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The Beck Week That Was; Glenn Gets the Chair

Reported by Guest Blogger - March 9, 2010 -

Guest blogged by Aunty Em

“Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be,” could have been the tagline for the Glenn Beck Program last week (3/1-3/5/10) as he went through several history lessons, each saying the same thing as all his history lessons: Progressives are bad and they want to fundamentally transform the nation!

Everything one needs to know about his program was on full display—and front and center—for most of the week. It’s Glenda’s newest prop. One really has to compliment the prop department for its creation because it’s almost perfect. It’s an old-timey tee vee, just like the one I used to watch when I was a kid. It’s hard not to feel wistful watching Glenn Beck history lessons on the same type of tee vee that I used to watch The Mickey Mouse Club, Sagebrush Shorty, and Captain Jolly introducing Popeye For President cartoons.

The Beckinator sat in a comfy chair next to that old-timey tee vee prop day after day, as if he were FDR giving his audience televised fireside chats. Suffused by the bluish glow of the old-timey tee vee, Glenn Beck used this set-up to impart his (distorted) history lessons to his (distorted) audience by showing (distorted) old-timey black and white clips.

Beck’s old-timey tee vee is the perfect lens through which to view and understand everything you need to know about The Beckinator. That’s because the old-timey tee vee is a fake!!! It’s as phony as 3-dollar bill or, if you will, a Glenn Beck frog demonstration. The clue? Beck’s old-timey tee vee is only 6 to 8 inches deep, an impossibility for a tee vee from the ‘50s, which used vacuum picture tubes and were almost two feet deep.

Just another phony prop to make another phony point about…what exactly?

It’s been a while since I had Beck on the couch, but let’s try some amateur psychoanalyzing once again. I maintain that Beck’s use of this style of prop—in fact his entire use of nostalgia as weird analogies for politics—is pathological. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s totally unaware of how he uses his tee vee show to regress into childhood, the last time he probably felt somewhat safe. At the age of 13 his alcoholic mother committed suicide, according to Beck himself. The same article says his stepbrother also killed himself. Skip ahead a few years to Glenn’s own personal Beckanalia, where he not only took to the bottle, just like his mother, but apparently surpassed her addictions by also getting heavily into cocaine. He’s also confessed how close he was to taking his own life before he cleaned himself up and found redemption in reading about The Good Old Days.

However, in the back of his mind, as it must be for all addicts, is the thought, “I’m just one drink/snort/cigarette/rant away from falling off the wagon completely.” Since crawling back into the womb is impossible, Glenn is trying the next best thing, taking the country back to the way he imagined it when he last felt safe. He wraps himself up in childhood nostalgia—a place that probably only really existed in the imagination of a 12-year old boy not yet exposed to the harsh realities of life. He also worships at the altar of an America that no longer exists, if it ever did. It’s when he’s remembering that lost innocence of his, that Crybaby Beck always seems to be about to break out, or break down as the case may be. I have never thought his tears were faked. I think he’s the type who will cry at the tender moments in a long-distance telephone commercial, because deep down inside he’s nostalgic for a past he never had. When he digs to the bone he comes up against his stunted emotional age of twelve, which is why he is forever arguing things were so much better before. For him, they were. Or, at least they seemed to be.

I have said previously that Beck is never as unintentionally self-revealing as when he’s talking about episodes from his past and pretending to be self-revealing. For proof I’m going to skip ahead to Thursday and Friday, programs that wrap all his pathologies into one sick nostalgic basket. They show how he’s driven by guilt.

[Transcript is by my own hands and 99.9% accurate.]

To make his point on Thursday (3/4/10, Beck needed another old-timey prop so he pulled out his own dead old-timey grandfather and his dead grandfather’s old-timey chair. At least he started out accurately:

Tonight the weirdest show on television is back on. It must be 5 o’clock. Amazed. Tonight: Me, an old chair, and Judge Napolitano. I mean, what else could America want? C’mon.

[pre-recorded opening]

Hello America. Tonight I want to ask you this question: Do we trash or restore?

I want to show you a picture of my grandpa. This is, this is my grandfather. He was—His name was Edward Lee Jansen. That’s me over here. I think I must have been about 7 years old. I loved him. He was a self-educated man. He was an auctioneer, umm, he worked at Boeing, he was a machinist at Boeing. He was a farmer. He was the greatest story-teller in the world and I remember him telling me stories when I was growing up. He would always tell me a story in the same place. He had an old chair that he’d sit in and he’d sit back, and I’d sit in the chair across from him in the room, and he’d start telling me story. And, he’d always get quieter and quieter because my grandmother, who was never in the room, she could hear him in the other room and all she’s ever say is one word, his first name, “Edward!” And then he’d kinda look down and he’d get quieter [whispering] “C’mere.”

