March in August
August 28, 2010 6:19 AM   Subscribe

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous, "I have a dream speech". The Rev. Al Sharpton, NAACP, National Action Network and others will hold a rally starting a Dunbar High School. Glenn Beck and conservative leaders will hold a rally of their own on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Graduate students studying journalism and the media at American University are covering the events with a team of embedded bloggers.
posted by humanfont (290 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
That sound you hear is MLK spinning in his grave.

The fact that there are competing events at all explicity shows that point has been defitinitvely missed.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 AM on August 28, 2010 [18 favorites]


I'm glad I don't live in DC. Two protests at once! What a bunch of assholes!
posted by fuq at 6:41 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yeah, I just realized, the two protests are going to meet on the mall and have a dance battle. I guess that makes it tolerable.
posted by fuq at 6:44 AM on August 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!


Man, wouldn't that be nice.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:45 AM on August 28, 2010 [19 favorites]


I have a dream that Glenn Beck will someday STFU.
Glenn Beck made it clear that no signs would be tolerated at Restoring Honor...

and

Attendees have been asked not to bring political signs or slogans.
I am a staunch advocate for freedom of speech. I take it as a given that if you let idiots talk they will expose themselves for idiots. I am finding some huge irony here. It's like Beck knows the rally will be full of stupid and he doesn't want to photo ops.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:46 AM on August 28, 2010 [40 favorites]


Well, I mean, the point has been missed by Glenn Beck. If that's where we're setting the bar for humanity getting a clue, then IA IA! THE WINDOW! THE WINDOW!!

(Sorry. Wrong thread.)

Beck is basically what would happen if Eric Cartman grew up. He's a national embarrassment, as usual.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:47 AM on August 28, 2010 [18 favorites]


Why is MLK's niece one of the keynote speakers?
posted by Houstonian at 6:55 AM on August 28, 2010


> Why is MLK's niece one of the keynote speakers?

Meet MLK's Glenn Beck-loving niece
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:57 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's the conservative one, IIRC. She was one of the people who said Harry Reid should be punished for having said "negro" a few years ago.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:58 AM on August 28, 2010


I honestly don't know much about Glenn Beck. Does he oppose civil rights for African Americans?
posted by Faze at 6:59 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


She's an opponent of gay marriage and a prolife activist. Mlk III is speaking at the RTD rally.
posted by humanfont at 7:00 AM on August 28, 2010


He's kind of like GI Joe but with less lifelike hair.
posted by jonmc at 7:00 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The DC cops should turn firehoses on Glen Beck's march, and set dogs on the marchers, just so those spoiled white people who are acting out a sick pantomime of civil rights activism can get a taste of what they smirkingly play at.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [124 favorites]


So, what exactly was the point of this rally? I understood 9/12, kinda. But wasn't MLK about treating people as equals and ensuring civil rights, while Beck has been fighting Muslims building a mosque, and advocating an Arizona law that hinges on racial profiling?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


As I understand it, Beck is tapping into the "white people just can't catch a break these days" wellspring, and as such the mosque opposition and Arizona profiling law are put forward as attempts to bring things back into balance. Equality!
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:05 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


My sister's going with her boyfriend, both camouflaged as rednecks, to do some live video streaming interviews. Hopefully she'll stay below the radar enough to stay out of serious trouble.
posted by odinsdream at 7:06 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hope I'm wrong about this one, but I suspect the Beck march will get more coverage.

Sad times if it turns out that way.
posted by djgh at 7:10 AM on August 28, 2010


Do white people own the legacy of Abraham Lincoln? I don't think they do, and I don't think black people own the legacy of Martin Luther King.
Glenn Beck

Yep, he's a real American hero. Beck Beck Beck.

Asshole.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:10 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, the Tea Party certainly aren't afraid of the American people or anything.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:11 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Authorities in the capital say they're prepared for up to 300,000 people. Fellow Fox News host Bill O'Reilly has scoffed at such estimates, promising Beck he'll give up his own show if more than 100,000 people attend.

Bill O'Reilly: Cynical voice of reason.
posted by djgh at 7:12 AM on August 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


O'Reilly and Beck are fighting for the position of Godwalker of the Demagogue. It's not that Bill doesn't like Glenn, it's just that dammit, he's going to be the one who ascends and kicks Coughlin out of the Archetype slot, not that windbag Limbaugh or that upstart Beck.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:16 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, MLK's niece is a fucking nut:

She is regularly referred to as "Dr. Alveda King" in promotional material, although her doctorate is an honorary one, bestowed by St. Anselm College, a Catholic school in Manchester, N.H. And she could not recall why she was awarded the honorary degree.

I’m not involved in politics anymore," she insisted. "Make sure you note that."

n 1994, she released a letter condemning Coretta Scott King’s support for abortion and gay rights, saying it would bring "curses on your house and your people ... cursing, vexation, rebuke in all that you put your hand to, sickness will come to you and your house, your bloodline will be cut off."

Alveda is dismissive of her aunt, who died in 2006, saying, "I've got his DNA. She doesn't, she didn't ... Therefore I know something about him. I'm made out of the same stuff."

Alveda seems to relish the fight, and she certainly doesn’t share her uncle’s fervent opposition to violence. Asked about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, King said that conflicts are biblically ordained.

and like many on the right, she cites "natural law" as the basis for her political philosophy.


Natural law? Is it ok for me to use my natural strength to dominate people who base their world view on "natural law"? If they want human law to be based on nature, well, it's survival of the fittest, and most people who believe in "natural law" are fat and weak and old.
posted by fuq at 7:20 AM on August 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


Beck calls for Black Robed Regiment

Collection of Hyperbole about the event. I can't wait to tell my kids where I was when Glenn Beck took over the civil rights movement, once and for all, so that it was about the individual and not the black people, who are actually pretty well off because they aren't in Africa anymore. HAMBURGER

Sorry, that was my grandfather's DNA speaking.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:21 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Natural law" mostly means "faggots ain't natural".
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:22 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


> He's kind of like GI Joe but with less lifelike hair.

And no military service, of course.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:22 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


windbag Limbaugh

That's almost onomatopoeiac. or something.
posted by jonmc at 7:23 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, I like how in the hyperbole that he brags it is the "Anti-Woodstock." Like 3 days of hippies listening to music was the start of America's decline.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


> Collection of Hyperbole about the event.

Good lord, that dude is crazy. You Americans are never boring, I'll give you that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


The left is doing everything they can to suppress turnout.

Glenn Beck

This reminds me of the time nobody came to my birthday party, but it turned out it was mainly because of my enemies hating me for having so many friends that they intimidated everyone!
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:30 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Jon Stewart: I Have a Scheme -- "Glenn Beck wants to reclaim the civil rights movement on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech."
posted by ericb at 7:30 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good lord, that dude is crazy. You Americans are never boring, I'll give you that.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:26 PM on August 28 [+] [!]

I kind of wish we were.
posted by gc at 7:32 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Watch live: Thousands pack D.C. for Restoring Honor rally. The fat fuck is speaking right now.
posted by ericb at 7:32 AM on August 28, 2010


That's almost onomatopoeiac. or something.

"Windbag" is actually the collective noun for rightwing pundits. A windbag of pundits.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:33 AM on August 28, 2010 [21 favorites]


Oh God, why am I watching this? I already go to church. And he's going to get Sarah Palin out in like 3 seconds.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:35 AM on August 28, 2010


Spiffy. Really though "windbag Limabugh" say it over and over. It sounds wild. and I'm not even stoned.
posted by jonmc at 7:36 AM on August 28, 2010


The fat fuck is speaking right now.

Yeah, 'cause not only does he have stupid views, but he's fat too, and you know what that means, AMIRITE?!
posted by nomadicink at 7:36 AM on August 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Anyway, he said he's calling up Sarah Palin because he wanted someone "not running for anything."

I guess that means we're safe?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:36 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Windbag" is actually the collective noun for rightwing pundits. A windbag of pundits.

Close. But it's actually "a windbag of commentators" and "a douchebag of pundits."
posted by gompa at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


Neat. Palin's playing up the "Lincoln was a Republican" thing right now.
posted by Houstonian at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2010


In many ways, the protests of the sixties were a death knell for the left, as the right - beginning with Nixon, and not taking a break under Carter or Clinton - has been in control of national development ever since. Maybe this Beck nonsense means the beginning of the end for the Reagan Revolution. (One would like to hope so, right?)

Things that Beck will do today:

- Cry
- Talk about himself
- Compare liberals to Nazis
- Cry some more
- Talk about himself some more
- Tell his audience how much he loves America
- Cry
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yeah, thanks for the link, ericb, but the "fat fuck" line is kinda mean.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did Sarah Palin just say that MLK's acheivements were built on the shoulders of "our brave men and women in uniform"?
posted by minifigs at 7:38 AM on August 28, 2010


Did she just get heckled, or did she just lose her place?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:39 AM on August 28, 2010


I think it's important to remember that, at heart, he's still just a morning zoo shock jock. Like Limbaugh or Coulter, he's just looking for a new way to troll liberals by shitting on their favorite icons. And the more his ratings slide, the more desperate and outrageous he's going to get. Here's hoping he went too far this time.
posted by fungible at 7:39 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let's all do what MLK suggested. Let's judge Glenn Beck on the content of his character. It shouldn't take long to see him for the grandstanding attention whore he is.
posted by msbutah at 7:40 AM on August 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Also: "a clusterfuck of former Alaska governors."
posted by gompa at 7:40 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Shit. Let's try that again - Morning zoo shock jock
posted by fungible at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2010


A morning zoo shock jock who got fired for joking about a co-worker's miscarriage. He blames pot and alcohol for it, but I don't think you get that much malice in you just from substance abuse.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


My grandfather's DNA is speaking through me when I call this guy a comemierda.
posted by jquinby at 7:41 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


From Theodor Adorno, "The Psychological Technique of Martin Luther Thomas' Radio Addresses" (1975 [1943]):

"The fascist leader characteristically indulges in loquacious statements about himself. In
contrast, the liberal as well as the radical propagandist has developed a tendency to avoid any
reference to his private existence for the sake of "objective" interests to which he appeals: the
former in order to show his matter-of-factness and competence, the latter because his
collectivistic attitude would be jeopardized if he should play up his own personality. Whereas
this "impersonality" is well grounded within the objective conditions of an industrial society,
it has definite weaknesses considering the orator's audience. The detachment from personal
relationships involved in any objective discussion presupposes an intellectual freedom and
strength which hardly exists within the masses today. Moreover, the "coldness" inherent in
objective argumentation intensifies the feeling of despair, isolation, and loneliness under
which virtually each individual today suffers - a feeling from which he longs to escape when
listening to any kind of public oratory. This situation has been grasped by the fascists. Their
talk is personal. Not only does it refer to the most immediate interests of his listeners, but also
it encompasses the sphere of privacy of the speaker himself who seems to take his listeners
into his confidence and to bridge the gap between person and person."
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [25 favorites]


I think Mrs. Palin should get a teleprompter, eh?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


In many ways, the protests of the sixties were a death knell for the left,

I think that your a) sense of causation and b) ability to identify sides are a little broken here. The New Left and the Democrats really, really didn't like each other, and reading the protests as somehow driving the fall of Democratic power (which was solidified in the 30's thanks to the wild popularity of FDR and the perception that the Republicans didn't care about ending the Depression, and didn't actually end until twenty five years later in 94 when the GOP swept the midterms) seems really silly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:43 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe this Beck nonsense means the beginning of the end for the Reagan Revolution. (One would like to hope so, right?)

