What about Beck? Glenn Beck is an enigma to me, much like algebra. He extrapolates to the point of absurdity; yet, there’s something to be said for this pseudo-intellectual Mr. Magoo from hell. Beck must regularly trip on substances even the Ghetto Shaman can’t get his grubby little hands on, but I’m still not ready to dismiss everything he says.
The problem is that we seek out the least common denominator when choosing our news and information sources. We never want things explained to us by someone who studied a particular topic their whole life. Because “elitism” is now deemed suspect, we’d rather listen to some guy—who desperately needs to get back on his medications—rant about something he knows little about. (Er, I know what you’re thinking, but keep reading this post, anyway.)
I think this is at the heart of why I despise Fox News. Yes, it’s true that shit is really going wrong these days. But why would I take these shameless morons’ word for anything at this point? Even the Crank has valid points, but where does corporate interest end and reality begin? Fox has been discredited to the point of absurdity (or, in this case, Discordity). The interesting thing is that few of us have noticed. Example, just because I have some liberal views, it doesn’t mean I want Michael Moore championing them.
As bad as our commander and communist gets, the story of our time remains, “Wow, people believed some really stupid shit in 2010.” And then the history teacher is going to remind the class, “The funny thing is, kids, this all happened right before the legalization of marijuana. Now everyone take a hit from your bowl and turn to page 227.”
No matter how long the Tea Party movement steeps in this steaming cauldron of freedom, it’s still mostly bullshit. But I have always given Glenn Beck some credit for at least acknowledging the fact that government is officially broken (even when he was back on CNN). I have been able to decipher little else since, however. I can easily spot when the chalkboard dust gets to him—that point when logic quietly slips out of the studio, climbs into a limo, and high-tails it out of there. But sometimes, just sometimes, there are kernels of truth mixed in with his popcorn bucket of paranoid prognostication (PBPP).
Last week on Hannity, SNL comedian Jim Brewer said, “I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
The only thing he left out was, “And Sean, you are a big part of the problem.”
Once again, a comedian shows more insight than our pundits, politicians, and journalists. The problem of our time is that information—truth itself—has been hijacked. This is why I was surprised to hear fellow Discordian Pokey “I-only-listen-to-AM-radio” McDooris say how clearly he is seeing things politically, nowadays. Ahhh, Pokey, this is a time of great ambiguity. Sorry you didn’t get the memo. (Hint: You need a mailbox first.)
Last week, Beck asked viewers to commit to his latest hair-brained scheme—the “40/40” challenge—which is designed to restore, faith, hope, and charity over the course of 40 days and 40 nights. I guess he chose this time frame because it only took God 40 days to completely wreck the place. Beck is betting he can top that shit.
One of the points of high comedy in last week’s episode eluded Mr. Beck completely. Someone sent him a Moses-style staff that he was fawning over for the entire episode.
He actually remarked, “I tell my staff all the time…blah, blah, blah.”
He meant his coworkers, but he said this while stroking his wooden staff (which Christine O’Donnell would not approve of).
So after the show, I dutifully went to GlennBeck.com to find out where I can stroke my own staff (hint: there are better sites for that). Once there, I decided that I was going to take this challenge of his in earnest. Of course, I should have read this crap before I committed myself, but hindsight is always 40/40.
From the Beck files:
Step 1: If you want to have a firm reliance on divine providence, the first question you have to ask yourself is, “Does God exist, and do I know him?” (The question mark and quotation marks are mine; Glenn was apparently out. I think I added an “is” in there somewhere too. I know, I know; we’re the last group that should be making fun of grammatical errors—but I’m willing to bet Fox’s editing staff is slightly better financed than our team. And when I say team, I mean me and a six-pack.)
Step 1: Done. Here is my answer:
Step 2: This involves understanding who I am to him (God). “The reason you have to answer this question is because it will empower you. It will also humble you at the same time. It’s a very interesting relationship when you recognize who you are. You are his literal son or daughter. He is your dad.”
Step 2: Done. Here is my answer:
Step 3: I could not tease out step #3 from the mountains of madness. I really tried, but the guy’s kind of bonkers—in other words, his civics class doesn’t quite make it to the final.
So, I’m asking all of you to take the Zano Challenge. Go to GlennBeck.com, click “Take the Challenge” and try to find the third step. It’s not there. I looked. I can’t find it. I guess I have to have faith that on a good day, Glenn Beck can count to 4. I think if I clicked on “Make the Pledge 40/40” I would get Step 3, but if I stay on this site any longer I could lose my lunch.
Back in the “Take the Challenge” section, well, there are these two paragraphs between Step 1 and Step 3. I’m not really recommending you read this. But if you happen to be mind-numblingly bored one day and you’re into the sheer masochistic fundamentalism (SMF) of it all, give it a whirl. (Note: SMF affects 1 in 5 Americans. The condition is treatable with meditation.)
