Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bill Maher on Ozzie Guillén and Castro Crazy Syndrome

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Because I just love inflicting him on y’all, here’s Bill Maher on the mindlessly hypocritical reaction to some sports player’s recent comments about Cuba and Fidel Castro:

Transcript (via Daily Kos): (click the [+/-] to open/close →) []

And finally, New Rule: Fidel Castro is not worse than Vampire Hitler. And Cuba is not North Korea crossed with Hell. If we had opened up relations with Cuba 30 years ago, instead of pursuing the stupidest, most ineffective policy in American history not named the drug war, today Cuba would look like St. Barts, and your kid would be there on Spring Break, drinking shitty rum out of a jug shaped like a frog.

Now, in case you haven't heard, this week Castro Crazy Syndrome got clinical when Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillén was suspended for saying he admired the way Fidel Castro keeps not being dead. Worse, he made a groveling apology and promised, "I will learn from this." Well, I certainly hope so, because Castro's a Communist, and if you say something Communists don't like, they take away your job and send you to a re-education camp until you come out with the one approved opinion, and we wouldn't want to have that happen here in America.

Oh no. We have the First Amendment. If we give up freedom of speech, we could end up looking just like Cuba, and that would be a living hell because they get free health care! So you know what Ozzie said that was so unforgivable? He said he loved Castro because, "A lot of people have wanted to kill him for the last 60 years, but that motherfucker is still here!" So what? It sounds like a line from a Quentin Tarantino movie. Also, it's true. Despite all odds and all logic, Castro still draws breath. He's the political equivalent of Keith Richards.

And he is a badass, because we have been trying to kill him for 60 years. It's like me saying, "I love Dick Cheney, God's been trying to kill him since birth, and that motherfucker is still here."

And yet, the Marlins front office felt it necessary to release a statement saying, "The pain and suffering caused by Fidel Castro cannot be minimized." No, actually, the problem with Castro's evilness isn't it being minimized, it's being exaggerated. Now, has Castro done some bad dictator shit? Yes. But can we get some perspective, please, on Fidel Castro? There are worse dictators in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Equatorial Guinea, and Turkmenistan, and those are just our friends! (audience applause)

Chairman Mao killed 50 million Chinese, nobody stopped ordering the moo shu pork. China is "Communist", and last time I checked, oh, every aisle at Walmart (audience applause), we seem to be trading with them. And they harvest organs from political prisoners while they're still alive. The reason you can buy a flat screen TV from Walmart for $30 bucks, it's because it's made out of human skin! It didn't start out flat, they starved it.

Was Hosni Mubarak less of a dictator and a torturer than Castro? I doubt it, and we loved him long time. As we did with the Shah of Iran, and Marcos, Mubutu, Soharto, Pinochet, and Saddam Hussein. We don't stop talking to Vladimir Putin, and he personally poisons people at the dinner table! And besides, wasn't Che Guevara the real badass in Cuba? Well, they sell t-shirts with his face at Urban Outfitters, nobody's apologizing for that.

But none of that matters. The only thing that matters is that Ozzie Guillén broke one of the great unspoken rules in American public life: Don't fuck with Miami Cubans! Cuz they're tough! Well, OK, macho men. The next time you see Castro, just remember what exactly you're so afraid of: an 85-year-old retiree in an Adidas track suit. Who, by the way, if you close one eye, looks exactly like every Jewish grandmother in Miami.

Maher has it right: Yes, Castro has done some vile dictatorial shit, which absolutely no-one is denying. But that’s simply not the point, here. It’s about the fascist hypocrisy in punishing someone solely for having opinions that run contrary to the so-called norm. Merely expressing appreciation for the fact that some old dude is still alive despite failing health and (more notably) over half a century of assassination attempts from the largest military superpower in human history does not imply support for said individual’s history or beliefs. This is akin to the sort of mindless partisan hackery that falsely equates agreeing with a given politician’s stand on one issue with wholehearted support for everything else they do, such as when civil libertarians are accused of being fans of Ron Paul because they agree with his opposition to the War on Drugs.

When all it takes for a man to be professionally and socially castigated is to recognize that the U.S. Government has failed to murder somebody, maybe it’s time for people to rethink their priorities a bit.

(via @ggreenwald)