UPDATE: Bill Maher, Hypocrite And Coward…HBO Too

I guess no good deed really does go unpunished: I stand up for the vile and hateful comedian’s legitimate use of “nigger” in a witticism on live TV, and the former host of “Politically Incorrect” caves to political correctness, which he has sworn repeatedly that he will never do.

What a spineless, hypocritical weasel.

In 2011, when Maher was asked about calling Sarah Palin “a cunt” and “dumb twat,” Maher was bold and unbowed:

“Well, you know, I’ve been through this so many times. There’s a lot of people in America who have, of course, nothing to do except look for something to get mad at. And I’ve been a frequent target and I’m happy to provide that service. So, you know, I always say, as I’ve said many times in these kind of situations, if I hurt somebody’s feelings, I’m always sorry about that, I’m not trying to hurt somebody’s feelings. But if you want me to say I’m sorry what I said was wrong, no, sorry, I can’t go there.”

I guess what he meant is that he can’t go there when he’s only using vile language to denigrate conservative women who feminists and NOW don’t regard as worthy of their alleged principles, in attacks that make his ideologically sympatico crowd secretly snicker and chuckle because those twats deserve it.

This time, however, he offended the all-powerful race grievance lobby by calling himself—himself! a “house nigger,” in a “Gone With The Wind” reference prompted by a Republican Senator asking him if he’d do field work. Lacking the integrity and fierce belief in the Jester’s Privilege that he has proclaimed before when it wasn’t progressives carrying the torches and pitchforks, Maher capitulated like Galileo, even though in this case, he had been neither vicious nor insulting, just “offensive” to those who want to ban words—you know: liberals.

The hypocrite said,

“Friday nights are always my worst night of sleep because I’m up reflecting on the things I should or shouldn’t have said on my live show. Last night was a particularly long night as I regret the word I used in the banter of a live moment. The word was offensive and I regret saying it and am very sorry.”

“If  I hurt somebody’s feelings, I’m always sorry about that, I’m not trying to hurt somebody’s feelings. But if you want me to say I’m sorry what I said was wrong, no, sorry, I can’t go there” is, as they used to say in the Nixon Administration, “non-operative.” Unless the ones hurt don’t vote democratic.

So “house nigger” is offensive, but cunt and twat are not. And of course “cockholster” is acceptable. Are those the sanctioned standards of of Hollywood and progressives now? I just want to be sure I have them straight.

Maher is a craven phony for the ages.

HBO is no better. “Bill Maher’s comment last night was completely inexcusable and tasteless,” an HBO statement said. “We are removing his deeply offensive comment from any subsequent airings of the show.”

This means, by definition, that “cunt” and “twat” were not offensive, correct? Why is that, exactly? Right: because they were applied to Republicans.  Do you think the uproar would have caused such a statement and Maher’s apology if “house nigger” was used to describe Clarence Thomas or Ben Carson? Toure kept his job with ESPN after calling Carson a slave and a “house negro.” But that’s completely different. Sure it is.

There was a time when I could at least give credit to the smug, repulsive, biased and mean-spirited host of “Real Time” for having the courage of his convictions. That was obviously a mistaken conclusion. Bill Maher has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Thank goodness he didn’t use the term “niggardly.” When his Liberal Masters gasped, Maher would have undoubtedly apologized for that, too.

 

77 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Humor and Satire, language, Literature, Popular Culture, Professions

77 responses to “UPDATE: Bill Maher, Hypocrite And Coward…HBO Too

  1. Mob rule is winning.

    The end.

  2. I hear you. As a Christian, I had long given up hope for the guy after many a battering of my beliefs, but as an American, I had continued to give him latitude and my occasional audience. Caving into what little criticism I have heard regarding his mere use of words, as a Christian and an American it makes him intolerable and that surprisingly makes me sad.

  3. “Maher is a craven phony for the ages.”

    Jack, were there a Pulitzer Prize for a “One Sentence Sentence” category, I’d recommend you dust a place off’n your mantel!

  4. Spartan

    Please stop saying it is a GWTW reference. It is a reference to slavery in general and anyone who has studied that period at all knows that there was a hierarchy on plantations. He was not quoting a movie or book, he made a joke about something that should never be joked about.

    • It is likely a GWTW reference, and I assume that’s why Maher’s brain went there. That was where I learned about the house/field distinction and hierarchy; of course, we will never know. I believe in the benefit of the doubt. Maher maintains that a comic can joke about anything…and if its funny, in the right place, he’s right. Just calling someone a cunt isn’t a joke; neither is just saying “fuck,” like Jon Stewart and Maher do routinely. Your issue, however, was not at issue. It was the word, and only the word, not slavery.

      • Wait—are you saying that “slave,” slave-holder,” and “slavery” should be banned too? The “s-words?” Sure, why not?

        • Spartan

          Slave is not a bad word, but a white male millionaire should never make a joke using the “n” word. And while slavery is not a taboo topic, it’s hard for me to imagine a white comic being able to use it effectively in a comedy routine.

          • Spartan: Why, exactly, is this word so terrible? Seriously asking for an explanation.

