Is “c*nt” okay now? Just asking.

Many, many moons ago, Bill Maher was funny. I remember, vaguely. He’s evidently a tad more desperate now, a shock jock, determined to save his career by becoming the lightning rod of liberal indecency.

So he calls Sarah Palin a “c*nt” (“there’s just no other word for her”). Hahahahaha.

And I shake my head. Really Bill? That’s what your best has become? Apart from lamenting the pathetic death of comedy in a particular comedian, I’m fascinated by the reaction, and non-reaction.

Yes, of course, conservatives swiftly rose up in arms. That’s to be expected. As one commenter on a blog site put it, “Bill Maher loves the fact that you’re commenting on him. He plays conservatives like a fiddle.”

Hmmm. Bill the confident fiddler, indeed. He’s so confident that he not only declines to apologize, but whips out a spectacularly self-aggrandizing and delusional riff:

“Well, you know, I’ve been through this so many times,” Maher said. “I mean 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.”

And as for his use of the so-called “c” word, he explained that was the community standard, at least based on a favorable review he received from a local Dallas publication.

“I know they were upset about – I was in Dallas Sunday night doing my stand-up comedy show and apparently I was so off color,” he said. “In Dallas, you know, the bastion of liberalism – here’s the headline from the review: ‘Nothing but love from Maher.’ And on the next page, ‘Maher a hit in Dallas’ is the other headline. So I go by the community standard-standard. You know, people have won cases about pornography based on this. They say, ‘Well, you know, if the community says it’s OK and apparently the community.’ And apparently the community — I mean you hear the laughter. If the audience likes it, I think that’s where the community standard is.”

Maher would of course love the conversation to become whether his, um, shtick, was “pornographic.” What a wonderful, ratings-juicing controversy for a comedian. How Lenny Bruce and George Carlin! You ridiculous man.

I don’t care whether Bill Maher ever wins or loses a lawsuit based on “pornography.” I care about whether women, even in the context of comedy, are ever appropriately referenced as “c*nts.” I care about whether liberals are capable of self-policing, of calling a ridiculous liberal man a ridiculous man.

I care about whether Bill Maher’s self-aggrandizing reference to a “community standard” — the alleged praise for his shtick in Dallas — really speaks for liberals in Dallas (having grown up in Dallas) or liberals anywhere. I care about whether Bill Maher will successfully play liberals like a fiddle.

Because please be clear: if all liberals do is look the other way, or cough a bit, when Sarah Palin is called a “c*nt,” then we have no further “hate speech” dialogue. It’s all good.

UPDATE: My friend Jeff Veazey has a bit of fun at my expense, and he’s definitely funnier than Bill Maher!

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12 Responses to Is “c*nt” okay now? Just asking.

  1. Terrance H. says:

    Following the unspeakable events in Tuscon, Arizona, many on the Left began pointing their fingers at the Right. It was said “hateful, Right-wing rhetoric fueled the shooter.” And, boy, did they squeeze that lemon – and it is one – for every single drop.

    Looking back on their politicking, I wonder what they think about Bill Maher…

    Hypocrisy exists on both sides, but this transparent hypocrisy is nauseating. And, a little less of it would be nice. Should a major spokesman for the Left – like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, or someone – chastise Bill Maher over this, they would have my respect.

  2. Absolutely frickin’ not. 😡
    Ooooh I hate that word. Shame on Bill Maher.

    • Glad to hear you say that Spinny. A Facebook friend commented that as a woman she didn’t mind the word, used it herself, and had been called it. I found that surprising, and likely not a common sentiment.

      • Hmm that’s interesting – is your friend American? I think it’s an American thing. I’ve heard it used by Brits, and they had no idea it was so negative until I schooled them. 😉

        • Yes, she’s American, but I wouldn’t characterize her as typical. Anyway, your position is the one I’ve encountered most frequently.

  3. Paul Grubbs says:

    I am all for free speech. People have fought and died for our rights. Our freedom is highly valuable and paid for with a blood sacrifice. Fortunately for me, the Viet Nam war was coming to an end just as I became eligible for the draft and I was very conflicted as to if I would become a conscientious objector or not. I have heard tough veterans of bloody combat comment that protestors burning flags were fortunate that others were willing to fight for their rights to express their dissatisfaction. That, in my view, is what politically correct should mean. Mr. Maher is a very fortunate man. It is his misfortune that he cannot, or will not, see that “with great power comes great responsibility.”

    I challenge Bill to come to Texas and shoot off his mouth. Down here that word is still a fighting word. He has that right to use it. I reserve the right to defend the honor of those who cannot defend themselves. It’s my take that Maher has gone too long without a good ass whipping.

    Folks like Maher will continue to practice being “shock jocks” until it doesn’t work for them anymore. As long as their is a “free market” for him to sell his wares he will continue to reap great profits at the expense of common decency and good manners. Isn’t it a pity? Folks on the left usually rise up and threaten the sponsors of this kind of crap with meaningful boycotts. Maybe folks on both sides of the political fence should stand together and respectfully ask Maher to humble himself and offer Ms. Palin a sincere apology or face the prospect of unemployment in these very trying times. I have a fence that needs mending.

    • Brilliant Paul. I was hoping a Texan would weigh in.

    • craig78681 says:

      “I challenge Bill to come to Texas and shoot off his mouth.”

      Paul, he said this in *Dallas*. Yes, that makes it more offensive.

      http://azenyardhen.blogspot.com/2011/03/word-that-shall-not-be-named.html

  4. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Maher did a despicable thing. There is no place among the civilized and respectful for words like that. To use that word to describe a woman is to say that women can be divided into categories – one of which is a category so malevolent and so demeaned by men. This word permits a man, no, a man assumes the right to put those women in this most reviled place.

    It is absolutely not a common sentiment, Kendrick, and any women who uses that word to describe herself or another woman has no self- respect. She has joined the “boys” in an attempt to be hip.

    • Thanks SDS. I had a feeling you’d see it that way, and I appreciate your forceful expression of a viewpoint I entirely support.

  5. Pingback: Thank you Ed Schultz, this is exactly how you apologize… « The Prince and The Little Prince

  6. Pingback: Sarah Palin, You Go, But Not to the White House « The Prince and The Little Prince

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