Back to the elusive Step 3. Go for it, if you feel lucky. Well, do ya’? If not, skip the Beck part and resume with your regular program already in progressive:
“You know, somebody said to me the other day, I was with I was actually with a rabbi the other day, and I had dinner with him and we were talking about things and he said you know what, Glenn, you know what people forget sometimes? He said, and I think you’ve forgotten it in your case with your health. He said, I’ve heard you say several times that you know it will all be fine and whatever God’s will is it will teach you and lead you to a better place, and I said yes. And he said, what is the one thing that you like to hear from your kids and it makes you it’s just something that they say that you know that you’ve done a good job. And I said, I don’t I mean, besides the obvious ones, I don’t know. And he said, Daddy, come here; I need your help. Remember, God needs to hear that.
The very next day I’m talking to another person who is very spiritual in their life and we were talking about something entirely different. She said, you know, I just heard a talk yesterday. She said, I just have to tell you, Glenn. She said, she said it was this lady who was talking about herself. And she said, you know, I can’t do it, I can’t make it. You know, I’m just stupid, or whatever it was. And she said, the other woman who is a spiritual giant said, tell me about your daughter. And the woman started to glow. And she said, what would you say if your daughter said those things? And she said, oh, well, she wouldn’t say those things because she’s not that way. And she said, she’s just so smart and she’s just so great, and she would be wrong and I would tell her that. She said, at your desk do you have a picture of your daughter? And she said, no, but I keep a picture of my daughter on my dresser at home. And in sage advice the woman said back to her, just remember that God has a picture of you, his daughter, on his dresser. And he thinks the same way about you that you feel about your daughter. Who am I to him? It’s humbling and empowering at the same time. And it also helps you have firm reliance on divine on the protection of divine providence because dad loves his children, dad protects his children. Know that the kind of protection he offers is eternal in nature, and it’s the best kind.”
The third step is in there somewhere. If you find it, please contact me by hitting the Contact Us button and making contact. You must find it in these two paragraphs, hitting the “Make the Pledge 40/40” doesn’t count. If you can’t find it within 40 days, don’t bother—my obligation to Mr. Beck will be over by then. At that time, all of our coastal cities will have flooded, or I will be parked outside of Mr. Beck’s home with an AK-47. I’m sure it’s one of the two.
Step 3: Done. Here is my answer:
Since I had no guidance, I decided Step 3 was to pray to Cthulhu.
Step 4: And the last step on that first part of the 40-day and 40-night challenge is pray on your knees once a day. Done. Now simply rinse, lather, and repeat for 39 more days. But if you act now, we’ll throw in four more steps at no additional charge!
I kid Mr. Beck, but I have more respect for him than most of the Foxeteers (which still isn’t saying much.) But there is an honesty and a sincerity in Beck that is often lacking in his colleagues. There’s a genuine desire to help somewhere in that delusional head of his. It’s not all a shtick; he’s really that goofy. At least he’s trying to get people to do their own research. He thinks information is being tampered with, so he shares some views with yours truly. He even questions himself sometimes, and wonders if what he is doing is even helping. Wow, for a Foxeteer, that’s astounding. I am pleased to see a hint of authenticity under all of those blubbering extrapolations.
What Beck is also doing right is an attempt to clean up his own level of consciousness. He wants the best version of fundamentalism. Community, ethnocentricity, shared values, and nationalism are all very important to move the realms of developmental psychology forward. The problem remains that it often becomes too rigid and closed-off, and has the tendency to embrace an “us-versus-them” mentality.
Now, I don’t want too many of my faithful readers (both of you) losing any sleep over this 40/40 thing, but some of Beck’s other shows are worth at least a critique. We need someone to decipher what he is saying and translate the goofi-nese into English. He is accusing Obama of being the New World Order progressive anti-Christ (NWOPAC). This stuff needs to be addressed! Part of it, albeit a small part, seems to ring true. There are some flavor crystals of truthiness sprinkled into his Kool-Aid from hell.
So here’s my solution: I want my own Great American Panel to address some of Beck’s historic claims. I want Andrew Sullivan, Fareed Zakaria, Christopher Hitchens, and Ken Wilber to study the string of nonsensical statements espoused by Beck, and then tell me where he actually makes a point and where he errs. I know, I know; my panel is composed of smart people and independent thinkers, but that’s OK. Let’s just hear what they have to say before we tar and Foxer them. If necessary, we can always filter their findings through the “more-than-two-syllables” machine. The point is, there’s a point in there, somewhere. And unless I can get a hold of some of the Ghetto Shaman’s Amazonian roots, I can’t make heads or tails of this shit.