Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Water Into Whine

The Washington Post's Dana Milbank is currently hawking a book, which means that, provided you run in certain highly insulated political media cicles, you're likely to hear a whole hell of a lot over the next couple of weeks about how Glenn Beck is practicing mind control with the goal of creating an army of Hoveround-riding septuagenarians to help him enslave the human race. While it concerns me a little that some of Milbank's claims and theories, at face value at least, sound as far-fetched and conspiratorial as Beck's own lunatic ravings, Milbank has the benefit of being an actual journalist as opposed to, say, an ex-Morning Zoo DJ now doing Kaufmanesque performance art because it's made him obscenely wealthy. So when Milbank says that it's entirely possible Glenn Beck is using coded language to pitch an obscure Mormon end times prophecy -- as opposed to the not-at-all-coded language he uses to pitch Goldline's horseshit scam -- I at least give it some consideration.

This is the kind of thing I can only recommend reading for yourself, so you can come to your own decision about whether you think it's legit.

The Huffington Post: "Mormon Prophecy Behind Glenn Beck's Message" by Dana Milbank/10.5.10

One thing, though, that can't be argued with is the all too real bukkake of crazy that regularly comes out of the giant fleshy pink knob that is Glenn Beck's head. Milbank has taken it upon himself to document in admirable detail -- admirable because I don't know how the hell he sat through hours and hours of this nonsense -- some of Beck's most absurd conspiracy fantasies.

For example:

"Beck explained -- without benefit of actual fact -- that Obama's advisers favor health-care rationing and sterilants in drinking water, and then he went on to endorse Sarah Palin's allegations that Americans would have to stand before Obama's 'death panel' so bureaucrats could decide who was worthy to live."

Ignore the death panel gambit, because by now that particular scare tactic is practically a classic. Hearing some tea bagging idiot bring up death panels is almost kind of satisfying at this point. It's like hearing the opening guitar riff of Satisfaction at a Stones show; you can't help but go, "Oh, fuck yeah! I know that! Woooo!" No, what's actually far more impressive is the whole "sterilants in the drinking water" claim. That's genius in that it fires on all paranoid cylinders at once: there's the eugenics implication, the fear of infestation, abjection and body horror, the rise of an authoritarian state and eventual dystopian future -- it's a veritable dumb-ass DSM IV.

But as I've mentioned before, like the rest of Beck's unoriginal shtick, the panicked warnings of an inevitable threat to our water supply, well it just sounds so familiar -- like I've heard it someplace before.

Be honest, how much do you feel like Mandrake in that first scene every time Beck figuratively puts his arm around you as an American and unleashes a torrent of delusional paranoia as if what he's saying is somehow completely rational?

(via Cesca)


Peter L. Winkler said...

Alexander Zeitchek's biography of Beck was published by John Wiley & Sons months ago, and portions of it, including the source of Beck's Mormon inspiration, appeared at Salon.com.

becky said...

i grew up Mormon and half of my family is still very devout (although quite liberal in Utah Mormon standards [*gasp* you voted for OBAMA?!?!]) obviously i can't speak for the Beck-Fan-Mormons (new breed that I'm hoping makes up no more than 50% but probably closer to 70% of the state I live in) but from an insider perspective, i'd say a lot of Mormons may have heard the phrase "constitution hangs by a thread" but probably don't know where it came from. i'm sure those who love Beck do now.

this is classic Beck. manipulate people any way you can. douche.

People who "don't trust the government," he said, would "see the government as violating the Constitution, and they will see themselves as defenders of the Constitution. Not a good mix. Then they take matters into their own hands."

and then he acts like he is not inciting people to violence.

what a twat.

but anyway...

becky said...

...as far as i know, the "The White Prophecy" has never been taught or considered doctrine of the Mormon church. in fact, i think they came out and made an official statement about just that earlier this year because some politicians in Idaho were doing or saying sjeaiofjaldjflk (this i where i trail off because i don't know the details of that story [I stopped subscribing to The Mormon Herald when I stopped going to church {that was a joke, I'm 60% sure there isn't a Mormon Herald.}])

in conclusion, Glenn Beck is the worst. it's not as if the Mormons need a new flagship of crazy to give America and The World (proper noun) weirder ideas about them. i know a lot of awesome Mormons so i get protective.

if I could see him in person and punch him in the face I'd probably get a boner.

other reasons punching Glenn Beck in the face (literally, as opposed to my standard day dream) would be satisfying:

1. stupid looking
2. dumb voice
3. wears glasses to look intelligent (child playing dress-up)
4. fulfillment of above-mentioned daydream
5. the sound he'd make

kanye said...

...sterilants in drinking water...

Oh man, that's just too good. Next thing you know, he'll be calling for lowering the voting age to 15 and mandatory acid trips for everyone over 30.

L. said...

Ha! I immediately went to Dr. Strangelove too.

'A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.'

Chez said...

I never read Zaitchik's book and God knows I try not to spend too much time delving into the mind of Beck, Peter. I always get the impression that it'd be like that old quote about the abyss also looking into you. Not surprised he brought this up, though.

motheralex said...

If this keeps up, I'm gonna go buy a Mineshaft.

Nick said...

I do not avoid women, Chez. But I do deny them my essence.

Chez said...

These days -- I do deny women. And my essence ends up on a sweat sock where it won't get me into trouble.