Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Let's Talk About Beck
"I'm a loser baby... so why don't you kill me?"
Those are lines to the song "Loser" from an artist known as Beck. Beck is a really good musician, and you should listen to him.
Glenn Beck is a crazy talk show host, and you probably shouldn't listen to him.
The Young Turks (who are awesome, btw) have tipped me off to a strange and troubling development from Fox News. Apparently, Glenn Beck has decided to reinvent himself as a tearful demagogue hell-bent on social upheaval. His show's new angle is to cast him as a populist revolutionary, who intends to bring America back to the good ol' days. No, not the 50s or the 80s, the usual stomping grounds of the archetypal reminiscent conservative.
Beck is taking the unusual route of waxing nostalgic for September 12, 2001.
Yep, I miss the old days when everyone was afraid of getting blown up by terrorists and no one was allowed to criticize the president. Good times.
Glenn Beck the pariah (or messiah?) is a step above Glenn Beck the NWO conspiracy theorist, but this is still all kinds of crazy. Check out the video to see what I mean.
My favorite part is when he cries and goes "I just love this country sooo much!"
For a little bit of background information, if you don't know who Glenn Beck is:
You might recall Glenn Beck as the guy that used to make you wonder if you were watching Fox News when you were really watching CNN Headline News, because, dammit, you blocked that channel on principle! (Or maybe that was just me)
Beck was the token conservative on the obscure CNN affiliate, who has recently found a new home on the more appropriate Fox News, making HNN safe to watch once again. He also has a radio program (of course).
Beck's schtick is similar to that of Lou Dobbs; a hardcore fringe conservative whose status as an independent rests completely on his protectionist leanings and his fear of Mexicans. Essentially he's a fair-weather Republican (he supported George Bush's presidential campaign. Both times). When the going is good, he kisses Bush's ass, and when the American people reject the Republican party, he's an independent once again.
Glenn Beck thought it important to question Keith Ellison, the first Muslim U.S. Congressman, about whether he's "working with our enemies".
Glenn Beck actually believes in the "New World Order", a conspiracy theory that posits that the governments of the world are conspiring to create a worldwide totalitarian government.
Glenn Beck was in the rare position of only supporting John McCain after he picked Sarah Palin as a running mate. In fact he was one of her early supporters.
I love youtube btw
Now he wants everyone to come together, Republicans (like Beck), Democrats (really?), Independents (like Beck) and sing Kumbaya?
I tacitly approve the message, but I'm reasonably suspicious about the messenger.
Beck's proposal seems reasonable enough. Remember how good everyone felt after 9/11? When we all stopped bickering and came together with common goals? Can't we get back to how we were back then?
Basically he wants all Americans to get back to that warm and fuzzy feeling we had, and to do that we just need to unite around a set of core principles. 9 Principles actually, and 12 values. (9/12? Pretty clever).
I'm just going to post them here, so you don't have to go on his website and give him more hits. That's right, I am that bitter.
1) America is good
2) I believe in God and he is the center of my life
3) I must always try to be a more honest person than I was yesterday
4) The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the absolute authority, not the government
5) If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.
6) I have a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but there is no guarantee of equal results
7) I work hard for what I have and share with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable
8) It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or share my personal opinion
9) The government works for me. I do not answer to them, they answer to me
and the values are honesty, reverence, hope, thrift, humility, charity, sincerity, moderation, hard work, courage, personal responsibility, gratitude.
Most of these are fairly innocuous, maybe even obvious to most Americans. A handful are sort of contradictory (Principles 4 and 5, principles 5 and 9). And of course he decides to throw Abrahamic monotheism in the mix, because, hey, remember Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Carl Sagan? Not really Americans, sorry. Oh yeah, and the same goes for Sanjay Gupta, Bobby Jindal's parents. Basically a big F-U to the 12% of Americans who are atheists, the 1.1 million Hindus in America, 150,000 Sikhs, etc.
But that's not what really bothers me about all this.
I'm annoyed by the bold faced hypocrisy of a guy who rails mocks the supposed worship of Obama by Democrats in his painfully unfunny "Messiah" video, and as recently as a week ago has been jokingly referring to Obama as Jesus, yet sees fit to declare himself as the savior of America, complete with a list of Commandments.
On a more positive side note, while I was searching for more info on project 912, I came upon this. Apparently, the domain name, "Project 912" has already been taken by an alternate reality-style movie/game. And you know what? It actually sounds kind of cool. Check out http://www.project912.info/ for more details. Poor Glenn is stuck with the much less cool domain of www.theglennbeck912project.com, which sadly shows up second on the google search results for "Project 912". Has this caused much confusion at all? Well...
After more digging around, I encountered this hilarious blog post about an incident when conspiracy-crazy Beck recycled a plot from the X-Files about secret concentration camps as a smear against Obama.
This gets better, however.
In the comments section on this blog post there is a post from none other than Andros Sturgeon, the creator of the Project 912 alternate reality series. According to Sturgeon, he has been receiving emails from confused Glenn Beck fans. Some were mad and accused him of hacking Beck's site, but others have asked him to join the "human resistence".
"See, as I said, my series is entirely subversive. It's about a secret war between humans and hidden beings known as "The Threat." In my storyline, everything you experience in this world is put there and manufactured by The Threat to keep humans as a slave workforce. It's a vast, paranoid conspiracy.
The only difference between my storyline and Glen Beck's is the substitution of "The Threat" for the names "Nancy Pelosi and "Barack Obama".
Even funnier is the notion that in going to my site, a frantic message tells you have stumbled onto the human resistance, yet it is quickly obvious that one is dealing with a work of fiction.
However, my email box is currently filled with paranoid rants from Beck's fans, asking me if they can join my resistance thinking my site is his.
I'm not sure if it says more about Beck's fans that they can't tell the difference between reality and Science Fiction, or more that my storyline feels completely real to people."
This is comic gold. Apparently Beck's conspiracy-hungry fans can't tell the difference between a work of fiction and Beck's paranoid rants. Actually, neither can I.
One more thing: You might be noticing the giant Obama on our banner and come to the conclusion that we are somehow Obama-worshipers. But that misses the point entirely; we do this in jest. We also had a picture of Che for a while. We're not Communists, and Obama is not anyone's Messiah.