Your words betray a misguided hope that this would signal a move back toward sanity. I'm afraid these events herald a move toward a future that will make the Reagan era look absolutely liberal.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:43 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ahh, the Beck/Limbaugh/Palin triumvirate... or what I like to refer to as Blind, Deaf, and Dumb.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:44 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Beck is trying to make us believe this is an omen of what's to come, and you believe him?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:44 AM on August 28, 2010


...but the "fat fuck" line is kinda mean.

Not in my book. It's actually the nicest thing I can say about the man.
posted by ericb at 7:46 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


@Pope Guilty: "death knell" ≠ driving the fall.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:48 AM on August 28, 2010


I like how she paused for applause for John McCain, but it just didn't come audible enough for the mic.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:49 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, America needs Faith, Hope and Charity. And it's his direction for next year. Does this mean he's dropping the race baiting?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 AM on August 28, 2010


Also, I like how in the hyperbole that he brags it is the "Anti-Woodstock."

and it only took him 41 years! - i'm impressed
posted by pyramid termite at 7:56 AM on August 28, 2010


Watching him now. He doesn't appear to be particularly overweight, certainly no more so than I am. Guess ericb would classify me as a "fat fuck," too.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:57 AM on August 28, 2010


I think that your a) sense of causation and b) ability to identify sides are a little broken here.

no, he has a point - the movement of the 60s broke the democratic coalition - the old and new left fought, weakening the party, and the republicans siphoned off many of the more conservative democrats

from 68 to 80, the democrats struggled to hold on to their power - since 1980, they've been on the defense even though they managed to hold congress for some time

they're STILL on the defensive, but that may be for psychological reasons, rather than political fact
posted by pyramid termite at 8:08 AM on August 28, 2010


I would add that I'm not blaming the New Left for anything.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 8:13 AM on August 28, 2010


If you agree that assumption is reasonable, then you must also agree Beck’s contention that his “we” were the architects of the civil rights movement is worse than nonsensical, worse than mendacious, worse than shameless. It is obscene. It is theft of legacy. It is robbery of martyr’s graves. (from a column linked by Steve Benen)
posted by gerryblog at 8:24 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd like to see some research on the funding for this event - who organized it, who filed for relevant permits, scheduled speakers, etc. Anyone have some links?
posted by odinsdream at 8:24 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see some research on the funding for this event - who organized it, who filed for relevant permits, scheduled speakers, etc. Anyone have some links?

An Irksome Arrangement: Glenn Beck Uses Charitable Donations To Pay For Restoring Honor Rally.
posted by ericb at 8:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aren't all these people really turned off by Beck's tremendously condescending speaking style? Or is that just an "appeal to authority" thing he's got going there?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 8:29 AM on August 28, 2010


The permit issued for Glenn Beck's rally Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial is one of about 3,000 issued annually by the National Park Service for rallies, cultural events, weddings and photo shoots on the Mall and other Washington area national parks and historic sites.

... About 60 percent of applications are for 'First Amendment activities,' including Beck's rally, which are defined as demonstrations, religious services and events designed to draw a crowd and express an viewpoint, according to federal law.

A spokesman for Beck would not comment on the talk show host's efforts to secure the permit for Saturday's rally.

A $50 application fee is required to host cultural events, photo shoots and weddings at the sites. Event organizers also may be asked to post a bond for staffing and park maintenance costs, the Park Service said.

Six Park Service employees review the applications, processing 15 to 30 a day, and the length of an application process varies depending on the complexity of the event, the agency said. " *
posted by ericb at 8:31 AM on August 28, 2010


Crooks and Liars has for your reference a chart comparing the accomplishments of Martin Luther King and Glenn Beck.
posted by gerryblog at 8:34 AM on August 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


Keith Olbermann: Beck Calls on Help from God -- "As the Restoring Honor rally draws near, Glenn Beck has advised attendees to use God as a shield to ward off a possible Black Panther attack."
posted by ericb at 8:37 AM on August 28, 2010


Natural law? Is it ok for me to use my natural strength to dominate people who base their world view on "natural law"? If they want human law to be based on nature, well, it's survival of the fittest, and most people who believe in "natural law" are fat and weak and old.

Oh yes! Your witty quip has caused me to discard any interest in a form of moral philosophy that goes back to Aristotle. How deluded they all were. (Which isn't to make any judgment on whether the niece is reasonable or not.)

The article from The Week is somewhat confusing:
How does Beck explain the choice of date?
He's shrugged it off as a coincidence, ... Beck has said "divine providence" led him to select the date.
Generally, these are contradictory ideas. A coincidence is generally understood to be the occurrence of two things at the same time by accident and not intention, whereas providence is understood to be the guidance of events by God. This commonly leads to the contrasting of coincidence and providence. Either The Week summarizing in a confusing way or Beck is trying to say something different or has made contradictory statements.
posted by Jahaza at 8:39 AM on August 28, 2010


the two protests are going to meet on the mall and have a dance battle.

That would be unwise, Glenn.
posted by longsleeves at 8:39 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hope Sharpton and Beck don't get close enough to touch each other. I'm not sure exactly what would happen but the math shows the potential for an incredible release of poisonously stupid and racist craziness.
posted by Splunge at 8:40 AM on August 28, 2010


Al Sharpton: Glenn Beck Rally Distorts King's Dream.
posted by ericb at 8:41 AM on August 28, 2010


Oh yes! Your witty quip has caused me to discard any interest in a form of moral philosophy that goes back to Aristotle.

That a lot of people have believed in a thing is not a point in its favor, and Aristotle is remembered as being important in the history of philosophy, not as being right about very much.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:42 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


release of poisonously stupid and racist craziness.

Surely you're not suggesting some kind of equivalence between the two. Please, for the love of God, tell me you're not suggesting that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:43 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Daily Show: I Have a Scheme
posted by homunculus at 8:46 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


More of a matter, anti-matter thing, really.
posted by Splunge at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2010


Joe Scarborough on Glenn Beck: 'Maybe He's Taking Stupid Pills'.
posted by ericb at 8:47 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yes! Your witty quip has caused me to discard any interest in a form of moral philosophy that goes back to Aristotle. How deluded they all were. (Which isn't to make any judgment on whether the niece is reasonable or not.)

Good thing you didn't explain to me where I went wrong in my witty quip. "Natural law" goes back to Aristotle? I seem to remember a mention of it way back in the day of Intro to Philosophy 1, but I'm ignorant of it. I thought it was just some words being thrown around by a fool, but if there is a body of serious philosophical thought about it, point me toward it. How will I stop speaking out of ignorance if no one educates me?
posted by fuq at 8:48 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Far as I can tell the rally's main point seems to be "Glenn Beck isn't a racist". It's kind of self-refuting; if you need to make the argument you've already lost it.
posted by scalefree at 8:49 AM on August 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


Crooks and Liars has for your reference a chart comparing the accomplishments of Martin Luther King and Glenn Beck.

Thanks. Beck had a Delorean?
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:55 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


It really is the Anti-Civil Rights March, isn't it? A few thousand middle-class whites gather to mourn the passing of a bygone era and demand .... what, exactly? Less government spending? Okay. That boat sailed with GWB. More God in government? Which God? Catholic or Protestant? Thor? Me?

It just strikes me as a bunch of angry people who are coming together to be angry about rather nebulous, ill-defined Things and that these Things better change or else Something is going to happen real Soon. But mostly we want you to know that we're angry .... about things.
posted by Azazel Fel at 9:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [52 favorites]


Did Sarah Palin just say that MLK's achievements were built on the shoulders of "our brave men and women in uniform"?
I assume she's talking about Union troops. Although that doesn't seem like a very good idea given her base. I suspect she simply hasn't thought things through.
posted by delmoi at 9:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, there was always the 1995 MLK Day Gun Rights Rally. (In the other Washington.)
posted by warbaby at 9:06 AM on August 28, 2010


Although, on the plus side, maybe we've finally discovered the right-wing analog to liberal "Anti-War" protests, where giant paper-mache puppets serve to remind us that yes, Mumia is still very much in jail.
posted by Azazel Fel at 9:08 AM on August 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


So, this is an odd pairing and a strange comparison to make. Pastor C.L. Jackson's speech: "God sent His Son to this earth so that we could all gather, and I think that's the dream and the vision of Glenn Beck."

(Jackson in the past has paired up with Nation of Islam minister and Black Panther leader Quanell X, and the founder of the Unification Church and self-proclaimed Messiah, Sun Myung Moon. Currently, he serves as a board member for our Criminal Justice department, which is pretty scary.)
posted by Houstonian at 9:12 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


So basically CL Jackson cuddles up to racists all the damn time.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:17 AM on August 28, 2010


So I'm watching this on C-Span, and the opaque frosted glass podium looks more like a censor box, as if all of the speakers at Beck's thing are naked from the waist down.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:19 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


CONSPIRACY THEORY ALERT!!!

From what I've seen (which, admittedly, consists entirely of cherry-picked clips played on The Daily Show), Glenn Beck seems to be gearing up for his own assassination. My bet is on a false-flag operation that leaves Glenn Beck with minor injuries, if any -- just enough for him to (scarily, perhaps successfully) claim victory over the Pinko Librul Terrists.

