Bill Maher: ‘America Loves Rich A**holes’


I watched “Jobs” last year, the Steve Jobs biography movie starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs. As is normal for me, I took notes while I watched it. I rarely just chillax and “watch something.” I’m just not built that way. I’m always alert to learning something new and I wanted to try to glean some success tips from Jobs’ habits. I learned a lot from that movie and wrote up my notes in detail.

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me — I love genius. Am fascinated by it. I think most people are, otherwise movies and books about geniuses wouldn’t be so popular. I study genius and try to pull in some of the best practices of people who have achieved their dreams.

Featured image by Celestine Chua, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.
Celestine Chua, available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license.

Steve Jobs did a lot of things well, and he did a lot of things poorly. He did business and innovation well, but he was famously a total jerk. An asshole. He screwed over his business partners, his friends, his lovers…even his own children. All in the name of winning. It wasn’t even about money eventually. It was about winning. At all costs. No  matter who it hurt.

Winning is great. It’s fun. Who doesn’t love to win? Human beings are geared to WANT to win. We’re geared to admire winners and be dismissive of losers. But for Americans, is it more than just admiring winners? Is it more than just a fascination with genius? Is it….that we actually love rich assholes?

From Bill Maher’s blog:

The new Steve Jobs movie, cleverly titled “Steve Jobs,” broke box office records in its limited release, which is only surprising if you think movies should be interesting. I haven’t seen it, just like I haven’t seen the two previous movies about Steve Jobs, because what the hell do I want to watch a movie about a marketer for? A Mac has the same hard drive and RAM and keyboard as any other computer, it just looks a little cooler and the advertising is hipper. You might as well make a movie about the Geico insurance CEO. But then I started reading the reviews, and they all mention what a huge asshole Jobs was, and now I understand. Because for some reason, America loves rich assholes. Charles Foster Kane, Jay Gatsby, everyone on “Dallas,” Tony Stark, Donald Trump… I guess it’s because, despite the delusion Americans have that we’re a generous and kind nation, secretly we all wish we were billionaires so we could tell the world to kiss our ass.

Yeah. It’s unlikely I’ll be watching the new movie. My admiration for Steve Jobs and geniuses like him hasn’t changed, but I don’t love rich assholes. They disgust me. They’re disposable to me. Learn what you can from them, and hopefully, try to remain human. Try not to be an asshole.

h/t The Daily Banter

Tiffany Willis Clark is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America and AmReading.com. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she had a long and successful career actively working with at-risk youth, people struggling with poverty and unemployment, and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. In 2011, she made the decision to pursue her dreams and become a full-time writer. Connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page.