Who Are All These Tacky People On My Front Stoop?

“Don’t make me come out there.” What the hell, I ended up live-blogging the whole damn thing.

Washington Memorials

I took this photo a few years ago on a trip to Washington DC, with the “good camera” that’s been sent off to Canon for possible repair, or I’ll be in the market for a refurbished 30D. I Tweeted a lot of my Lincoln Memorial photos last night after getting irked at all the Beckamania co-opting of the imagery of Lincoln, Dr King, and all the hoo-ha about reclaiming the nation’s honor. It bugged me that the national honor so much in need of reclaiming was actually lost in the eyes of the world when we went to war with the wrong country, and used torture to try to justify our actions.

Today we’ll have our hands full with getting ready to have my in-laws over, probably involving an orgy of cleaning, vacuuming, and spraying everything with industrial strength Febreze in order to de-cattify everything for my loveable father-in-law Shelley. But all morning, I’ve been listening the radio, first to an excellent BBC Radio documentary by Owen Bennett-Jones on The Changing World called “The Crescent and the Cross, Part One.” It went in-depth to cover the history of relations between Muslims and Christians, starting with a report from Cordoba, Spain (namesake of Cordoba House in NYC)

David shared a political cartoon this morning that delighted me because it captured my mood last night perfectly and allowed me to laugh off my grumpy funk.

My Honor Is Restored! Thanks Glenn!

see more Political Pictures

Another favorite political cartoonist, David Horsey, has a blog post on the subject of Cordoba House and also on the Festival of Campchair-American Islamophobes now assembling in front of the Lincoln Memorial for their non-political political rally today, looking forward to his own cartoon commentary on the topic later.

I checked the traffic cams for Washington DC earlier this morning – surface streets are heavily traveled that lead toward the National Mall, so it appears the gathering throng of Beckistanis took the warnings to stay off the scary black and brown people on the DC Metro and are all driving or on chartered buses. Hope they enjoy the day and find a shady place to set up their chairs, coolers, strollers, and scooters for the day. I can see lots and lots of people on the one camera closest to the Lincoln Memorial, it seems that they’ll get a pretty big crowd but other streets around the edge of the Mall or a few blocks toward the Capitol don’t look very busy aside from foot traffic from the few people brave enough to risk public transit.

I’ll be checking in at C-SPAN’s live feed to get a less tightly focused image of the crowd, since I suspect that FOX’s coverage will be more propagandy and less truthy.

C-SPAN | Capitol Hill, The White House and National Politics

Radio and Fox News host Glenn Beck has partnered with the Special Operations Warrior Foundation to host a “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial today, but faces criticism for holding it on the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech there.

Promoted on Beck’s website as a tribute to American military personnel and others “who embody our nation’s founding principles of integrity, truth and honor,” organizers say the “non-political” rally is not affiliated with any partisan organizations. The conservative commentator will also be joined by former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin.

Rally critics say the ideology expressed by Beck and other speakers stands in conflict with the spirit of Dr. King’s remarks. In protest, Rev. Al Sharpton will lead counter-rally and a “Reclaim the Dream March” through D.C., coverage of which will air on C‑SPAN Saturday afternoon.

Sharpton and Faith and Freedom Coalition Chair Ralph Reed, who will attend the Beck rally, join C‑SPAN’s Washington Journal this morning to preview the day’s events.

And it’s on. Cameras from C-SPAN are angled to show lots of people seated on the steps, so it was pretty prescient of me to make the “front stoop” joke, wasn’t it? I started this blog post about 40 minutes ago, too.

Visible behind Glenn: Someone is waving both an American flag, and what appears to be a Christian flag – red cross on a blue field, and there’s the inevitable guy in Revolutionary War wig and tricorn hat videobombing himself into the hearts of a lonely nation. I’m watching with the sound off, because I’d really rather listen to “Car Talk” on WBEZ as it’s part of my Saturday morning routine along with coffee in bed.

It appears some suit is leading everybody in prayer now. So let us pray for tolerance between peoples, and peace, and for the victims of war, violence, famine and flood.