The most effective thing us Pinko Librul Terrists can do is (vocally, adamantly, insistently, repeatedly) just not give one iota of a whit of a shit about Glenn Beck. Ignore him into irrelevance. Respond to that one Beckophile uncle of yours with a Pfft and a walking away of your bodily self.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:21 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I hope I'm wrong about this one, but I suspect the Beck march will get more coverage.

As will the three self-hating Negro (and I'm using that term deliberately) people who attend it, one of whom will likely be Uncle Ruckus.

How does Beck explain the choice of date?
He's shrugged it off as a coincidence, ... Beck has said "divine providence" led him to select the date.


"Divine" can mean "of or pertaining to a god," small "g". Let's not let that idiot give God credit for his malevolence. I'm thinking Beck's god is...I dunno...could it be...Satan?
posted by fuse theorem at 9:24 AM on August 28, 2010


I suspect [Sarah Palin] simply hasn't thought things through.

That's her in a nutshell, yes.

Although that doesn't seem like a very good idea given her base.

If Sarah Palin's base consisted of the sort of people who thought things through, they probably wouldn't be Sarah Palin's base.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 AM on August 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


I'm not a huge fan of Sharpton by any stretch of the imagination, but you've got to hand it to Beck and the Tea Party for making Sharpton and the NAACP the most relevant that it's been in several decades, first with the Shirley Sherrod incident, and now with the whitewashing of the civil rights movement.
posted by schmod at 9:32 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


From what I've seen (which, admittedly, consists entirely of cherry-picked clips played on The Daily Show), Glenn Beck seems to be gearing up for his own assassination. My bet is on a false-flag operation that leaves Glenn Beck with minor injuries, if any -- just enough for him to (scarily, perhaps successfully) claim victory over the Pinko Librul Terrists.

You should go rent Bob Roberts.
posted by scalefree at 9:40 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wow. He is speaking as if he believes he has inherited King's mantle. What a deluded, sad, scary man.
posted by lyam at 9:43 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


My absolute favorite moment in Boondocks is where Martin Luther King, having survived his assassination attempt and being alive to this day, appears on Fox News in late 2001.

Having voiced opposition to the war in Afghanistan as a conscientious objector a few weeks prior to his appearance, he is ruthlessly verbally attacked by the Fox News host as someone who hates America and loves Osama bin Laden.

Seems about right.
posted by Ndwright at 9:44 AM on August 28, 2010


I'm seeing a very infinitesimal number of blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities in the so-called second civil rights movement. Almost completely older white people, very few in their twenties or under.

Sys Rq: The most effective thing us Pinko Librul Terrists can do is (vocally, adamantly, insistently, repeatedly) just not give one iota of a whit of a shit about Glenn Beck. Ignore him into irrelevance.

Yes, ignore him, and meanwhile, C-SPAN and the 24/7 cable media laps up every word and gesture he makes. What the hell does ignoring him do?

His speech is surprisingly listless and pedestrian and rambling and does nothing but repeat the same tired talking points he spouts on FOX News every day. There's nothing new. He looks exhausted, out of his depth, and does seem to be doing much inspring or exhorting. He's quoted as having told a caller to his show that he had no idea what political strategy he was executing with this event (or much of anything else), and it shows.

The audience is looking bored, disappointed, unhappy to be sitting around in upper-80s weather on the National Mall in a city that they have been coached to fear and despise, not just for the government that's entrenched there, but for the scary dark people that live there.
posted by blucevalo at 9:52 AM on August 28, 2010 [15 favorites]


That's almost onomatopoeiac. or something.

The word you're looking for is assonance, which is even more perfect because it contains a pun in this context.
posted by sciurus at 9:55 AM on August 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


...JEFF BECK IS PLAYING AT THE MALL...
posted by clavdivs at 9:59 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yes, ignore him, and meanwhile, C-SPAN and the 24/7 cable media laps up every word and gesture he makes. What the hell does ignoring him do?

Well, for one, if you're ignoring him, you're not watching his show or the coverage of his little rallies, and then maybe the power (and ratings) of GLENN BECK, SUPER-TROLL is diminished somewhat.

'Cause, like, that's all he is. He's a troll. Let's take a cue from this electrical cyberworld in which we're having this discussion and not feed it.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any DC area MeFites going to the rallies today? I was trying to get to Dunbar but failed.
posted by humanfont at 10:00 AM on August 28, 2010


There are more blacks on the stage behind Beck than there are in the entire audience.
posted by blucevalo at 10:02 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


I can't watch this.
posted by kafziel at 10:02 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


'Cause, like, that's all he is. He's a troll. Let's take a cue from this electrical cyberworld in which we're having this discussion and not feed it.

Except in the cyberworld we don't just ignore trolls. We kick and ban them. Which I'm down with doing that with Beck if that is being advocated.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thor? Me?

You think you're thor? I can barely thand!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:04 AM on August 28, 2010 [17 favorites]


'Cause, like, that's all he is. He's a troll.

I don't disagree with you, Sys Rq. My only point is that my ignoring him and your ignoring him and mefi's ignoring him (which we aren't doing) makes not a heck of a lot of difference when C-SPAN and CNN and FOX and the Washington Post and the New York Times are putting him front and center. Even Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert devoted much of their shows on the same night to him a couple days ago.
posted by blucevalo at 10:05 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I watched for about 20 minutes. That was just bizarre.

I particularly liked the moment where he talked about how people need to get their own lives right first, so when they go out into the world, they can R--... er... they can lead other countries into the right path.

They can r--- what? were you about to say "rule", Mr. Beck?
posted by hippybear at 10:07 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't "Amazing Grace" a hymn of hope? Why is it sounding like a funeral dirge at this event?
posted by blucevalo at 10:09 AM on August 28, 2010


Because the rally is intended to be a funeral for the white race.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:11 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is just a bunch of people who are worried about the dilution of white privilege, who are trying to push the country further right, and are trying to do this while showing the nation that "hey, we really aren't that crazy!" (Which will not help, seeing that this rally preaches to the converted anyway. Most people don't have time for this.)

I would love to see a massive civil rights rally in the same spot on MLK Day. Given the current turn toward the racist side by the Republican side of the populace, particularly with border issues, I think such a rally would inspire quite the turnout.
posted by azpenguin at 10:12 AM on August 28, 2010


I have to say, I have a grudging respect for the sheer lunatic craven predatory urge in display here. Here is a man so egomaniacal and delusional that there is not a single symbol he doesn't think is beyond usurping. I HAVE MARTIN LUTHER KING'S INSANE NIECE AND THE MALL IS FREE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS FAMOUS SPEECH! I'M YOUR MARTIN LUTHER KING NOW, BITCHES!

It's so uncontained. I'M ALSO YOUR WOODSTOCK!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:13 AM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


I say we don't ignore him. He's a cultural phenomenon, and an enigma. As a pundit, he's lacking. His facts don't line up, and his theories are based on loose associations and out of context quotes.

But as a personality, he's interesting. He's got the manic-depressive symptoms of bipolar, delusions of grandeur, and a past that makes him look like he's been to hell and back. Religious people think that he's like the prodigal son, and now he's taken on messianic qualities. And he's given an audience that adores him, and he projects his delusional fears onto them. His audience is afraid for him, because he's made himself out to be the leader of a movement against this well-organized left-wing fascist machine.

Anyway, we won on healthcare. We won on financial reform. Yes, they were mild wins, but that's because Obama is a moderate. Glenn Beck and the Tea Party doesn't actually have that much power that normal lobbyists don't have. Without those movements, special interest groups would still know the numbers to call to prevent a "Bolshevik" assault on the "best" healthcare system in the world.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:14 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The C-SPAN cameras keeping zoning in on this same 20-something white couple over and over again because they're the only people under 30 in the entire crowd.
posted by blucevalo at 10:14 AM on August 28, 2010


Good thing you didn't explain to me where I went wrong in my witty quip. "Natural law" goes back to Aristotle? I seem to remember a mention of it way back in the day of Intro to Philosophy 1, but I'm ignorant of it. I thought it was just some words being thrown around by a fool, but if there is a body of serious philosophical thought about it, point me toward it. How will I stop speaking out of ignorance if no one educates me?

There's always google...
Aquinas is probably the major figure in Natural Law, but he considers Aristotle his biggest influence. Aristotelians often think the interpretation is not quite right.

That a lot of people have believed in a thing is not a point in its favor, and Aristotle is remembered as being important in the history of philosophy, not as being right about very much.

If something's a major field of study, there is probably a reason, so if you're going to dismiss it, at least know why...
Aristotle is still considered an important figure in philosophy in many areas.
posted by mdn at 10:15 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


keeping
posted by blucevalo at 10:15 AM on August 28, 2010


You only ignore the demagogue before he has power. Once he has power, you must destroy him.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:15 AM on August 28, 2010 [9 favorites]


> Isn't "Amazing Grace" a hymn of hope? Why is it sounding like a funeral dirge at this event?

I don't spend a lot of time around churches or white people singing hymns, but the last two times I was (both weddings) the crowd was so out of tune it almost qualified as free jazz.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:17 AM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


mdn: Aristotle is still considered an important figure in philosophy in many areas.

Pope Guilty didn't say that Aristotle wasn't an important philosophical figure (or Aquinas, for that matter). He said that he wasn't right about many things. Read what the guy said.
posted by blucevalo at 10:17 AM on August 28, 2010


And of course, there's also the aspect of him that says it's just an act. But if it's just an act, why did he set up this bizarre rally? It has no set agenda, and mainly platitudes about the troops and American values that everyone likes.

It's all amorphous fluff with a hint of Christian-libertarianism-flavored disdain for people who don't (or can't) "help themselves."
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:19 AM on August 28, 2010


But if it's just an act, why did he set up this bizarre rally?

To aggrandize himself and raise money. He wept as he spoke about the millions that had been raised.
posted by blucevalo at 10:20 AM on August 28, 2010


I'd be surprised if some pundit, somewhere, doesn't suggest a Beck / Palin ticket in '12.
posted by Neale at 10:22 AM on August 28, 2010


They're now fleeing the Mall with all the haste that they can muster.
posted by blucevalo at 10:23 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Isn't "Amazing Grace" a hymn of hope? Why is it sounding like a funeral dirge at this event?

