China was much on Bill Maher’s mind in this week’s edition of HBO’s Real Time. His first mention came during the opening monologue, when he talked about people “freaking out” over the Chinese spy balloon over Montana.
“Now they know where we keep the cows,” Maher said. He noted the Chinese are denying that the balloon is being used to spy on us. “That’s what TikTok is for.”
Maher was against those who want to shoot it down, calling for calm. “We have to watch til it crashes and burns,” he said. “Like we’re doing with Kanye”
But Maher turned serious during his New Rules editorial, noting how the woke are trying to reinvent the very nature of human beings. He talked about the Red Guard movement in China, where people would attack those accused of not toeing the ideological line, making them wear dunce caps and publicly shaming them.
Such tactics, Maher said, were an attempt to change things by screaming at it, a problem then — and now, again, becoming more and more a fact of life here in the US.
To illustrate that, Maher cited the story of Jason Kilborn, a University of Illinois Chicago School of Law professor accused of engaging in behaviors that made some students of color feel uncomfortable. On an exam, he alluded to two racial slurs in a hypothetical question on a black female worker suing an employer. Complaints ensued, and he was banned from campus and had to undergo sensitivity training and write five self-reflective essays.
That was the modern version of what the Red Guard was doing. “If you can’t see the similarities between (Kilborn) and that, the person who needs reeducation is you,” Maher said.
He wrapped up his editorial by pointing out how Winston Marshall, the former banjo player of Mumord & Sons, was forced to step away from the band and issue a cringing apology for endorsing a controversial book.
“Pain from a book?” Maher asked. “Not unless he hit the drummer over the head with it.”
Maher likened that situation to John Lennon’s song “Revolution,” which called out people who carried pictures of Chairman Mao, and “ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow.”
“There was a guy who understood how good intentions could turn,” Maher said.
Maher also had on former Minneapolis police chief Medaria “Rondo” Arrandondo, both agreeing that what happened in Memphis to Tyre Johnson was bad.
The panel discussion saw New York Times columnist Brett Stephens and Arizona Democrat Congressman Ruben Gallego on board.
Their most interesting discussion centered on the decision to end emergency pandemic measure in May, which will mean changes in a number of issues, particularly immigration.