Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I saw this fillum t'other night; the whole thing, free and gratis on Google video.

There's probably nothing more satisfying than coming across an entertaining and intelligent comedian who shares your point of view;
pretty cool for the comedian too, when he finds his audience, he can tell'em what they want to hear and they love him.

Not easy to be confrontational, dismissive, honest and loveable at the same time though: when you attempt, as this film attempts, go out in the world and "sell 'doubt'" to people who believe, it's difficult not to come across as a condescending asshole.

Bill Maher's fillum does a pretty good job I reckon of making it's point without being too much of a shit about it.

He's strongest in his confrontations with Church leaders because he has the balls to laugh in their faces when they say anything ridiculous (and religious leaders say ridiculous things all the time).

When the grassroots religious people get laughed at, I have to admit that I found it less comfortable to watch, but Bill is genuinely warm with folk and re-iterates his point again and again: not that there is 'no' god, but that there is no earthly reason to believe anybody who tells you that they 'know' that there is, because they cannot know, and they only ever operate from the flimsiest of evidence.

I watched with a friend who pointed out that an unfortunate element of the essay is that he never encounters anyone who is his argumentative equal. It is impossible to argue rationally on behalf of any set of religious beliefs, so his adversaries are a little hamstrung in that regard, but I do think the essay would have been even stronger if I had seen him ever asked about his own premise, i.e. that Religion is bad and pretty much behind every conflict you might care to mention, with a few more pointed inquiries.

Somebody at some point should have mentioned the horrors commited under atheistic communism, and in conflicts, religions may exacerbate the way groups of people view themselves as 'different' and 'separate'- but it is in no way correct to suggest (as was suggested in the concluding montage) that Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland are actually in conflict about the minor differences in their respective Religions.

I still completely agree with this film and found the style a lot warmer than Richard Dawkins' God delusion. Where Dawkins' might say 'How do you know that?' or 'Surely you can't believe that?', Mr Maher will just laugh in your face and say: " Get the f*ck outa here, that's the lamest sh*t I ever heardin my life! Puleeeze!" which in a strange way seems more polite.

Go figure.

Watch d'fillum.


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