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Glenn Beck and Narcissus: Separated At Birth

Reported by Aunty Em - May 18, 2011 -

We all know the Greek myth of Narcissus, a man so in love with himself that he starved to death rather than pull away from his own reflection in a pool of water. However many people forget that it was Nemesis, the divine spirit of retribution against people who succumb to hubris, who led Narcissus to that pool. Fox News religious commentator Glenn Beck could sell his hubris by the ounce, just like gold (or dope), and still have enough left over to cover both Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity in perpetuity. With his big announcement this week of his “Restoring Courage” rally in Jerusalem this August he cranked the hubris dial up to 11. One can only hope that Nemesis is watching.

Of course Glenn Beck doesn’t believe in mythology. He believes in a God up in the sky who delivers righteous retribution upon his human creations, something many people dismiss as just another myth—including the brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking. But now Beck is calling upon God to bless his latest crazy scheme to hold a rally in The Holy Land.

On 8-28 [2010] at the Lincoln Memorial I quoted from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: “The world will little note or long remember what we say here while it can never forget what they did here. It is rather for us living to stand here. We here to be dedicated to the great task before us.”

I say to you tonight, which is a slight revision, the world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but this August, in Jerusalem, [starts to choke up slightly] possibly, for the first time in man’s history, God will remember and make note of what we do there.

Then he pimped his web site. Watch:

Which displays more hubris? Thinking that God is planning to attend his rally? Revising Abraham Lincoln? Or misquoting Lincoln (slightly) in the first place? Answer: None of the above. The ultimate demonstration of hubris is the poster for the rally:


It’s the exact duplicate of last year’s Restoring Honor poster, with Moses sitting where Lincoln sat. Odd that, considering Moses was never allowed to enter the Promised Land by a vengeful God. God was pissed off at Moses because, in frustration at the Jews constant whining, he struck a rock with his staff to get water for the thirsty Israelites. However, God had instructed Moses to order the water to pour forth from the rock to demonstrate His power. It seems a fairly peevish thing to do to Moses, considering all the sacrifices he had made for God in leading the Chosen People out of Egypt. But that’s God for you: flooding here, turning people into pillars of salt there, and destroying whole cities with fire and brimstone.

Something else that struck me about Beck’s use of the word “courage.” Lately he’s been using it as an occasional tagline to his tee vee show, intoning it in a solemn voice as the show fades to black. While people’s institutional memory is woefully short, it was only a scant 26 years ago (that long already?) that CBS’s Dan Rather started ending his show with the word “courage” and we all know what happened to him. He met his own nemesis and was fired by CBS.


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