Thursday, September 3, 2009
FEAR TEH OLIGARHIES
The best part is how he tricks you. He gets to the end and he says there's a letter missing, and of course you're thinking "of course, it's C." BUT NO! It's Y. He fools you into thinking he knows what he's doing, and at the LAST SECOND he yanks your chain and kicks you like a glistening Gerard Butler down a bottomless pit of madness.
Glenn Beck is fantastic. I actually think it's fascinating how cable TV news lunacy has become an industry unto itself, complete with the kind of variety Baskin-Robbins can only dream of. You have your O'Reillys and Olbermanns, basic self-righteous anger of both the Left and Right flavors (let's say Chocolate and Vanilla, and if you have to ask which is which you're not thinking very hard). There are a huge number of commentators on the fringes that cover most of the niche insanity--your Birthers, your PETA folks. There's Jon Stewart LIEBOWITZ THE JEW, who is essentially the top-tier predator of the whole ecosystem. He just feeds on the wacky shit everyone else says and is functionally immune to retaliation. It's a good place to be.
But Glenn Beck has really stepped into the madness void left in our lives during the Obama presidency. Maybe you don't remember this, but bizarre and crazy things happened all the time during the Bush years. The OFFICIAL TERROR COLOR ALERT THING was up and down all the time depending on whether people needed distracting. You could barely keep track of all the illegal shit that people in the White House were doing, because it was the kind of illegal that you can just get away with unless you're Scooter Libby. Who really just took the fall for Cheney figuring he'd get a pardon, so it's not like anyone really got caught doing anything. Oh yeah, and a great American city was almost completely destroyed because the President was incompetent and hired incompetents to run his administration. The President of the United States of America allowed New Orleans to be destroyed. These are facts, and these are the things that we actually got used to over the course of 8 years. Olbermann's a blowhard, but his "8 Years in 8 Minutes" segment is really something special. Look it up; I guarantee there will be at least 5 things that are completely outrageous and appalling that you completely forgot about. Because that's just how things were.
Anyway, Glenn Beck. With the truly insane people out of power, new crazy people are emerging to fill the vacuum and many of these people are part of the right-wing media. Glenn Beck has really made a name for himself in the last year and honestly, good for him. I have a hard time believing that Beck or Limbaugh take themselves that seriously--I think at the end of the day they realize that there's a shitload of money to be made doing what they do. They're just the best maniacs American enterprise can produce, and that's pretty sweet because Americans have proven that if there's a shitload of money to be made for doing something, we will get really good at it.
But there are some things that make you wonder. Like, Glenn hops up on a table to do his whole O-L-I-G-A-R-H-Y thing. Not only is this kind of a wacky thing to do, but it also makes the audience acutely aware of how small Glenn Beck actually is and it shows the world that he has questionable taste in shoes. I have a limited knowledge and appreciation for shoes even on the spectrum of heterosexual men, but I can tell you that if you are on TV wearing a suit you SHOULD NOT be wearing whatever the hell those are. Converses? Keds? And finally, the camera pans back across the whole room as Glenn gets off the table and you can see that half the surfaces in the studio are covered with paper on which Glenn has scrawled his Lovecraftian ramblings. Is this supposed to convey gravitas? I think the last time I saw something like this was in "A Beautiful Mind," and I didn't come away from that scene thinking Russell Crowe really had his shit together and I should listen to what he had to say.
And in a coup de grace that would have made Kafka's Hunger Artist proud (special thanks to Dennis Miller), he misspells the central word of his rant when the ENTIRE POINT of the rant was to spell that word. He misspells it, almost saves himself with the "missing letter," but then the missing letter is ALSO THE WRONG LETTER and we're left with the message to "keep asking questions" because the letter Y is a homonym for the word "why" and God damn that is profound.
This is really just a postscript, but I read Glenn's Wikipedia article to see if he is as short as he looks on TV. It doesn't list a height, so I'm assuming he is. This Wikipedia article has given me some fresh insight as to how odd, damaged and deranged this man really is and honestly I feel a little bad for piling on a guy who has all these problems. Again, Kafka would be proud.