Tag Archives: Glenn Beck

May your gold perish with you

Glenn Beck has something major to do with another ambitious and tilted web portal, The Blaze*. Here’s a capture of today’s page. The ridiculous headline tops a truly funny/nutty video about some members, evidently, of the ‘professoriat.’

I’m okay with those who wish to protect the non-political nature of The Restoring Honor (umm, to America) protest ritual on Saturday. Why? Because even though politics was obviously and self-evidently implicit in, and concretely an aspect of, the event’s sub-text, by setting this to the side I can regard more fully that the event was about purportedly framed by a call to vivify both religion and patriotism.

Or, vivify some version of Christianity. You know: the new-fangled Beckian Christianity, an offshoot stripped of its social gospel and re-sanctified–I presume–to be a harsh Libertarian foundationalism; and one centered on personal responsibility and other stuff found nowhere at the center of a decent, magnanimous, moral old school Christianity.

Social justice is a very bad thing? …as the bumper sticker has it: Who would Jesus Bomb today?

newleftmedia @youtube

Two videos from the event, here for your viewing pleasure, should cause you to wonder about selective editing and the ease with which ignorance can be evoked. It is the case that at any gathering numbering ten or more people, it is likely child’s play to get someone to unwittingly embarrass their self, if he or she is asked about politics or religion.

However, I still would be open to a coherent presentation of the Tea Party case. I have spent more than a few hours looking for as much, and, probably because I’m modestly overly aware of stuff like philosophy and history, I have yet to find any cogent explication. Really, my bar isn’t set very high. And, this documentation doesn’t have to be convincing, it just has to be reasonable and reasonably intelligent. I’ll keep searching.

Slate V. Video

I certainly agree with the slathering Tea Party about one bare fact: the financial industry should have been held accountable for their grotesque, morally reprehensible, gambling. But, amazingly, now it seems the Tea Party is on the cusp of being co-opted by, in effect, the Club For Growth, Koch Brothers, and their ilk!

This is apparently where the Tea Party is headed: into the arms of the collectivist moneychangers, the very ones who happily took the tax dollar and rewarded themselves handsomely for allowing themselves to be bailed out. Why the Tea Party doesn’t get, as far as I know, that this synergy weds them with the other co-dependent side of the problem they’re so angered about, is a question which remains to be answered.

Of course, many have pointed out the Tea Party isn’t really a new wave at all. This may turn out to be true. Certainly their Constitutional and economic complaints have, over the last month or so, become terribly infected by the usual suspects, and to a degree by: racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry, Birtherism, and conspiracy-theory driven paranoia.

Their eliminativist leanings are ludicrous. Still, when 40% of Republicans think it possible that Obama has come to bring Shariah to the Republic, we’re witnessing something which has grown beyond the old Conservative/Liberal fault lines. For one thing, it seems this movement is very labile and able to shape shift between advocating against a Marxist Manchurian candidate, and, advocating against a Jihadi counter-crusader. All in all, the enemy posed is of an exceptionally large scale: Islam! Communism! All those other kinds of Christians! Brown and darker skin!

I’ll wait patiently for the video featuring the Tea Party smart set. Let me know if you find anything. As for Beck embracing the legacy of Martin Luther King, to me, Beck’s thrust seems much more in the direction of Martin Luther.

He said to them, “Beware! Keep yourselves from covetousness, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of the abundance of the things which he possesses.” (Luke 12:15)

But those who are determined to be rich fall into a temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful lusts, such as drown men in ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (I Timothy 6:9-10)

He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” (John 2:14-16)

Glenn Beck vs. Christ the Liberator – Reverend James Martin, S.J.

*The site will be run by Scott Baker, who helped launch the conservative Breitbart TV website. Politico reports that the site already has what appear to be paid sponsors – gold-based investment service Goldline. It’s also carrying an ad for a book by former GOP House Majority Leader Dick Armey. They have also hired Jon Seidl from the American Spectator and Meredith Jessup from Town Hall as reporters for “The Blaze.”

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Eva Palin & Palinism

Sarah Palin fascinates me as a person, personality type, and behavioral specimen. As a ‘psycvhological’ screen for a certain type of ‘main street’ resentment, she’s obvious ideally configured.

Sarah Palin’s ego and ambitions are breathtaking. People have told me: “Palin isn’t qualified to be President!” My reply: “It’s a popularity contest.” A lingering question would be: what kind of brain trust would she put together? How would she be manipulated? What kind of wreckage would be realized given her modest mental talents?

Eva Peron

But Palin is not much like Eva Peron. The point of comparison is presumably Peron’s magical hold on her public. But Eva Peron was altogether a more complicated character. Palin obviously isn’t a creature of left populism as was Peron, even if Peron married into something much darker.

“This is not rocket science. We’re talkin’ about going back to the basics of America.”

Of course, the documentarian has the ability to shoot a lot of film, select the most appalling clips, and assemble the horror show above. Similar takes were produced during last year’s campaign to highlight the lack of thoughtfulness of some Obama supporters.

On the other hand, Palin’s core constituency, it would seem, is: the ignorant. Point me in the direction of thoughtfully articulated belief in her capabilities, and I’ll come back tail between my legs.

Among several elements which pop up for me is how Palin seems clueless about both being overmatched, and, about her not getting to specify the terms and context for her encounters with the media. Her reflections to Bill O’Reilly about her being annoyed by Katie Couric, are close to being the most psychologically revealing video of a politician since the time when Dubya froze when asked if ‘there was one mistake he most regretted.’

Yet, just because Palin’s own ‘theory of mind’ is—evidently—completely reflexive, (because she believes everyone is but her foil,) this plugs directly into the circuit of populist paranoia about a pointy-headed elite conspiring to “strip away their freedoms.” So: Palin herself gets to carry that collective projection forward and battle against the dark forces arrayed against so-called real Americans. She’s in way over her head, but that’s an advantage right now in the current, paranoid-delusional environment.

Never mind that Sarah Palin has obtained her own elite status in the scheme of Alaska success stories and is busily working to be a millionaire. Her main street bona fides are modest but her iconic stickiness lives large. In a way, Palin is a celebrity genre unto-herself.

As it is for other celebrated public figure and pundits, I wonder whether, in fact, he or she actually believes their own bullsh*t. Does Glenn Beck really read American history closely? This same reading engenders grandiose delusions such as his “100 Year Plan” to “re-found America.” Likewise, does Palin really think that her restoration of messianic Reaganism will in turn restore real American’s freedoms? In both cases, it could be said that it doesn’t work that way—since it hasn’t worked this way in the past.

Meanwhile, the Republicans once again get to flesh out the imago of a victimized main street, and mount the resentments of a white anti-elite, anti-intellectual, populace gasping for air. Their propositions are incoherent, but it hardly matters because it’s simple work to feed the embittered with talk of their loss of freedoms, the spectre of incipient socialism, and the rise of the personally irresponsible, (i.e. immigrants and minorities.)

It should go without saying that this is only the gambit of the Republican political elite when they’re out of power. Once they come back in power they morph back into Tories, social Darwinists, and go onto to laugh all the way to the bank. Reagan, Bush I, Bush II., didn’t deliver squat to their sacred silent majority. You can look it up.

I try to imagine the most cynical and dangerous Republican ticket in 2012. Easy: Palin/Petreaus. Still, the deranged possibilities are hilarious.

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