Chances are you've been plagued with a feeling that you forgot something ever since last week (check your bag: wallet, phone, keys — they're all there), but let me put your mind at ease. You haven't forgotten anything at all. What it is that's missing from your life — what it is that's missing from all of our lives, really — is that you still don't know what sweaty cry potato Glenn Beck thinks about the whole Paula Deen controversy.
Allow me to further lessen your unease: Glenn Beck has finally released a long-winded rant about it. (He apologizes for the wait, but his Boy Scout cosplay ran longer than he expected and he got back to the studio as soon as he could. Look — he didn't even have time to change clothes.)
The predictable talking points are all there — Beck REALLY feels like he grasps the First Amendment (unsurprisingly, he does not) and he thinks we should give Deen a break for the one time she confessed to using the n-word. (If you're playing along with the Right Wing Pundit Drinking Game, slam half a bottle Jack and hit yourself in the head with a hammer.)
Then Beck gets creative. Apparently, the criticism of Deen isn't simply indicative of an overall negative public opinion on public figures who repeatedly do racist things. It's actually indicative of the nightmarish, Orwellian hellscape that our world is becoming. Think of how terrible and different things would be if historically we were all expected to have the same opinion on things. THINK OF IT.
“Where would the world be if Columbus and Magellan and other world explorers believed conventional wisdom and believed the world was flat… Where would we be if Martin Luther King didn’t speak and challenge segregation? Where would we be if everyone in the world thought in the box?”
Let's be very clear here. Martin Luther King Jr. was a civil rights leader who was shot dead with a bullet through his face simply for suggesting that people of color deserved the same rights as white people. Paula Deen is a successful, Emmy Award-winning TV chef who was fired from her network and dropped from several endorsement deals after it came out that she has expressed offensive opinions about black people on several occassions. Deen's circumstance is not an example of oppression of free thought, though Martin Luther King's certainly was. Deen's circumstance is merely an example of functioning capitalism.
(All that said, I'm pretty sure that Glenn Beck is actually a talented performance artist and I cannot wait to see his MOMA retrospective 20 years from now.)