Monday, June 29, 2009

Glenn Beck Literally Plays with Dolls

At what point does it start being scary for everyone that a headline like that is immediately believable? It's true, but there are probably still a few scattered millions who would look at it and think, "Naaah, that's gotta be some kind of joke." With each passing week, the few remaining Glenn Beck headlines that would cause me to feel doubt about their veracity get stricken from the list. I think all I've got left are:

Beck Eats Live Frog on TV to Illustrate Lesson About Federal Reserve

Beck Dresses in Waitress Garb Like Sookie Stackhouse,
Reads Founding Fathers' Minds for 1 Hour

Beck's Tear Ducts Secrete Raw Cookie Dough;
'Strains of Job Taking Their Toll House,' Say Doctors


Beck Behaves Like Normal Goddamn Human Being for 15 Minutes

The last one — it's the last one that's never coming off my list.

In any event, yes, the headline above actually happened. In order to explicate the perfidy of ACORN, whose list of imaginary charges now involves taking the good skin movies off late-night Showtime and casting Roger Moore as James Bond, Glenn Beck literally plays with Barbie dolls. Just watch:

Ordinarily this sort of thing would merit a second-by-second breakdown of the absurdity, but there aren't really any standout moments. There's just this constant simmering, guttering cloud of toxic idiocy enveloping the studio — as if Beck and O'Reilly did the verbal equivalent of getting stoned, eating four pounds of bituminous coal and then farting out miasma for a couple of hours.

Beck's entire lunatic harangue rests on four false premises.
1. "Everyone in America wants to know about ACORN."

2. Beck has anything factual to say about ACORN.

3. The Barbie doll thing is a stroke of genius.

4. Implying "Haaahhhurrrrrr bluaaaauuuhhhh durrrrrrrrrr gay gay gay these guys are faaaaaaaaaaaggggsssss" is the funniest fucking thing in the world.
Beck has to invoke the first one to give the topic a sense of urgency. After all, most people in America don't give a fuck about ACORN either because they're totally undereducated and don't know about it or because they're competently educated and know enough to realize this is a bunch of bullshit. Which flows to Point #2: Beck has to fall back on the fundamentals of his routine — scaring the everloving crap out of the average American by insinuating a bunch of unrelated or imaginary things — because reiterating the facts about ACORN would bore them into the horrifying indifference that required him to distort the import of the story as he did in Point #1.

False premises #3 and #4 work in concert as well. The most infuriating part of the video is the evident self-satisfied glee Beck exhibits in having thought this up. You get the feeling he was hopping up and down in the green room, pouring Visine in his eyes, anxious to get out in the studio, thinking, "this is so fucking funny, this is so fucking funny; if I don't get out there right now, what if someone else on live TV scoops me to this joke by a minute? like that stoner artiste in high school who'd call and wake you up to play a riff he'd just created on guitar because, OMG, THIS IS A PAGE FROM HISTORY. (Then he found out it was a pentatonic scale.)

Beck walks right up to the line of calling the people who run ACORN "fags," standing at the threshold like Balboa surveying the Pacific, seemingly utterly convinced that he's the first to discover the power of insinuating that liberals are all effete genderfuck whackos. And you can tell that it was at that momentous precipice that he realized, "I can't actually call them gay," before being thunderstruck by the idea of suggesting it by buying and playing with little girls' dolls.

Glenn Beck can't lose.

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