The Assassinated Press
Move Over 'Turner Diarrheas', Beck Has Shat Another Book.
“The Overton Window”--- Glen Beck on the Inside Looking Out.
What a Fucking Miserable Way To Spend Bloom’s Day--- Thinking About Glen ‘Train Wreck’ Beck.
By HAIRY NOODLES
The Assassinated Press
The success of Glenn Beck's novel, "The Overton Window," will be measured not by its literary value (none), or its contribution to the thriller genre (small), nor by the rebelliousness it incites among anti-government extremists which will be violently quashed while Beck washes his hands of any responsibility for incitement and no knowledge of or sympathy with the perpetrators. The success of Beck’s book will be measured by the money it rakes in because Beck is a text book spawn of Beck’s own antagonist the fictional PR legend Arthur Gardner.
If the book is found tucked into the ammo boxes of self-proclaimed patriots and recited at "tea party" assemblies, then Beck will have not achieved his goal while the book may come back to haunt him even as he washes his hands of any responsibility.
Of course, Beck’s fictional PR mastermind and antagonist has his counterpart in historical fact. This counterpart is none other than Sigmund Freud’s nephew, the PR giant Edward Bernays. Bernays worked for numerous corporate clients, such as Procter & Gamble, the American Tobacco Company, Cartier Inc., Best Foods, CBS, the United Fruit Company, General Electric, Dodge Motors, the fluoridationists of the Public Health Service, Knox-Gelatin, and innumerable other big names.
Certainly, Beck a huge believer in the capitalist system would not object to the bulk of Bernays clients. These same clients are being advised today by a new PR generation exeplifoed by Beck's Arthur Gardner’s.
Beck would find little antagonistic about Bernays. And, in a ‘factional’ sense backed up by the least dollop of integrity, the protagonist of Beck’s novel would be Gardner and Molly would just be another pawn which is her real life ‘factional’ role. In real life PR, Beck is a brand. Molly is a victim.
While Bernays' work for fluoridation and the Public Health Service and his sponsorship of the 1920 NAACP convention were benign, Bernays object was always manipulation and control not that dirtyy word empathy. Once again Beck is in absolute agreement.
The story line, which fictionalizes Beck's well-known staged paranoia about a secret Big Government plan to crush the liberties of well-meaning citizens all the while sucking hard at the teat of the corporations, is an extended call to arms, a rallying cry to his angry foot soldiers long stirred by his rantings on Fox News which has its bunker in that well-known bastion of the far right, Rockefeller Center sharing space with the Arthur Gardner’s of Gotham.
If Beck and FOX find the status quo so abhorrent, why haven’t they moved their operations to say Waco or a militia encampment in Wyoming where they could hunt gophers in the morning and broadcast their shit from trailers in the evening? How many of those quaffed FOX Bimbos would broadcast from a compound of Neo-Nazi's that haven't raped a woman under 400 pounds since the meth lab burned down?
Think of the credibility boost. Instead. They stay fat and plush just doors from the largest PR firms in the world. The last line of Beck’s book warns, "We're everywhere. . . . The fight starts tomorrow." You can bet your last bus token Beck won’t be there and that when he says we're everywhere he means commercial advertisers.
The novel's evil mastermind Arthur Gardner is far more likely to be Beck’s boss than antagonist. Rupert Murdoch could be considered a public relations genius. He’s helped many a tin pot dictator and Washington power brokers play shills for major corporate interests. Here again we have a parallel with Beck’s ‘protagonist’ Arthur Gardner and Edward Bernays.
“Bernays' political propaganda activities were conducted on behalf of the multinational corporations. Bernays lied about Guatemala to a grateful nation for the United Fruit Company (today's Chiquita Brands International) and the U.S. government to facilitate the successful overthrow (see Operation PBSUCCESS) of the democratically elected president of Guatemala, Jacobo Arbenz Guzman. Bernays' propaganda (documented in the BBC documentary, The Century of the Self), branding Arbenz as communist, was published in major U.S. media. According to a book review by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton of Larry Tye's biography, "The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays & The Birth of PR", "the term 'banana republic' actually originated in reference to United Fruit's domination of corrupt governments in Guatemala and other Central American countries. The company brutally exploited virtual slave labor in order to produce cheap bananas for the lucrative U.S. market."”
Think how even Bernays public relations efforts on behalf of United Fruit pales against propaganda campaigns waged by the Cheney administration and a half-dozen PR firms they hired to convince the American people that Saddam Hussein was an apocalyptic threat. You'da have to a been an idiot to believe the Cheney administrations serial bullshit. Hence, I give you the American people and their cynical representatives and the cynical mouthpieces that thrive off of their idiocy.
