Happily Divorced from Bill Maher’s ‘Reality’
posted at 11:07 pm on April 24, 2009 by The Other McCain
“At age 53, Maher has never married.”
Bill Maher is an adolescent phase that his parents probably hoped he’d grow out of. Instead, he’s made a career of being a smart-alecky eighth-grade know-it-all, and thus the pluperfect embodiment of contemporary Hollywood culture.
Years ago, when he still had his ABC show, Politically Incorrect, I observed that Maher had two pet peeves, Christian morality and feminism. This struck me as not coincidental, as both of these belief systems would tend to interfere with what was transparently the chief object of Maher’s existence: Getting laid.
After I’d moved to Washington, I became acquainted with someone who had frequently been a guest on Maher’s show. When I shared my supposition about the basis of Maher’s political fixations, my friend nodded eagerly and said: “Bill Maher’s idea of a romantic evening is doing coke with hookers at Sky Bar.”
He is a short, unattractive man who evidently supposes that obnoxious arrogance can compensate for his deficiencies. And his physical deficiencies are actually far less a hindrance than his emotional deficiencies, which are extreme.
Maher is the sort of stunted narcissist who cannot conceive that other people have needs, desires and feelings as legitimate as his own. In his puerile mind, there is no room for consideration of anything except What Bill Wants Right Now. To know such creatures — and most of us have, unfortunately, encountered at least one spoiled brat like Maher — is to loathe them. They tend to be unconscionably rude toward “little people” like waiters and store clerks, taking vicious pleasure in bossing around and humiliating people.
Was anyone really surprised when, after Maher’s breakup with former Playboy model Nancy Johnson, she sued him and complained of his “insulting, humiliating and degrading racial comments”? It’s not that he’s a racist; he’s just the sort of sadistic coward who compensates for a want of courage by relentless cruelty toward others, especially women.
Like the rest of his underdeveloped personality — note well his sneering disdain of anything decent or honorable — Maher’s contempt of womankind is part of an elaborate system of psychological defense mechanisms constructed around his molten core of self-loathing. It is a remarkable irony of this type of narcissist that the driving force of Maher’s childish egocentrism is a hatred of himself. Try as he might, he cannot escape the guilty knowledge of his own worthlessness, a knowledge that fuels the negativity he projects onto others, making them scapegoats for his own failings.
It is in this light, then, that we behold Maher’s nyah-nyah tantrum in the Los Angeles Times:
If conservatives don’t want to be seen as bitter people who cling to their guns and religion and anti-immigrant sentiments, they should stop being bitter and clinging to their guns, religion and anti-immigrant sentiments.
It’s been a week now, and I still don’t know what those “tea bag” protests were about. I saw signs protesting abortion, illegal immigrants, the bank bailout and that gay guy who’s going to win “American Idol.” But it wasn’t tax day that made them crazy; it was election day. Because that’s when Republicans became what they fear most: a minority.
(Via Memeorandum.) Of course, Maher has made no serious effort to investigate the Tea Party movement, any more so than he has ever seriously engaged conservatism as a political philosophy. His politics, like everything else about him, is superficial and selfish. By comparison to Maher, Maureen Dowd is a deep well of profound insight and James Wolcott a 21st-century Pericles.
Maher slams conservatives and Republicans in much the same way, and for much the same reason, that an eighth-grade class clown mocks the teacher behind her back. Living in an entertainment colony populated overwhelmingly by liberal Democrats, he mugs and preens, seeking to elicit approval for his exhibition of disdain for the doltish rubes in Tulsa or Tucson or wherever else those idiotic stereotypical Republicans are presumed to reside.
The basic decency of those people — hard-working, law-abiding, honest, kind, courteous — is no reason for Maher to admire or praise them. Indeed, it is all the more reason to scorn them, for they exemplify virtues Maher utterly lacks. And so he puts them down as ignorant dupes, belittles their religious faith and traditionalism, mocks their bourgeois values and aspirations.
Obama rides high atop the polls now, the Republicans have lost badly in the past two election cycles, and Maher’s arrogant mockery of conservatives is exactly the kind of vaunting strut one expects from him at such a moment.
It may be that he is correct about the futility of any effort toward a conservative resurgence. Yet it may also be that he is wrong. The man is a natural-born loser and, in the long run, you’ll never go wrong betting against a loser like Bill Maher.
UPDATE: The Armoury has this video review of Maher’s Religulous:
At the beginning, you see Maher mocking the Catholic notion of transubstantiation and, at the end, you see an excerpt of Religulous in which Maher interrogates his mother, who married into the Catholic Church. The refutation of transubstantiation is simple enough: When Jesus spoke to the apostles about bread as symbolic of his body and wine as symbolic of his blood, Jesus was still sitting there among them, alive. Obviously, then, the expression was symbolic in meaning and the famous phrase, “This do in remembrance of me,” captures Jesus’ intention of this as a memorial ritual, not as a miraculous feat whereby the bread and wine literally became his flesh and blood.
That Maher would think it a serious critique of Christianity to mock a clearly unbiblical belief like transubstantion tells you a lot about his shallowness. And the fact that he felt the need to bring his mother into it tells you a lot about the childish resentments that motivate him.