Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Glenn Beck: The New Freak Show

Have you ever gone to a freak show? You pay your two bucks, the barker punches your stamp, and you get to walk around this smelly, dimly lit makeshift tent that will be gone is a few days and look at the "oddities." The freaks of society under one roof so you can get your gawk on.

Freak shows have been around forever. The Elephant Man, Chang & Eng the Siamese Twins, Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy, and now we have the newest freak on the Fox block: Glenn Beck, the Cowardly Crying Doomsdayer.

Watch this clip and witness the horror. This freak of nature! GLENN BECK! The Cowardly, Crying Doomsdayer!

Now maybe I shouldn't have, but when I saw this freak I didn't gasp or cover my face in fear. I laughed. How sad is that? Am I the only one who laughed? I doubt it. I laughed because of the contradiction of his message. Beck goes on his new show at Fox and calls one of his segments the "War Room," creating a fictional hellish future as his viewers watch, mouth agape, for the purpose of stirring them into a Doomsday panic. He blames "your leaders and the special interests and the media," while at the same time promoting this "You Are Not Alone" special claiming that if "you pull away the curtain, there isn't anybody there. It's just a few people pushing the buttons." The same people that are pushing the buttons for Glenn Beck's show, perhaps?

Beck has started The 912 Project. I took a quick gander at the website and here was the first line I read: "The 9-12 Project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001." Because nothing says we should live in fear like the day after 9/11. I stopped reading before sacrificing any more brain cells.

This Nostra-dumb-ass is creating worst case scenarios on his show and freaking people out while simultaneously trying to get though his crying jag special by telling his audience they need to take back the world, remember "we surround them - you are not alone"... but don't forget to be afraid!

To be fair, Beck's explanation is that he is obviously trying to capture the feeling of the nation's citizens coming together as one after 9/11 (when Bush's approval ratings were through the roof). I would venture to say that he is recreating the feeling of fear on 9/12 due to his doomsday rhetoric and not this feeling of solidarity, but that's just me.

You should read his 9 Principles here. As far as his 12 Values, all you have to do is look at some of the commenters to see how quickly those values evaporate when dealing with someone who doesn't espouse their views.

While I believe Beck's current ratings are tantamount to staring at a freakish car accident with limbs and heads laying in the street, and that it's a hideous sight that you can't look away from, I also think that you wind up getting desensitized to the crazy and it'll get old quickly. After all, there's something weird going on when people on your own network are making fun of you, as shown by this Shepard Smith video.

So while Beck is the new and strange little oddity in the freak show that's drawing a crowd, soon it'll die down and people will say, "Oh, look. Beck's crying... again. Let's go take a look at the lady born with no arms that eats with her feet!" You've seen one self-immolation, you've seen 'em all.

ADDING... For added fun, take a look at Stephen Colbert's parody, The Doom Bunker.

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