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Glenn Beck’s New Enemy: Glee

Reported by Guest Blogger - May 1, 2011 -

By Aria

While I’m not a big fan of Glee’s current direction, I still have a huge amount of respect for the show. In its early days, it was not only a very entertaining program, but it also raised awareness on music-education issues, which has been a very dear cause to me for a long time. So when I saw Glenn Beck’s disgusting attack on the show, I felt my blood boil.

Glee is described by its own creator as a form of musical escapism inspired by experiences in his own high school choir. The storyline revolves around the struggles of a glee club - both the personal issues members deal with individually and the real life problems music education faces. Explanations of those problems can be found on the websites for artists house, JSTOR, Children’s Music Workshop and organizations like Save the Music. Some of those problems remain largely faceless (such as budget cuts), while others are personified in Sue Sylvester, the cheerleading coach who has an almost vindictive hatred of the club, particularly its director. While unorthodox, the final result is not only entertaining, but at times can be very powerful - especially for people who have been there.

Of course, Glenn Beck (who admits to only having seen two episodes) doesn’t see it this way. He sees the show as little more than “nightmarish propoganda.” He argued that the show features promiscuous characters children want to emulate and he complained that the song “Sing,” by My Chemical Romance, was performed. I kid you not, this was his entire case:

"I've watched it in stunned horror combined with a sense of admiring awe. It is a brilliant brilliant show...but it is a horror show...everybody in here is somebody that your kids would want to be like, except everyone is sleeping with everyone else… it’s all self-gratification...it's a nightmare."

I don’t even want to know how Beck came to this conclusion. Glee is a horror show? No, Glenn - Nightmare on Elm Street is a horror show; Glee is a show about a high school - and as such, it deals with teen issues - which include sexuality. Besides, unlike your shows, I have yet to hear anyone suggest Glee inspired anyone to violence. And what’s this about lasciviousness from supposedly influential TV figures, Glenn? Seems you have quite a history of making sexist remarks, too... awful lot of perversion in your broadcasting history.

Beck then highlighted the song “Sing” by My Chemical Romance as part of his talking points. Beck’s case was the following lyrics from the song:

Cleaned up corporation progress
Dying in the process
Children that can talk about it
Living on the webways
People moving sideways
Sell it till your last days
Buy yourself the motivation!

Generation nothing
Nothing but a dead scene
Product of a white dream

“This is propaganda and it’s an anthem… How can you and I possibly win against that?” Beck asked, as if war of some kind had been waged.

Now, here’s a link to the full lyrics. Why, in context, it’s a song telling the listeners that they need to step up and be the leaders the future needs! In fact, the chorus tells you to sing it out not only for yourself, but also for the helpless and even the people who hate you. Jane Lynch a/k/a Sue Sylvester was in the segment, so it was not aimed at her. Furthermore, the song was not used as propaganda in the show's context.

Beck, on the other hand, quickly changed the subject to include a story about his “chief of staff” Joe Kerry, whose Korean mother had a “white trash” moment in which she threw out their television. This was supposedly an important precursor to the Kerry children attaining multiple degrees and major success. Beck seemed to be suggesting that this disproved and/or counteracted the “corporation white dream” in the song but that kids today would never have the same “opportunity” the Kerry family had – because they’d likely be watching Glee and getting the hidden message in that song!

Instead of, say, watching Glenn Beck and learning the real truth!

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