Beck and Palin Search for Mythical 'Paradise Lost'
"With the summer slowly simmering through the party primaries, the
U.S. has rediscovered the wild seasoning at its essence. It's the umpteenth return of those who see the state as a hunting ground for the idle. Beck serves as the prophet and Sarah Palin, the commander-in-chief."
WASHINGTON: Eric Burns, a
veteran journalist who for years was the icon of Fox News, defines him
as “the shame of American conservatism.”
The scourge of Obama - TV
presenter, incendiary host, extremist and clown Glenn Beck, who accuses the president of being socialist and a White-hating racist - has
replaced Bill O'Reilly as tormentor of the liberal wing in the United States.
The author of books like Arguing
with Idiots, in March he asked Christians among his followers to leave their parishes
if their priests spoke of “social justice,” which is a concept Beck associates with
Nazis and/or communists. Behind his words lurks a personality well-suited for
show business, a comedian turned journalist, or rather a journalist who, far
from giving an account of what has happened, is far more
interested in rewriting the past, altering reality, and making that into
history. Having dug deep into the nation's self-consciousness, he knows how to
choose a sliver of news and present it wrapped in phrases that sizzle.
This is the man who has
called for a rally on Saturday, the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King's
historic speech, alongside Sarah Palin in front of the Lincoln Memorial. He
wants to restore honor to the nation, sullied by Obama's presence in the White
House, and explains political life in terms of conspiracies.
He insists that the destiny
of the world is determined in the style of the purest, bottom-eating bestsellers.
In other words, he uses heavy artillery and raw demagogy. As David
von Drehle put it writing for Time Magazine in 2009, "the
paranoid style" - the sense that Masons or the railroads or the Pope or
the guys in black helicopters are in league to destroy the country - is aflame
again. ... No one has a better feeling for this mood, and no one exploits it as
well, as Beck.”
Forty five years ago, Norman Mailer discovered
the same truth in a debate with Truman Capote, when the dwarf-genius
knocked down Mailer's passionate defense of Jack Kerouac with six
words: “That's not writing, that's typing," and the next day no one
remembered anything else they said. Rather than rational, prosaic explanations,
we TV viewers love short sentences, pithy messages and crude slogans that are
spectacular, brilliant and magical.
Beck, a Mormon and a populist
born in 1964 and with a 2009/10 salary estimated at $32 million, reminds us of
those Promise Keepers who took Washington in the 1990s. Like them, he
proclaims the return of a purer America - the one preceding feminism, rock and the
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
It's a mythical country, with
covered wagons crossing prairies or neon gas station signs that light up when
he evokes them on behalf of the middle class. Beck knows how to excite his
audience. He knows well the source of its melancholy, its nostalgia for
paradise lost. With his own junk, fast-food intellectualism, he has led a
renaissance of an extremism that has never gone away, even while insisting that
his event on Saturday be apolitical. The proceeds will go to fund scholarships
for children of American soldiers killed in combat.
If we are to believe him, the
convergence of his event with the anniversary of King's speech is pure
coincidence. In other words, an influential political commentator doesn't
remember the date of an event that marked the end of apartheid in the United
States. Did he blush? Did someone say something about blushing?
Alveda King, a niece of the
murdered reverend, is to share the stage with Beck. In a burst of euphoria, she
compared the journalist with her uncle: “Haven't you heard him say that there
is only one race and we need to understand one another? It didn't bother you when
my uncle said that we have to learn to live together or die like fools, but
this is Glenn Beck saying something similar …”
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
With the summer slowly simmering through the party primaries, the
U.S. has rediscoveredthe wild seasoning at its essence. It's the umpteenth return of those who see the state as a hunting ground for the idle. Beck serves as the prophet and Sarah Palin, the commander-in-chief.
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