Welcome to white Protestantism.
posted by dirigibleman at 10:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


And so we see, once again, the trailing edge of change. Quite a while ago conservatives opposed a woman's right to vote but now, of course, it is taken as a given. More recently, conservatives raged against racial equality but now it also is taken as a given. More or less, anyways. And then, in the 1980s, they raged about having a holiday dedicated to MLK, Jr. (I remember a high school teacher ranting about how improper it was to have a holiday dedicated to "a criminal." I couldn't resist responding "I agree completely, and we need to do a better job of making sure that people remember Harriet Tubman as a criminal, not a hero, for illegally helping all of those escaped slaves get to the north. She should have been put in prison for theft." He shut up after that.)

And so, here we are in 2010, and MLK's nobility has become a given and, just like sexual and racial equality, it too is ripe for distortion. Stand by for two or three decades and you'll see genuine equality for gays become a given making it too ripe for whatever distortion is required to justify whatever idiotic behavior is then-trendy.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:26 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


It took less than 5 minutes for the Lincoln Memorial lawn to empty. Wow.
posted by blucevalo at 10:27 AM on August 28, 2010


My grandfather's DNA is speaking through me when I call this guy a comemierda.
posted by jquinby at 10:41 AM on August 28 [1 favorite -] Favorite added! [!]


Shame on you when gg allin isn't even here to defend himself.

seriously, this dude (beck) is a disgrace to comemierdas everywhere.
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:27 AM on August 28, 2010


I'd be surprised if some pundit, somewhere, doesn't suggest a Beck / Palin ticket in '12.

I hope so. I hope they run. I'd even vote for them. The resulting four years of hell would be offset by easy political humor and the knowledge that we would never see a Republican in office, ever.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:28 AM on August 28, 2010


Isn't that what we said about the Bush/Cheney ticket in 2000?
posted by blucevalo at 10:30 AM on August 28, 2010 [10 favorites]


> The resulting four years of hell would be offset by easy political humor and the knowledge that we would never see a Republican in office, ever followed by nuclear winter.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:31 AM on August 28, 2010 [22 favorites]


Out of curiosity, what has happened to America to dishonor it for you personally?
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:32 AM on August 28, 2010


It took less than 5 minutes for the Lincoln Memorial lawn to empty. Wow.

that's kind of like max yasgur's farm emptying out after richie havens, sweetwater and burt sommer played
posted by pyramid termite at 10:33 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those people were fools! They missed Sha Na Na!
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:37 AM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


that's kind of like max yasgur's farm emptying out after richie havens, sweetwater and burt sommer played

But I thought this was supposed to be the anti-Woodstock.
posted by blucevalo at 10:39 AM on August 28, 2010


So Beck, a man who's accused the first US black president of being a racist, is going to "lead us out of the darkness"? And into what.... The Void of Nothingness???
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:44 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I mean this in all seriousness: Beck's eventual humiliating scandal is going to be spectacular. Watching the montage on that Daily Show link, it's amazing how much of a fraudulent faith healer he's trying to be. Fox is probably ecstatic about this guy; it's like they have their own 700 Club without having to act as though they're a religious broadcasting network.

But this dude is just beyond ego. He's messianic. So was Jimmy Swaggart. And between his Murdoch-funded carnival act and his con game with Goldline he's just as greedy if not more. The man is a righteous glutton.

The only question as to what Beck's going to convince himself he's allowed to have, devotees be damned, is when it'll happen, how old and what gender. I'm not saying it'll be worth all the damage he's helping to cause this country but at least it'll be an entertaining moment while we're all heating up our ramen noodles.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:45 AM on August 28, 2010 [14 favorites]


The comparison of Beck to Swaggart is inspired. See also Pat Robertson, who used his airline (that's right, Pat Robertson has an airline) to ship gold-mining equipment to Liberia for the use of mass-murdering tyrant Charles Taylor while claiming that the planes were carrying Bibles and humanitarian aid.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:55 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]



But I thought this was supposed to be the anti-Woodstock.


This is the Woodstock in which everyone took the brown acid.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:58 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, it's even worse hearing it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:59 AM on August 28, 2010


We do Dr. King a disservice by even mentioning Beck's shennanigans alongside Dr. King's beautiful speech.

Better to focus on Dr. King himself, his achievements and struggles.

There is still a lot of work to be done.

As frustrated as I am by the current political climate in this country, I know that electoral politics is not the only road to change.

As a teacher of black students, I wish I could say that my students will be able to go into the world and be judged by the content of their character, because many of them are truly inspiring.

But the sad truth is that their skin color, and their poverty (which Dr. King was also struggling against), will still caused them to face unequal opportunity.

I can't even listen to Glenn Beck, not even for recreational outrage. It's too frustrating. All I can do is focus on teaching my kids well.
posted by mai at 11:01 AM on August 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Beck’s Tea Partiers Abuse Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”
posted by homunculus at 11:06 AM on August 28, 2010


There's nothing funny about a white male "taking back" the civil rights movement for "the individual." That completely misses the point of civil rights. They were entirely about treating people as equal individuals. And still today, not all individuals are equal. And yet Glenn Beck has been apathetic, at best, on that civil rights issue.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:08 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hahaha, man, right-wingers love that Springsteen song. They just enjoy the sound of the verses and then "BOOOOOOOOORN IN THE USA!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:09 AM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Guys, I feel ripped off that this didn't change America permanently, or that Glenn Beck didn't say anything remarkably profound/stupid in particular. What's something fun I can do that will let off some recreational outrage? I'm thinking I might experiment with this "mixed martial arts" goofiness. Anyone wanna wrassle in my garage?
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:14 AM on August 28, 2010


I'm surprised some republican musician hasn't just rewrote the verses to "Born in the USA," or maybe they think every problem mentioned in the song was caused by liberals?
posted by drezdn at 11:16 AM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hahaha, man, right-wingers love that Springsteen song. They just enjoy the sound of the verses and then "BOOOOOOOOORN IN THE USA!"

This burns me up so bad. LISTEN TO THE FUCKING LYRICS, IDIOTS. Grar!
posted by joe lisboa at 11:17 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pope Guilty didn't say that Aristotle wasn't an important philosophical figure (or Aquinas, for that matter). He said that he wasn't right about many things. Read what the guy said.

Whatever, I meant, his theories are still taken seriously in many areas; he's not just seen as a historical figure. In other words there are plenty of thinkers who think he was right about a lot.
posted by mdn at 11:19 AM on August 28, 2010


But I thought this was supposed to be the anti-Woodstock.

Does that mean that years from now, lots of people who were there will claim they weren't?
posted by fings at 11:21 AM on August 28, 2010 [21 favorites]


I just enjoyed this Overheard in DC bit from DCist yesterday re: Glenn Beck fans in town -

"At Safeway:

A couple, both wearing "Palin for President AND Vice President 2008" shirts, are buying a 12 pack of Budweiser.

The clerk tells them it's $9.50. The couple then starts complaining that they're gouging people in town for the rallies, demands to speak to the manager, and that it's un-American.

Cashier: "No sir, that is capitalism."

posted by windbox at 11:24 AM on August 28, 2010 [102 favorites]


Did I miss the part where they mounted a vigorous defense of civil rights for gay and lesbian citizens and religious freedom for everyone, even those who subscribe to faiths other than Christianity?
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:31 AM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


And the part where they're fighting for full Congressional voting rights for DC residents--you know, no taxation without representation.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:36 AM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


The most effective thing us Pinko Librul Terrists can do is (vocally, adamantly, insistently, repeatedly) just not give one iota of a whit of a shit about Glenn Beck George W. Bush. Ignore him into irrelevance.
Yes. That's how it works. As long as liberals ignore someone, conservatives will too! That's how it works. They only care about what we think and look to us for guidance.

I mean for real. Becks audience isn't you it's not liberals/progressives. It's right wingers. Ignoring him has zero effect on the people who actually like him. He's not trying to 'troll' and he doesn't give a crap what you think. (There are lots of conservatives who are trolls and are obsessed with annoying liberals. Andrew Breitbart would be an example) But beck is interested in preaching to his choir.

Ignoring him accomplishes nothing. Maybe it gives you some piece of mind as his nutbag followers take over the country. That is not particularly helpful.

---

Anyway, I'm not all that broken up about the right claiming MLK as an inspirational figure. I think MLK should be up there with the founding fathers and frankly I say put his face on some money. (With inflation, what about a $500 bill? Or how about getting rid of Andrew Jackson?) . The fact that conservatives are now going to try to appropriate him makes it more likely.
posted by delmoi at 11:45 AM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


I take solace knowing that Sarah Palin is just a tan, a wardrobe change, and a bottle of grain alcohol away from becoming Snooki from Jersey Shore.
posted by Dr. Zira at 11:48 AM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


I really, really was hoping Glenn Beck would do something cool. Like strip, or ride off in a helicopter with a bunch of Mission Accomplished posters. Or at least a bunch of Tea Party signs with bad spelling.

Between banning the signs and actual policy from this rally, I think Glenn Beck has neutered the Tea Party into just another boring older-American club. He fooled us progressives into watching a Red Hat Society meeting.

And as an American, I feel robbed of time and energy. Glenn Beck is a huckster, who initiated force by getting everyone riled up for something that turned out to be nothing.
posted by mccarty.tim at 11:51 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


a team of embedded bloggers

*snicker*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 AM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm listening to MLK's I Have a Dream speech currently, instead of Glenn Beck. Someone should take the speech and set it to some catchy music (this would be someone with more musical talent than me) to make a song that would go on to become a chart-topper. I'm envisioning something in the hip hop or electronica genres (I like Ani Difranco's songs out of Utah Phillips stories, which are more folk or electronic-folk, but they aren't going to go mainstream ever). I think that would be a good way to help commemorate King's legacy and fight it's appropriation by the likes of Beck.
posted by eviemath at 11:59 AM on August 28, 2010


he brags it is the "Anti-Woodstock"

In other words, everyone is dropping Tums and other antacids, and then tuning in.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [19 favorites]


The dismissals of natural law and Aristotle seem to be completely unmoored from any familiarity with either, and based instead on the fact that right wingers like "natural law" so left wingers shouldn't.

