Glenn Beck is Our Real-Life Lewis Prothero

by Will Potter on May 23, 2010

in Terrorism Scare Mongering

“It’s one of the most evil books ever,” said Glenn Beck, holding up a copy of The Coming Insurrection. (The video starts at 2:30). He then held up a copy of We Are an Image From the Future as he went on a nonsensical tirade against the threat of “communists” who want to destroy families.

For the most part, I think it’s a waste of time to get wrapped up in Glenn Beck’s nonsense. Being absurd and bombastic is this guy’s shtick. He has made millions doing it. When people start calling books “evil,” though, I think that’s reason to pay attention.

We should be concerned when people like Glenn Beck call books “evil” because people like Glenn Beck don’t read. For instance, the books he railed against were not written by communists, but by anarchists, a point which AK Press addressed in a very well-crafted response.

Or, perhaps Beck and his producers have read the books, know what they say, and they just don’t care. I really have no idea.

lewis prothero v for vendettaIt’s hard to tell if people like Beck are stupid, or evil, or both. And that’s why, when I watched the clip above, I felt like I was watching a skit.

Give Glenn Beck a British accent, and is he not the spitting image of Lewis Prothero in “V is for Vendetta,” the scare-mongering talking head keeping an Orwellian country in perpetual fear?

The over-the-top hysteria; the scare-mongering against immigrants, unions, and anyone who is an “other”; the warnings that American values and families are under attack… it just doesn’t seem real. It is too much. Too far. It doesn’t seem real because we’ve seen this before, in films and literature whenever an artist wants to create an exaggerated, larger-than-life symbol of freedom sacrificed in the name of fear.

More and more, it feels like we are living fiction.

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