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Friday, November 23, 2018

BILL MAHER : a man who can't step away from the megaphone

Image result for bill maher stan leeThere more pressing matters to argue about in this uncooperative existence, but the recent claptrap comedian and gadfly Bill Maher wrote about the recently departed comic book maven Stan Lee reveals a man who has an opinion on everything, including matters he hasn't, it seems, given much thought to. The short form is that Maher is tired to fans cooing that the comic book writer, co-creator of many of the Marvel comic book heroes who have come to dominate the box office with their movie adaptations, was a genius on a par with Shakespeare, a true literary master of the universe. It's easy enough to deflate those claims with a more level-headed approach to appraising the artistic worth of comics as an art form, but Maher is no centrist on the matter. Cuing up his familiar dumbing-down-of-America riff and in short, order coughs up the equation that Donald Trump is President because someone decided that Comic Books Are Important. I am, of course, increasingly irritated with Maher's smug egalitarianism even if I agree with him on many issues. The slam against Lee wasn't insightful or revealing of anything other than Maher's cheerful willingness to be mean-spirited. He was cruel. I will leave more detailed and historically astute counter-arguments to Maher's claim that superheroes have seduced the American population into believing violence and rugged individualism solves our problems, democratic traditions are damned, to others. On the matter as to whether comic books have made us collectively dumber, there is not much, if any data, to support the assertion. Anecdotedly, I have never met a comic book fan, in my 66 years of life as writer, musician, artist, bookseller, who was dumb, illiterate, or unaware of what was happening in the news. Anecdotedly, I would say the legion of comic book fans I know are a smart bunch of folks. Not everyone is an Einstein or a Gore Vidal or a Susan Sontag, or a Neil Tyson DeGrasse, nor do they have to be. Maher, who ought to know better, denies them their humanity and implicates them in the origins of the "Slow moving coupe" of the Alt-Right merging with the American mainstream. Maher's hot take on the passing of Lee and his cultural legacy is controversy created where none need to have existed. Other matters about Lee need to be discussed, debated, researched, a longer view of his work needs to be done, but equating him with a growing trend toward strongman politics is the rant of a blister brained dumbfuck who spends his life yelling from the bus stop, a man with no bus fare and no direction . 

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Barry Alfonso:
Maher wouldn't know how to count the change for the bus fare if it dropped into his hand. He is a bronchial punk who has been lingering at the free lunch bar of public opinion for way too long. I remember him saying years ago what a nice pal he found Ann Coulter to be. I am all for trans-ideological comity and all that, but she is an anal wart upon the body politic. Bill and Ann should hang out together behind the Velvet Hammer waiting for the wet laundry to dry by the septic tank.

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