            Who gets to decide what words are okay? Why is it okay for one race to say a word, but not another? Either the word is intrinsically bad, or you have no leg to stand on in banning it.

          • So a poor white guy can say it? Or a rich white woman? Is there a loophole for gay men?

            • I left Spartan’s hanging curve for someone else to hit out of the park. Thanks. I wonder what makes smart people accept such patently ridiculous constructs? With someone like Spartan, there is at least a chance that there will be a sudden CLANG followed by, “Wait…what the hell am I saying?”

            • How about Rachel Dolezal? Caitlin Jenner? Caitlin Jenner identifying as Rachel Dolezal? Samuel L. Jackson playing Caitlin Jenner as Simon Legree? Can Nick Berg’s family hold up Trump’s bloody head? Can a mentally challenged person call someone else a retard? Can Bill Maher? Can Ben Stiller?

            • Chris Bentley

              No fair, it was my turn to hit a home run! Seriously though, I was just coming on to point out the lack of logic associated with Spartan’s statement.

              It never fails, anything, ANY action, can always be made worse by attaching any combination of “rich”, “white”, and “male” to it, even if “rich” and “male” are comically out of place in this context.

              • You gotta be quick around here, CB!

                • Spartan

                  Whatever. I really don’t think anyone can make this topic funny, but the last person who should try is a white millionaire. And let me follow that with a profound “duh.”

                  • Great: different approved vocabulary and expression tools distributed by race and class. (When in a hole, stop digging.)

                    • Spartan

                      I didn’t write that post thinking that your peanut gallery would agree with me. As Deery pointed out — context matters.

                  • Chris Bentley

                    Why? Why does someone’s income status make it “worse” when they make an inappropriate joke that has to do with race?

                    I dont KNOW that you believe this, and if deep down, you do, I’m sure you’d never admit it, but I recognize that for many on the left, they truly see “black” and “poor” as 1 in the same, so when a white person with money makes the joke, it’s as if there punching down x2.

    • Chris Bentley

      Sincere questions, and Im only asking, regarding your standards, not standards that society should be expected to follow, which you obviously cannot speak for.

      Why should it never be joked about? Is it a word that’s only offensive to blacks, or to all? If only to blacks, why is it ok for other blacks to joke about it, when it’s offensive to me, regardless of who makes the joke? And if its offensive to everyone, b/c of the ugliness of the word, why do you get to claim offense to (and police the language of) a word that, historically, has little to do with oppressing you?

      CAN blacks joke about it? Why/why not? Irregardless of how other blacks feel about that word being used? How black do you have to be…can Mr. Obama or Tiger Woods make those jokes? And can people make those jokes when in the company of people whom are cool with such jokes, and thus, no one could possibly be offended? Does the race of the joke maker matter then?

      This is but a drop of water in the ocean of nuance that comes along with attempting to police the use of language, especially when making allowances for certain demographics to use certain words, but not others.

  5. Wayne

    “When the going gets tough, the wimps take off.”

  6. wyogranny

    “It’s not possible for me to think less of Bill Maher. But there is still room below their current position for most progressives. But it’s amazing how quickly the descent can accelerate. For me disgust for progressive antics to quote Hemingway has been like going bankrupt. “Gradually and then suddenly.” I’m still in the gradually stage for Republicans. It’s difficult to break out of years of loyal Republicanism. I have a feeling that the next 4 years will complete the cycle for them. This leaves me with very few options. How can you vote responsibly in a cycle like this?

    I sometimes think a sudden and permanent end to the 24 hour news/outrage cycle would be a very good thing.

    • Several options exist to end the news cycle, ‘granny. None of them are good things, from our point of view.

      Government shutting it down

      EMP/CME

      Nuclear war

      Invasion

      Pandemic

      And the ever popular ‘Zombie Apocalypse’

      😉

      • The order progresses from my opinion of most probable (if not likely) to most improbable to absurd…

        • As if I weren’t depressed enough.
          But, of course, you’re right. History repeats itself and the end of a civilization also ends the structures within it. It would be so nice (the wistful beaten up hope I still harbor) if people could remember history and reverse the fall. I’m so angry that both political parties seem to be unable to recognize the damage they’re doing or bring themselves to stop it.

  7. Steve-O-in-NJ

    The progressives do not hesitate to eat their own on some issues, although I didn’t initially think this was on the level of Helen Thomas’s dementia-fueled anti-Semitism.

  8. HBO is calling it “completely inexcusable.”

    Before this is over, the reference “completely inexcusable” will have “evolved.”

    • Chris Bentley

      Having trouble understanding, from HBO’s perspective, exactly why it’s “completely inexcusable”, but repeated use of the word on “The Wire” is fine.

      • ”but repeated use of the word on ‘The Wire’ is fine.”

        C’mon, everyone knows the “The Wire” deftly injects symbolism into accurately depicted content that is symbolically devoid of symbols.

        It’s also intersectioning historically unacceptable cultural appropriation.

        In addition, your query manifests White Privilege with a heapin’ helpin’ of oppressively EVIL socially constructed Y-Chromosomal Patriarchy and thus might be crossing a line.

        I’m just not sure where it is anymore, they keep moving it.

