That's what Bill Maher did, and when he was arrived, he was hailed as a hero, by the protesters.
Maher, 55, steers his all-electric Tesla Roadster (price tag: $120,000) toward downtown Los Angeles. His destination: the bedraggled encampment of tents, Porta Potties, and angry souls ringing City Hall known as Occupy L.A. It’s the local chapter of Occupy Wall Street, which has quickly become a national protest movement against social injustice, income inequality, and a hodgepodge of grievances amounting to a raging rebuke of the American Dream.
“They Poison Our Air, Water, Land, Bodies, Minds, and Dreams,” says a handpainted cardboard sign resting in the mud on the periphery of the tent city and crudely capturing the spirit of the gathering. There’s little doubt who “they” are: the Upper 1 Percenters—a malevolent elite of grasping corporations, greed-head bankers, and corrupt politicians who have managed to ruin the economy for the other 99 percent, betray the public trust, and bring millions of hard-working citizens to their knees.
I don't know how the author of that article, appearing in The Daily Beast and its alter ego Newsweek, had the integrity to write that with a straight face. Anyone who attends something like the Occupy movement in a hand-crafted and specially-made designer car is anything but sympathetic to their cause, especially when this person lives in one propery in Brentwood and owns another, which have collective worths in excess of $14 million. Oh, wait ... Bill doesn't exactly own those properties; a registered animal charity, The Odie Trust, does.
Only, there is no Odie Trust. Google it. See what you get. Zilch. There is no such registered charity, no such non-profit. It's a paper chase, created for one purpose only - tax evasion. Smells like Bill, who's doing so much to fight income equality, is dicking around with a little bit of income, himself. Income that should belong to the state of California.
Bill's message to the people?
“The most important thing is what you’re doing—so keep doing it,” Maher tells the crowd. “It sends a real message that people are in the streets because it’s the only other way to get your voice heard if you don’t play the game the way it’s been played, with lobbyists and congressmen who are too influenced by corporate money.”
Quoth the man who charges a nifty $25,000 for a night of stand-up, with punters paying upwards of $75 a shot for an hour's worth of what they deem to be "political wisdom."
As for "lobbyists and congressmen influenced by corporate money," did you know Bill pals around with Darrell Issa, a frequent guest on Bill's show and a good friend. And then there's Ann Coulter. And Whoreanna Fuckington. And P J O'Rourke. And Jack Kingston ... The list goes on.
Sound like a Progressive to you? How many Progressives do you know who actively support the death penalty? Well, Bill does.
But that's beside the point ...Do you know - guess what - that he's got a book to
His latest book, The New New Rules: A Funny Look at How Everybody but Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass, carries on Maher’s sacred mission to, as he writes in the foreword, “put a voice to life’s gripes, everything from the petty annoyance of that little sticker on your supermarket plum to the brazen injustice of a Supreme Court that sides almost solely with corporations over individuals.” (He’s dedicated the book to his girlfriend, Jasmine Boussem, a French-born entrepreneur he’s dated off and on for the past five years and who’s taking graduate courses in social psychology at Harvard. It’s a serious relationship, but Maher—a sometime visitor to the Playboy Mansion—is still on the fence about giving up his bachelorhood.)
The other surprise is the latest
We're rightfully and righteously annoyed when Pat Buchanan makes reference to the President as "boy", but it's comedy when such remarks issue from Maher's potty mouth. To Maher, the President has been, variously, "President Sanford and Son," a "pussy," not black enough to satisfy his stereotype of blacks as gangstas, and a liar.
Well, Bill's a liar too, for saying he got "empathy for the common man" from his father; but this is a man who regularly assumes that anyone from smalltown America or from the South is an inbred, racist shit-kicker.
I certainly know what it’s like to be poor. I was dirt-poor throughout my late teens and 20s. I lived in the slums of Spanish Harlem, in places that didn’t even have a toilet in the apartment. And that’s good for you, but not for your whole life.”
As if ... and if he did, he chose to do so, and it paid off. From that sanctimonious remark and from the many equally racist remarks he's made in public about the President, I'm beginning to wonder if, someplace in the Lee Atwater lexicon, if "empathy with the common man" is some sort of pejorative euphemism, because that's not all Bill inherited from the old man, not growing up in all-white and affluent River Vale, New Jersey.
As a contribution to his heartfelt cause of Occupy Los Angeles, Maher donated 100 pairs of socks to the protesters, but Maher's got a book to sell and stand-up to pimp, and these people, most likely, have some sort of access to HBO or the internet where they can worship at his altar as undying fans. His Facebook page bears a lot of Ron Paul love, and, indeed, Maher is a fan of Paul's, himself.
Bill Maher has to be relevant, and anyone buying into what he's selling is being conned.
The other thing Bill inherited from his Irish daddy is racism, and he's shown his true colours to such an extent that his other racist friend, Michael Moore has even quoted him.
However, Bill's been rumbled this year, by Atlantic columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates, who has these words of advice for Bill, a dedicated follower of political fashion, who's thrown his fairweather support for the President by the wayside because he's suddenly realised that the President isn't his sort of "black."
If you paid more attention to Obama's skin color, than to his speeches, the voluminous amounts of journalism noting his moderation, his two books which are, themselves, exercises in moderation, then you have chosen to be ignorant.
You are now being punished for that ignorance. No one should feel sorry for you. Try not being racist.
Adam Serwer, writing in Mother Jones, goes one step further in comparing Bill and his mate, Mikey, with Rush Limbaugh.
What Limbaugh, Moore and Maher all have in common is a common, reductive expectation of what a "black man" is supposed to be—aggressive, belligerent, intimidating—and Obama doesn't fit the bill. All three are embracing a paternalistic social tyranny of trying to define the acceptable limits of people's behavior based on their racial background, something that still happens even in America even if you end up being president of the United States. If you're president, though, it's much easier to just brush your shoulders off—dealing with those kind of expectations when you're an average person is considerably more difficult. Especially when the "liberals" are the ones saying stuff like this.
Racism perceived. Racism recognised.
I wonder what Bill's ueber-intelligent, Continental
Not much, I'd hope.