Last night on Real Time with Bill Maher, the HBO host pointed out how the philosophy of “Equality of Outcomes” was alive and well at the 2021 Grammys, insisting that “music is hard and most people suck at it.” He then compared backlash to the awards show to “trophy syndrome” which started in the 90s, when every American child was given a trophy “no matter how good or bad they are at something.”
During the “New Rule” segment of his show, Maher stated that “certain people do music better than others and it’s ok to reward them for it.”
“That’s called meritocracy,” he added. “And it’s the opposite of guaranteed outcomes. Equality of outcomes as opposed to equality of opportunity? We used to call that by another name – ‘trophy syndrome’.”
Maher claims the result of that concept is that kids these days now have “a totally deluded and unearned belief in their charmed brains and talent.”
“It’s not that the entire generation wants to be famous, they think not being famous isn’t fair.”
He then pulled up a Rolling Stone article which claimed that streaming has boosted the top 10 percent of artists and inhibits equality of outcomes as the bottom 90% of musicians only see 0.6% of streams. The article states that nearly 40,000 tracks are released on Spotify per day yet a “small class of artists” see the majority of streaming activity.
“Yes, these are called the good ones,” insisted Maher. “I mean, yes, of course, an occasional big talent can fall through the cracks but in general it’s simply a case that most people who try their hand at music write the songs that don’t make the whole world sing.”
“Wait, let me get this right,” said Maher. “Talented artists that people like are listened to more than untalented ones they don’t?”
“Stop the presses. Yes, that’s meritocracy!,” he added. “If people don’t like your song your mommy can’t make them listen to it.”
You can check out Maher’s full “New Rule” segment above and catch new episodes of Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET on HBO.
Michael is a music and television junkie keen on most things that are not a complete and total bore. You can follow him on Twitter — @Tweetskoor
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