Sunday, June 20, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Glenn Beck’s Dark Past by John Avlon

No silly, the Lector is not commenting on Glenn Beck’s younger years. I am referring readers to a book and website below that reviews a new book about the loveable teddy bear of a guy known as Glenn Beck.

The introduction to the article states, “Before CPAC tapped him for its keynote address, the Fox host's history was riddled with drugs and mental illness. John Avlon—author of Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America, available now from Beast Books—on how Beck became the Pied Piper of the right for the angry and disenfranchised.” I will also suggest but not recommend The Overton Window, Beck’s new book for another look into the mind of the mindless.

Even though I get annoyed to the point of nearly stroking out each time I encounter him, I have always suspected Beck was nothing more than an entertainer who had found his shtick by condemning all things not right wing. The problem I had with him was that his loyal followers tend to believe what he says as if he speaks in tongues of a messianic prophesy.

The books mentioned above confirm my suspicions. He is probably just another non-believing charlatan profiting off ignorance and fear. He can get a crowd roused to a fever pitch quicker than Brothers Jim Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart on the same stage. He is right up there with Daddy Grace and Reverend Ike, as well. The right wing-nuts and tea baggers would disagree. White supremacists would disagree publicly but privately would not care what he believes so long as he helps their cause. And that he does rather well.

Maybe I am more disturbed that Fox would place him in the spotlight although Fox is out there to make money, and he surely helps them do that. British Petroleum and Halliburton were just trying to make some coin when they caused that little oil leak in the Gulf. How can a corporation cause any real harm? It is all harmless fun or is it?

The good news is that his past tells me he will flame out one day and cause embarrassment to some; relief to others. He is too intense to stay on the edge long. Social comedians Richard Prior and Lenny Bruce let their edginess consume them. They were way out there and offensive to many but not harmful. Beck spreads hate. Hate is harmful. Maybe he just needs to attend a Devil’s Neck Kumbaya Retreat.

I do not wish him harm, but it would be nice to see the smoke and flames sooner than later because he really does incite an ever growing cadre of ill informed persons( I am being nice here) who actually can vote and might start one day. They can reproduce as well and uniformly oppose freedom of choice for women. Beck and I think it was Rush Limbaugh packed the USF SunDome in Tampa a few months back. I could not attend because it conflicted with an Ethics Class I teach at the same location. Otherwise, I may have boycotted the spectacle as an exercise in ethical conduct.

And oh yes, have a nice Day?


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