Christmas Came Early

« December 2008 »

Memo to some truck driver in some Wendy's, somewhere: CONSIDER THIS A THANK-YOU NOTE.

One of the weird things about being out there on the Internet is that sometimes, people you don't know give you stuff. Now, this is a very small site despite the best attempts of several StumbleUpon users, so for me that translates to small quantities of money in my PayPal account very, very, very infrequently*.

But sometimes, people you don't know give you a present without even knowing it. I'm sure that an unnamed truck driver in an unidentified Wendy's restaurant in an unidentified truck stop back in mid-November didn't even think, as he acted, that he was giving the man behind You Are Dumb Dot Net an early Christmas present. And I feel churlish for waiting this long even to acknowledge it. But better late than never.

Thank you, whoever you are, for calling Glenn Beck a racist bigot right to his smarmy little ass-like face.

First and foremost, it's a gift to the world. Glenn Beck has earned the dubious privilege of being unable to eatdrink** a Frosty without being accosted by a member of the public and taken to task for the terabytes of drivel he's created over the course of his career. But very few citizens put this principle into practice, and I admire you for stepping up to the plate.

But it's a gift to me in particular, because Beck whined his ass off about the incident the next day on his radio show, and the results were tailor-made for this very space. It's like you tied a bow around it and sent it Priority Mail to my doorstep. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"The guy standing next to me, who, by the way, I may point out. Had food in his hair, is a truck driver and he turned around. He looked at me and the recognition was immediate and he said, You racist bigot! And I just said -- I wanted to say, I think you have me mistaken for someone else, but I knew he knew who I was and he just hated me for who I was. You conservatives that have destroyed this country! And the hatred was so deep, it was breath taking. Luckily the swat team was there and I just separated myself from him and he just shouted through other people and there were children in the restaurant and he blamed me for everything, I believe including the Holocaust, and the hatred was palpable. The guy screamed at the restaurant, you better not let me see you in the parking lot because I've got a truck and I'll run your ass over! Wow. Is this who we've become? Is this who we've become?"

Now, to parse this properly, first we have to strip out the protective demonizing and exaggerating that people like Beck invariably throw out when their normally pre-screened, sheltered worldviews are called into question. So you can safely discount "food in his hair", "including the Holocaust", and the implication that poor defenseless children were traumatized.

So what are we left with? First, "I knew he knew who I was and he just hated me for who I was." Which is fucking comedy gold from the man who assumed Keith Ellison was working with the terrorists because he was a Muslim. Glenn Beck needs to believe he's hated for who he is, so that he can claim the prized mantle of Privileged White Conservative Victimhood, but the fact of the matter is that when Glenn Beck is hated, he's hated for what he's done, and what he's said. If he didn't get paid reasonably good money to go on the radio and the TV and say racist, bigoted things, then he could go into any fast-food restaurant in the country, order any frozen, xanthan-gum-laden treat he wants, and emerge unscathed, without the need for burly security guards to protect him from being correctly identified by the public.

And that last bit? Who we've become? Two fucking decades of right-wing talk radio ramping up the hatred and the rhetoric, talking about deporting and beating and killing anyone to the left of G. Gordon Liddy, and all of a sudden Glenn Beck, who feeds off Rush Limbaugh's shit like some coprophilic barnacle, is aghast at what we've become? It is to laugh and/or to scream obscenities at in a Wendy's. I mean, in this very same segment, Beck says:

"Because I was enraged we've got to disconnect from that and we have to try -- and that's why I said to you the day after Obama was elected, please, let's treat the man the way we wanted the left to treat George Bush and, that is, with a healthy dose of skepticism but let's talk about his policies. Let's not just hate him. He hasn't done anything yet. Even if he does do it, I disagree with his policies, I may disagree with some of his principles. I don't know yet. Let's see what he does and let's not hate." - Playing up is fake common-sense centrist persona, acting like he's some sort of representative of the reasonable middle, even when five minutes earlier in the segment he was saying this:

"One, I'm on these book signing tours and in every single stop there was at least one person that came up and said, I'm from the Soviet block, the former Soviet block. I escaped or I lived under the Soviet Union. And they begged me -- almost every single time they had tears in their eyes and they were begging me, please don't stop talking. They know what's coming. They've lived it. They've lived it. Fear in their eyes like I haven't seen in the eyes of an American because they know, they've seen the movie before."

If that doesn't sum up why Glenn Beck is a shit-eating parasite par excellence, I don't know what does. Segueing from the teary-eyed Soviet expatriates who hail Beck as the only thing standing athwart Barack Obama's plans for Communist totalitarianism, to being yelled at for being a racist bigot, to wondering why we can't all get along and calmly disagree with Obama on a pure policy-wonk level.

So thank you, Truck Driver, for ruining Glenn Beck's fast food experience. And if anyone else in the world wants to give the gift that keeps on giving and make Glenn Beck uncomfortable in public for a few minutes, know that I and many others will be grateful for it.

*This is not a complaint or a reminder, simply a factual statement required as part of the setup for the column.

**The English language needs a proper verb for ingesting non-Newtonian fluids with a combination straw and spoon.