Monday, June 21, 2010


Caught most of this Bill Maher documentary/commentary/comedy-sort-of flick on cable tonight. I had read reviews that said it set up too many straw men to knock down and could have done a more thorough job in terms of research etc. But, in the end, most of his points were pretty well made and hard to argue with.

I would draw the line with "organized religion" and cede the reality that "faith" does bring much solace to many but most religions do breed anti-intellectual unenlightened thinking (interesting that the ones who expressed this best were Catholic priests who sided with science over biblical literalness).

And as often happens when I watch his stand up comedy and sometimes his show, his need to go for the easy sex and/or drug joke is not only sophomoric but dilutes the otherwise relevant and necessary political points he usually scores.

I know plenty of writers, especially poets (myself included) who have written about the kinds of topics Maher takes on, including in this movie, and have done a better job articulating similar points and backing it up with not just personal observation and headlines but with deep research.

But I'm glad Maher's out there doing it because he reaches more people, I'd guess, than almost anyone else trying to make similar points except for John Stewart (and occasionally Colbert).

If you haven't seen it, there are some choice bits that make it worth watching.


Robert G. Zuckerman said...

I'm glad Bill Maher is out there too, although to me what he does is often "preaching to the choir." Making someone else wrong is half the battle and non-effective at that. Reaching in and shedding light is where rare genius lies and nobody I see in mainstream media is doing this now.

Anonymous said...

Maher did a good job in debunking the foundations of many organized religions in the film.

I chuckle at how easily the masses will accept that Astrology is the realm of the Charlatan while its off-spring Astronomy is a science.

Organized religions came to power either through knowledge of things that brought fear or amazement to the people, or through simple military force.

The next great poet destined for immortallity will entertain the fears and faiths that gave rise to religion in the first place. He will conjure an era before Gilgamesh or the Annunaki and enter into an almost psychological portrait of the mind of Man.

Or will it be easier to accept that the Annunaki created Man as workers/slaves and we are the descendants of those created?