Monday, September 28, 2009

Fringe Reality - MSM

It is a season of folly. We seem to be ruled by a Confederacy of Dunces as Jonathan Swift once categorized the ruling elites of his day. Little wonder that religious cleric made up Gulliver’s Travels as a satiric reaction to the madness of his day over two hundred and fifty years ago. The more things change the more they stay the same.

That in this between times era when journalism or the faded cohesion of small town newspapers dissolves into the known of today and the unknown of tomorrow flowing through the recently born entity (living) called Internet – many distractions occur.

The public discourse, real, imagined, is a bit totally misunderstood or incapable of being cataloged runs through this line of folly.

I watch Keith Olbermann because he is articulate and entertaining. He is a football announcer adapted to the new entertainment news media thingy that is not journalism by any classical definition. Keith doesn’t claim to be any more than what he is – an intelligent wordsmith or the public reader of such thereof.

He and his MSNBC confederates are light entertainment on the left. They are there as a reaction to slanted “news” to the right from the Aussie media Prince Rupert Murdock. They are also an arsenal, loaded and ready to react to the “Willy Horton” fear mongering type thing that can bring down elections and change the fabric of democracy with distorted half-truth.

I have never watched O’Reilly. O’Reilly reminds me of a priest in high school, the disciplinarian and detention hall montior. He does however serve as a comfort zone for people in the middle, right and most importantly the past as a meager means of measuring sanity – not unlike checking off each day on a calendar.

With that said, now there is this Beck person, the class clown who refuses to be ignored. He’s getting the ratings. Entertainment and elements of a Jim Jones type delivery of facts and subtle mind bathing techniques seem to occur to me in the few times I have endured ten minutes of GB-ADHD airtime.

A passing phase perhaps. An interesting article – an op/ed – an opinion about how the GOP in quest for TV ratings may be doing serious damage to itself in passively standing on the sidelines and hoping that visual paranoia of a TV form can be created in imitation of the audible type found with the Limbaugh guy on radio.

Rod Dreher: Glenn Beck's world order endangers the right
The pudgy, sweet-natured Beck offers a more palatable form of this paranoia – but all his fruit and sugar can't hide the Skousenite firewater. How ironic that conservative Christians who unjustly dunned conventional Mitt Romney because of his LDS faith are uncritically backing the squirrelly Beck, who looks like he's casting himself as hero of a prophetic Mormon melodrama.

There are conservatives who know perfectly well that Beck is an unhinged buffoon who traffics in crude, ridiculous ideas. But unlike the hapless GOP, he's popular and effective in the political war against Obama. So these conservative cynics adopt a "no enemies to the right" approach to Beck, even though he's mainstreaming the ooga-booga worldview of a crank prophet who believed, with the John Birch Society, that Eisenhower was a closet commie.
In many ways the present public discourse is not unlike the 1840s when newspapers represented very strong, fanatical slanted points of public politics. Out of that very hot age of the written word came a prophet called Joseph Smith. Without going into Mormon beliefs, the little I know of Smith is of his last days in some dispute with his neighbors wearing a general’s uniform strutting around on a horse and declaring himself a candidate for President of the United States.

Such drama. Such showmanship. Such GlennBeckery (rehashed Joseph Smithery?). Nothing is new under the sun Glenn. Give it a good run.

And lets hope that violence comes to nobody in the current cultural war of words in the so called MSM.


Dave said...

Local reaction to Beck appearing at a theater in Easton,Pa. has been hot and heavy on both sides. A few friends of mine and myself are planning on protesting his being given a venue to spill his venom. I realize he and the theater have evry right to forge ahead but we just want to see who shows up to see and hear him and cough up the entrance fee! I'll keep you posted as it will be in January. I used to think he was witty but those days are long gone. Power to the people!

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

And speaking of clerics working to keep their jobs! Clerics arent' the only ones--we have the Glenn Beckeraineans!