Watching Glen Beck

So I have seen some bits of Glen Beck’s show a few times now. (One of the oddities of having satellite TV.) I had heard the legends but never experienced it.

He wears glasses and a sweater with a collar peaking out. He has a couple of blackboards, which he writes stuff on, in big letters with arrows. He moves around between these blackboards and other big simple displays. It is quite like a school teacher designed for multiple angles to give it dynamism on TV. He speaks earnestly and with concern about the fate of the world.

What is weirdest is that it is oddly comforting. Simplistic explanations that make no real sense as they wash over you, but delivered with passion. If you didn’t know anything about the world, it would be a convincing act.

It is pretty surreal. The content makes it more so. What is fascinating to me is that in his own way he is quite genuine and concerned with what is going on in the world. He is trying to deal with the complexity of the world, and the massive changes underway; the economic, ecologic, and energy crises underlying the decline of America’s dominance, and explain it to his people.

I hope he is genuine because if he isn’t he would have to be completely insane, rather than just … wrong.

As it is, he is simply someone who, from my perspective, has made a number of flawed fundamental assumptions about the nature of reality and what is important, and then proceeds to analyse the world from that starting position. (NLP cofounder Richar d Bandler observes that crazy people have often just made one bad assumption, the proceeded logically from there, until they make a whole crazy world which confirms it. For example, if you think the CIA are watching your every move, then innocent things, the car parked over the road, take on new meanings, etc.)

The overall effect makes me wonder what it would look like if the left had some sort of equivalent. I am imagining David Icke with an hour a day in primetime to explain to people what the hell is going on. Over time he would seem a lot more reasonable.

And, more importantly, why don’t we have some sort of equivalent? (Forget Icke for the moment; that was not a serious suggestion.) The format Beck has hit upon is weirdly powerful. Where is the primetime TV preacher for a saner political view?

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