When it is about Free Speech and the freedom to express your thoughts, Bill Maher gets it.
Now, let me set the scene before getting to the idea of this piece about people who don't get jokes. Maher isn't an orthodox conservative.
As my co-worker Nick Arama writes in an article:
There's no question that comedian Bill Maher is a liberal. One of the things that makes him fascinating is the fact that he's able to see the hypocrisy that exists on the left and is not afraid to call the left out when he observes it.
While the media focused on the story of what Maher said on Friday regarding the notorious “slap” by Will Smith and his wife's alopecia, there was another topic Maher covered but didn't receive enough press attention -and it's clear why. He talked about his involvement in the Hunter Biden scandal. It wasn't just about what Hunter did and the issue of influence-peddling, but it was about the scandal surrounding the media's efforts to cover it all up. They didn't want it in the news prior to the election because it wouldn't fit into the story they wanted to create for Joe Biden.
The liberal left media was all-in, promoting the image of a nice old Joe Biden who's set to restore “norms” after President Donald Trump has so upset them by his rude tweets. They wanted to shut down anything that might discredit that myth. Videos of his child smoking crack or sending emails concerning “10 percent for the big guy,” and even talking about the possibility of blackmail from Russians and a prostitute could definitely sabotage that image.
So, as you can see, if you're being a good person and people are united, it doesn’t matter whether they agree that the Federal Government should be bigger or smaller. If you're right on any topic, you should support it by backing those who speak about it, no matter whether you agree with them on any other issue.
That brings me back to the current issue: the necessity of explaining humor to those who appear to be idiots. Maher addressed this issue on the last night of his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” on HBO.
Maher does an excellent job of explaining the mechanism behind a joke and what Chris Rock did that night — and how unobtrusive it actually was. I was impressed by the way Maher framed the idea that the war against jokes that could harm your feelings should be put to rest.
We're all fed up with talking about the slap, but I'm sorry, but one more thing must be stated. Comedians have been targeted for a while, and I'm required to stand out from my group of friends. This war on jokes needs to be put to rest.
The argument he makes against cancel culture is spot on. However, it is important to remember that this is a dual issue regardless of the political views you hold.
It is possible you're right. Kathy Griffin holding up a fake headless head of Donald Trump while he was President was a bad idea. In general, with Trump supporters, it was viewed as being a bit over the top and certainly was. But Griffin was not the right person to have been canceled, just as Roseanne Barr, who was an avid Trump fan, shouldn't be canceled because tweets she posted — which were jokes and also not in good taste — were used to force her to cancel her show.
The attempts to be funny can be insensitive, and words may sting. However, the trend to get rid of those who do not think or speak in the hive-like manner of our time is a risky precedent that we should not live with.
At the conclusion of his talk, Maher made the following observation.
The problem is that the people who aren't able to take jokes today aren't elderly ladies living in the Bible Belt, but people who are the Gen Z crowd at elite colleges, where comedy has a chance to end. The kids used to go to college and shed their virginity, but now they are able to go to college and lose any ability to laugh.
You've done it.
I don't have to agree with Bill Maher on very many issues to see that he's spot-on in dispelling the absurdity of wokeness and cancel culture. It's a debate worth having since it's an argument over the possibility that opinions can be expressed in a variety of ways, no matter what the opinion of any one.
I'll be with Bill Maher all day, all day long, on this issue.