One could chastise the puffy little guy for his repeated, sophomoric attempts to be current and cutting edge, but there’s a jolt of actual sympathy evoked for someone so lost in self-aggrandizement they don’t realize how ridiculous they appear.
Glenn Beck has long seen himself as the truth teller, the agent provocateur, pricking social bubbles and, by either weeping or pontificating in front of a chalk board, shaking the masses into seeing the folly of their ways. Or the wisdom of his. Certainly he has his fans, those who’ve followed him from Fox News after he was toppled from his self-appointed throne there, to wherever it is he now resides on the airwaves (I believe it’s The Blaze TV, whose tagline – “Truth Lives Here: Watch Glenn Beck Anywhere & Anytime” – is a slightly horrifying suggestion.) But over at The Blaze, Beck’s been doing that thing he does with pretty much the same rhyme and reason he had at Fox, if on smaller bandwidth. And most recently, he’s decided to jump into the artistic squabble regarding a certain painting of Barack Obama depicted in a Jesus-like pose:
I wrote about the artist (Michael D’Antuono), the painting (“The Truth“), and the squabble in a piece titled, Painting Of Jesus-Like Obama Outrages Christian Right; it seems only fair to write about one of the Christian Right who’s outraged.
That’d be Glenn.
And how does he express his outrage, his argument against the art in question? With wise analysis of First Amendment rights versus a religion’s right to symbology protection? A debate about art in general and how it comments on or offends culture? A breakdown of the actual piece to assess the meaning of the artistic choices made? NO. No mature discourse needed here. Never one to waste his crafty humor or flair for drama, Glenn opts for mockery. In costume, even.
Wrapped in a blue blazer, with pipe in hand, an embarrassingly bad French accent, and while repeatedly referring to himself as one of the “100 most important people in the art industry,” Glenn pontificates on the state of art, the irreverence of New York art lovers, religious art throughout the ages, all leading to a hands-on demonstration of what he might do to “improve” art. He loses the blazer, grabs a red beret, ratchets up the accent (oh, please), and wanders from painting to painting on display with a paint brush, “tagging” the prints with “artistic corrections” to their nudity or other irreverent features (he actually paints a blue thong onto one of the naked women in a classic piece).
He then concludes the walking tour with a righteous, to-the-camera, declaration about an artists’ right to display even “offensive” work – “I support his right to do exactly that” – but, he wonders, could just anyone commit a similar offense, call it “art,” and get away with it? Hmmmm. Another demonstration, perhaps?
Of course! He stalks to a table set with a large jar of yellow liquid, which, he announces, is…urine (pause for presumed audience gasp). And with the timing of a good carnival barker, he very dramatically picks up a small figure of Barack Obama, the “Savior of mankind,” as he mockingly puts it…and dumps the plastic Savior right into the big old jar of “urine.”
Quelle horreur, ouï?!
With another pause for dramatic effect, the side-show point is made; from Raw Story
“Now some will say that all Glenn Beck did is put the president in a jar of pee-pee,” Beck went on. “While technically correct, yes, I prefer to call this work of art by its more appropriate and professional title. I like to call this, ‘Flobama.’ Sure we can dumb it down for the masses of little people so they can understand. Yes, we have Obama in pee-pee. Mmm? Oui? Yes? This can be yours for a bargain price of $25,000.”
He added that if someone buys it, he’ll make another with First Lady Michelle Obama, this time in a “skinny bottle,” which he said somehow represents her “little abs.”
And all this, he announces, is protected by “this.” With face serious, tone reverent, he taps an image of the Constitution and…curtains.
He imagines the audience jumping to their feet in standing ovations, shouting, “such satire, such stunning political theater”; such…bullshit. Oh, Glenn.
(You know you want to watch the video…I mean, a “blue thong”??)