Monday, February 14, 2011


I mock a lot of people on the right for enforcing conservative "correct thinking" and zealously scrutinizing the pronouncements of fellow righties in search of deviations from the party line. But I just wandered over to Glenn Beck's discussion site, The Blaze, and I see that he's really auditioning for the role of all-powerful Minister of Culture in the future anti-socialist utopia. He watched the Grammys last night, you see, and he was horrified to discover that Muse, one of his favorite bands, mingled correct and incorrect imagery and words in the course of performing "The Uprising":

Glenn Beck has been an admitted fan of the British band Muse for the last year. In fact, the group’s song "Uprising" was the inspiration for Beck's 2010 radio show theme song. So it might come as a surprise that Beck opened his radio show on Monday warning that the group’s performance of "Uprising" at last night’s Grammy Awards was "a call for revolution" -- and not a good one.

"The lyrics of this song are so unbelievably powerful and they are ‑‑ they are not going to degrade us anymore, they're not going to ‑‑ they're not going to shape us or anything else. It's us," Beck gushed initially. "We have the power."

But while the group opened up their performance using one the Tea Party's favorite images -- the Gadsden flag -- that didn't last long. The flag was eventually replaced by a picture of British rioters attacking Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, a sign Beck said shows what the group is really advocating....

"At the end of this it shows Camilla and Prince Charles in the back of their Rolls Royce where they are trying to beat them and kill them in the streets. And it shows flames coming up in the video screens," Beck said, before concluding, "you have basically a call for revolution by this group." ...

Now, see, you and I know that rock bands -- especially self-important rock bands like Muse -- often toss around images of social upheaval willy-nilly without having any idea what the hell they're saying, except for an instinctive sense that it's rocknroll, maaaaan! But guys like these aren't really going to lead the movement -- or (sorry, Glenn) the backlash. And (especially if they made a lot of money on their last album and tour) their next "political" song is likely to be about how stupid the government is for taking so much from them in taxes. And then they're likely to go right back to upheaval. And on and on until they're middle-aged has-beens.

But Beck takes this so freaking seriously. Gadsden flag? Lyrics that seem libertarian? That makes Muse into cultural shock-workers. But picking up imagery from lefty demonstrations? MUSE NEEDS REEDUCATION!

Beck explains:

There are those that are calling for revolution and they are everywhere, and they are the Muslim extremists, they are the communist revolutionaries, they are the anarchists, and then you have the Tea Party movement. The Tea Party movement is not calling for revolution. The Tea Party movement is calling for a restoration.


(That would be news to Michelle Malkin, and World Net Daily, and these North Carolina teabaggers, and Tammy Bruce, and these shirtmakers, all of whom thought they were following the Party line by talking about a "tea party revolution.")

Beck would have fit in quite nicely in Stalin's Soviet Union:

It was supposed to be a ballet fit for a party boss: Winsome maids from the local collective farm prance around the stage carrying 5-foot long potatoes, while happy Soviet farmers celebrate yet another bountiful harvest.

But communist dictator Josef Stalin gave Dmitri Shostakovich's ballet "The Bright Stream" a thumbs down when it premiered in 1935....

Party bosses told Shostakovich, already renowned for his symphonies and theater music, to write a happy-go-lucky account of life on a collective farm whose denizens, inspired by the teachings of Marx, enthusiastically pitch in to build a Communist utopia....

Critics and public alike went crazy over "The Bright Stream" when it opened. Then Stalin showed up for a performance.

The Great Helmsman was not amused. An article titled "The Ballet Hypocrisy" in the newspaper Pravda, a mouthpiece for the Communist Party, icily reprimanded Shostakovich and Lopukhov for a "concocted and impudent" show.

"It was banned because it parodied life on collective farms," the composer's widow, Irina, told The Associated Press....

"He never wrote another ballet," Irina Shostakovich said....

Oh, and just in case you're not clear why Muse deviated from the True Path, it's because, well, due to the circumstances of the band members' birth, they have not attained True Counter-Revolutionary Consciousness:

"You have to remember these are Europeans...they have had very few glimpses of real freedom," Beck said. "Even when England won the Second World War, they didn't go into freedom. That's where the Road to Serfdom came from."

No, I didn't make that up. He really said that.

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