      • deery

        Having trouble understanding, from HBO’s perspective, exactly why it’s “completely inexcusable”, but repeated use of the word on “The Wire” is fine.

        Why does everyone turn into pedantic idiots around this issue? The same reason why it is “completely inexcusable” to be photographed with a disembodied, bloody dummy Trump head, but perhaps a movie showing the killing of a president wouldn’t be. Context matters. It really, really does. We take that for granted in pretty much every other realm, but we turn into a particularly slow three year old around this.

        Imagine if Maher had said something like, “Wow, I lost so much weight, I look like a concentration camp victims! Ha-ha!” Then people rush to his defense, “I mean, ‘The Producers make fun of the Holocaust so… ” “Oh, he’s actually making fun of himself, so it’s ok.” “Well, historically, concentration camp victims did lose a lot of weight, so….” Just ridiculous.

        Maher deserves some blowback for his latest incident, though not a huge amount. He at least has the excuse that it was off the cuff and not planned. He’ll probably just hunker down until the next outrage of the day pops up.

        • Chris

          I really can’t believe we’re debating whether white comedians should use the n word as part of a joke here. It’s a settled issue.

          • There is no such rule, or law, or principle. There are no banned words, and contact and intent matter. I don’t think there is any debate either, just ideological excuses for the chilling of free expression. Language is equally accessible to all, and color, faith, ethnicity and gender has nothing to do with who can use a word to express what they want to express, when they want to express it. Does it hurt? Is it intended to hurt? Is the person who claims it is hurtful credible in the reasons they are offended? (No, “you can’t use the word” is not credible.)

          • It is a settled issue? Who were the parties to the settlement? Was it a class-action suit? Who settled it and what was the settlement? What are its terms? When did it go into effect? Can I get a certified copy of it so that I can keep it for my records?

        • Chris Bentley

          I do not understand the concentration camp analogy, at all, so I’ll leave it alone.

          And, yes, context does matter. However, that word, the N word, is a word historically used as a way to dehumanize, delegitimize, and demean people who look like me. I take offense to the word being used. I take offense EVERY TIME I hear that word used, regardless of the race of the user. However, my offense is lessened, somewhat, when the intent of the user is clearly not pejorative towards someone else. So, why am I justified in being offended when a white (rich? male?) comic uses that word; why can it not just be explained away with, “Don’t like it? Don’t watch”, but I am not justified in being equally offended when it’s used in The Wire?

          Is it because The Wire is a fictional depiction of what life on the streets of Baltimore is really like, and in that context, it’s ok? Is it because only the black characters (I imagine; I’ve never watched) used that word? Do we really think that there aren’t hispanic and/or white drug dealers, in the real word, who use that word? So if that is depicted, fictionally, in a television show, it’s now ok? If they’re referring to a peer positively, rather than pejoratively, it’s ok? When I’m watching a biography of the life of slaveowners in the 19th century, and they use that word, to remain historically accurate, am I allowed to be offended then? Because I, for the life of me, do not understand the rules of when it’s ok to use a disgusting, hateful, racist, dehumanizing word, and when it’s not.

          How about you help me understand in what context its ok, and in what context it’s not, rather that just blithely explaining it away with a generic, “context matters”.

          • deery

            Well, the whole point of context, is well, context. I can’t tell you, personally when you should get offended. Get offended by anything or everything, it’s no skin off my nose.

            But generally speaking, people, in large enough numbers, tend to get offended by words in certain contexts rather than others. For the n-word, people may get offended when black people use it, which is no surprise, as it is one of the most transgressive words in the American English language. But people don’t tend to think a black person saying it is racist. In fiction, most people don’t get as offended if a black person says it, or if it is considered “true to life.” In real life, any person can discuss the word in an academic sense without most people getting too upset. These are broad, general rules, but they cover most situations.

            Though if course, anyone can say anything. You won’t go to jail. But it is a transgressive word, so just realize that if you play around with it, you might get burnt. As is the case with most societal taboo topics and words.

            • Chris Bentley

              “But people don’t tend to think a black person saying it is racist.”

              Im gonna push back a bit against that…I can’t prove the following (any more than you can prove “most people don’t get as offended if a black person says it”), but I’d wager that most whites and blacks (all 3 of us) on the right recognize that it’s racist when a black person says a word obviously steeped in racism, but tells others that they can’t say a word obviously steeped in racism, because it’s a racist word, steeped in racism. I’d also wager that a healthy # of independents, and even a few on the left (the moderate ones) recognize it too, but would never dare say so.

              • Disclaimer: I was raised to not use this word. It was not a part of civil conversation, any more than ‘cunt, ‘twat’ or even ‘SOB.’ Such was Central Texas Southern Baptist in the 1980s.

                This is one reason why the progressives lost to Trump. The nonsense virtue signalling, the faux outrage, the pure hypocrisy of the Left wears on the common citizen. Government ‘spins’ and lies (both sides of the aisle) had gotten into fevered dream areas, before Trump, where legitimate problems were ‘spun away’ with double speak, and the innocent were blamed. (‘White people are to blame for Detroit’s poverty because… Racism! when democrats have run that cesspool for decades’ is an example. Hillary getting a pass for crimes most common Americans would go -and have gone- to jail for is another.)

