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Glenn Beck Is Not An Art Historian

Reported by Priscilla - September 4, 2009 -

Glenn Beck’s recent screed about commie/fascist art at 30 Rock is just another example of his bizarre world view. As evidenced by last night’s paranoid retro chic, Beck’s John Bircherism is now extending into the world of art and architecture. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing and in this case, dangerous, because there are a lot of “real Americans” who take Beck’s word as gospel. He knows his demographics very well – radical right wing conservatives (today’s GOP base) whose knowledge of history is gleaned from Readers Digest and end time tracts from their favorite Tee Vee evangelists. So when Beck opines on the art of Rockefeller Center, they probably think it’s true. Beck’s attempts at “symbology” are ludicrious. At least Robert Langdon was a Harvard Scholar!! But if Beck wants to be an art historian, he really needs to avail himself to the wealth of information available (like from the Rockefeller Center website) – nah, that works against the agit-prop. “Agit-prop,” hmmm, could Beck be a covert agent of a totalitarian regime bent on taking over the country? The truth is out there!

Beck began his art lecture with commentary about the 1937 intaglio carving, “Industry and Agriculture” where one figure is holding a long hammer and the other a sickle. The implements being held are symbols for industry and agriculture. The Communist hammer and sickle motif was adopted as a symbol of those workers and peasants who were liberated from oppressive czarist rule – some irony here! According to some anthropologists, the motif is a variant of Russian Orthodox iconography. After a barely coherent tirade about this symbol of the Communist Party and how it connects to evil lubruls, Beck moved onto another suspect carving of a (very buff booty) nude young man, “Youth Leading Industry.” Beck claimed that this comely figure was Mussolini. Research does not indicate that this is the case as the artist, Attilio Piccirilli, does not appear to be a communist sympathizer; but rather, an artist who used a “heroic” Greco-Roman motif which was popular at that time. Beck attempted to compare this “Mussolini” (he was never this hot!) figure with Obama who is leading our children by indoctrination. (You just can’t make it up). After informing his audience that today’s dangerous “progressives” are like those in the 30’s,” Beck then went into a rant about Diego Rivera’s mural “Man At the Crossroads” – an evil thing as it included a small representation of Trotsky and Lenin. Rockefeller commissioned Rivera because Matisse and Picasso weren’t available – not because Rivera was a fellow comsymp. Beck mentioned that it is now in Mexico City; but did not mention that it was immediately draped after its unveiling, in 1933 and was smashed by workers in 1934. It was repainted, at a smaller scale, by Rivera before being exhibited in Mexico City. He did not tell his fellow cult members that Rivera did a mural for a school, in NY City, which symbolized Ben Franklin, Thomas Paine, Walt Whitman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and abolitionist John Brown.

And who knew that the Rockefellers were at the heart of a global conspiracy including (in addition to the bad stuff at 30 Rock) donation of land to the UN. I guess the Rothschild’s and the Masons are now old school!

Comment: So I’m confused – there is art that is sympathetic to the Italian fascists and art that was sympathetic to communists at 30 Rock. Does Beck know that the two ideologies are incompatible? Thus, in comparing Obama to the sentiment behind this art, which motif is accurate? It’s all so strange. Today’s Beck inspired anti government radicals cloak themselves in the "patriotic imagery" of the American flag, combine their politics with religion (Christian Fundamentalism), disdain human rights except for the 2nd Amendment, scapegoat liberals/Muslims/intellectuals/immigrants/gays as being the cause of society’s problem – all characteristics of fascism. But yet, their effort to remake society and denigrate art and culture that they feel is seditious, is very Maoist (think Cultural Revolution). Another group that isn’t fond of art is the Taliban. I suppose, one could compare the Beck Teabaggers to the populists of the 30’s – except those people worked for the common good. Rather than celebrating the common man, these new revolutionaries celebrate their own ignorance and selfishness. This crew just wants to tear us apart. But if Glenn Beck wants to use analogies between the art of the 30’s and today’s liberals, he really should do some book larning because the stuff that he pulls out of his ass just doesn’t cut it! “Fair and balanced” – never mind fairness – Beck is becoming increasingly unbalanced, if you catch my drift!!!!

Note – Check out New York Magazine’s Senior Art Critic’s challenge to Beck.