I wouldn't trust Glenn Beck or Alveda King (or Salon, for that matter) to provide an accurate and fair summary of the various threads of the intellectual tradition known as natural law in Western philosophy, and you shouldn't either.

Stanford's encyclopedia of philosophy, on the other hand, is a pretty good place to start.

Natural law in ethics.
Natural law in philosophy of law.
posted by Marty Marx at 12:05 PM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Beck is trying to make us believe this is an omen of what's to come, and you believe him?

"Large Republican gains in House seats are 'inevitable' come November"

GOP plans widespread White House investigations if it gains majority

Etc. etc.

I believe that between the fired-up old white Christian person voter base of the Republicans and the disillusioned young person voter base of the Democrats, we really are going to see two years of impeachment hearings and gridlock which will make the filibuster business of the past year seem quaint Beck and FOX will spend two years doing victory dances and saying "suck it up, you guys lost." Obama, interested in trying to get stuff done, will jog further to the right.

Beck didn't have to actually change anything today. The country is going to change in November anyways. He can claim responsibility and since his audience can't really see the difference between correlation and causation, they will kneel and pray to St. Glenn who rose up in their hour of need to protect them from health care and Mexicans.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:14 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


The dismissals of natural law and Aristotle seem to be completely unmoored from any familiarity with either, and based instead on the fact that right wingers like "natural law" so left wingers shouldn't.

Hi! Bachelor's in Philosophy. Not a fan of Aristotle, nor am I a fan of people who cling to ancient and overrated philosophers like grognards with their copies of Red Box D&D.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's also very telling that he seems to have lost the support of Bogert and Appice.
posted by jonmc at 12:17 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well, today I learned that "natural law" philosophizing takes many forms, some of them are old and crusty, and I disagree with, and some that are topical, contemporary, and ideologically concurrent with my own thought, and some stuff in between. I don't think I necessarily 'agree' with most of it, but it is a body of thought that I shouldn't have written off so lightly. It seems that "natural law" thinking is so broad that it isn't even helpful to talk of it as a movement or monolithic ideology. I stand corrected and educated. fuq: 1, ignorance: 0.
posted by fuq at 12:23 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, here's the right-wing Twiterverse's response to it. They liked it, but then again, I get the feeling Glenn Beck doing nothing but making the Kermit voice for two hours would thrill them.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:26 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not saying that people should agree with Aristotle, PG, but you're talking about a caricature of Aristotle if you say that he's primarily important as a figure in the history of philosophy (unless you mean that in some way other than a "history of ideas" sort of way, or are thinking of a particular subdiscipline that doesn't have another use for him). To take one example, the entirety of virtue ethics can plausibly be seen as an attempt to modernize Aristotle, and virtue ethics is hardly a backwater in moral philosophy. It just isn't anything approaching an accurate description of Aristotle's significance in contemporary academic philosophy.

It may be the case that Aristotle shouldn't be accorded this much significance and that derivative projects are fundamentally mistaken. Lots of philosophers believe this -- Bertrand Russell thought this about most of Aristotelean philosophy -- but as you say, "that a lot of people have believed a thing is not a point in its favor" and besides, lots of other philosophers disagree. Whether or not Aristotelean philosophy or natural law are fruitful areas of inquiry is simply not a settled question, nor is the answer obvious, and so the dismissals so far have missed the mark (and missed any complaints about the actual content of the philosophy).
posted by Marty Marx at 12:42 PM on August 28, 2010


They just enjoy the sound of the verses and then "BOOOOOOOOORN IN THE USA!"

They love that shit unless you're BOOOOORN IN THE USA and your parents do not have their papers in order.
posted by birdherder at 12:42 PM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Hi! Bachelor's in Philosophy. Not a fan of Aristotle, nor am I a fan of people who cling to ancient and overrated philosophers like grognards with their copies of Red Box D&D.

Just because you're not a fan of them doesn't mean that they're not relevant or that they're automatically wrong.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


> "Large Republican gains in House seats are 'inevitable' come November"

Play us out, H. L. Mencken!
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


Just because you're not a fan of them doesn't mean that they're not relevant or that they're automatically wrong.

That flies in the face of Beck's personal philosophy right there.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2010


I was there when Alveda King received her honorary doctorate. She couldn't pronounce the name of the college she received it from correctly. But of course lots of people from the college probably pronounced her name wrong too.
posted by XMLicious at 12:46 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


And for what another peek at the diversity of thought here, compare Martha Nussbaum and John Finnis, both of whom are major contemporary philosophers and arguably Aristotelean (though Finnis goes through more Thomism) who are not only at completely opposite sides of the political spectrum, but who were actually competing expert witnesses on ancient Greek concepts of law and sex in Romer v. Evans.
posted by Marty Marx at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2010


Hahaha, man, right-wingers love that Springsteen song. They just enjoy the sound of the verses and then "BOOOOOOOOORN IN THE USA!"

You know, I see this point a lot whenever this song gets used by Republicans, but I gotta say, the Republicans are smart, not dumb, to use this song. Sure, the verses undercut the anthemic chorus if examined, but Bruce wrote such a towering chorus and produced it with such bombast that I'm not sure the ironic juxtaposition of the verses can really overpower it. In other words, Bruce ended up creating a patriotic anthem whether he, or we, like it or not.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:03 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Aristotle is like Freud- very important in the development of the discipline, but wrong about very nearly everything he got specific about.


Bruce wrote such a towering chorus and produced it with such bombast that I'm not sure the ironic juxtaposition of the verses can really overpower it. In other words, Bruce ended up creating a patriotic anthem whether he, or we, like it or not.

Oh, like that critique of Full Metal Jacket which states that it's impossible to make a truly anti-war movie. I'm hip.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:05 PM on August 28, 2010


Yeah, more or less.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2010


Anthemic? Sure. Patriotic? Yeah, but not in the simplistic way Beck and his ilk would have you believe. (It was inspired by the death of Bart Haynes, the drummer in the Castiles, one of Bruce's first bands.
posted by jonmc at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm listening to MLK's I Have a Dream speech currently, instead of Glenn Beck. Someone should take the speech and set it to some catchy music

The Gregory Brothers did it.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:14 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hi! Bachelor's in Philosophy. Not a fan of Aristotle, nor am I a fan of people who cling to ancient and overrated philosophers like grognards with their copies of Red Box D&D.

And we're all very thankful for your insightful and definitive statement on Aristotle's worth and the psychology of those who find him to still be of interest. I find his On Sarcasm to be of tremendous value, myself.
posted by AdamCSnider at 1:21 PM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bob Herbert: America Is Better Than This
posted by homunculus at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2010


In other words, Bruce ended up creating a patriotic anthem whether he, or we, like it or not.

I find the song terribly patriotic, especially when read properly. Patriotism is only the last refuge of the scoundrel if you confuse it with blind nationalism. The hard-scrabble / depressing verses exist in a kind of dialectical tension with the rousing chorus: tragic optimism. I find it very American, actually, whatever that might mean.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:24 PM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


In other words, Bruce ended up creating a patriotic anthem whether he, or we, like it or not.

"Born In The USA" can only be used for evil if we allow it to.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:24 PM on August 28, 2010 [5 favorites]


Making my birthday political is bad taste, but the dichotomy of beliefs just makes me so happy.
posted by buzzman at 1:27 PM on August 28, 2010


I can't read through all of this because I keep thinking about it and tearing up.

BUT

If anyone wanted to protest this, the best thing they could do is get the most diverse crowd possible and march hand in hand singing "Free at Last". Hundreds and thousands of EVERYONE marching hand in hand and singing.

But not this. I just can't read about it anymore. This breaks my heart. All of it.
posted by Tchad at 1:34 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Neighbouring little mouse/big elephant countries like Canada/USA, Poland/Russia, Belgium/France, Palestine/Israel, Taiwan/China, Mexico/USA, worry about the elephantine Glenn Becks, Putins, Sarkozys, Netanyahus, Wen Jiaobos of the world because they need only twitch to crush. Is Obama a mouse to Beck's elephant?
posted by drogien at 1:36 PM on August 28, 2010


Someone should take the speech and set it to some catchy music...

There's Moodswings' 'Spiritual High (Part III)' from their 1992 album, 'Moodfood.'
posted by ericb at 1:43 PM on August 28, 2010


I'm not sure why anybody's surprised by their misuse of "Born in the USA." It's the same as anything else with that crowd: they're capable of recognizing culturally important symbols, but lack the nuance and maturity to appreciate what those symbols actually mean. It's just like how they'll talk about Jesus all the time while spitting on the poor, or the Founding Fathers while wiping their ass with the Constitution, or compare anyone they don't like to Hitler and Stalin without any regard for how those people actually operated.

I guess what I'm saying is that they're kids playing dress up. Big, gun toting, mentally deficient children who think that wearing a stovepipe hat is the same as actually being Abe Lincoln.
posted by mordax at 1:45 PM on August 28, 2010 [46 favorites]


There's also Common's song 'A Dream' -- produced by will.i.am for the film, 'Freedom Writers.'
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM on August 28, 2010


It's sort of annoying that there are like 100,000 people all in one place that don't know how much smarter than them I am.
posted by I Foody at 1:51 PM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


Might bean idea to contact Beck's advertisers and voice your displeasure. He's barely got advertisers as-is; I'm sure he's costing Murdoch a bundle. Hit 'em where it hurts.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:00 PM on August 28, 2010


'Born in the U.S.A.': Mosque Protestors' Ironic Anthem.
posted by ericb at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2010


What makes Beck an interesting figure is that he's not really a counterpoint to the John Stewart/Stephen Colbert/Rachel Maddow types.

Beck has an agenda, an ideology and an action plan for his viewers, beyond simple deconstructionism. While Beck's ideology (9 principles/ 12 values, etc etc) is pretty lukewarm, and vaguely laughable to intellectual sophisticates, it's still an action plan. His viewers/supporters seek political power and have a plan to build the internal cohesion of his movement via shared principles and values. They do seek political power in that the Tea Party (heavily supported by Beck, and also cosponsors of his MLK day rally) has sought to back specific candidates for office and disrupt the current Republican power structure. The Tea Party has also had some notable successes at the ballot box in the recent mid term elections. The Tea Party also has a loosely affiliated paramilitary wing (Oath Keepers, etc) and that provides an implicit threat of violence if the Tea Partiers do not achieve their goals at the ballot box. In fact, if you spend much time with the right wing, online or in person, it is clear that many people are at least talking about pulling triggers if "tyranny" and "socialism" arise. This is also part of the motive for the weapons stockpiling that has taken place in the last two years since we elected Obama. Presumably, the paramilitary wing of the Tea Party is supposed to be the Malcolm X/Panthers to the Beckian MLK/SNCC. This should deeply disturb Americans because the Oath Keepers in particular are populated by members of the security services, i.e. police and law enforcement.

