Bill Maher got on his soapbox last night to go after the music industry. The Real Time host laid out an argument that materialism in music is responsible for a generation of bratty, entitled kids.
Maher made his case during the "New Rule" segment on February 2. The late-night TV host apparently thought now was as good as time as any to complain about today's music.
According to Maher, there were drastically less songs glorifying money prior to 1990. Real Time then highlighted a seemingly never-ending reel of modern songs with "money" in the title.
So why is Maher going after pop music now? Because he believe that "nothing molds teenage hearts and minds like music and music culture." The comedian argues that kids are more likely to memorize song lyrics than anything they learn in school.
The host was quick to point out the problem of materialism isn't unique to rap music. Citing lyrics by Lady Gaga and Brantley Gilbert, Maher maintained that every genre of music suffers from the same issue.
Maher didn't help his "old man yelling at the clouds" persona when he compared modern music to what he listened to in his youth. Born in 1956, Maher claimed that the pop stars he listened to sang about things that were attainable like happiness and love. Now, kids hear songs about money and luxuries they'll never experience.
The "New Rule" segment did get a little deeper on the topic when Maher addressed the racial element. "Suburban white hippie kids had the luxury of being anti-materialistic because they were never denied material things in the first place."
"But the history of Black people in America," Maher continued, "is the history of being denied the means and often even the right to buy stuff." The Real Time host doesn't blame anyone for celebrating finally attaining those things ... he just thinks there should be a time limit.
And for anyone looking to counter Maher's argument with "OK, boomer," he's not engaging. The comedian argued that's not an answer to his position and "vomiting an inventory of your possessions doesn't make you a poet."
Maher wrapped up the segment by predicting things could change. He cited the level of homophobia and sexism in music during the '90s and early 2000s. Maher believes that if materialism in music gets called out the same way, he'll finally see the change he thinks is due.