Imagine if Donald Trump had insulted America’s most consistent ally. Or had belittled a mixed-race marriage ceremony in California. Outrage right? Yet Bill Maher seems to have got away with it without anyone in the mainstream media batting an eyelid. Well, not from me, he hasn’t.
I usually do not cover politics on my blog. As an Englishman living in the USA, I am respectful, I hope, of most opinions expressed by Americans because ultimately I am here as a guest. Not a citizen. I have my views, but in the main, I keep them to myself. Ultimately if I don’t like the politics of the Nation I live in, I should get the hell out of Dodge.
I draw the line though when someone insults my country and belittles its achievements on national TV. If you are not George Washington, then you had better have a good reason for kicking our “Limey” asses. So let’s break down what Bill said in detail.
Bill Maher, we don’t care that you don’t care!
Referring to the Royal wedding, he began. “I already have my alarm set, so I know exactly when to start not giving a shit.” Fair enough. Not everyone is interested in Royalty. Or weddings. Or love. Or the happiness of two people they have never met. Even in Britain, there are people who, like Bill, don’t give a shit. We call them selfish nihilists.
However, most people do care. The Royal wedding attracted an audience of over two billion worldwide. Let’s not embarrass Mr Maher by quoting ratings for his last episode of “Real Time” watched by 2300 West Coast Americans and two teenagers from Ohio who had it accidentally running in the background while playing “Fortnite” with their headphones on.
Taking a cheap punt at Prince Charles divorce From Diana, he continued “Who better as a good luck marriage charm to walk Meghan Markle down the aisle.” Hey, Bill at least he had the guts to give it a go. There is nothing so sad and emotionally flawed as an unmarried middle-aged man with on-going commitment issues right?
After having an acerbic dig at Trump for not being invited (actually most Heads of State were not invited), Bill Maher sarcastically continued “It’s going to be great when a B list actress marries a man who will never be King, in a country that doesn’t matter“. Boom! Cue, a transatlantic tsunami as 60 million open mouthed Brits, dropped their biscuits into their tea.
A few everyday achievements from a country that doesn’t matter
A country that doesn’t matter? Hmmm…It is true that Britain no longer goes rampaging around the world, invading weaker countries and putting them under colonial rule. We are comfortable with that. What is surprising is that Maher equates a more passive political realpolitik with not mattering. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he means that culturally Britain no longer matters. It would be pointless for me to go back into history and quote the numerous ways the world is better off for having had Britons in it, from Shakespeare to JK Rowling, Newton to Hawkins, Cromwell to Churchill, and Purcell to the Beatles. So let’s make it personal to you. Here Bill is just a few of the ways your life would be infinitely more miserable if this small Island had never existed.
I don’t doubt that when you wake up tomorrow, you will still be an Agnostic and a Liberal. But you might not have been either without John Locke or Thomas Huxley who defined both theories. No matter. Turning on your light switch (John Holmes) you phone (Alexander Graham Bell) for your car to drive you to work. You get there in double quick time thanks to the tarmac road surface ( Edgar Hooly). You no doubt, stop on the way to get money from your ATM (James Goodfellow). At work, you browse the World Wide Web (Sir Tim Berners Lee) to book a jet flight (Sir Frank Whittle) clear across the USA because you have to be in California to film another great episode for your television show. But not without John Logie Baird’s invention, you wouldn’t. Not bad for one day from a country that doesn’t matter.
He ended his monologue “This is an event so unimportant even the Russians aren’t fixing it”. Well if you are a soulless, joyless, egotist, then I guess it isn’t essential. Not much outside of your bubble is. But here is the rub. It is vital. Because this wedding celebrated not just a human constant like love, it also demonstrated how a privileged British Royal and a mixed-race working-class American could overcome all preconceptions regarding class, race and culture and propel not just the Royal family forward but Anglo American society too. That seems pretty important to me.
An African American Royal family. Not a cause for celebration?
The British Royal family is now part African American. How about the top echelons of HBO Bill? Can you tell me how many of your producers are African American? The Royal family has survived two thousand years in the UK because it has never been afraid to adapt. You might want to think of that when you are recycling the same anti-Trump rhetoric we have heard for the last two years. Now I love Bill Maher, but how does it feel to be less modern, relevant and “down with the Kids” than a 92-year-old Cockney monarch? Time to get some New Rules Bill and some new writers.
For a sideways English look at the perils of American supermarkets see my blog on http://www.englishmanlovesamerica.com/american-supermarkets-suck/