movies matter | criticism by maryann johanson
Fri Oct 17 2008, 11:57am | 12 comments
What Bill Maher said:
Well, sure our healthcare system is great but it causes a debt of billions of euros. And we have a good portion of overweight people. And our “public intellectuals” are, most of them at least, a bunch of morons. And the fact that we’re the greenest country, that sounds like news to me. And the two presidential candidates Maher mentions are mildly sociopathic ego-monsters.
And did I mention that we complain a lot?
I’m guessing this clip is about two years old — in the years since, the president of France ended his failed marriage and started dating a supermodel. True story!
Now, personally, I hate the way that the Republicans have claimed France-bashing as their exclusive domain. France-bashing should be the proud pastime of every citizen of every English-speaking nation regardless of political affiliation.
You know, if Maher’s so ashamed of us pathetic, genetically-inferior stock, why doesn’t he just up and move to Europe instead of rolling his sick mouth in Sunset Boulevard? Answer: he won’t because he – like anybody who owns a private jet and preaches environmentalism – is a hypocrite.
“in the years since, the president of France ended his failed marriage and started dating a supermodel.”
Yeah, and when some asshole in Israel attempted to assassinate him, that slut shoved him aside and ran into the jet to save her own skin. Apparently all those years on the runway gave her good sprinting capacity.
In the interest of fairness, it might be more correct to write, “that slut shoved her manwhore aside.”
Maher is an entertainer, a performer, like Ann Coulter or Bill O or George Carlin or Michael Moore. None of them has much depth of conviction outside of “the office.” They look for a lucrative market, and they mine it for all it’s worth.
I’m not saying that Moore secretly loves Bush or Maher is a closet Catholic, only that their primary allegiance is to their paycheck, not to their message.
However, the fact that someone is a charlatan doesn’t automatically make their message untrue. And the fact that someone is unwlling to move to another country doesn’t invalidate their criticism.
Infant mortality, literacy, overall health (obesity in particular), religious fundamentalism, knowledge of other languages and cultures, scientific knowledge, historical/geographical knowledge, voter participation, freedom of the press…
Are you prepared to tell me that none of these are valid measurements of a country’s “greatness,” and that the only things that count are the size of their wallet (and debt) and their military? If not, I’ve got some shocking news, the US is far from #1 in any of these categories.
America’s got issues, France has got issues, but I live in America. How about we deal with our issues instead of waving around the “We’re #1” finger anytime someone mentions France? That’s the point you should take away from Maher’s little comedy song and dance and I think it’s a good one.
Obviously people like Patrick are simply unable to understand anything that is not prefaced by “America roolz!” The fact is that anyone who has been outside the United States can see, quite plainly, that there are plenty of things that America does not get right, and plenty of things that other countries do better. One would think that such a staunch patriot as Patrick would want to get America into a position of leadership on such matters, so that his screams of “America roolz!” might actually be true. One would think that would be the patriotic thing to do.
Come on, of course America is wrong on a lot of things, but frankly, so is Maher, and I just think the man is a hypocrite.
Thanks for attacking me with a bunch of blatant falsehoods, by the way. Don’t remember what I said about you personally, but hey, there are consequences for free speech, right? I’ve only been a loyal reader of yours for, like, three years now… And I HAVE been outside the U.S. before. I’ve lived in the Caribbean for five years before coming back to the U.S. and it was a great experience.
So, when Maher says that France has the best health care in the Western world, and has an adult attitude about sex, he’s wrong and hypocritical? And he should move to France rather than wishing his own nation would grow the fuck up?
Wow, you need to grow a thicker skin if you want to argue politics outside of your own living room.
And by the way, when you use the word ‘slut’ you give up your right to be treated with kid gloves.
“And by the way, when you use the word ‘slut’ you give up your right to be treated with kid gloves.”
JoshB: word to that.
And one other thing. I am absolutely sick of people saying that any American who says critical things about the US or makes unfavorable (for the US) comparisons with other countries should MOVE OUT OF THE STATES “if they like (insert country name) so much better”.
This is a ridiculous statement and it lends no credence to any argument. It does NOTHING to support whatever criticism you have of the person you are attacking. It erodes your credibility as a participant in any real debate on someone like Maher. Maybe I hate Bill Maher? Maybe I agree with him? But I will not ever tell anyone who disagrees with my take on this kind of stuff that they should move out of America SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH MY IDEA OF PATRIOTISM.
I apologize for my overuse of capital letters, but this kind of thing has cropped up several times in these threads and it just enrages me. See also MAJ’s entry on the Kid Rock video.
It does NOTHING to support whatever criticism you have of the person you are attacking.
All it does is support the contention that the average American is an idiot who cannot even formulate a defense of the things he says he believes in. Which I don’t want to accept as true, and wish that reality would stop confirming on a regular basis.
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