For a while Dennis Miller was one of my favorite performers. His "Off-White Album" that came out in 1987 (has it been that long?) is still one of my favorite stand up albums. Good stand up, like good music, holds up to repeated listenings. I remember the album has a good line about Ronald Reagan's age. It went something like "Reagan is that old and he has access to the button? Folks, my grandfather is that old and we don't let him use the remote control for the the TV." Good stuff.
And, of course, there was his stint doing the news on SNL which was wonderful and then he had that show on HBO that started out great and petered out in the end.
Then came 9/11 and he became a Bush supporter which shocked me. Yeah, so we were attacked and we supposedly need a forceful president so Miller takes the gloves off and supports the guy. A guy he admitted last night on his new HBO special isn't too bright or a good decision maker and in other less-weird times he would tear to shreds during such a performance. What a fucked up world we live in.
Yeah, so last night I sat and watched the new Dennis Miller HBO special. I really wanted to see it. I was wondering which Dennis Miller would show up. The one I used to love or the one that confused me. It turns out both were there. He still is the same old Dennis Miller. His delivery is the same, he still makes obscure references that are hysterical if you get them and he is still funny. I guess that is all that matters.
I laughed more than I thought I would. Most of my big chuckles came when he wasn't being political and just trying to make his audience laugh. He lost me when he tried to rationalize his support of Bush. His attitude seems to be that we should kill before we are killed. I'm surprised someone who can be as inciteful as Dennis Miller can't look deeper into the problem of terrorism and international relations and see that there should be more than hunting and killing involved and that isn't it possible that our policies and attitudes help lead to such hatred. It seems to me that he knows the American people and their society and business are not going to change so the only possible foreign policies are what we are following right now. If you want to live the way we do then we have to be aggressive militarily and we have to force our culture on the world. Maybe Dennis isn't a conservative, he's just realistic. There is that quote that people get the government they deserve and Miller just has read the writing on the wall. He's gittin' 'er done and he's better than that and judging by how he phrased his rationalizations he knows it.
His dodgy prance around being doubtful about global warming was the low point of the evening for me. I couldn't believe he used the tired old pro-pollution talking point of "we don't know for sure." That's just using the language of careful science against careful science. We don't know for sure how electricity or gravity works but no one doubts either of those. I'll try to pretend that five minutes of the show wansn't there.
I was pleased that he ended strong. The last twenty minutes he skewered politicians from both parties, including Bush and the Clintons. He showed his more progressive social side and he went all out with the world play. It was classic Miller and it almost made up for the middle portion where he licked the hiney of middle America. Maybe when Bush is in jail a few years from now Dennis will come back. I can't wait because he's the kind of guy that will eat shit on TV and admit he was wrong. I hope to see it someday.