                Trump said what everyone was thinking. Crap stinks no matter who laid it, and the BS had gotten to the point where Americans were told to believe the propaganda instead of ‘their lying eyes’ by their elected Government. Hillary promised more of the same. Simple choice.

        • Spartan

          Sheesh Deery — haven’t you been keeping track? We should be outraged over a decapitated Trump head in a z-list comedienne’s photo shoot, renaming stadiums because of obviously overblown human rights issues, taking travel rights away from convicted pedophiles, all-female showings of Wonder Woman, the notion that Black lives matter, kicking Nazis out of private gyms, and the fact that all legitimate Conservative and Liberal columnists think our President is a “total disaster.” But n-word jokes? Please!

          • Lame, desperate, and embarrassing. Those all are conduct, see. Not mere words. It’s not a tough distinction.
            You need a nap.

            • deery

              Ah, so if only Griffin had merely just jokingly said, “We should behead Trump!” then everything would have been cool by you?

              • Bias is making you and Spartan dumber and dumber. See, that kind of rhetoric in political discourse promotes incivility and concourse, anger and hate. Like calling the President a cockholster on national TV. Like the CNN host who called him a “piece of shit”. Like Anderson Cooper evoking him taking a dump on his desk. Specific target, office that is owed moderation of discourse, speaker who is exceeding the professional limits of his or her conduct. Intent to denigrate. Is this really so hard for you?

                Maher’s used a word to describe himself, making a historical and cultural allusion. Nobody was being denigrated or attacked, and he was making a joke. Everyone knew it was a joke. He SAID it was a joke immediately. We don’t have taboo words under our system, and we especially don’t have words some people can use and others cannot.

                • deery

                  “It was just a joke !” has never been a sufficient ethical excuse…well, for most people, at any rate. Maher made a joke about a very horrific time in our nation’s history, comparing himself to a “pampered” slave, and wrinkling his nose at those forced to toil in the fields. And he also used a racial epithet while doing so. It being a joke does not save the gaffe, it just makes it worse.

                  And of course, we do have “taboo” words in this culture, like every other culture. Otherwise, why the outrage over calling Palin a “cunt”? We don’t have *illegal* words, but that is a different story. And we have plenty of taboo words that some people are “allowed” to say (that is, without too much social opprobrium), that others can’t say. One can usually say denigrating words about ones own group without too much blowback, whatever that group might consist of. You might not like that this is the case, but as it stands, the social reality exists.

                  • 1. No, he didn’t make a joke about that at all. Slavery wasn’t the topic of the joke. Maher was.
                    2. Because it was a gender based misogynistic denigarion using gutter language. Not that the word by itself is “taboo.”

                    Willfully and inexplicably obtuse.

                    • deery

                      Perhaps I am being obtuse.

                      Explicate the difference to you between “gutter language” and “taboo words.” Note that taboo doesn’t mean banned or illegal under law, just restricted by social custom. “Cunt” is gutter language because it is taboo, so I don’t see your distinction.

                    • Chris

                      “1. No, he didn’t make a joke about that at all. Slavery wasn’t the topic of the joke. Maher was.”

                      Now this is obtuse. Maher was making a comparison between himself and a particular type of slave. It was an offensive comparison, using an offensive word. I get the reference just fine, and I honestly do not understand what you think is funny about it. You really think this joke, of all jokes, was worth the drama?

                    • So if he had said “I’m a house worker, massa, not a field worker,” he would have been under the same attack and would have apologized/ Tell me another. It was the word, and just the word. You and deery and Spartan are shifting the goalposts because the original attack on Maher was pure language censorship, not substance, and is untenable.

                    • deery

                      So if he had said “I’m a house worker, massa, not a field worker,” he would have been under the same attack and would have apologized. Tell me another.

                      Yes. Look at the furor surrounding Leslie Jones, a comedian on SNL, when she made a joke comparing herself to a field slave. It strikes many of the same notes as this incident, except she didn’t use any racial epithets.

                    • The quote in the original post:

                      “He said ‘nigger’ with a HARD ASS Rrrrrrrrrruh, so that makes this extra offensive,” said The Root’s Monique Judge. “His show needs to be canceled.”

                      Sure sound like the word is the issue to me.

                      I remember the Leslie Jones controversy, and she was widely and correctly defended. She didn’t lose her job, SNL and NBC didn’t pronounce what she wrote and acted in as “disgusting” and “unacceptable”, and she didn’t apologize. 1) the criticism was based on content, not words, and 2) she didn’t get the automatic knee jerk attacks that Maher is getting. She got intelligent defenses like this, from Jay Milani: (PS: It was a smart, funny skit)…

                      Are comedians allowed to make fun of their own races? Does identifying with a certain race give someone justification to make racist jokes about that race? Where is the line drawn? These questions are the basis of a heated debate over a recent controversial SNL skit, “Slave Draft” featuring SNL actress Leslie Jones. In the skit, Jones, an African American female, jokes about her physique by claiming she would have been far more appealing as a bachelorette in the slavery era.