Beck accurately characterized both Bernays and Gardner. Bernays rehabilitated Calvin Coolidge’s reputation. Gardner devising the Pet Rock fad, turned Mao and Che into counterculture fashion statements [thus by rendering them commodities draining them of any revolutionary power], created faux ailments such as restless leg syndrome for the drug industry and lifted several presidents to the White House regardless of party affiliation -- "ideology was just another interchangeable means to an end." Much of the above, even the ‘factional’ rings true. It’s just that Glen Beck left his own name off the list of PR shams right behind ‘Pet Rocks’.
Beck believes the American experiment in self-government has failed. A sober persom might ask 'when has it ever succeeded.' This is where Beck's stagey, prop filled paranoia comes in. One suspects this paranoia is of the most cynical and pseudo-literary variety. With the secret consent of the power elite, Gardner/ Bernays/Murdoch is/are poised to manipulate the public to welcome his/their ultimate coup -- literally, the takeover of the nation using shills like Beck, a "new beginning" as Goebbels once put it, "one world, ruled by the wise and the fittest and the strong, with no naive illusions of equality or the squandered promises of freedom for all" both goals explicit in Beck’s posturing. For who is “wider and fitter and stronger” than Murdoch and the corporate ethos of which he is but one expemplar.
With his PR brilliance, Gardner has succeeded in selling this destructive vision to the highest echelons of government. Sorry, Glen. Bernays did this years ago and corporate America is more than happy with the results. Corporate control has already been in place for decades. It actually could be argued to predate Bernays and even the Republic itself. Glen’s just a tiny part of that corporate manipulation through his affiliation with Premier Radio Networks and FOX News.
In public policy speak, Gardner has pushed his outrageous scenario into the window of acceptability -- and provided Beck with his title. What could be more propaganda driven than reducing information to six categories then seeking legitimacy for your few in one of the pigeonholes. Think of a square peg in a round hole and you get the core and the metally challenged force of Beck’s thought if it can be called that--- and its psychopathology.
Some of his thinking is simply classic projection or inversion like claiming reverse discrimination while foregoing historical context and then bringing up the holocaust at every overture of the Palestinians or even Obama's intiatives. Square peg in a round hole. No matter, its all cornholing to Beck as long as his audience is eager to bend over.
But some of it is just trying to fuck a wooden burro. It’s just crazy and bound to leave splinters. One can only hope for Beck’s sake that he’s a better actor than people give him credit for. If that’s the case I think he deserves an Emmy for Best Prop Comic because his toys, funny glasses, $400 bedhead crew cut and hats, shiny jowls and blackboard glossalalia are a hoot.
Beck’s book is a thriller. But not in the way Beck intended. The Overton Window reminds me of something Lenny Bruce once deadpanned while speaking of official and corporate corruption, the kind Beck participates in daily. Bruce said, “They’re so corrupt its thrilling.” Indeed, watching Halliburton, KBR, State Farm on the Gulf Coast after Katrina, Exxon, Philip Morris, United Brands, Blackwater/Xe and its silver spoon weasel founder Eric Prince abandoning his merc army and Christian Crusade to run off to the United Arab Emirates, Massey Energy, BP, Wall Street, Goldman Sachs, AIG, Enron, Boeing, Lockheed Martin etc. etc. ad nauseam it becomes crystal clear how Beck square peg fits right in.
Steven Levingston of the Washington Post is exercised over Beck’s book. He writes:
“The danger of books like this is that radical readers may take the story's fiction for fact, or interpret the fiction -- which Beck encourages -- as a reflection of a reality that they must fend off by any means necessary. "The Overton Window" risks falling into the tradition of other anti-government novels such as "The Turner Diaries" by William L. Pierce, which became a handbook of extremists and inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995. As Beck tells his soldiers in the voice of Noah: "Put up or shut up . . . go hard or go home. Freedom is the rare exception . . . not the rule, and if you want it you've got to do your part to keep it."“
Levingston may well turn out to be prophetic when it comes to Beck’s thriller. Beck has certainly washed his hands in advance of any violence he incites, the sign a true coward. As the next one man revolution fizzles, people may die and this will not be good for those personaly effected. But we should focus on where Beck will be when this occurs. In all likelihood, he will be protesting that this is not the outcome he intended and that he had nothing to do with the events which transpired. He may express sympathy for the losers overwhelmed by the authorities as he has in the past. But he will claim no responsibility. Not even irresponsibility.
You don’t get 400 affiliates in corporate America by espousing any form of egalitarian revolution. That’s delusion. And Beck is eager to create that delusion for his victims/audience.