Editor’sNote: During his show’s season finale last week (6.11.10 -HBO Realtime with Bill Maher) comedian and political satirist Bill Maher took on one of the biggest sacred cows in the land: jobs. Maher was apparently incensed by the many voices—David Vitter, Bobby Jindal, Mary Landrieu, Haley Barbour, Joe Barton, and many other political vermin in the pay of the oil industry— already crying for a resumption of offshore drilling while the ecocide of the Gulf is still unfolding with no end in sight. Maher is right, of course. Not only as regards this specific instance of criminal human selfishness over the survival of the living planet itself, including the well being of many other species—which should be obvious to all but the most corrupt, insensitive, or stupid—but in many other instances as well, like the clubbing of baby seals in Canada, a brutal anachronism defended by politicians and locals in the name of, well you guessed it, jobs. Whatever arguments these folks may rustle up to defend their position, the fact remains that mass industry devoid of a moral compass has been killing the earth and its non-human species with relative impunity for a very long time. BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil disaster is so huge and eloquent in its monstrosity that it has provided environmentalists and animal defenders a mighty platform to plead their case. The problem is especially acute under conditions of “free enterprise” or general libertarianism, which is also committed to endless and aggressive growth, an insane dynamic considering the finitude of the planet we inhabit. —P. Greanville.
PHOTO: Bill Maher>>>
BILL MAHER: New rule – stop talking about jobs being lost in a murderous, hateful industry like it’s a bad thing. Now, last week I may have hurt a few feelings when my response to the complaint that jobs will be lost in the offshore drilling business was, “Fuck your jobs.” But I meant it. And it goes double for burning coal and chopping down redwoods. Sorry, roughnecks, but eventually you’re going to have to find something else to do. Try building windmills. You know what happens when windmills collapse into the sea? A splash. You know, it’s Washington gospel that jobs in the private sector are better than government jobs. You even hear Democrats saying it. But oil jobs are private, and look at the toll this industry takes: cooking the planet; enslaving us to Saudi Arabia; killing animals. If the government hired away all the 58,000 oil workers who work now in the state of Louisiana, and paid them their same salary to work repairing infrastructure and building solar panels, it would cost us $5.5 billion which the Pentagon loses every day in the couch. Wouldn’t that be worth it? Is working on an oil rig really that great a job anyway? You spend weeks at a time on a floating well in the ocean. Do you want to avoid your family that bad, take up golf. Yes, the oil industry creates jobs – so does the kiddie porn industry…”