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27 May 2011

God is a Doorknob, part 2

I didn't really consider Beck again -- in general, at all -- until January.  Egyptians were rioting in the streets.  I was stunned and obsessed.  I started to watch the news all day long.  I work at home, and I like to keep the TV on as background noise.  At first I flipped around to different channels, getting different people's takes on things.  I ended up on Fox more than anything else.  And at 4:00, I ended up watching Beck.

With Tunisia, it seems that Beck hit a reset button of sorts.  He talked about the daily news, but he also talked about it in terms of what it meant to the web of alliances in the Middle East, which meant he talked about history.  That's when I found out that much of Beck's show is teaching history in light of and as it relates to the most current events.

I had never had a strong understanding of politics in the Middle East.  I knew the basics, I knew enough, and I didn't really care beyond that.  They have oil, they hate us, sometimes they try to kill us, and they're all of the way over there.  

Beck did the thing he does -- set up an argument, build, build, build, set a new argument...  But he started from a (somewhat) fresh base, and the stuff that wasn't fresh, he backed up to give a brief explanation.

I was not excited about the Egyptian rallies.  I found it intriguing, and it got my blood racing, but I was suspicious.  My collegiate studies in social movement theory taught me that something was missing from the equation.  Even with the addition of social media to the equation, some thing was missing.  

Beck named it for me.

It's not so much WHAT Beck named, it's that Beck saw it, too.  All of these different networks and talking heads were saying this and that and Ooh! Democracy!, but I definitely saw that something was missing.  Now, I'm not saying that I'm the smartest person in the world.  I'm not saying that I know more than those people on TV.  And I'm not saying that I'm right and they are wrong. 

I just didn't understand how my perspective wasn't even being discussed as a throwaway "those[insert name] crazies think BLAH".  

But there was one guy who named it.  Who named what was wrong.  Beck.

to be continued

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