                      Jones received sharp criticism for her skit from blogger Torchy Brown and ebony.com senior editor Jamilah Lemieuz, both fellow African American females. Brown tweeted, “Shame on you #Leslie Jones. U combined all the disgusting stereotypes about black women & insulted your enslaved ancestors at the same time” while Lemieuz wrote, “That is why we wanted Black women in the writers’ room in the first place, to prevent exactly this”. Brown’s response seems to carry accusations of internalized oppression – accusations of accepting and embracing stereotypes about black women – but the credibility of this argument doesn’t have as much strength with regard to comedy. As discussed in class, many comedians write racist jokes/skits to raise awareness on racial issues in society. In response to criticism, Jones tweeted, “I’m a comic it is my job to take things and make them funny to make you think. This joke was written from the pain that one night I realized that black men don’t really f*** with me and why am I single” – clearly, Jones understands the pain of these stereotypes from a firsthand perspective and was making light of them in an effort to raise awareness. So Lemieuz’s comments also come into question. While Lemieuz argues that Jones’ presence on SNL should eliminate racism towards black women, Jones seems to argue that her addition to SNL expands the potential of the show to discuss more racial/sexist issues. Again we are brought back to the introductory questions, wondering what the purpose of comedy is and what comedians can/can’t do when dealing with racism.

                      Brown’s comments also criticized Jones for joking about slavery. This criticism includes interesting implications that no one can make fun of slavery, not even black people. The group of thought Brown brings this argument from is mainly based on the beliefs that slavery should flat out never be made fun of and that black people today can’t make fun of it because they were not slaves themselves; Lemieuz mentions in an article online, in bold lettering, “Leslie Jones is not a slave”. Lemieuz’s words here are contradictory in that she suggests because Jones is not a slave she cannot perform comedy on slavery while she also mentioned that Jones’ comedy on racial stereotypes about black women was not justified by her being black. Jones’ twitter response mentioned earlier indicated that she didn’t mean any harm, that she was only trying to use the topic in a funny and productive manner – Jones has the right intentions, but has clearly offended many people, most notably people of her own race! So where is the line drawn on this topic? Though Lemieuz remains critical of Jones’ skit, it should be noted that she includes some questioning as a side note in her article, encouraging readers to comment on which jokes should be allowed in racial comedy – but has no comment on whether anyone gets exclusive privilege to make certain racist jokes.

                      A final point of conversation in this debate concerns a part of Jones’ twitter comments in which she stated, “Now I’m betting if Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle did that joke…they would be called brilliant”. Jones is addressing intersectionality and the clear gender double standard still very prominent in society towards black women. In this case Lemieuz agrees there is discrimination towards women, but argues that the comedians mentioned did their most controversial work in a time without the strong social media presence there is today, so there wasn’t as much backfire towards them as there would be today, stating she would be the first to fire back if either of them made a skit as appalling as Jones’.

                      I invite you to think about these issues for yourself. How do the factors of one’s race, one’s experiences, and one’s gender tie into what they can get away with in racial comedy? When is a racist joke acceptable versus unacceptable? Are you with Leslie Jones or with Brown and Lemieuz? I personally believe that this world is so large and diverse that there will always be some people offended by anything on such controversial topics. That being said, I believe that racial comedy does carry the potential to be an effective medium for racism awareness, but that discretion warnings should be issued to minimize the offense created by the jokes.

                    • deery

                      So if he had said “I’m a house worker, massa, not a field worker,” he would have been under the same attack and would have apologized. Tell me another.

                      You expressed some doubts that if he had just joked about slavery, without the epithet, that there would have been the same furor. I gave an example of Jones, a black comedian even, who also came under similar fire for just joking about slavery. She came very close to being fired, and the incident is still remembered as a huge gaffe for SNL. But neither she nor Maher have been fired from their respective shows. As shown by the Jones incident, I don’t think it was just the word, but the word compounded the situation.

                    • Chris

                      So if he had said “I’m a house worker, massa, not a field worker,” he would have been under the same attack and would have apologized/ Tell me another. It was the word, and just the word. You and deery and Spartan are shifting the goalposts because the original attack on Maher was pure language censorship, not substance, and is untenable.

                      I’d find him saying “massa” kind of offensive, since he’d be doing a stereotypical black slave voice. But “nigger” is worse.

                      There was no reason for him to compare himself to a slave at all–it wasn’t funny. It was just stupid.

                • Chris

                  “We don’t have taboo words under our system, and we especially don’t have words some people can use and others cannot.”

                  Who is this “we?” Obviously, society does have words like this, otherwise we wouldn’t even be talking about Maher right now.

                  • WE is the United States of America. I dangerous sub-culture wants to cripple communications by banning words, and you are apparently on board, but WE, that is, those who stand on the crucial side of free expression and democracy.

                    I realized that this is a law vs ethics dispute, with you and your allies claiming that rules are the way to ensure ethics. Stunning, given what we discuss here. I would never direct “nigger” at a group, individual or human being, because it’s wrong to do so, not because some authority has banned the word or declared it taboo, or in Spartan’s crazy system, is limited according to color and income. But I adapted and directed a professional production of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in which “nigger” was used by multiple characters over a hundred times, because that was necessary to the play.