Contrast this with Rachel Maddow/John Stewart etc. While they do certainly have values that unite their audiences (hilarity, irony, deconstructionism) it is less clear that these are a political program aimed at gaining power. Rather, they are a type of aesthetic stance. Even the disdain for the cultural unsophistication of the Tea Partiers is itself an aesthetic stance more than a political program for the direct seizure of power (via elections) in the service of specific goals. Maddow does of course advocate for specific programs (financial reform, gay marriage, etc) but this is not contained inside a real political program aimed at taking power or framed as challenging the existing political order. Rather, Maddow frames her argument to support the existing Democratic party structure.

This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.
posted by wuwei at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2010 [66 favorites]


The problem with patriotism isn't so much that it's the last refuge of the scoundrel, than that it's the first port of call of the halfwit.
posted by Grangousier at 2:09 PM on August 28, 2010 [36 favorites]


Another Glenn on the Racial and ethnic exploitation of economic insecurity.
posted by Trochanter at 2:27 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.

This is an interesting analysis, wuwei. I wonder, though, to what extent those actually participating in Tea Party rhetoric / posturing are adopting a principally aesthetic stance as well? The importance placed on (quote-unquote authentic) costuming alone is suggestive (not titillating-suggestive, but hmm-suggestive, unless you are in to tri-corner hat smut or something).
posted by joe lisboa at 2:32 PM on August 28, 2010


Hahaha, man, right-wingers love that Springsteen song. They just enjoy the sound of the verses and then "BOOOOOOOOORN IN THE USA!"

Part of their problem is that they don't really have much good music of their own. If Toby Keith's the best contemporary music that your side can come up with, you should probably stick with John Philip Sousa.
posted by octothorpe at 2:34 PM on August 28, 2010


Reminds me of a Robert Altman film.
posted by PHINC at 2:40 PM on August 28, 2010


joe lisboa,
Thanks. Aesthetics definitely play a part in all political movements, as markers of in group membership. The issue for me is that large parts of the Left seems more interested in policing in group boundaries than in collective action to achieve political change. Comments about fat Tea Partiers who miss the point of Bruce Springsteen's music and have contradictory principles are fine-- but it's not enough. Those are criticisms of the the aesthetics of the Tea Party movement, and not a political program to take power.
posted by wuwei at 2:44 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's so nice of them to throw a mass cosplay as minions of Darkseid affected by the Anti-life Equation on Jack Kirby's birthday.
posted by Artw at 2:48 PM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


While Beck's ideology (9 principles/ 12 values, etc etc)

14 words.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:02 PM on August 28, 2010 [8 favorites]


Yeah, comparing Beck to Maddow or Stewart doesn't really work because Maddow and Stewart aren't financially supported by shady billionaires who command legions of well-armed paramilitaries.

It would be more apt to compare Beck with Obama, since they are both political leaders who control large groups of armed men.
posted by Azazel Fel at 3:49 PM on August 28, 2010


I am hoping that the Tea Party will manage to dominate Republican primaries, frightening the rest of the country into voting for Democrats. So things like this rally give me hope.

But then, I'm one of those optimists who think most people are fairly decent.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:51 PM on August 28, 2010


The "Natural Law" derail seems to have stopped, but my take on it: Why don't we ask the person that used the phrase (In this case, MLK's niece) what they put in those words?
posted by ymgve at 4:10 PM on August 28, 2010


Maddow or Stewart doesn't really work because Maddow and Stewart aren't financially supported by shady billionaires who command legions of well-armed paramilitaries.

What?

They're financially supported by the multibillion dollar corporations that advertise during their shows. I mean, have you even seen who advertises on MSNBC? Banks, pharma, fast food, consumer electronics, the fucking diamond industry... That's like the textbook definition of shady billionaires as well as the bedrock of socially-harmful exploitative capitalism.
posted by hamida2242 at 4:13 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Hi! Bachelor's in Philosophy."

I know more about this than you could possibly imagine!
posted by klangklangston at 4:21 PM on August 28, 2010 [7 favorites]


I have a BA in philosophy myself, and I know so much that I actually realize how much I don't know!
posted by Jimmy Havok at 4:24 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"In fact, if you spend much time with the right wing, online or in person, it is clear that many people are at least talking about pulling triggers if "tyranny" and "socialism" arise."

My 22-year-old self got a well deserved dressing down from my parents when I started extolling the virtues of the Weathermen and Black Panthers vis-a-vis then-President Bush, even though the only thing that could really motivate me to take up arms would be zombies.
posted by klangklangston at 4:25 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


"I have a BA in philosophy myself, and I know so much that I actually realize how much I don't know!"

Yeah, but I don't know how much I know how much I don't know, and I don't know where that leaves me.
posted by klangklangston at 4:26 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Surprised that the conversation about natural law and MLK hasn't brought up the downright Thomist content in King's Letter from Birmingham Jail.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:34 PM on August 28, 2010


I was simply trying to counter the smug "well you just don't like him 'cause you're ignorant!" argument.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:52 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen any crowd estimates but looking at some of the pictures (scroll down) I'm guessing maybe 50,000 tops. Although they fill in a lot of the Mall, much of it looks kind of sparse & spread out. I've seen photos of antiwar demonstrations & Obama's inauguration that had the same area packed to the gills. I'm too lazy to dig them up right now but it'd be interesting to see them side by side.
posted by scalefree at 5:26 PM on August 28, 2010


This is all solved by packing 'em in a spaceship to a new planet. They're the real-life version of phone sanitizers.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:45 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck Rally Attracts Estimated 87,000. Plus/minus 9,000.
posted by scalefree at 5:46 PM on August 28, 2010


fff, are you suggesting trips to Venus?
posted by mordax at 5:47 PM on August 28, 2010


BTW, my small town numbers about 50 000 people. We have jack shit in the way of real society-changing political power. Glenn Beck is at best the Mayor of Fuckyou in the state of Douchonia.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on August 28, 2010 [6 favorites]


This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.

This comment may be the most insightful thing I've ever read on Metafilter, wuwei. Thank you for that.
posted by EarBucket at 6:00 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am hoping that the Tea Party will manage to dominate Republican primaries, frightening the rest of the country into voting for Democrats. So things like this rally give me hope.

Most of the primaries are over. That certainly happened in, for example Nevada (Sharron Angle) and Kentucky (Rand Paul)
posted by delmoi at 6:29 PM on August 28, 2010


Fuckyou in the state of Douchonia

My parents visited there, and all I got was this kick in the nutsack.
posted by found missing at 6:40 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glenn Beck is at best the Mayor of Fuckyou in the state of Douchonia.

There's a Foursquare joke in here somewhere.
posted by me & my monkey at 7:11 PM on August 28, 2010


"I was simply trying to counter the smug "well you just don't like him 'cause you're ignorant!" argument."

I know, and I was totally fucking with you.
posted by klangklangston at 7:13 PM on August 28, 2010


It's been a long week. Sorry.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on August 28, 2010


Not to start up the "natural law" stuff again, but I wanted to comment earlier and didn't have time. Anyway...

Among the more right-wing and religious people in my life, "natural law" or "natural laws" usually comes up when they are decrying something that "goes against nature" (and is therefore wrong). By "nature" they mean God. God's laws. Whatever God likes is natural. Whatever he doesn't like is unnatural. Unnatural things makes God angry. Things like homosexuality and the termination of pregnancies. No mention of Aristotle would come up. Natural law is God's law, and it comes from the Bible. Period. I'm not even sure how many of them would know who Aristotle was.

Though I have noticed, they are really good at twisting the Bible to make anything they personally don't like unnatural and an affront to God.
posted by Orb at 9:10 PM on August 28, 2010 [3 favorites]


This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.

Wonderful comment. It is interesting that I feel the same way with regards to the left AND the right here in Argentina, so far away from all this baffling US politics that I'm unable to understand anymore. Hereabouts we have the added complication that the smarter slices of both left and right use their aesthetic stances as clever masks to support their particular wannabe monopolist lobby interests. The results for the last two or three years has been the most sanctimonious and hypocrite public discourse I've ever heard in my country in my whole life, and this even comparing it to the stratospheric bullshit levels the last military dictatorship puked on us daily when I was being raised as a kid.
posted by Iosephus at 9:18 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.

Bunk!

Glenn Beck has a program of steps and oaths and shit, but that's only because -- or so that -- his audience is incapable of independent thought.

In fact, come to think of it, that's Beck's whole shtick: His audience is dumb, and he's there to educate them. Hence the lecture hall set-dressing complete with chalkboard. In such an arrangement, Glenn Beck is acting as a (brace for head explosion) Paternalistic Elite! He's all rah-rah Populism, but then he goes and gives out marching orders to his army of flying monkey underlings via hypnopedia. What up with that?
posted by Sys Rq at 10:00 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


In other words: "Think outside the box! There, now that you're out of the box, here's a smaller box for you to think in, and here's what you can think about while you're in there!"
posted by Sys Rq at 10:03 PM on August 28, 2010 [2 favorites]


Glenn Beck's Zombie Army.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 PM on August 28, 2010


Among the more right-wing and religious people in my life, "natural law" or "natural laws" usually comes up when they are decrying something that "goes against nature" (and is therefore wrong). By "nature" they mean God. God's laws. Whatever God likes is natural. Whatever he doesn't like is unnatural. Unnatural things makes God angry. Things like homosexuality and the termination of pregnancies. No mention of Aristotle would come up. Natural law is God's law, and it comes from the Bible. Period. I'm not even sure how many of them would know who Aristotle was.

I've heard "Natural Selection" used as the same passphrase for "God's Will". As in "In-vitro fertilization should not be legal. If it is natural selection that this woman not be able to procreate, then we should not tolerate science going against that."
posted by kafziel at 10:48 PM on August 28, 2010


Beck's speech kinda reminded me of Thulsa Doom at the end of Conan the Barbarian.

