I’m starting to think there’s an essay in this:
I’ve developed this thing for going to see Real Time. Lisa of happy memory loved the show as we both did Politically Incorrect, so I keep going as a way of honoring her, as well as the knowledge that I’ll laugh for an hour an a half. I love stand-up, of course (my listening roots go back to Redd Foxx, Bill Cosby, and above all Lenny Bruce), so Maher’s always sounded to me like someone who belongs in the high council of comedy. I well remember the episode of his previous ABC series when Dinesh D’Sousa fed him the line that got him fired, and always held it against DD that he didn’t stand up for what he’d said.
Maher did. He stood up for himself. But hey — when you’re an atheist, you’re all you have. So you stand up for what you believe. I may not agree, but Maher has gigantic brass balls without losing the funny. And that means something.
Look, you can see the re-air for yourself, but here are a couple of my takeaway notes:
1) It was fucking hot today. I really thought I might see people melting against the fence alongside CBS. No climate change? Suck me.
2) I always love the people I’m around in that group. By later applause they tend to be around 95% Republican….I kid, I kid the Republicans….(I owe Maher for that one) I mean Democratic. Go figure. We have some lovely conversations, and sometimes I even think that not all America is as Rightist as I’ve come to believe.
3) Bill Martin is the head writer and warm-up on Thursdays along with a wonderful guy named Fred (not that Bill isn’t wonderful, and I know he is because he’s from Pgh.); he’s one of the people who remind all of us that what we’re watching is in essence a writing exercise, where the point is a lot like what Miles Davis always told his players: Say what you want to say in less time than you think you need.
John Legend. First guest. His activism is something I love. And, you know, he can kinda, you know, sing. Not too bad. Damn, that was cool.
The guest panel included Chris Hedges and John Feerhery, a Republican who seems quite a nice guy, actually. BTW, some of you will be shocked to read this but I do not boo at Real Time broadcasts. Ann Coulter or David Horowitz would surely test me particularly after a long walk in the heat (we are told before going inside that if we shout any crazy shit….AHEM….we’d get thrown out. That would be bad on a night like tonight, since we got Bob Fucking Costas as well so getting tossed would’ve been just horrible. I don’t care that the Farmer’s Market area’s just south. It doesn’t matter).
Then there was tonight’s “New Rules”: All I can say is that you should check it out if you haven’t. Why, for ex., is God on US currency? I leave it to Bill, and you.
So, my friends, I have learned to become a good audience member. However, you’ll hear my applause somewhere deep in the mix (I HOPE). Actually, a couple of times I actually—no shit—led some applause. For me, that was part of simply learning to re-integrate into society even though all these things have happened.
And so I go into the weekend. More soon. I love you all.