                    • deery

                      You seem to be deliberately confusing and conflating the banning of words with whether or not we actually do have taboo words in American society.

                      Of course we have taboo words in this society; words that if used in broad company outside of narrow contexts will normally subject the user to social sanction. Most involve sexual function or organs, elimination of bodily wastes, and/or insulting words about defined groups, most especially when the group definition arises from immutable characteristics.

                    • TABOO: proscribed by society as improper or unacceptable:
                      Synonyms: prohibited, banned, forbidden, proscribed.
                      Antonyms: allowed, permitted, permissible; sanctioned.
                      2.prohibited or excluded from use or practice:

                      We do NOT have taboo words. We have rude words, offensive words, hurtful words, ugly words…but no taboo words.
                      However , members of a group that I am always criticizing for trying to accurately name frequently advocate “proscribing” words. If they can “proscribe” nigger, they can “proscribe” personal responsibility, racebaiting, and victim-mongering.

                    • deery

                      Taboo: prohibited or restricted by social custom.

                      I think once again, you on this subject are being unnecessarily pedantic. It is beyond question that we have certain words that are restricted or forbidden by social custom (try saying “fuck” on NBC at 8pm, or at the next town meeting).

                      We have rude words, offensive words, hurtful words, ugly words…but no taboo words.

                      All of those tend to fall into the broader category of taboo words. We aren’t talking about being thrown in jail for using those words in public, but people certainly might shun you, you could be fired, and people might upbraid you for the word usage. Social sanctions, in other words. I don’t think there is a better word to fit the disparate words that fall into that category besides “taboo.”

                    • Or “cockholster” on a CBS late night show? “Fuck” once got an SNL actor fired. No more.

                    • Chris

                      WE is the United States of America. I dangerous sub-culture wants to cripple communications by banning words, and you are apparently on board, but WE, that is, those who stand on the crucial side of free expression and democracy.

                      Oh, brother.

                      It is not a “subculture” that finds the word in question offensive; it’s the culture at large. Yours is the minority opinion on this issue. That doesn’t mean your larger point is wrong, but it does mean your specific point about cultures and subcultures is wrong.

                      But I adapted and directed a professional production of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” in which “nigger” was used by multiple characters over a hundred times, because that was necessary to the play.

                      Yes, that was necessary to the play. Can you make a similar argument that Maher’s use of the word was necessary to his show?

            • Spartan

              I was talking about outrage, and yes we can be outraged over conduct or speech, even if it is protected. Perhaps I do need a nap — or perhaps I’m sleeping now and when I wake I’ll discover that President Sir-Grabs-A-Pussy was just a bad dream.

          • deery

            Well, the liberals are the sensitive snowflakes, everyone knows that. I guess it’s time for me to protest Starbucks issuing the holiday cup in green, rather than red. It’s a much better use of time than those “sensitive liberals” standing up to Nazis or taking the time to explain why one should not casually denigrate slaves.

          • Chris Bentley

            1) Here’s one on the right that DOES NOT believe you should be outraged over Griffen’s actions, and finds it hypocritical that many on the right are engaging in the same manufactured outrage that we often accuse the left of engaging in. What she did was stupid, shortsighted, self-destructive, and in poor taste…and she’s well within her right to do so. I do not call for her sponsors to drop her, though I shed no tears when they do.

            2) No one worth listening to, disputes that black lives matter. NO ONE. We dispute that they do not matter more. It’s not equality to pretend like they do.

            3) Why is one small isolated example of what is clearly discrimination ok?

            4) Yes, kicking Nazi’s out of private gyms is wrong, IMO, because, IMO, the people who do the labeling of others as “Nazis” have a LONG track record of engaging in extreme hyperbole, exaggeration, slander simply to make a point so obvious, you can’t help but miss it. So, I do not trust these people to determine who the Nazis are, and aren’t For a clear cut example, see: Nasheed, Tariq

            And even when someone is clearly a white supremacist, until they act on it in a way that threatens the safety of I or others, I do not care where they do business, and will not refrain from using a company simply b/c one of their clients is a WS. Thoughts are not crimes.

            5) Who’s saying you can’t get outraged by n-word jokes? But how about we do away with b/s double standards?

          • This comment bothers me so much—for it is so illogical—I have to elaborate…

            1. a decapitated Trump head is a breach of civility and responsible political discourse, courts hate and creates anger, and is per se irresponsible, a Golden Rule breach, and calculated to hurt and upset people, including family members, just to do so.

            2. “renaming stadiums because of obviously overblown human rights issues” is a straw man. Martina has every reason to be upset, and Court has breached her duty to the game and its players by preaching intolerance. It should be re-named. I never said it shouldn’t. Who said the human rights issues were overblown?

            3. Taking travel rights away from convicted and punished pedophiles is pre-crime and a human rights violation that would be unconstitutional in the US. You’re a lawyer and this doesn’t bother you?

            4. all-female showings of Wonder Woman are illegal, just like all white showings, because theaters are public accommodations. Yes, equal protection under the law matters. See reference to your law degree above.

            5. “the notion that Black lives matter”…straw man, and gross misrepresentation of anything that has ever been written here. Shame on you.