Hopefully Arnold shows up soon, cause this shit is awful.
posted by electroboy at 11:28 PM on August 28, 2010 [4 favorites]


Iosephus:
Thanks for the compliment. I am sorry to hear of the situation in Argentina-- I had much hope that the end of the dictatorship would usher in an era of more responsive politics. What is the situation with regard to the economy? I have heard a lot about the worker cooperative takeovers. How is that going?

Sys Req: Your comment, unfortunately, highlights a misunderstanding of how political programs work. Effective political programs require people to work in a team. This does not mean that everyone wakes up at 5:00 a.m. sharp and eats a 500g bowl of Tasty Wheat while listening to the Great Leader give the Thought of the Day. Rather, a movement cannot take political and economic power unless it has a group of people with common goals. Otherwise, collective action becomes, by definition, impossible. There will always be a tension between independent thought and collective action. We should always have respect for dissent, while at the same time carving out some kind of shared values and principles to motivate the movement. In the America of 2010, three of the major principles should be the distribution of financial resources into the hands of average Americans, bringing the FIRE sector to heel, and a restoration of a citizen based army. That's a whole other discussion-- I should probably stop here lest I derail this thread.
posted by wuwei at 11:37 PM on August 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did Sarah Palin just say that MLK's achievements were built on the shoulders of "our brave men and women in uniform"?
You know -- Cops, National Guardsmen, Men with Fire-Hoses and Dogs, Prison Wardens, Klan Knights and Wizards -- that sort of thing.

Sarah Palin is the queen of fucking political correctness, isn't she? A regular Reagan grand-daughter. A kinder and gentler Jimmy Cho stomping on the face of humanity for ever and ever...
posted by vhsiv at 2:58 AM on August 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


From the twitter feed: You know the Left has completely lost any semblance of rationality when they hurl the word "bigot" at Alveda King

So because she is black (and related by blood to a famous Civil Rights Leader) nothing she says can ever be racist or bigoted. Right.

I love how ppl are saying the 500k #'s are WRONG. Only around 100k were there! Cause that # is SO small?! NOT! Idiots!

There is no difference between 80,000 and half a million. Got it. However, Bill O'Reilly won't have to quit his show.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:46 AM on August 29, 2010


The crowd undercount meme is pretty common in rightward blogs. They always seem to think that there's a media conspiracy to make the count low and marginalize them.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 AM on August 29, 2010


Well that's the way it worked for, for instance, the much larger anti-war marches.
posted by Artw at 8:02 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


This substitution of an aesthetic stance for an actual political program is a serious problem with the Left in the United States.

A thousand times, yes. Although I have some hopes for the progressive movement that's been growing these past few years.
posted by AdamCSnider at 8:55 AM on August 29, 2010


I don't remember that they undercounted the marches, but rather that they simply gave 30 seconds of coverage to the anti-war march with half a million people and two minutes to the ten people counterprotesting.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:58 AM on August 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The crowd undercount meme is pretty common in rightward blogs. They always seem to think that there's a media conspiracy to make the count low and marginalize them.

This is pretty common to any group that marches. It's been this way for at least the last twenty years. Everybody thinks they're undercounted, because for the average participant, they're seeing more people in one place than they've ever seen before. But the Mall is BIG. It can hold a lot of people.

I think the most crowded I've seen it was at Obama's inauguration, but again, this is from my perspective as a participant - the area I was in was so crowded it was fairly hard to move.
posted by me & my monkey at 9:11 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Police ALWAYS undercount. No matter who, no matter when. There was some guy doing something with aerial sampling for crowd sizes to work on giving more accurate estimates for ground sampling, but I can't remember who the hell he was. (I have a BA in journalism! And it was mentioned for ten minutes in a class I had over five years ago.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2010


It does seem like something worth doing (although maybe not for the expense it would require) would be to do some kind of controlled aerial photograph / counting exercise, where there is a large space, and a bunch of people, and they keep letting in people 10,000 at a time and doing flyover photographs. Get the people to kind of spread out to "fill" the space with each new addition of people (obviously it gets more dense as the crowd gets larger). Then analyze the photographs to get some better picture (heh) of what each of these crowd densities actually looks like based on known numbers. It should be easy to extrapolate that data into whatever acreage is actually being counted after that.
posted by hippybear at 9:49 AM on August 29, 2010


It does seem like something worth doing ...

The problem isn't with the accuracy of the current counting methods - they are largely done from the air, and there's plenty of good experience and methodology for counting crowds, especially within the same geographic area. The one mentioned upthread was done from the air. The problem is that each group that gets counted feels that they're being undercounted - that there is a bias against them. And frankly, there could very well be an unknown bias one way or the other, I suppose. That's why the US government got out of the business of issuing these counts in the first place - I think they were done by National Park Service.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:09 AM on August 29, 2010


Anti-mosque sentiment rages far from Ground Zero
posted by homunculus at 10:51 AM on August 29, 2010


So, I didn't watch a whole lot of this yesterday, but I did see a bit of it, and I've read quite a bit of the online coverage of the event... And it has me wondering...

I got the impression when Glenn Beck announced this rally that he was going to be really trying to start a big movement of some sort. Like he had something incredibly incendiary and important to say, was going to be drawing a line in the sand and challenging people, etc.

But then the brouhaha started to build about the date and location he'd chosen, and it started to become a bit of a controversy. He had to start making statements that it wouldn't be a political rally, that they didn't want it to be a big demonstration with signs and whatnot... And then when the day arrived, he delivered what was basically a tent revival meeting without any real fire, zazz, or altar call.

it makes me wonder how much the plans for the event changed and watered down over the time between announcement and the actual date. I mean, really, what was the central message of Beck's speech? People need to start going to church, need to stop listening to those preaching hate, and start defending those with whom they disagree.

That's hardly the nation-changing event and message that he seemed to be promoting at the outset, based on what little I follow Beck and his rhetoric.
posted by hippybear at 11:13 AM on August 29, 2010


Frank Rich: The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party
posted by homunculus at 11:25 AM on August 29, 2010


hippybear: Aren't you erring in thinking that this rally and this man are political things? Aren't they more about self promotion and brand growing?

There's more of revenue than revolution about Beck, I think. Or just good old show business. The political stuff is a means, not an end.

I believe I read that Mr. Beck will earn something near thirty two million dollars this year. God bless America.
posted by Trochanter at 11:43 AM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin's unholy alliance: Abramoff ally Rabbi Daniel Lapin and bigot John Hagee help "restore honor" at the Lincoln Memorial
posted by homunculus at 12:07 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not trying to ascribe any motives or whatnot to Beck. I don't really follow him closely. But I remember when he announced this rally, he seemed to have some kind of fervor to his announcements which wasn't present at the actual rally.

I agree, he's mostly about self-promotion and having the power of the pulpit without any actual responsibility. I just wonder whether there was a plan and a message for this particular promotional event which he ended up backing down from across the many months between the announcement (which seems to have taken place in November 2009) and yesterday. But that link makes it pretty clear, he "has a plan", and was going to unleash it upon the US at yesterday's rally.

Unless he's really playing some kind of very long game, I don't see where yesterday's message of "go to church, turn your back on those who preach hate, learn to support those who disagree with you" really was the start of any huge societal change.
posted by hippybear at 1:16 PM on August 29, 2010


"The problem isn't with the accuracy of the current counting methods - they are largely done from the air, and there's plenty of good experience and methodology for counting crowds, especially within the same geographic area."

Yeah, the guy I remember talking about in class was trying to somehow use digital imaging or something to make estimates from the ground more accurate. Like, taking a picture from the air at the same time as one from the ground so that you could see what the same area looked like from the ground in terms of number of people.

The only real salient fact I remember was that police always undercount, and organizers always overcount, so either have someone there or say something like, "reportedly between 100,000 and 1 million."
posted by klangklangston at 1:34 PM on August 29, 2010


You've probably all seen this, but I hadn't and a friend just sent it to me. First time I've seen Lewis Black: Glenn Beck has Nazi Tourettes.
posted by Trochanter at 2:13 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Full video of the rally (3h30min) plus transcript (from C-SPAN)
posted by hippybear at 3:04 PM on August 29, 2010


five fresh fish, I like to call them (cue spooky music) "THE ZOMBIES FROM PLANET MURDOCH!"
posted by ambulocetus at 7:02 PM on August 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apparently others are wondering what happened to "The Plan", too.
posted by hippybear at 7:33 PM on August 29, 2010


He's got a book coming out. He couldn't spoil the ending. Sales.

I'm half kidding, but from the second article, it does sound like the change of approach for the rally was a financial retrenchment more than one to do with political tactics:
I've no idea if these plans were scrapped because they were, in terms of self-promotion, deemed to be a bridge too far.
I'm not really arguing with you hippybear. I find thinking about Glenn Beck very depressing, and I probably didn't think my comment through that well.
posted by Trochanter at 8:03 PM on August 29, 2010


Oh, I don't feel argued with. I'm just finding this information curious and want to make sure it's mentioned in this thread. You know, for posterity, or something.

I agree -- thinking about Glenn Beck is depressing.
posted by hippybear at 8:06 PM on August 29, 2010


Beckerwoods.
posted by telstar at 3:27 AM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Beck is sorry he called Obama a racist. Fox News/Wallace interview:
"I didn't understand, really, his theology," Beck a Fox News host, told "Fox News Sunday." "I think that it is much more of a theological question that he is a guy who understands the world through liberation theology, which is oppressor and victim."

Beck described liberation theology, which teaches that salvation for the individual is dependent on salvation for the collective through economic and social justice, as the message that was preached by Obama's ex-pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

"I'm not judging (Obama) for that," he said. "I'm not demonizing it. I disagree with it."

Beck, who is Mormon, said most Christians don't believe in liberation theology.

"That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about," said Beck. "It's Marxism disguised as religion."
I don't agree with him, but I think this is smart positioning for him to take. It plays into the prosperity theology popular with his group, allows him to claim the rally was about religion instead of politics while picking a theological belief that does have ties with Marxism, provides an "excuse" for having his rally on the day he chose (while not coming out and admitting that he did, in fact, know what day it was), and puts renewed interest on Wright, all while back-pedaling from his original statement.
posted by Houstonian at 4:59 AM on August 30, 2010


Unless he's really playing some kind of very long game, I don't see where yesterday's message of "go to church, turn your back on those who preach hate, learn to support those who disagree with you" really was the start of any huge societal change.

