On Friday the October 13's "Real Time" on HBO, Bill Maher put the absurdity of American media and politics into near-perfect perspective with all the acerbic wit and jaded cynicism they have earned.
Any worries that Bill was "going soft" or losing his edge, or was too interested in appearing "balanced" can be put to rest for at least another week. I was even impressed that guest Ben Affleck did a fairly good job of shutting down some neocon mouthpiece from the American Enterprise Institute, while Lou Dobbs looked on enjoying it all immensely.
I've posted the transcript from the end-of-show New Rules rant after the jump.
If you think the worst thing Congress doesn't protect young people from is Mark Foley, wake up and smell the burning planet. The ice caps are cracking, the coral reefs are bleaching, and we're losing two species an hour. The birds have bird flu, the cows have mad cow, and our poisoned groundwater has turned spinach into a side dish of mass destruction. Our schools are shooting galleries, our beaches are cancer wards, and under George W. Bush -- for the first time in 45 years -- our country's infant mortality rate actually went up.
Read the labels on your food. It turns out the healthiest thing you can put in your body is Mark Foley's penis. He was probably the first fruit those pages ever came into contact with that wasn't drenched in pesticide.
But that's America for you -- a red herring culture, always scared of the wrong things. The fact is, there are a lot of creepy middle-aged men out there lusting for your kids. They work for MTV, the pharmaceutical industry, McDonald's, Marlboro and K Street. And recently, there's been a rash of strangers making their way onto school campuses and targeting our children for death. They're called military recruiters.
More young Americans were crippled in Iraq last month than in any month in the past three years. And the scandal is that Mark Foley wants to show them a good time before they go? When will our closeted gay congressmen learn? Our boys aren't for pleasure. They're for cannon fodder. They shouldn't be another notch on your bedpost. They should be a comma in Bush's war. If I hear a zipper, it had better be on a body bag.
Why aren't Democrats and the media hammering away every day about who we're supposed to be fighting for over there and what the plan is. Yes, Mark Foley was wrong to ask teenagers how long their penises were -- but at least someone on Capitol Hill was asking questions. We're the predators. Because we have an entire economy built on asking young people what they want, making the cheapest, sleaziest form of it they'll accept, and selling it to them until they choke on it and die.
You know who's grabbing your kids at too young an age? Merck, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, by convincing you they're depressed, hyperactive or suffering from attention-deficit disorder and so they must all get medicated. The drug dealers hooking your kids aren't in South America, they're in the halls of Congress handing out campaign donations to your congressmen. Mark Foley says he never slept with those kids, and I believe him, because American children are so hopped up on pills I doubt any of them could get it up.
From 1995 to 2002, the number of children prescribed antipsychotic drugs increased by over 400 percent. Either our children are going insane -- which we might look on as a problem -- or, more likely, we have, for profit, created a nation of little junkies. So stop already with the righteous moral indignation about predators -- this whole country is trying to get inside your kid's pants because that's where he keeps the money Daddy gave him to stay out of his hair.
I don't care if Mark Foley had been asking boys to describe their penises because I have some sad news for you: Your kid is so larded out on Cheetos and Yoo-hoo, he can't even see his penis. We live in a country where the ultimate consumer is an obese 16-year-old hooked up at one end to a Big Gulp and at the other to a PlayStation. So many of our kids today are fat drug addicts, it's almost as if Rush Limbaugh had had puppies.
In conclusion, we can pretend that the biggest threat to "our children" is some creep on the Internet, or we can admit it's Mom and Dad. When your son can't find France on a map, or touch his toes with his hands, or understand that the ads on TV are lying -- including the one in which the Marine turns into Lancelot -- then the person fucking him is you.
You can see the whole Real Time show in heavy rotation all week on HBO, get it from iTunes, download from the show's HBO website here:
It doesn't appear to be up on Crooks and Liars yet.
And to close...
Congressional pages leave the Capitol to head back their residence after a brutally long day of serving the needs of America's elected representatives, like Mark Foley of Florida.