Mohammad & Hobbes

People keep asking me why I'm not more upset about the cartoon thing and I have to keep reminding them: It's a cartoon. Getting mad about people getting mad about a cartoon is just as asinine as getting mad in the first place. It's not a bazooka, it's Bazooka Joe. Also, you don't have to be a historian to know that things have been bad between Jordan and Denmark for a long time. This was just the last straw.

I did enjoy the tasteful way CNN showed the cartoons - with the Prophet's face blurred out - like he was some wife beater on COPS who didn't sign a release, or Sharon Stone's crotch.

I guess I feel bad for the rioters who got killed, just because their survivors are going to feel so stupid. "Yes, my son died in a clash with embassy guards. But it wasn't in vain. Danish editorial cartoonists will think twice before they cross him again. Well, not him personally, dogs are licking his guts off the sand, but him in general..."

The Arab "street" reminds me of Al Goldstein's old show on Manhattan Cable. Goldstein would spend most of the program naked, asking junkie strippers about their fantasies - not unlike Dick Cavett - but he'd also deliver an editorial at the end where he told some institution, event or public figure: "f--k you." Nine times out of ten, it was Manhattan Cable. But other times it would be some politician, or censor, or United Airlines for screwing up his reservations. One time it was Turkey Hill ice cream, just because Al thought that was a lousy name for ice cream.

And he was right, too.

The Arab "street" is like that. They're always damn mad about something. Maybe they don't need democracy. Maybe they need public access cable. That way they could still moan and bitch about crap that doesn't matter, but as least it would be broken up by interviews with strung out porn stars and ads for phone sex.

Like when Al did it.

New Rule: "It turns out there's never a good time to take off three months and get drunk. Why is it why when I go on hiatus all the important stories break?" Watch the video:


The new season of Real Time with Bill Maher premieres this Friday, February 17, at 11 pm on HBO.