Bill Maher, liberal, pretend libertarian and over all, failed comic, decides, finally, that the outrage over, well, everything, has finally all become too much. From his editorial in today’s New York Times:
When did we get it in our heads that we have the right to never hear anything we don’t like? In the last year, we’ve been shocked and appalled by the unbelievable insensitivity of Nike shoes, the Fighting Sioux, Hank Williams Jr., Cee Lo Green, Ashton Kutcher, Tracy Morgan, Don Imus, Kirk Cameron, Gilbert Gottfried, the Super Bowl halftime show and the ESPN guys who used the wrong cliché for Jeremy Lin after everyone else used all the others. Who can keep up?
This week, President Obama’s chief political strategist, David Axelrod, described Mitt Romney’s constant advertising barrage in Illinois as a “Mittzkrieg,” and instantly the Republican Jewish Coalition was outraged and called out Mr. Axelrod’s “Holocaust and Nazi imagery” as “disturbing.” Because the message of “Mittzkrieg” was clear: Kill all the Jews. Then the coalition demanded not only that Mr. Axelrod apologize immediately but also that Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz “publicly rebuke” him. For a pun! For punning against humanity!
The right side of America is mad at President Obama because he hugged the late Derrick Bell, a law professor who believed we live in a racist country, 22 years ago; the left side of America is mad at Rush Limbaugh for seemingly proving him right.
If it weren’t for throwing conniption fits, we wouldn’t get any exercise at all.
Please stop apologizing, Maher implores.
Here’s how the right’s outrage machine got started Mr. Maher–just for your edification. (I will admit, I worried about this tactic for fear it would stop being ironic and become the New Right’s political correctness.)
See, for years, decades even, the Left’s number one weapon in its arsenal has been outrage over nothing. Let me make a list:
Silent Spring (Environmentalism outrage)
The new Ice Age (Environmentalism outrage)
Sensitivity training (racism, sexism, minority outrage)
Poisoned apples (Environmentalism outrage)
DDT (Environmentalism outrage)
Any kind of cultural joke…ever. (See isms above)
Words, and worse, ideas, started to be censured. Like the prohibitionist knitting circle of yore, leftists have cluck clucked their way into power by being the church ladies aggrieved at every blond joke, straying eye, proper use of word (niggardly!!!), scientific disagreement, and on and on.
In response, the right of center side decided to throw the selective outrage back at them.
There’s a lot of pent up fury. How would you feel about being hectored over every meaningless and stupid aside (MACACA!!!!).
So, conservatives through New Media, are holding the left to their own race-baiting, sexist, offensive-language standards.
Big surprise! The left turns out to be more racist, sexist, degrading, closed-minded, and ugly than the right–something that minorities who have defected from the left know all too well.
And now, when Bill Maher is finally taking some heat for being the sexist jackass that he is, he’s crying foul.
In the years before New Media, everyone just wink-winked and chortled at how edgy and clever and brave Maher was while castigating conservatives who said far less offensive things.
Restricting speech on one side was such a great tool. Everyone hated conservatives and laughed at liberals. And then they realized they were the butt of the joke.
Now, liberals are hated too.
Liberals have themselves to thank for this fine politically correct mess.
See, I’m a free speech absolutist. Do I think it’s despicable to make fun of Sarah Palin’s kid and calling him a “retard”? Yes. Do I want to be able to use the word “retard”? Yes.
As in, Bill Maher is a retard.
To have any credibility whatsoever, he should have been decrying the politically correct war on words from the left years ago, but of course, that didn’t serve his political ends.
My concern on the right is that we’re becoming as bad as the left–that is, we’re actually starting to believe the outrage we’re pouring at the left.
My concern is that rather than being outraged at the leftists phony outrage and throwing it back at them, we’re becoming as politically correct and insufferable as them.
As long as Sandra Flukes exist and screech about inequality over nothing, the right has every reason to thrown their hypocrisy back at them.
The minute, though, we buy into political correctness and start being just like the lefty church ladies we loathe, the whole battle has been lost.
Humor, art, science, technology can only thrive where new, outrageous and edgy words and ideas thrive.
Conformity of language is conformity of culture. Stasis.
Free speech. Cherish it.
It would be nice if Bill Maher could have found his outrage at outrage when the leftist outrage machine has survived on outrage fuel. But then, Bill Maher’s not a great mind or comedian. The irony is lost on him.
Bruce of The Conservatory notes what Maher really wants:
In essence, Maher wants to be able to say anything he wants and not have to apologize for it.
Please, do so. And don’t apologize. That is fine with me.
But … and you knew there had to be one … that doesn’t mean what you say is consequence free. You still get to pay the price for what you say.
That’s really what Maher wants to see go by the boards, make no mistake about it. He really wants no-penalty “free speech”.
Sorry, no such thing. Never has been, never will be.
Great piece from Dorian Davis: Get a sense of humor.