It took me a long time before I realized my grandfather was just making these stories up. They weren’t true. And that’s what my grandmother was yelling at. [COMMENT: Telling stories that are not true seems to be a family trait.] But he was an amazing man. When he died—he didn’t have much in material things, when he died. There was really only one thing that I wanted. One thing I wanted. One thing I asked for. I think I was maybe 20 when he died. It was that chair. This chair.

With this Glenn walked over to a non-descript chair, picked it up, and carried it back. He placed the old-timey prop chair next to his old-timey prop tee vee as he sat between them. Let me describe this chair. We’ve all put our asses in this chair on hundreds of occasions. It’s a completely utilitarian, all wooden chair with arms, just like those in just about every bar I’ve ever been in. [COMMENT: Alcohol seems to be a recurring theme in Beck’s life too.] You know the chairs with the hand-hold in the back splat so waiters, or bouncers, can move them out of the way quickly? In fact, chairs like this can be bought by the dozens.

Please understand. I am not making fun of the attachment and sentimental value Glenn gives to his grandpappy’s chair. I have kept things of my mother’s of no intrinsic value. I will never part with them. However, what I don’t understand is fetishizing a chair to the point where it stands in as a metaphor for America. But then Beck never metaphor he didn’t like.

It’s in pretty decent shape now, but this chair was falling apart. My wife, for Christmas, just had it completely refurbished. I haven’t wanted to ask her how much she spent refurbishing the chair ‘cause it had to cost—oh, I don’t know—maybe 100 times more than the chair was even worth. She had to bring it to a guy in Connecticut and he was so proud of it when he finished. I went down—my wife didn’t wrap it. She went down to the restoration place and I didn’t even know and I’m thinking “Why are we here?” And, he was so proud of the work that he had done. He had shored everything up because it had become weak over the years—

It was worth saving. It was worth restoring.

Beck almost cried again as he lovingly caressed the chair.

I love this. Makes me miss my grandfather. He had a 4th grade education.

This chair is a lot like our country today. It's getting old; it's been around. We’ve abused it, forgotten about it. A lot of people have tried this chair out; some people have stood on it. Some people have, yannow—put a tee vee set here. I think for a while I had a little tee vee set when I was in my twenties. I think I used this as a table because I couldn’t afford a table. People may have altered it, banged it up a little bit. And it became weak and wobbly.

So now, as a country we have to decide, is it worth saving? Is it worth saving?

While it sounded like we would decide the fate of the chair, Beck had bigger chairs to fry.

That’s the question. How do you even answer that if you don’t know what the founding principles of our country is? If we don’t know our own history? Is it worth saving?

I mentioned at the top of the program that this chair was the only thing that I asked for when my grandfather died. My wife had it restored. But it didn’t look this different when I first got it. My grandfather and my grandmother took care of it. It was worn here, and it was worn a little bit in the seat because my grandfather would come out of the field and he would sit in it.

And here came that guilt trip Beck’s Crazy Train was on:

But do you know how it got so worn and weathered that I didn’t even know what to do with it any more? My grandfather died when I was about 20 and I took the chair in for a while. It sat on my back porch, in the sun and in the rain. Even though I had wanted the chair—I—I—I loved the chair—it sat on my porch and slowly, over time, it just started to disintegrate. I don’t know if I was lazy, or stupid, or… I guess in the end I felt guilty; I hadn’t taken proper care of it. In the beginning I think the biggest thing was I just always assumed it'd be there. It would always be this way. It had always looked the same since I was a kid. Why would it change?

Beck had only himself to blame for dishonouring his grandfather’s memory, which, to his credit, he readily admitted. However, why was he making all of us pay for it?

It got crazier than that, though.

It took my wife to see that if we didn’t take care of it, if we didn’t restore it, there eventually wouldn't be anything left of it. She was right. She was right. When it comes to America, I was the same kind of guy. I loved America. I just always thought it would be there. On Nine Eleven I changed. I remember thinking, “Oh my gosh, we’re so fragile.” Do you remember how afraid you were on September 11th? It took that event for me to see the real meaning of freedom, to really appreciate it, to understand that if I don’t do my part—if I just always leave it out on the porch and expect it to always be there, it will be gone as well.

Since I woke up to that fact, I've averaged 2 to 5 hours sleep a night, mainly because I'm just reading. I am up all the time reading. Trying to educate. I’ve been stupid most of my life. I wanted to shake that.

I think you feel the same way. That’s why you watch this show every night. We are experiencing the same journey together every day. And I know you are tired. You're busy with the kids, with family, with work and everything else. And now it seems like every step of the way you have to try and stop government from doing something else. Now they are taking health care and just turning it upside down!

They are attacking our core values and principles every single day it seems! They're either turning this chair into a footstool or firewood!!

