The last Glenn Beck post for a while

I’m tired of Glenn Beck. For a while, he kind of served a purpose for me – giving me somewhere to focus my anger – but I think it’s probably time to move on to more fertile ground. There’s only so much hate, after all, that I can spew. Plus, it looks like Beck is imploding anyway. His comments the other day about how he felt that Obama is a better President than McCain would have been, really chafed the grub-white asses of the frothing Birther army. So, now, I think, it’s time to just sit back for a while and enjoy the acrobatics as he tries to get back into the good graces of the racists, flat earthers, and assorted closed head injury victims that round out his audience.

If you haven’t read it yet, Glenn Greenwald has some interesting thoughts on Beck, and the fluidity of his beliefs. Here’s a clip:

…Last night during his CBS interview with Katie Couric, Glenn Beck said he may have voted for Hillary Clinton and that “John McCain would have been worse for the country than Barack Obama.” This comment predictably spawned confusion among some liberals and anger among some conservatives. But even prior to that, there had been a palpable increase in the right-wing attacks on Beck — some motivated by professional competition for the incredibly lucrative industry of right-wing opinion-making, some due to understandable discomfort with his crazed and irresponsible rhetoric, but much of it the result of Beck’s growing deviation from GOP (and neoconservative) dogma. Increasingly, there is great difficulty in understanding not only Beck’s political orientation but, even more so, the movement that has sprung up around him. Within that confusion lies several important observations about our political culture, particularly the inability to process anything that does not fall comfortably into the conventional “left-right” dichotomy through which everything is understood.

Some of this confusion is attributable to the fact that Beck himself doesn’t really appear to have any actual, identifiable political beliefs; he just mutates into whatever is likely to draw the most attention for himself and whatever satisfies his emotional cravings of the moment. Although he now parades around under a rhetorical banner of small-government liberty, anti-imperialism, and opposition to the merger of corporations and government (as exemplified by the Bush-sponsored Wall Street bailout), it wasn’t all that long ago that he was advocating exactly the opposite: paying homage to the Patriot Act, defending the Wall Street bailout and arguing it should have been larger, and spouting standard neoconservative cartoon propaganda about The Global Islamo-Nazi Jihadists and all that it justifies. Even the quasi-demented desire for a return to 9/12 — as though the country should be stuck permanently in a state of terrorism-induced trauma and righteous, nationalistic fury over an allegedly existential Enemy — is the precise antithesis of the war-opposing, neocon-hating views held by many libertarian and paleoconservative factions with which Beck has now associated himself. Still other aspects of his ranting are obviously grounded in highly familiar, right-wing paranoia…

And it’s probably not going to come across the way I want it to, but, over these past few weeks, I’ve come to kind of respect Beck on some level. Or, at least I’m gaining an appreciation for the fact that, up until now at least, he’s been able to perfectly calibrate, change and deliver his message in such a way as not to alienate his base. I don’t know that it’s something to be proud of, but he certainly knows demographics of his audience, and what activates that prehistoric lizard part of their brains that motivates them to stockpile Snack Pack and buy enough ammo to kill everyone in their home towns five times over.

I didn’t come to this realization that Beck was brilliant until I read a feature on Salon about his early years, working on the lower rungs of the radio industry as a painfully-zany morning drive-time zookeeper. I could post about all the shitty stuff he did that position, like call the wife of a rival DJ on air and harass her about a recent miscarriage, but the big take-away for me was just how single-minded he was about succeeding. He seriously comes across as absolutely diabolical. And it’s changed my opinion of him. I no longer see someone’s drunken uncle spouting out offensive nonsense to the cheers of his equally dimwitted neighbors. Now I’m seeing him more as Andy Kaufman on those occasions where he made the rounds as Tony Clifton.

Does that make him any less reprehensible? No. I just means that it’s going to take me a little while to recalibrate. Here, while you’re waiting, is some whacky footage of the young zookeeper with a monkey:

And how cool would it be if Beck turned out to Andy Kaufman?

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15 Comments

  1. Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    What – no one wants to talk about Beck and the monkey?

  2. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    what activates that prehistoric lizard part of their brains that motivates them to stockpile Snack Pack and buy enough ammo to kill everyone in their home towns five times over.

    See, you have to figure on missing a lot due to being drunk. Five times over.

  3. Brackinald Achery
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Works out to be pretty smart, because of math.

  4. KitMizzy
    Posted September 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Bang bang bang bang bang!

    Silly whittle boys!!!

    Fun fun swilly pwetend. White? Weelie?

  5. Timber
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Which one is Beck and which one is the monkey?

  6. Curt Waugh
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    You know, the whole Beck thing reminds me so much of the Ross Perot movement. Same sorta pro wrestling watching crowd looking for “other” rather than anything in particular.

    Of course, only Mark Maynard has the schizo vote. You’re really collecting ’em these days.

  7. Oliva
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Reminds me of Le Pen in France too. Dobbs and Limbaugh more so.

  8. Robert
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The “Who needs gimmicks?” thing is ironic.

  9. Bill LaLonde
    Posted September 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Curt,
    What’s wrong with pro wrestling? I love it…and still think that Glenn Beck is a douche(no offense to the hygienic properties of the douche). Don’t hurt your eyes while looking down your nose, buddy.

  10. Freddy
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Nate at Five Thirty Eight just had a piece comparing poll data on Rush and Beck. It’s interesting. Here’s the bottom line.

    The difference between Beck and Limbaugh is that Beck is much more of an anti-establishment figure. I have posited before that running perpendicular to the traditional liberal-conservative spectrum is an establishment/anti-establishment spectrum; Beck is conservative but anti-establishment. And that may be working out pretty well for him, since the country seems to be becoming more anti-establishment too.

  11. galan
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Glen Beck is a self-admitted recovering alcoholic. He is either drinking again, or on what is known as a “dry drunk”. Either way, he should be calling his sponsor, not displaying his insanity on TV.

  12. galan
    Posted September 25, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Similarly, Rush Limbaugh is a self admitted “recovering” narcotic addict who, like Glen Beck should also be calling his sponsor and asking for help instead of talking on the radio. But that’s just my take on it.

  13. Robert
    Posted September 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Now that Glen Beck is imploding I’m rapidly becoming a fan.

  14. Andy Ypsilanti
    Posted September 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    I saw one of Glen Beck’s books (I’m going to assume a guy who likes to talk as much as he does has more than one book) in the store the other day. Don’t remember the title, but he appeared to be wearing some sort of Facist/Nazi WWII uniform. It certainly wasn’t a US military uniform of any type. What’s up with that? Is it supposed to be ironic, or is he the new Facist Leader of the world.

  15. Posted September 28, 2009 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    That must have been his book of erotic photos for neocons. I hear there’s a good shot of him in bondage gear clubbing a hippy.

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