Thursday, April 2, 2009

Beck the fuck off.

While Rush may be the de facto leader of the Republican party, it's entirely possible he's only the "logos" leader while Glenn Beck is the "pathos" leader. When I think of Rush Limbaugh (and I try not to) my mind doesn't typically go to his use of logic...until I watch a little of Glenn Beck. These days Beck is practically the bad cop to Limbaugh's good cop, making Limbaugh seem downright reasonable. Beck, whose recent popularity spike is in direct correlation to his increasing insanity, continually makes emotional pleas for the American people to "wake up"! He sees himself as a contemporary Howard Beale, a populist crusader who is the last man capable of seeing the "truth" about America.

The truth, according to Beck, is that we are marching not towards socialism...but instead towards fascism. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know what fascism is, of course, but he's certainly got the Leni Riefenstahl aesthetic down on his I could be wrong. Now, to be fair, Beck does accuse people on both the left and the right of leading us down this dangerous road. The fact that he's only come to this realization within 2 months of Obama taking office is pure coincidence! The fact that he's only now, under Obama, comparing our society to an Orwellian nightmare is simply a case of Delayed Reaction Syndrome. Obviously.

The following video is one of his more recent outpourings of paranoid delusions, and it's a doozy. I particularly like how he begins with classic images of Nazi Germany but then later says "it's not that kind of fascism." If today's fascism is not that kind of fascism, then why show that kind of fascism? This clip is about 3 minutes long and there are so many absurdities in it that I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. It's impossible to know how much influence Beck wields, or whether he even believes half of what he's peddling to great ratings, but something tells me Beck, like Limbaugh, ends up helping the Democrats more than he hurts them. This strikes me as the kind of drivel that only serves to fire up the extreme right, and the more the extreme right is the focus of the GOP, the more likely the Democrats will retain power.

If there's one saving grace in Beck's ascent to madness, it's that it gives Shep Smith great material to work with. Smith became a bit of a hero during the presidential campaign by being an objective voice of reason on Fox...calling bullshit on things that smelled from miles away. The video below is a nice little compilation of Smith ripping on Beck. It's playful, but you certainly get a sense that Smith is embarrassed (not jealous) at Beck's popularity.


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