I'm having a hard time imagining my kids asking me "were you there?"

Rather, if I actually had been there, it's far more likely that they would ask me, incredulous, "you were there?"
posted by jayder at 6:20 AM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless he's really playing some kind of very long game,

Yes. Even when he was going to promote the book (as per your link), it was a hundred year plan.
posted by Jahaza at 6:54 AM on August 30, 2010


Beck Blasts Obama’s ‘Perversion Of The Gospel,’ While Evangelicals Blast Beck’s ‘False Gospel’.
posted by ericb at 7:29 AM on August 30, 2010


Jaydar, I'm pretty sure your kids wouldn't saying "Who?". Beck is note en footnote in the pages of history.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:41 AM on August 30, 2010


A hilarious bit from ericb's link is where the evangelical - yes the evangelical blogger says that Beck needs to "keep his beliefs to himself."

And of course all that talkin' about oppression and liberation is just Marxism in disguise... sure that sort of stuff happened again and again to the Hebrews throughout their history and they were only saved by the miracles and grace of God but they're Jews, not Christians like Jesus was. Lots of Jews are Marxists, y'know.
posted by XMLicious at 7:45 AM on August 30, 2010


Acts 2:44-47: "All who believed were together, and had all things in common. They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need. Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people."

Acts 4:32, 34-37: "The multitude of those who believed were of one heart and soul. Not one of them claimed that anything of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. For neither was there among them any who lacked, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet, and distribution was made to each, according as anyone had need. Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas (which is, being interpreted, Son of Encouragement), a Levite, a man of Cyprus by race, having a field, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet."

Beck: "That is a direct opposite of what the gospel is talking about," said Beck. "It's Marxism disguised as religion."

Now... I don't know if it's Marxism or not, but my reading of the beginning of Acts, and note that Luke mentions this twice in his writings, is that the early church shortly after the dispensation of the Holy Spirit, doesn't practice private property AT ALL, but instead pools their resources for the greater good of all the believers.

In fact, there's a little moment after the end of the second mention of communal living:

Acts 5:1-11: "But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira, his wife, sold a possession, and kept back part of the price, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit, and to keep back part of the price of the land? While you kept it, didn’t it remain your own? After it was sold, wasn’t it in your power? How is it that you have conceived this thing in your heart? You haven’t lied to men, but to God.”

Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and died. Great fear came on all who heard these things. The young men arose and wrapped him up, and they carried him out and buried him. About three hours later, his wife, not knowing what had happened, came in. Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.”

She said, “Yes, for so much.”

But Peter asked her, “How is it that you have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.”

She fell down immediately at his feet, and died. The young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her by her husband. 5:11 Great fear came on the whole assembly, and on all who heard these things.
"

I mean.... it's pretty clear what's going on here. But it's more convenient for the Glenn Becks in the world to ignore the pretty obvious fact that YOU WILL FALL OVER AND DIE SUDDENLY IF YOU PROFESS TO BE A CHRISTIAN AND ARE NOT GIVING ALL YOUR BELONGINGS OVER FULLY TO PARTICIPATE IN COMMUNAL LIVING. I mean, it's right there, in the Bible. You can't argue with that, can you?
posted by hippybear at 8:08 AM on August 30, 2010 [10 favorites]


Wallace To Beck: ‘Do You Have Any Credibility Talking About Reclaiming The Civil Rights Movement?’
posted by ericb at 8:12 AM on August 30, 2010


Christopher Hitchens on Beckapalooza, and what it all means.
posted by Trochanter at 1:08 PM on August 30, 2010


A big Beck crowd — but how big? -- "Rally is over, but the controversy over widely varying crowd estimates goes on."
posted by ericb at 1:51 PM on August 30, 2010


Why dueling D.C. rallies confirm there are two Americas.
posted by ericb at 1:52 PM on August 30, 2010


...but the "fat fuck" line is kinda mean.

Not in my book. It's actually the nicest thing I can say about the man.


Glenn Beck | August 29, 2010: 'I Have A Big, Fat Mouth'

Yes you do. Yes you do.
posted by ericb at 1:57 PM on August 30, 2010


Why the 'Liberation Theology' Label Should Worry Obama
posted by homunculus at 2:18 PM on August 30, 2010


AFA to Glenn Beck: Anal Sex is Not in God's Plan.
posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on August 30, 2010


Anal Sex is Not in God's Plan

Sometimes you gotta improvise.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:34 PM on August 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


The deeper import of Beck's rally: Wedding the Tea Parties and the Religious Right
posted by homunculus at 2:34 PM on August 30, 2010


I just realized something:

Glenn Beck is fascinating to me in a way that almost no one on the Right is. Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter sound like they're phoning it in half the time. They're cynical entertainers, giving their audiences the red meat they're clamoring for. But Beck . . . Beck is unpredictable. It's impossible to tell whether he's a lunatic who believes every insane word that falls from his quivering lips, or the greatest con man since P.T. Barnum, the second coming of Lonesome Rhodes. Whichever it is, it's a fantastic act. He's a genuine American character--an fatuous and stupid and evil one, sure, but unforgettable nonetheless. In two hundred years, he'll be a folk character, like Johnny Appleseed. A weepy, sweaty, creepily intense Johnny Appleseed.
posted by EarBucket at 8:22 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I just hope he's not the kind of folk legend that started a revolution under false pretences, and then caused a nuclear religious war.
posted by Trochanter at 8:38 PM on August 30, 2010


IMO Beck is just a little shit-stirrer with an obsessive lust for cash that has figured out how to combine the fun of stirring the shit with the profit in selling that skill to sociopathic billionaires. He's an immoral, craven shit-stirrer selling out to the highest bidder.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:15 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Honor not so bright.
posted by wittgenstein at 9:18 AM on August 31, 2010


This was a link from wittgenstein's link, but since I really like Paul Krugman (except he doesn't follow his thinking through to the apocalyptic end) I'll extract the link and post it.

Krugman: It's Witch-Hunt Season.
posted by Trochanter at 10:02 AM on August 31, 2010


I saw wuwei's excellent comment on Beck in the rss favorites feed.

I was stuck wondering when Beck the musical artist had turned into such a political figure for about half of it. Then I fell down laughing.
posted by enkiwa at 12:15 PM on August 31, 2010


The Blaze: reviews are in on new Glenn Beck website
According to Beck, the site is intended to give folks a helping hand. “If you are like me,“ Beck said in a statement, “watching the news or reading the paper can be an exercise in exasperation. It's so hard to find a place that helps me make sense of the world I see."

"We want this to be a place where you can find breaking news, original reporting, insightful opinions, and engaging videos about the stories that matter most,“ he added.
posted by hippybear at 12:59 PM on August 31, 2010


Glenn Beck Is Not Malcolm X.
posted by homunculus at 5:01 PM on August 31, 2010


Glenn Beck "Restoring Honor" Rally Crowd Estimate Explained - from CBS
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM on August 31, 2010


Protesting Too Much
posted by homunculus at 9:26 AM on September 1, 2010


Rev. James Martin, S.J. examines liberation theology in Glenn Beck vs. Christ The Liberator
posted by hippybear at 8:02 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck's liberation theology obsession
posted by hippybear at 8:11 AM on September 2, 2010


Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants
posted by splatta at 8:13 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants

You know, I know this is a thing... they've been doing it with people attending rallies for a while now, since the tea party thing began. But it's really kind of predictable at this point, isn't it? Like going to a Jesus Rock concert and holding a microphone in people's faces and asking them about their religious views. You know what you're going to get. And it feels like hurf-durf-on-a-plate at this point.

I used to be amazed at misinformed people and willful ignorance of facts. Sadly, I'm not anymore.
posted by hippybear at 10:10 AM on September 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" Rally - Interviews With Participants,.

The folks who did the interviews are students from Wright State. Tea Partiers are 'up-in-arms,' claiming they were 'tricked' in their interviews. Really? They said what they said. Do they not believe what they said?
posted by ericb at 11:10 AM on September 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


ericb: that may be my favorite late-thread news story link ever. That's really hilarious and sad and profound all at once. Thanks for digging that up.
posted by hippybear at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2010


The folks who did the interviews are students from Wright State. Tea Partiers are 'up-in-arms,' claiming they were 'tricked' in their interviews. Really? They said what they said. Do they not believe what they said?

Is it possible they weren't in their Wright State of mind?

(Sorry.)
posted by Sys Rq at 2:02 PM on September 2, 2010


Is it possible they weren't in their Wright State of mind?

If you read the article, that is exactly the point. People say they were deceived, claiming the college kids said they were from 'Right State.' The teabaggers said they thought they were talking to representatives of a right-wing website.
posted by ericb at 2:06 PM on September 2, 2010


You know who else deceives teabaggers?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:55 PM on September 2, 2010


Best comment by far in ericb's link:
Perhaps The Daily Caller would have found the interviews more credible if Eric and Chase had dressed as a pimp and a prostitute and then only provided highly edited versions of their interviews.
posted by XMLicious at 4:41 PM on September 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


Internet Petitions Stephen Colbert To Hold 'Restoring Truthiness' Rally At Lincoln Memorial.
posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on September 3, 2010


The GOP's new fake racial history: A Southern Republican with designs on challenging Barack Obama in 2012 offers a phony version of history
posted by homunculus at 11:28 AM on September 3, 2010


Oh, but the Barbour thing is so much better than that Salon article...

Factchecking Barbour's version of history

TRMS video segment on Barbour's fake personal history
posted by hippybear at 2:34 PM on September 3, 2010


Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert to Host Opposing Rallies in Washington D.C. on October 30, 2010.

"On October 30, 2010, Jon and The Daily Show will lead the first-ever Rally to Restore Sanity on the National Mall in Washington D.C. — a movement of "people who have been too busy to go to rallies" — to beg America to stop shouting, throwing and drawing Hitler mustaches on people other than Hitler (or Charlie Chaplin).

Not to be outdone, The Colbert Nation is calling on all freedom-loving patriots to challenge The Daily Show's dark, optimistic forces by marching on the Mall at the same time to help Keep Fear Alive."
posted by Houstonian at 4:02 AM on September 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Colbert rally thread
posted by Artw at 6:58 AM on September 17, 2010


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