Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Take

Whether the Broncos win or lose, God is still God, Tim Tebow will be a decent human being, and Bill Mahr will always be an asshole.

25 comments:

my name is Amanda said...

I submit that they are both mega-assholes.

Brian said...

Maher's a comedian. They get paid to be assholes.

My complaint with that tweet isn't that it's offensive, but that it's an obvious, easy joke. If you credit Jesus for all your success, you invite the observation that he's also responsible for your failures. It's been done.

Mr. D said...

Maher's a comedian. They get paid to be assholes.

Most of 'em. There are exceptions, like Bob Newhart. A lot of comedy is rooted in pain and anger.

And you're right, of course in re Maher. Very easy joke. The problem with Maher is that he's not nearly as clever as he thinks he is.

Brian said...

It's a tricky line to walk between being a comedian and being a social/political critic. It's pretty rare that someone is purely one or the other anymore. Sometimes attempting to be funny undermines a serious point, but I think more often attempting to be serious undermines funny.

I generally like Maher, but that is probably because we hate most of the same things.

Stewart (and it should be said, an extremely talented staff of writers) probably does this better than anybody these days.

my name is Amanda said...

I apparently commented on a post that is in regard to a conversation of which I was not a part. I don't know what tweet you are discussing. I was just saying in general - assholes! Both of them. Tebow, for the hubris of his public religious observances, not to mention the outrageous conclusions about God that they imply, and Maher particularly because he's a sexist asshole. He is spectacularly sexist and utterly unrepentant and close-minded about his sexism when people attempt to point it out to him. (Literally the only time I have ever agreed with Ann Coulter.)

I don't have a problem with the mockery that Maher bestows on religion. I love and respect the people in my life who are religious, and I have great admiration for religion that inspires humans to care for other humans. But religion also continues to be the impetus for murder and general hatred of people, and institutions that promote bigotry and violence deserve criticism (which will sometimes come in the form of humor). Maher may sound like an asshole when he's claiming religious beliefs are the equivalent of magic, but his critique is about people inflicting/attempting to inflict their personal religious beliefs on other people, and also the way these beliefs (being so incomprehensible to him) are used to justify cruelty/war.

Gino said...

tim tebow isnt waging war. he's playing football. minor difference there.

as for religion being used to kill poeple and start wars... you forget that most of the 20th century (the bloodiest in human history) was a struggle involving marxist ideaology, with the marxists doing most of the killing in the name of no God above them, and forcing that beleif upon others.
Marxists routinely mock religion and believers and attempt to force non-religion upon others through wars and violence and coercion... just like they blame religious people for doing.
cause you see, starting wars and shit is proof that faith is foolish.

i'll repeat and expound: Tebow is a decent guy, a young man still, and he will mature (and tone it down) with age as he continues to do the good works his faith compels.
Mahr has just aged.

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Perfect.

RW said...

My take? All this bull one way or the other about Tebow is getting in the way of the REAL QB rookie story - Cam Newton. Too bad. Newton is the real deal. Tebow will soon be forgotten.

Gino said...

RW: yeah, that too. newton is looking like a potential HOFer.

Brian said...

So I have to admit...I really have no idea what the deal is with Tebow, beyond a vague notion that he is really public and upfront about his Christianity. I watch football games occasionally, but I watch nearly zero "meta"-coverage...no Sportscenter, I don't read the sports press, and I usually do something else at halftime (walk the dog, go cook something, surf the internet, etc.) Is he stopping games to pray? Is he evangelizing every time he is behind a microphone? Is it really something above and beyond the pointing at the sky after a touchdown, or crossing oneself, or thanking God in a post-game interview that lots of people have done for years?

Seriously, what's the big deal?

Gino said...

he opens every press conference with the words: "i'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ".

beyond that, most of it is the media making his faith the story by asking him about it all the time, and evangelicals just eat that up, making him a sort of super-hero-role-model for many of them.

Bike Bubba said...

Gino, ya got it right.

And regarding comedians being rectii; Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, and a host of others in the old school might have a word for you if they were still on this earth. Maybe the rules changed?

RW said...

Comedians are like "the media." They're only bad up to the level of whose ox they're goring at the moment. Sometimes people demand everybody else think exactly like they do or else they're "heretics." lol...

Brian said...

Maybe the rules changed?

Nought may endure but mutability. Especially in comedy...

Gino said...

maybe: a comedian is only as funny as his paychecks are large?

Brian said...

maybe: a comedian is only as funny as his paychecks are large?

It's almost certainly a bell-shaped function.

I spend a fair amount of time around comedians who make nothing doing it, and a few that make a little doing it. Those that make a little are definitely funnier than those that make nothing. Those that make a bit more still (some road work, but mostly opening for bigger acts when they come to town...I know one guy in Seattle that fits that description, though there are a few others) are even funnier than the second group.

Those that do well enough to make a living doing comedy and nothing else (they're probably in NY or LA, but make most of their money on the road) are, for the most part, really fucking funny. Some of them will be on TV occasionally (late night spots, Comedy Central specials)... unless you're kind of a comedy nerd, you've probably never heard of them, but they're doing alright.

