Caught a clip of Glenn Beck’s program thanks to the good people at Crooks & Liars (linkhttp://crooksandliars.com/karoli/glenn-beck-99ers-i-bet-youd-be-ashamed-call) and, after stomping around my home a little while, came to a conclusion stunning in its obviousness: Glenn Beck is an asshole.
On the surface, this seems a revelation on par with the observation of the liquid state of a solution of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom, but there’s more to it than that. Glenn Beck REALLY IS an asshole.
The asshole, being the tail end of the alimentary canal, is where used food and other waste products leave the body after having had the nutrients and other useful materials extracted from them. Toxic substances which should never have been ingested in the first place are also often expelled from the body here. Though disgusting, the asshole is a necessary part of the body: the waste has to go SOMEWHERE, after all, and if it were not for the anal sphincter giving the body control over when and where to expel its waste, it would simply dribble out of the body as it was produced. Hardly sanitary.
Now let us apply this concept to the realm of political discourse: You start with an idea or a concept. The idea is consumed, its useful components extracted and utilized, and then it quietly dies. Except not really – ideas never really die, they are either maintained and cared for, or they become horrible shambling caricatures of the ideals they once expressed. Eventually, the idea and those who support it are so far removed from the original idea that they are barely recognizable – as far estranged from each other as a golden cob of buttery deliciousness, and a pale yellow husk sticking out of a lump of excrement.
Take something like the concept of the self-made man: At its heart, you have the idea that each man is the captain of his own destiny, that no person is so low that they can not pull themselves up to whatever success they deem worthy, that each person need depend only on him or herself to help them make it. It’s a noble sentiment, and has many good and useful concepts to it: Yes, each person should do their very best to succeed (for individual values of ‘succeed’). Yes, the most significant contributor to the fate of a person is that person themselves. Yes, when you are failing at your personal goals, or when you are needy, that is when you apply greater effort than ever before.
But there are false and harmful concepts there too: the idea that outside circumstances are meaningless is false. The idea that a person can see to their own needs without assistance from others is false and in many cases harmful (by that logic, those who are unemployed should not be allowed to live past the point where their savings allow them food or shelter).
So after digestion and excretion, we are left with what is called by many as the BOOTSTRAPS! concept: that the main reason so many people are poor is that they simply lack ambition or a strong work ethic, that those who make use of or depend upon unemployment or other social services are weak or lazy, and that those who suffer under circumstances making it difficult for them to succeed can simply ignore those circumstances and overcome them through sheer force of will.
The more the idea is digested and redigested, regurgitated, chewed, and re-swallowed, the more the eventual result has had its good and useful parts replaced with foul and toxic concepts. The more a piece of food is processed and chewed and digested and artificially preserved or any other form of altering, the more the eventual result has had its natural nutrients replaced with artificial ones, its textural nuances replaced with uniform easily-chewed blandness, its flavor only barely reminiscent of that of its original ingredient.
The problem arises when people confuse the two: Subsisting on a diet of only processed convenience food will make you ill, and subsisting on a diet of intellectual waste will sicken your mind and poison your spirit. Man cannot live on beef jerky and potato chips alone, nor can getting your ideas and opinions from a spewing asshole like Glenn Beck lead to a strong and healthy mind.
Glenn Beck fills a necessary role in media: He is the asshole, the spewer of digested ideas and diseased concepts, so that we as a society can look upon the effluvia that comes out of our collective consciousness and examine it for signs of trauma or disease. Unfortunately, he markets himself as a source of intellectual nutrition and, for those who don’t bother to read nutrition labels or other warnings, drops a steaming pile of mental cholera into the brains and hearts of untold numbers of the population.
There is nothing wrong with being an asshole – in fact, an asshole is necessary – but never, ever confuse a pile of bullshit with a sirloin steak.