Sunday, March 1, 2009

Bill Maher and America's favorite "giant bib"

Thank God Bill Maher has returned from hiatus, and that there are people like him (not to mention Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart) reminding us of what's truly important.

Did you know that decades after what's been described as an oil-dependence emergency, America has developed zero alternative-energy vehicles but has marketed the ShamWow!, the Flowbee, the BeDazzler, Crocs, sweat pants that say "Juicy" across the derriere, botox, Ginsu knives, Pinkberry, Dane Cook and the George Foreman grill?

In World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress agreed: It's crisis time, and they ordered Detroit to switch over and only make tanks and planes. And they did. Detroit got out of the car business altogether—on purpose, not the way they're doing it now. We haven't gotten it through our thick skulls: Party time is over. No more stretch Humvee with a hot tub. No more space tourism. No more cloning the cat. No more ordering the thing from TV that cuts onions with a vacuum.

We're worse than Michael Jackson. It's been 25 years since we had a hit and we still think we can live at the ranch. But the booze cruise has hit the iceberg. In fact, at the Vanity Fair Oscar party on Sunday, I felt like I was on the Titanic—everyone in their tuxedos and gowns sipping champagne . . . . not to mention Kate Winslet was standing right there —even as the ship had hit the iceberg.

There's one big difference, which is that, even though we have definitely hit the iceberg, it doesn't have to sink us. But we have to get serious. The engines have stopped, the boilers have exploded, the compartments are flooding. This is not a drill, this is the real thing. This is the moment, that moment where we all must steel our resolve, reach through our blankets' sleeves, grab our farting phones, and send off a mighty Twitter saying, "We have to get involved and learn how to do things and make things again!"

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