The New New Rules

Summary: From the New York Times bestselling author and host of HBO’s Real Time, Bill Maher’s latest collection of political riffs and savagely funny suggestions for preserving sanity in an insane world.

New Rule: The next Republican Convention must be held in a giant closet. Every week there’s a new gay Republican outed. I have a feeling that “big tent” they’re always talking about is in their pants. There are so many Republicans in the closet, their symbol shouldn’t be an elephant; it should be a moth.

New Rule: If one of your news organization’s headlines is about who got kicked off Dancing with the Stars last night, you’re no longer a news organization. Sort of like, if you were on Dancing with the Stars last night, you’re no longer a star.

Media, celebrity, Democrats, Republicans, religion, children, marine life, electronics, that couple making out in the next booth-when it comes to lighting up his targets, Bill Maher is an equal-opportunity destroyer. The New New Rules offers Maher’s new and best-loved observations about the world around us, along with some modest tips for its improvement. Because wouldn’t life be a little better if the inside of the office microwave didn’t look like a Jackson Pollock painting, or if fathers stopped signing up their nine-year-olds to win free hunting trips? Scathingly funny and relentlessly unafraid of sensitive topics, Maher’s hilarious brand of realism is more welcome and necessary than ever. So sit back, read on, and enjoy. You may not agree with all his views, but one thing’s for certain: If you’re listening, you’re laughing.

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 The New New Rules, by Bill Maher 7.5

‘The New New Rules’ is a funny book. But, above all, it’s a thought-provoking one. Or at least, it can be, when Maher doesn’t get too silly or gets too focused on smoking pot (if anything’s ever convinced me that he’s a pothead, this book sure did!).

My favourite bits were the longer ones, which were some of his “editorials” that he did on the air for his show, ‘Real Time’, and which peppered the book between all the shorts. Those were mostly well-crafted arguments and/or observations instead of strictly being humour (mind you, everything had a humourous slant – even the most serious stuff).

The thing I liked the least was this impression I got that Maher has had some serious relationship issues in his life. Aside from the constant pot references, he’s made far too many cracks about women and feminists in this book for me to think that it’s all coincidence. He doesn’t hate women, hardly, but there is a bitterness and condescension that didn’t sit well with me.

‘The New New Rules’ is an easy read, though. The most that any page holds is three “rules”, which are short paragraphs of two to three lines each – and, sometimes, a page might hold only one if there was a picture accompanying it. So it’s the kind of thing that you can read late at night, when your head is too cloudy to tackle anything heavy. It’s also a great bathroom book, ’cause you can’t lose your place.

Also, because laughter is better than bran. (I read that somewhere, I think)

Would I recommend ‘The New New Rules’ (which is confidentially subtitled “A Funny Look at How Everybody But Me Has Their Head Up Their Ass”)? Certainly. Should one read ‘The New Rules’ first? I don’t know, I haven’t read it  yet. But I will. I enjoyed this one enough to give it a shot – as well as other Maher works. I’ll write it up the moment I’m done.

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