09 November 2005

Bill Maher Gets It

Our 'Chambers production' Gopher Hockey games have been arriving with DVD Bonus material, in the form of episodes of Bill Maher's HBO Show Real Time. Thus, we're watching, but we're a few weeks behind (everything in the UK is a few weeks, to a few months, to a few years behind the US).

I disagree with Maher's positions about 30% of the time, and I disagree with the way he articulates them a majority of the time. But there are a few issues on which he really just 'gets it' in a way that the mainstream of American politics never seems to be able to do. I would include his tirades against the food industry (and the obesity epidemic), as well us his positions on the environment in this category.

Most suprising of all, though, may be his sexual politics. Maher is a middle-aged straight man who is not married and does not want to be (ever!), and one gets the sense that his sexual appetites are varied. In short, with respect to the dominant sexual norms, Maher is queer. If this sounds far-fetched, then I provide as evidence his 'new rules' from 14 October. Maher says that the 'real reason' the right couldn't handle Harriet Miers had nothing to do with her 'qualifications' or her positoin on Roe. The former never bothered the right in the past, and the latter really was assured (a Catholic who is born-again as an evangelical just isn't pro-choice folks). What really bothered the right about Miers, then? They couldn't make sense of or accept her (a)sexuality. As an unmarried 60 year-old, says Maher, Miers was either celibate, gay, or a slut – in other words, once again, queer with respect to the heterosexual norm. Go read the whole thing.

1 comment:

sageblue said...

A few things about Maher. First, TiVo was made for him. I don't really find him funny, so I can speed past his monologue, thankfully. Second, he manages to get some awfully good guests. Rushdie? Sure. Dan Savage? Sure. For all of his Coulter fetish, he normally gets a nice balance. Third, he typically doesn't let crap just slide by: he calls people on their BS. Fourth, he has the best aspects of libertarianism.

In sum, he's a nice companion piece to The Daily Show: probably the best places for political discourse on TV. Notably, they are on a comedy network and a network devoted to entertainment of the most adult nature.