            6.kicking Nazis out of private gyms is discrimination and invidious discrimination based on free expression and beliefs, and no different than kicking a Jew out of a gym.

            7.the fact that all legitimate Conservative and Liberal columnists think our President is a “total disaster.” 1) Not a fact at all and 2) what people think has never been a topic of discussion here. They can think what they want.

            And the word is “nigger.” If you can’t use the word you are talking about, then talk abut something else. N-word means “nigger,’ so use “nigger.” In a free, non Orwellian society, we don’t control thought and expression by banning words. And no, using a word in a manner not designed to attack, denigrate or harm, but for other reasons is not on the same planet of the few issues above that you didn’t distort beyond all justification.

            Shocking comment.

            • By the way, if you call a black man a “dumb N-word” is that better than using the actual word? I don’t think so,

            • Spartan

              I’ve been giving the Wonder Woman thing a lot of thought, and have come up with the following for you to ponder.

              1. Bowling alleys have male league nights and female league nights. No other bowlers allowed.
              2. Public pools have girl swim meets and boy swim meets. Otherwise closed to the public. (We get kicked out at least once a month.)
              3. Same as #2 for a plethora of other sporting events. E.g., my sister belongs to an all women golf league.
              4. Lots of bars have ladies night. Now, I will grant you that men are not banned, but I have been to some of these and have never seen a man.
              5. Professional women only organizations — such as DC Women’s Bar Association.

              I will admit that if I owned a theater, I would not have a women’s only event, BUT I might have a women’s half price event or otherwise call an event ladies’ night. If a few men come, whatever, but I think most would stay away. Importantly, I would only structure it that way to avoid the Much Ado About Nothing Police though. And the reason why the Much Ado police are particularly ridiculous here is that Wonder Woman symbolizes female empowerment. So men choose this one to get all crazed about instead of female bowling league night? The irony is off the charts! Who cares if a theater wants a female only showing? I can’t even get my husband to see this movie with me — so I am going with my mom, sister, niece, and daughters. I guess we are creating our own mini female power night.

              As for the N word, no, I will not use it. For the record, there are a lot of profane words that I do not say. I was raised to never even take the Lord’s name in vain, and swearing does not come all that naturally to me at all. I also do not make concentration camp or slavery jokes, but I guess I am just a wimpy, sensitive, liberal — not a compassionate human being.

              • Chris

                I can’t even get my husband to see this movie with me — so I am going with my mom, sister, niece, and daughters. I guess we are creating our own mini female power night.

                He is missing out; it’s the best DC Comics movie since 2008’s The Dark Knight. I realize that’s damning with faint praise, but it’s actually very good on its own merits, not just compared with the past few abominations to emerge from the DC Cinematic Universe.

                • Chris, I agree that DC Comics has not translated well into movies. Bateman versus Superman? What a dumb movie to make! I hope WW is better: we will see it this weekend with friends.

                  • Especially since Bateman was just a certified public accountant who took karate classes on weekends. What a ridiculous premise!

                  • Chris

                    It’s much better. Batman v Superman and to a lesser extent, Man of Steel were both terrible because no one involved actually understood either character, which is why we get a sad, moody Superman who kills villains and barely saves anyone and a Batman who tortures criminals by branding them with a bat symbol for literally no reason, and who has no Plan B after “kill Superman.”

                    But the writers and director of the Wonder Woman movie clearly understand and love the character, heart and soul. That love translates directly to the audience. It is hard to invest in a character if the person writing them doesn’t care about them.

              • Chris Bentley

                Spartan, though I may disagree with you on many (most? all? Nah, not quite all…) topics on EA, I am with you on your decision no tot use that word, as well as using the Lord’s name in vain. I, too, was raised to never use certain words, have chosen not to use others, and if language from me to others gets a little muddles as a result, then so be it.

                And for the record, because I absolutely hate narratives (like, conservatives hate blacks, or conservatives would never vote for a woman, both of which are grossly untrue), I don’t think, nor do I think most right-thinking conservatives, see liberals as wimpy, or sensitive (though, on a scale of emotion to logic, I do think the average liberal makes decisions based on emotion (empathy) more than the average conservative). I DO think a subgroups of liberals, most often found on college campuses, are “soft” and overly sensitive, looking for slights where more mature persons see normal human interactions. And it’s not even the need of “safe spaces”…we all need spaces to let out hair down, say things w/o being judged, and to be our truest selves. My issue, is the need for these spaces to be so damn juvenile. Seriously, if you’re a young adult, on the cusp of entering the “real world”, and your truest self still relies on crayolas to get though the tough times, AND rather than just buying your own box and coloring at home, you feel the need to color in public, amongst peers, in order to feel safe…well, forgive me for thinking that such a person is not quite fully baked and ready to come out of the oven.

  9. Tippy Scales

    I’m afraid calling it “The N Word” is still too close to home, since the letter “N” really triggers me. So I refer to it as “The Word that Starts With the Letter that Comes Before O.” And I never — EVER — use words like niggardly; or even words that may rhyme, like bigger, trigger and Tigger. Nor do I refer to the African nation of Niger; I call it “The Country that’s Similar to the Word that Starts With the Letter that Comes Before O.”

