. He’s no George Carlin!

  3. kingmidget
    January 24, 2022

    I’ve never watched Maher with any kind of regularity, but have appreciated his contrarian streak when I do. But what you’ve described here is waaaaay too contrarian for me.

    It is amazing how much these people who want “normal” again refuse to acknowledge the single biggest reason we can’t go back there yet — the anti-maskers, the anti-vaxxers, the people screaming about their freedoms. If they would just get a shot in the arm and wear their masks … sigh.

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 24, 2022

      So right. And the goal all along, going way back to March 2020, was prevent the health care system from being overwhelmed. It’s still happening two years later … 🤬

      • kingmidget
        January 24, 2022

        Fake news!!!

        Seriously, how anybody can look at the number of deaths and what the virus has done to so many, and just shrug their shoulders is beyond me. We really have discovered just how many of our fellow citizens simply don’t care about anybody but themselves.

  4. Marie A Bailey
    January 25, 2022

    I stopped watching Maher a long time ago. His kind of juvenile humor and his thin skin got boring for me. Greg still watches clips; there’s some parts of his show that he still likes although I think he winces more than laughs at Maher’s jokes these days 😉 Besides, there are many comedians who really respect their audiences, you don’t need to watch Maher. Yes, John Oliver but also Seth Myers, Steven Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel (maybe).

    • Kevin Brennan
      January 25, 2022

      For a long time, I think I’ve been watching in a kind of “let’s get the most out of HBO” attitude. Not worth it! He’s been a tough watch for quite a while, but the pandemic pushed him over the rim.

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This entry was posted on January 24, 2022 by in politics.
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