Glenn Beck Declares War on 'Glee'
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Putting aside the frightening visual that comes with the idea that the left would be “making out with” Beck for just a second—it's worth noting that "Glee" and other shows like it are successful not because they're leftist propaganda, but because they present an idealized vision of a world where problems are solved in an hour-long TV episode, where the gay kids can be out and proud in the halls without getting slammed into their lockers, where the girl in a wheelchair has a sensitive, supportive (Christian) boyfriend who goes with her to physical therapy and where a song by some high schoolers can help a teacher handle an abusive relationship.
Meanwhile, the world of "Glee" is pretty sanitized. Its problems mostly revolve around personal relationships; there's little connection to the outside world where someday a song won't solve all the “glee kids”' problems. It's actually not hard to picture a version of the show that's slightly more conservative, that features no gay characters. We've already had plenty of debate this season alone about lily-white casts all over the TV--as Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress pointed out, the creator of the new ABC Family show "Bunheads" told the show Media Mayhem, “I don’t do message shows. I don’t give a shit who you learn your life from.”
The creators of "Glee" did make a choice—to have a multiethnic cast, to include queer and trans young people and to tell their stories with the same weight given to those of the hetero characters, but that doesn't make it a “message” show or liberal propaganda. It means that unlike the creators of "Girls" or "Bunheads" – and certainly unlike Glenn Beck -- they're aware that they live in a world where not everyone is like them.
As Roy Edroso wrote:
Any culture worthy of the name is fluid, animated by innumerable human currents -- works of art and works of crap-art, invention of new styles and adaptation of old and even foreign ones, shifts in language, shared experiences, and so on. To the extent that human experience is rich, that is, more meaningful than the life of a cow or a dog, culture makes it so.
The vectors of these currents are to some extent traceable, but not very tractable. Still, there is a base impulse in some people that makes them want to manipulate it, rather than contribute to it in the normal way; to decree, turn right (or left) here.
My problem with those guys is not that they are supporting wrong causes (though they usually do that, as well) but that they are engaged in anti-human activity. It is that they see the most natural and wonderful thing in the world, the evolution of human consciousness, and think how much better it would be if only they could control it with the blunt instruments of politics.
In other words, Beck and his ilk can't appreciate art for a minute without needing to purify it or to claim it for their own purposes.
“People tell stories because they want to influence people, or because they have an argument or critique they want to make,” Rosenberg noted. It's true that "Glee"'s message of tolerance and its vision of a high school where queer kids are accepted and can perform in five-inch heels if they want to, where kids of all races not only exist but interact with one another happily, might be “horrifying” to those, like Beck, who make their living feeding off the bigotry of others. But the Glenn Beck who wants to lay claim to “Restoring Love” (presumably between a white man and a white woman after legal matrimony) could actually learn something from "Glee" if he'd stop ranting about gay teenagers long enough to listen.