The 10 Stupidest Moments in Glenn Beck's New Novel
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The opening lines of Glenn Beck's yet-to-be-released novel, The Overton Window, read as follows: "Most people think about age and experience in terms of years, but it's really only moments that define us."
In a quirk of convenience, this line also describes the best way to deconstruct The Overton Window, a copy of which Media Matters obtained and read -- nay, devoured -- with great relish. As we slogged through its many plot holes, ridiculous narrative devices, and long-winded limited-government sermonizing passed off as dialogue, we singled out ten moments that define The Overton Window as the truly and remarkably awful novel that it is.
First, a quick summation of the plot, such as it is. The protagonist, Noah Gardner, works for an impossibly powerful public relations firm in Manhattan that has been the driving force behind pretty much every political and cultural movement of the 20th century. Their latest and grandest scheme is the culmination of a lengthy plot to change the United States into some sort of ill-defined progressive plutocracy, and the catalyst for this change is a nuclear explosion that will occur outside the home-state office of "the current U.S. Senate majority leader," which happens to be at the same address as Harry Reid's Las Vegas offices. The nuclear attack is to be blamed on the Founders Keepers, a Tea Party-like group -- led by Noah's love interest, Molly Ross -- that is working to foil the plot.
1. Rule number one is: "Don't tease the panther"
Noah and Molly find themselves in bed together early in the book after a harrowing experience at a Founders' Keepers rally. They agree to sleep in bed together because Molly is too scared to sleep at home, but Molly insists that nothing sexual will take place. Noah agrees, on the condition that she "not do anything sexy." She presses her cold feet against his legs, and Noah responds:
"Suit yourself, lady. I'm telling you right now, you made the rules, but you're playing with fire here. I've got some rules, too, and rule number one is, don't tease the panther."
2. Someone left a voicemail about a mom in a hospital, or something. I deleted it.
As the nonsensical plot kicks into overdrive, Noah desperately needs to find Molly, who had been working as a temp mail room clerk at Noah's father's PR firm. When he goes down to the mail room, he is told by an employee that Molly has not shown up for work, but someone had left her a voicemail over the weekend. When Noah explains that he needs the message because it's "important," the employee responds:
"I deleted it, and I didn't write anything down, since it was a personal thing. The fellow who called must have just tried all the numbers he had for her. He said her mama was in the hospital."
So, just to be clear, upon hearing a voicemail message about a coworker's mother being in the hospital, this person decided to delete it and not write anything down, "since it was a personal thing." It really is getting hard to find good help these days.
3. ATTN Catering company: Stalin's grandson doesn't want mayo on his sandwich
Many of the major plot reveals in The Overton Window hinge on absurdly lazy writing. For example, early on in the book, Noah's father hosts a secret meeting to discuss the evil plot to nuke the Senate Majority Leader's office and blame it on the Founders' Keepers. So how is it that mail room temp Molly Ross comes to know that this meeting took place and who was in attendance? Simple: