Thursday, April 08, 2010

Quote of the Day


"But it's hard to blame Beck's audience for being fished in. There's no wink and nod, so he's clearly not attempting some sort of obviously satirical character like Stephen Colbert or even a more bizarre character like Andy Kaufman's Tony Clifton. He performs this role as seamlessly as any decent character actor, but he never tips his hand... Just an occasional mention of himself as a 'rodeo clown.' There's no crawl at the end listing 'Glenn Beck as 'Glenn Beck.'' It's not a fiction program."

-- Bob Cesca, in his latest column in the Huffington Post

I've made the Beck-Kaufman comparison before because there isn't a shred of doubt in my mind that what Beck's doing is 100% burlesque. But credit to Cesca: He's taking up a gargantuan task and launching an admittedly quixotic crusade to kind of, well, expose Glenn Beck for the charlatan that he is.

Will he be successful? Will it matter one bit? Who the hell knows -- but it'll be fun to watch.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

How odd. We both used the word Quixotic to describe Cesca's mission...although, I used 3000 other words...

Cesca Out to Expose Beck

Anonymous said...

And he scares the fucking shit out of me.

Max said...

Agreed. You wonder if he ever weighs the consequences. It reminds me of McNulty in "The Wire" when he creates a serial killer and then finds the situation spinning out of control. As Greggs then says, "It's like a war, easy to get in, but hard as hell to get out."

Let's hope the damage is kept to a minimum.

Michael J West said...

I didn't buy this theory - that Beck is a phony who doesn't believe the shit he espouses - until I was forced to watch a whole episode while waiting for some takeout last week. I frankly laughed out loud. I'd never seen anyone take every right-wing boogeyman (ACORN! Illegal immigrants! Unions! Blacks! Abortionists! The media! The educated east-coast elite!) and spin them all into one vast super-conspiracy like that. I couldn't imagine that anyone could take it seriously.

Absurd, yes. Dangerous, fuck yes. But --- I hesitate to say this but it's true --- brilliant.

drater said...

Well, considering some folks claim that Colbert is only pretending to be kidding, but really is conservative, I don't think Cesca is going to convert the faithful.

Katy said...

I had a bit of an epiphany while reading the Cesca column in that Beck is the current branding of the televangelist. I really get the sense that the same people who were lining up to hand over their cash Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker are the ones who are now buying into Glenn Beck. I'm just so thankful my grandma isn't alive to see this. Sadly, she would have been lining up at Beck's altar with the rest of them and accusing me of being a Marxist in the same way she told me I was going to hell for believing in evolution.

Anonymous said...

Cesca posted "Unlike a left-leaning audience, Beck's audience is mostly composed of white conservative Christians who pride themselves on taking certain things on faith, and who often act against their own financial interests for the sake of patriotic cheerleading. It's an audience that embraces gun ownership and tends to be more reactionary and militaristic.


Interesting.

Wrong, but interesting.

He needs to do some demographic work before making these leaps, but it feeds Cesca's audience what they want to see. Which is kind fo the point of his piece on Beck, no?

Ryan said...

I rewatched 'Network' a fews weeks ago as well and was shocked at just how much the Howard Beale character shows up in Beck's performance as well...

The whole Beck situation is scary as hell.

Chez said...

Actually, Anon 2:53, there's nothing at all wrong about it. It's pretty much on the money. I'm all for being fair-minded in my judgments of both the left and right, but that assessment is a difficult one to argue with.

Chez said...

And I've said before, Ryan, that Beck wants to be Beale but misses the entire point of what Paddy Chayefsky was saying about television with the Beale character.

Tracer Bullet said...

But he effectively apes the Beale character. If you are inclined to believe Glenn Beck, does it matter that the music is wrong so long as the notes are right?

I wonder if Beck seems himself as dangerous? Beyond in a way he might find flattering, I mean. Tell enough crazy people that the president is a Marxist usurper sent from the Devil himself to destroy the country and sooner or later, some "patriot" is going to take a shot at Barack Obama. If wonder if he sees that or if he believes his audience knows it's an act and won't take it that far or if he just doesn't care?

abu said...

Like you Chez I'm convinced Beck is vaudeville at its finest but dammit he had me had for so long. When it is finally revealed that we've all been had we will owe him one motherfucker of an apology and rank this as one of the greatest acts of the 21st Century.

Mart said...

From Forbes Magazine online 4/8 and in print 4/26 -

"With a deadpan, Beck insists that he is not political: "I could give a flying crap about the political process." Making money, on the other hand, is to be taken very seriously, and controversy is its own coinage. "We're an entertainment company,"

No problem inciting a riot as long as it makes a buck. He has used his weep for America schtick so often he has built up a resistance to crying when Vicks Vapo rub is smeared under his eyeballs.

Anonymous said...

Actually Chez,

Beck's US audience, while I am not one of them, are comprised of 3/5 male betweeen 35-50+, 95% white, 75% of which have kids, 58% making $60k+ a year and 71% having a college degree or grad school.

Before I posted the comment, I searched around to see any other demographics were Cesca might have obtained his information and I found a dearth of information.

I surmised that most likely, Cesca fused he abve with some personal beliefs and printed hat is essentially his opinion concerning the rest.


Am I wrong?


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