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Saturday, April 19, 2014
HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” #312 “Killing Me Slowly”
“Killing Me Slowly”
sums up my review and recap (and commentary) for HBO’s “Real Time with Bill
Maher,” episode 212, which aired on 3/28/14.
Emphasis on “killing.”
monologue began with a reference to Putin’s invasion of Crimea. Maher said it was
not like the U.S. invasion of Iraq. “First of all, it worked.” He followed it
up with a jab at John’s McCain’s (R, AZ) seeming eagerness for war. He reported
that McCain said, “Russia is just a gas station masquerading as a country.” Maher jested that Putin replied, “Arizona is
just a nursing home masquerading as a state.”
joked about the whitewash report from Christie’s lawyers that exonerated
Christie of any wrongdoing on anything, ever.
Maher said that the report was so over the top, fawning and
complimentary, that it might have well have said “women want to date him, men want
to be him, cows want to be eaten by him.”
interview was with former president Jimmy
Carter, former president, Nobel Peace prize recipient, and founder of “The
Carter Center.” Carter has a new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.Carter wears his Christianity on his sleeve—he’s
a Sunday school teacher, so Maher couldn’t resist challenging him on
religion. He told Carter those who
advocate violence, enslave people, mistreat women, etc. and defend it with
religious texts are interpreting the texts incorrectly. Maher maintained that the problem is that
they are interpreting the texts accurately and went on to cite passages to
prove his point. Carter trumped him when he said “I go back to what Jesus said
and did.” (So Carter is pretty much
saying he reads his Bible selectively, ignoring the parts he doesn’t agree with.) But it was enough to get Maher to say “Jesus
was a good guy” and to change the subject.
was pretty well behaved tonight. Even Rick Lazio (former Congressman R, NY)
got me to thinking that he wasn’t so bad.
Then he would add the “but” and that killed my good feelings for me. “The
government is not doing a single thing to help the inner city.” So far so
good. Then he adds, “At least Ryan is
talking about poverty.” Yes Ryan talked
about it, blaming poverty on the poor.
Neera Tanden, president of the Center
for American Progress, had to set Lazio straight. She said, “We should unite around solutions,
not just blame people.”
Maher had a
trick up his sleeve. He read a quote that sounded not too different from what
Ryan had said and then announced that it was a quote for Michelle Obama. W. Kamau
Bell, the third panelist, a comedian and star of the TV series Totally Biased, who happens to be black,
explained it. He said that it was about
the audience. Michelle was talking to
black people and “Black people talk differently to each other when you [white
people] are not around.” I say there was
another difference—intent and context. Ryan was talking to white people castigating
black people for laziness; Michelle was talking to black people urging them to
do better for themselves.
stated that you can’t blame poor people for not working when they live in an
area where there are no jobs, the schools suck, the hospitals suck, there are
no grocery stores, and all the dads are in jail. In other words, In other words,
change the inner cities and the people will change themselves.
was the Boston Marathon bombing. Maher announced
that it was the anniversary of that terrible event. He then showed a picture of
the Boston police force marching down the street dressed in riot gear and accompanied
by tanks. “Who knew that Boston had an
army?” he said. Maher said that we have police forces that act like armies all
over the country. “An army that sustains itself on plunder.” He was presumably
referring to the seizure of assets that occurs with drug busts.
brought up the Russian man, Ibragin Todashev, who was associated with the Tsaraev
brothers who did the bombings and who is alleged to have committed a triple
murder. We may never know for sure because the FBI shot him. Lazio defended the
shooting, saying the guy flipped out and threw a table. Maher correctly pointed out that we don’t
know what happened since the only witnesses are the men who did the shooting
and, in any event, killing the man was an excessive response.
brought up “the corporations are people” issues. They are people only when they want to
be. Hobby Lobby claims a religious
exemption from providing health care coverage that includes contraceptives for
women because a company, like a person, can have religious beliefs. Lazio says, “I’m pro-choice.” So I’m liking
him. Then he adds, “A closely held corporation, run by a family, is different”
and is entitled to an exemption. So now I’m back to disliking him. Tanden has
to set him straight once again. “Why is
it about religious freedom for the employer, why not religious freedom for the
employees? Do corporations get to make religious decisions for all of us?
also don’t want to be treated like people when they destroy the economy and
ruin people’s lives. No one on Wall Street was punished. They also don’t want
to be treated like people when they kill people. Like GM being slow to announce a recall of
cars with faulty ignition switches. Over 300 people died. Maher said, “Corporations
are killing us a little more slowly.” I
think he meant less directly compared to FBI agents with guns.
important issue discussed in the show was the killing of the oceans. The search for the missing Malaysia jet turned
up no jet wreckage but lot’s of garbage. Maher said, “We have turned the ocean
into a porta potty. We are killing the ocean—radiation from Fukishima, oil
slicks, fishing on the verge of collapse--and it is going to kill us if we don’t
fix it. We need the ocean to live. Agreement all around. We are killing the ocean slowly.
The mid show
guest was the actor Josh Gad, the
voice-over star of Frozen. He told us the movie has made over a billion
dollars. “It is a license to print
I recently saw
Frozen and I have a problem with the hidden message of this movie: Girls rule
and boys drool. Once Disney movies
portrayed girls as helpless just waiting for a man to come and save them, like
Cinderella and Snow White. Then the male
and female roles became a little more equal—Aladdin and Jasmine were equal
partners in their adventures. Then the
pendulum swung too far evidently when Disney realized that princesses were a
financial bonanza. The princesses in
Frozen don’t need any men. The “hero” in
the show, Kristof, is an oaf, a fixer-upper (there’s a song about it), who has
to be whipped into shape by Princess Elsa. Even then he is a bumbler who can’t
rescue Elsa’s sister, Anna--Elsa has to do the job herself. The other men in
the show are “Prince Hans”, a villain who acts like “Prince Charming” but only
want to marry Elsa for money and position, and Olaf, a funny little snowman,
sort of a pet.
By the way,
little girls are desperate to have Princess Elsa dresses. Disney can’t make them fast enough so some people
are buying them on the Internet for $1,500.
And that is not t worse part. The worst part is that the retail price is
$150—$150 for a dress or a little girl.
comedy segment was funny. It seems there is a crack epidemic in Vermont, which
also happens to be the home of “Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.” So Maher renamed some Ben & Jerry’s flavors.
Late Night Smack
Needles and Cream
Robert Brownie, Jr.
In New Rules, in a segment called “Left
Behind,” Maher railed against Democrats for always having talking points that
begin with an apology. For instance, they are always saying the ACA needs to be
fixed. Polls show that people are overwhelming in favor of the basic components
of the act. Democrats should be proud to own ObamaCare. This is the “can-I-get-an-amen”
moment of the week.
“Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum said ObamaCare would kill children. No, you are thinking about assault rifles.”
Maherbrought the show full circle back to
Jimmy Carter, saying “And they should be proud to own Jimmy Carter. A failed presidency?
By whose standards? We may have had a bad economy, but you know
what we didn’t have—a war! And he was
the last president to ask for shared sacrifice. Another “can-I-get-an amen”
moment of the week.
finished with, “Carter put solar panels on the White House roof. Regan tore them down because he thought the
sun was interfering with Nancy’s astrology.”
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