I can ring the warning bell every single day on this program, but unless you watch, unless you think, unless you’re intrigued enough to go and read, unless you act on a local level—And, I don’t mean with politicians. I mean in your own home with your own children. If you don’t do it, in 10 years your kids may not know who Daniel Boone is. [COMMENT: And now it got REALLY crazy. Beck started singing with gusto.] “Daniel Boone was a man, was a biiiiiiiig man!” Do you remember that? Our kids don’t even know who Daniel Boone is. The things that we knew because, at the time, it was spilling out of our television sets. It’s not anymore.

Like, f’rinstance, that program I watched growing up called Daniel Boone, starring Fess Parker, which taught us that Daniel Boone wore a coonskin cap, just like Davy Crockett, also played by Fess Parker. The only problem is that Daniel Boone didn’t wear a coonskin cap, no matter what the silly lyrics to the theme song said. Which is what you get if you’re getting history from fictional tee vee shows, shoddy research, chairs, and Glenn Beck:

We learned these things; our kids do not. They won’t know who Daniel Boone is, or David Crockett or Neil Armstrong. Oh, they'll know who probably Mary Kay is but maybe not Christopher Columbus and they will learn that America is an imperialist nation. And, it won't matter to them that it’s gone because they'll be a global citizen. I know this and I know history is important because that is the argument. And, the debate is going on right now in Texas for our children's textbooks. As Texas goes so goes the rest of the country, when it comes to textbooks.

While there’s a whole lot wrong with the public education system, and that would be a perfectly good argument to have some day, why does it even matter to Beck? He stated many times during the week that education is not a right, as Ellen documented. Consequently, to take this nonsense to its illogical conclusion, people have a right to be stupid as stupid as they want to be. This is proven on a daily basis by his audience.

And that thing about no one being taught about Daniel Boone? It certainly got my friend Malcolm agitated. He’s one of the habitués of the coffee shop patio and I’ve mentioned him before in this space. His mother Ida Maxine Hash is a direct descendant of Daniel Boone’s sister, Sarah who married John Wilcoxin in the mid-18th century. Their daughter Elizabeth married Benjamin Cutbirth, whose daughter Mary married John Calloway. They had a child, Nancy, who married John Faw, begetting Clarissa. Clarissa wed Joseph Graybeal and later gave birth to David Melvin Graybeal, who married Mary Ann Jones. Their son Joseph Arthur Graybeal married Ida Jane Thompson, who gave birth to Eva Notra Greybeal, who was Malcolm’s grandmother.

When Malcolm heard, through me, that Glenn Beck was dissing his Great- Great- Great- Great- Great- Great- Great- Great-Uncle he called a special emergency meeting on the patio to pass out new photocopies of his family tree. By our next scheduled meeting I expect he’ll have an entire agenda laid out for solving this problem. Malcolm, like Glenn Beck before him, is now dedicated to teaching the history that’s being buried because, as Beck tells us:

History is important. It always has been. I just didn’t appreciate it. But luckily I smartened up and with a dear sweet wife, who thought enough of me to give me the greatest Christmas present I have received. And, I remember my own history. And I appreciate it. I am the man I am today, because I not only remember this little boy—me—but I also remember this man, a machinist at Boeing and a farmer, a guy who—I don’t think he even completed the 4th grade—a man who loved, loved his country—a man who was a Democrat. He wouldn’t even recognize the Democrats today! And, although, he may be gone, in his own way he taught me well to cherish those things that are real and important and to protect them. He did his best and now it is time for me, now that he is gone, for me to take his place to do my best and you to do yours. With any luck our children and grandchildren will think of us the way I think of him. [voice breaking as we fade into the distance, I mean, commercial]

I have two other pieces of evidence that prove Glenn Beck is one sick guy. Both are from Friday’s show. Friday (3/5/10) was basically a rant about how our children are being indoctrinated, which rolled in all his theories about history and Progressives. We got the Tree of Revolution all over again, Cloward and Piven, the SDS, La Raza, too. Then, at some point, while he was arguing, all over again, that education is not a right, he took a left:

The birthright has been betrayed. Their inheritance has been squandered. Important. Remember, everybody gets a trophy now. You deserve it. You had it coming, not my child. Their inheritance has been squandered. Wow! I’d be hacked off as well. I mean, I tell my kids that if I make money and I have it, I’m spending it all, or I’m giving it all to charity! You ain’t getting anything kids!! Nothing!!! Go out and earn it!!!! Earn it!!!!!

Wow! I’m just glad he’s not my Pops, who says to all his kids when they visit, “Take anything you want.”

Friday ended with both The Glenn Beck LOL-of-the-Week, and the Pathology of the Week. First you must remember that his old-timey tee vee show is on 5 days a week and he also pops up frequently all over Faux Noise. Add to that the 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, he does his Radio Drama Theatre and Glenn Beck yabbers practically non-stop for more than 20 hours a week. Which is why it’s so hilarious that he ended the week with:

And so the conversation continues.
What conversation? Who can get a word in edgewise?

With all my love,
Aunty Em