stop trying to win the conversation

We talk about how to talk now and then on this forum. Although I think Maher is funny and makes great points, I often have trouble with his cheap laughs. At this end of this “New Rule”, he says he’s going to try to stop being so insulting. We’ll see. Along the way, he makes some great points.


Maher is smart, funny, timely and caters to a crowd I’m not a part of. His comedy is edgy and usually right, but it’s a bit too dark for me (Colbert is more my style).

I can’t see him not insulting stupid people in the news. He’s a comedian and politics is his arena, so with the embarrassment of riches at his disposal, not taking advantage of it is unlikely. His audience watches him because he says what they think in a funny way. Without the insults he’s simply another in-depth news program, which few people watch.

His points are kind of undercut by the follow ups he makes. It’s clearly trying to argue from a superior point of view or one that has already “won”.

Xain, everybody thinks their opinion is the best one. That’s why it’s their opinion. And I happen to agree with his point of view most of the time a whole lot more than I agree with the “There’s nothing to see here” point of view Republicans have for the constant, unending Trump scandals. Especially the ones where he repeatedly turns to foreign assistance for his campaign and buddies up with the last country to have attacked us (albeit electronically), a country which continues to do it to this day.

I like a lot of what he says, but he’s still a bit of an anti-vaxxer. In an episode not that long ago he was spouting how “We need to be able to talk about it”. That’s one of the dishonest arguments of anti-vaxxers. It’s the same one ID proponents use. “Nobody will let us even talk about junk science in an authentic scientific setting! It’s so unfair!”

I think Maher if a funny guy, personally. I seriously doubt he’ll stop with the insults though, because that’s part of some of his jokes.

To be fair he does insult both sides. He may have a very decided left lean, but that doesn’t stop him from doing Anthony Wiener jokes.

But insults sort of undermine the main point of your argument of “not trying to win the argument”.

Insult humor is still funny. I don’t think the point is to stop doing it altogether. The “don’t try to win” suggestion was for Thanksgiving dinner, not for the kind of arguments he gets into on his show. We are the only animal that has transitioned to the kind of cooperation that involves something as simple as holding a board while someone else saws it. We don’t all naturally turn together like a flock of birds, but we go to work with people we never met before. We can’t study this is in any creature except ourselves. To expect it to have evolved into everyone being cooperative all the time is a bit unrealistic.