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Book Review : New Rules: Polite Musings From A Timid Observer By Bill Maher

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New Rule… Stop calling it a “perfect storm” when two bad things happen at the same time. Sometimes it’s just some crap happening at the same time as some other crap. Let’s go back to what we used to call it before that movie about George Clooney and his epic struggle to kill more tuna: Shit happens.

Bill Maher is like Loretta Castorini slapping Ronny Cammareri across the face, yelling “Snap out of it”. I believe that’s his role in this media addicted world we live in. Unfortunately here in Canada (Or perhaps in Quebec only) we can’t get his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” shown on the air. No station has picked it up and they should. So Canadian fans of Politically Incorrect like myself must scour the web’s political web sites to get snippets of his hilarious show (and I just wont take the time to Torrent them on to my computer, nor do I have the diskspace). And it’s while watching one of those snippets that I heard he had a new book out called New Rules.

Having never read his other books, I took a chance. But it’s an easy read that I got down in a little more than one evening. So it’s not a big time killer, but it’s time well wasted for the laughs it brings. I’m talking uncontrollable-disturb-the-apartment-building-neighbors laughter. The guy just cracks me up. He takes no prisoners and goes straight for the kill with this compilation of his best (and probably rawest) New Rules segment from his show.

New Rule… Congressional sing-alongs of “God Bless America” are the cheapest form of political pandering. We get it. You’re on our side. Now get back to work. Those lobbyists in your office aren’t going to blow themselves.

Bill Maher leaves no stones unturned and doesn’t shy away from controversy (but we all know that, he’s the only one that got fired for the 9/11 debacle). He’s just as vicious with the republicans/conservatives as he is with the democrats/liberals. Pulls no punches on any organization. Kicks religion’s ass around. Beats the mainstream media over the head with its own arm. He does all this with a common sense approach to the Tao of DUH! He elevates sarcasm and cynicism to a whole new level.

So this book isn’t a revelation of sorts and certainly not a literary masterpiece. There’s no intellectual gymnastics here, it’s just plain uncensored fun to read; a cool diversion for your inner satirist. If you can’t make fun of the pope, who can you make fun of?

I’ll add my two favorite rules:

New Rule… If you think the idea of Angelina Jolie sleeping with another woman is an abomination, you’re gay. Normally I don’t go for the idea that people who really hate gays are just closeted gays themselves, but allow me to make an exception. If you can’t see the beauty in that Sapphic scenario, you’ve got more unresolved gay issues that that dude from Silence of the Lambs. This is what the Pope thinks of when he masturbates. It’s not an abomination. It’s what should be replacing baseball as our national pastime.

New Rule… George Bush isn’t Hitler. In the 2004 election, MoveOn.org compared Bush to Hitler, ignoring the first rule of being taken seriously by grown-ups, which is: Don’t call everyone you don’t like “Hitler”. Bush is not Hitler. For one thing, Hitler was a decorated, frontline combat veteran. Also, in the election that brought him to power in 1933, Hitler got more votes than the other candidates.

New Rules: Polite Musings From A Timid Observer was too short. I wanted more. That’s pretty much where it loses points with me. Otherwise it fully delivers on its intended purpose. I give it a 4 outta 5. New Rules, Rules. He should put out a new compilation at the end of every season

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