The inflection point is rare air: Louis CK, Patton Oswalt, and maybe a half a dozen other people. Really, really funny, and making tons of money.

Then you start the downward slope into superstars who make shitloads of money because they have a very broad appeal. Broad appeal is the enemy of deep funny. Larry the Cable Guy. Jeff Foxworthy. Daniel Tosh. They aren't terrible...just...kind of safe.

The far end of the curve is Jay Leno, who makes more money than God, and sucks.

Gino said...

i see what yer saying. not a comdey nerd, but i watch comedy central a lot for the stand ups.

i used to like mahrer, way back. and even defended him over his 9/11 remarks. it seems since then, he's gotten less funny, and only cares to play to his partisan-left audience. (like Hitchens once said on his show: yer audience claps at anything.)
its like he has his trained seals of followers, little else, and is quite content with it.

John said...

An interesting thread... I agree whole-heartedly with your original premise. When Mahr decided his politics took center stage for his comedy he stopped being funny, or perhaps I just outgrew him.

my name is Amanda said...

Sorry I didn't respond to this right away, but I was traveling, and the blogging business got away from me a little.

tim tebow isnt waging war. he's playing football. minor difference there.

(Rather a strawman, there, Gino.) That religion also preaches good stuff does not mitigate the evil stuff. That, and going around being a publically proselytizing bonehead like Tebow does not automatically qualify you to be a "good person."

…you forget that most of the 20th century (the bloodiest in human history) was a struggle involving marxist ideaology…

This pet theory of the Right has been posted in the comments of my blog before, too, and it's ridiculously disingenuous. Dictators will use whatever ideology is most handy to gain power and oppress people. Here's the key difference: The precepts of Marxism do not preach that some people deserve less human rights than others, due to their sex, sexual orientation, or race, whereas the Bible/Torah/Qur'an/Etc. literally do/es. That self-proclaimed Marxists would perpetuate crimes that are not supported by Marxist theories, in the name of Marxism, is not proof that Marxism is cruel/warmongering.

Marxists routinely mock religion and believers and attempt to force non-religion upon others through wars and violence and coercion...

Dictators have worked in some cases to dismantle religion specifically as a means to gain power and cripple the tools of opposition. Not because they are atheists and atheists are evil. Or secularists for that matter. There are millions of secular humanists in our world who believe in treating people with kindness and compassion, and not because to do otherwise is a "sin." Additionally, while you will find atheists/agnostics/secularists (not synonyms, just like Marxism, Communism, and Socialism are not synonyms) who rightfully argue that it is wrong for the government to push religious beliefs on other people, you don’t encounter any of them who want to interfere in your personal lives (ie. push their secular beliefs onto your personal lives). Regardless of how the religious right likes to pretend that they are huge martyrs to the evil secular humanist cause. I'm sorry but removing the Ten Commandments from the local Court House is not "infringing on your personal life." Trying to force me to do specific things with my reproductive system? That's personal infringement.

It's true that Marxism offers and analysis/criticism of religion, for the purpose of examining the ways in which it aids in enslaving the lower classes. Marxism sees society as an ongoing struggle between the few who have power and the many with little power, and in a capitalist society, religion is a tool used by the few in power. (Even if today's society is much more humane than societies in the 19th century.)

I don't believe that faith is foolish. But I do believe that humans are imperfect, and thus, religion is imperfect. It is my hope that the growing sense of humanism and fight for equality in our world will continue to be reflected and improved in religious dogma. I would love to see a Bible that doesn't preach that having lady parts for example, makes me inherently inferior to men. (I entirely dismiss the notion that the Bible is a static text divined directly from God/Jesus; history clearly supports that it is the work of several generations of men who have long been involved in debates about which books belong and which do not. That it was written in such a way does not negate faith in God.)

my name is Amanda said...

Finally, just because Bill Maher is an asshole sometimes, it doesn't mean he's never funny, it doesn't mean he doesn't offer valid criticism of certain institutions, and it doesn't mean he's a "bad person." Maybe not as nice of a person, as perhaps Tebow is, when interacting one-to-one, but I sure do like that the Bill Mahers of the world would NEVER fight/vote to rescind my reproductive rights, and that is something that could not be said of Tim Tebow.

Gino said...

and everything for you comes down arguing for to your right to kill a baby. yet, you fault others for constant prosyletizing.

my name is Amanda said...

Yeah, the 'examples I use' totally = entire argument, and you obviously have a thorough understanding of what actually encompasses "reproductive rights."

Sorry, but you are not going to be able to shame me by calling me a "baby" "killer." You can shut down the conversation with that, however. Your response is the anti-choice equivalent Godwin's Law. Whenever a someone says something about reproductive rights, just tell them they're baby killers.

Gino said...

... as you continue to proselytize your beliefs in ever conversation while complaining about others who do the same.

my name is Amanda said...

I'm not going to take the bait and argue with your mischaracterization of the well-thought and genuinely argued response I posted yesterday. If you're interested in shutting down any dialogue on your own blog, Gino, that's your right.

Gino said...

one thing i dont do here is shut down dialogue.