Friday, October 10, 2014

A Commentary on Commentary

I guess Bill Maher is taking some heat for some things he said about Islam, in a discussion or debate, or something, with Ben Affleck.

I didn't see his show, and I never do, but the commentary on it has been somewhat interesting, although not for the reasons its supposed to be.

First of all, I'm amazed that Maher, in his commentary, apparently made the comment that Islam was different from other religions due to an attachment to violence.  The reason I'm amazed that Maher made that comment as he usually picks on Christianity, or rather Catholicism specifically.  Apparently his father fell away from the Church when Maher was in his mid teens, and whatever got his father rolling stuck to Maher and he's been a died in the wool hater of the Church since.  So there's a real degree of irony here in that died in the wool Islamist probably would be justified in thinking, "hey Bill, we thought we had your back".  They probably don't think that, however, as they probably don't know or care who Maher is.

For that matter, I don't know why we care what Maher has to say on these topics.  Maher is a species of comedian, sort of, and Affleck is an actor.  Maher has made a career out of Snark, a sort of juvenile minor sarcasm that tends to be of the type affected by middle school boys whose parents have told them that they're really smart, but who suspect that they aren't as smart as they've been told. We've all been there in that class, and there's always some almost witty kid who acts like he's super witty, and who is genuinely occasionally funny, but at the same time, you don't really figure he's a truly Big Brain.  Maher has been lucky that just enough people like middle school humor, and that he is genuinely occasionally funny, that he's done well at it.  But he still displays that condescending smile that tends to portray the message, "I'm funny, right? Right guys?" 

I don't care what Maher dose and I don't watch him.  He's not Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld or even Steven Colbert, but if folks want to watch him, so be it.  I just don't get why anyone really cares what he has to say on anything really serious.  For that matter, why would we care what Ben Affleck thinks either.

It's really odd that celebrity entertainment status translates into an illusion of gravitas.  Frankly, it's disturbing that it does.

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