    • deery

      I’m sorry. You are probably still suffering from being triggered when someone wished you “Happy holidays ” instead of “Merry Christmas!” It’s a hard life out there

    • The wonderful thing about Tiggers
      Is Tiggers are wonderful things
      Their tops are made out of rubber
      Their bottoms are made out of springs

      They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
      Fun, fun, fun, fun, fun!
      But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
      Is I’m the only one, I’m the only one!

      I call you out on your Tigger bias, Tippy. Since he IS the only one, this is a racial bias as well as a nasty thing to say. Tigger is a warm, fun loving fellow who deserves our adoration.

      Not like that scoundrel, Pooh, who normalized the theft of honey from honest, hard working socialists like the bees.

  10. I am going to concede the following facts:

    1, Bill Maher is a jerk.
    2. Bill Maher is a big jerk.
    3. Bill Maher said a word – “House Nigger” in his conversation with Sen Sasse.
    4. Bill Maher is a big, loud, potty-mouthed jerk.
    5. Bill Maher caved to the grievance community after he said “House Nigger” in his conversation with Sen Sasse.
    6. Bill Maher is a big, loud, potty-mouthed, self-righteous jerk.
    7. I rarely watch Maher’s show because of what I think of him, but this weekend I watched it because my wife had a migraine and went to sleep early and there was nothing else to watch (you can only melt your brain so many times by “The Trailer Park Boys” episodes before you start losing IQ points ).

    Can someone please, for the life of me, explain what the Hell Bill Maher meant? I don’t mean to be obtuse, and I consider myself to be rather aware of the currents in pop culture. I saw the interview. I didn’t find it funny as the trained seals in the audience did;nor was I offended. I was confused. So, I looked it up.

    From my limited research, “house nigger” may have been a common term in the 1800s, but it was weaponized and politicized in 1963 by Malcolm X, as a pejorative indictment for slaves living in the master’s quarters, as opposed to field niggers, or slaves working the fields. According to Malcolm X, any black who does not fight for black redemption and accepts (and lives by) the white ruler’s . . . erm . . . rules is a traitor to the cause. I get the “Uncle Tom” and “house nigger” terms. So, from that perspective, I doubt very seriously that Maher was quoting GWTW – that would be beneath his smug, elitist mindset.

    Yet, I just have no idea what Maher meant by using it on himself. Did he mean that he is an armchair revolutionary/liberal/pundit? Does he mean that he has accepted the capitalist power structure and just whines about it because it provides a nice paycheck? Does he mean that the ugly things he says on a regular basis are just ugly things he says to grab attention? Does he mean that he has no proverbial dog in the social, economic, political, and culture problems and he just likes to say mean and nasty things? If the answers to those questions are, “no”, because that is what Malcolm X meant by the term, then I submit that Bill Maher is a fraud, a phony, a sellout, and should be regarded and dismissed as such.

    After September 11, 2001, Maher was talking to a guest about the 9/11 hijackers. He said that he did not think of them as “cowards”. He also said that he didn’t know what to call them, but “coward” was not one of the words he would use. Dan Patrick, a religious zealot, and a the time a Houston talk radio host and soon-to-be member of Texas Congress (who is now the Texas Lt. Governor – which is a very powerful position in the Texas legislature because the Lt. Governor gets to set the legislative agent), went nuts and declared Maher in league with terrorists. Maher lost advertizers, his show was canceled, and he was out of a job. I watched Maher when he said it. I knew what he meant and that he did not, under any circumstances or in any way support the 9/11 hijackers. While I dislike Maher, I thought he was unjustly attacked over what he said.

    Which, leads me back to this latest kerfuffle. Will the same result happen? Will HBO cave to the race grievance crowd the way ABC did? Will Maher have to take some time to reflect?

    jvb

    • Chris Bentley

      Honestly, I think it was as simple as Sasse challenging Maher to come out to Nebraska to get his hands dirty and “work in the fields”, and Maher was referring to himself by that term, as if to say, “Im not working class; I’d be the slave that works in the house, even under the white man’s rules, bc of the lack of hard labor that comes with that position.”

      A stupid and convoluted analogy, to be sure.

      • Chris

        I must co-sign the above comments by Chris Bentley and johnburger. The analogy was not in any way funny.

      • Except that he wasn’t making a serious analogy, of course. “Working in the fields” made Maher think of slavery and the house-field distinction, so he blurted it out. Maybe he meant to suggest that Sasse’s challnege was demeanin—anyway, Sasse laughed. I didn’t laugh, but I thought the reference was clever, So you didn’t: that’s irrelevant to whether the comment was racist. It wasn’t.

        • I think Chris Bentley is correct. Sasse was challenging Maher to get his hands dirty and Maher was trying to say he that hard work in the fields was beneath him. Nothing more, nothing less. It was a joke that fell flat.

          Apparently, Chris is right. White guys are not allowed to use “nigger” in anyway, shape or form. Check out CNN’s Don Lemons and his panel last night discussing the issue:

          And, not to be alone in CNN’s outrage, Fox’s The Five quintupled down and declared that Maher’s comments were horrendous, unacceptable, and . . . well, you get the picture.

          jvb

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