[moment of silence]

::me peeks to see suited guy is still earnestly praying on everyone, or should that be preying on everyone::

::they’re still praying and now I see that Beck has invited some people of not-white-color to look fervent behind the guy in the suit::

Oh, forget it, they’re still praying! Now there’s some evangelical guy in a Flagee shirt with his arms raise. This is to let everyone around him know he’s moved by the spirit and therefore holier than they. Apparently these people have somehow completely failed to read the Bible, where Jesus specifically warned against this sort of thing. Luke 18 9-14, one of my favorite parables. And of course, Thomas Jefferson wasn’t a fan of public piety or magical thinking, either. He probably wants the overflow crowds off of his steps, too.

“And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Apparently they got done praying, finally, and there’s a woman speaking who lost her son in Iraq, which unfortunately is the very war that I was thinking about before. I am grateful for her son’s service and sacrifice, but sorry that it was in the Wrong War. Sad. It’s shameful that Beck’s little self-aggrandizing carnival of puffery is exploiting people who gave so much for so little.

Sit down, dopey photographer, you’re blocking the main camera. Sound still off.

Oh, there’s a lady in a scooter! Just like Wonkette said! Gee, I want to rent a scooter, too.

After pooting around the Wonkette comments threads, back to our silent movie about the dumbing down of American religio-political discourse. It seems they’re whipping right along – Palin’s on screen. I can’t bear to listen to the screeching but her flag-waving fans must be happy they don’t have to listen to hours of boring nobodies who lost their children in an illegal war. She’s in brilliant white, not a bad color for her, with a flag pin of course.

Of course.

The shots of the crowd show them to be applauding, waving, but somehow strangely they are rather… listless aside from holding up camera phones and holding up stuff they bought in order to videobomb the nation by waving it around.

Palin must have written her remarks down on paper, she keeps looking down at the podium. What is her purpose? She’s like the Matanuskan Propagandidate.

Back after a short break to look up the proper spelling of Matanuska, because as a Reality-American I believe that spelling is imprortint. However, as a Typo-American I am easily amused.

Why did she hug that guy? Still listening to Click and Clack. Oh NOES, they are talking to a guy in Arlington TX who sounds like a Not-American! Fortunately, the people who would be offended by this show of ordinary Amererican tolerance and decency are all in DC at the moment – and they’re not public radio listeners.

Okay, who was that guy Palin just brought down? No matter. Crowd is chanting something.

Hey, that one guy in the crowd is a plant from Wonkette, he looks exactly like Riley Waggaman with more sunscreen, less top hat.

Back to our show after totally pimping out to Wonkette. Beck is back, waving his hands a lot. FOX cameras blocking the shot, sit down or something! He’s got important gesturing and exhorting to do and you’re making C-SPAN Jebus cry.

Lady, we can see you behind that Bible.

Lots of different flags waving in the background, mostly cheap knockoffs of historic “alternate” flags from the Revolutionary War.

Beck runs away for a potty break. Crowd shots of Lardass-Americans. Yes, I am a snarky bitch.

OH SNAP THEY ARE STEALING MARTIN LUTHER KING’S SOUL by putting him up on the Jumbotron.

Noun, verb, and an image of the Twin Towers Tribute In Light shining brightly and hopily into the sky.

NPR betrays me by running audio of the Half-Term Governatrix haranguing the crowd and sounding REALLY ANGRY ABOUT HOW THIS ISN’T THE COUNTRY SHE SIGNED UP TO VEEP a heartbeat away any more. It’s time for the news break after Car Talk and before my beloved Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me, which unfortunately is a clip show this week.

Rally: Who is this man of color speaking? He’s wearing some kind of medallion on his chest, but the C-SPAN chyron doesn’t identify him. He appears to be a Native American vet of some kind, as he seems to have a beaded bolo tie in red, white, and blue. Nice that they have him on. Flag wavers be wavin’ in the background. Bare spots are starting to appear on the Lincoln Memorial steps, however. Shots of crowd make them look hot, and not in a good way.

Thank God for WWDTM and for Karl Cassel, in spite of his complete FAIL to say “PEW PEW PEW!” So awesome, I just logged in to the Submitterator at BoingBoing to let them know about that very important and useful website.

Oh, right, the rally. Is it still on? Yep, it’s Tony La Russa. He’s probably going to take some heat for this gig, and not in the form of fastballs in the earbone.

His hair appears to be dyed.

Crowd shot shows people in colorfully patriotic T-shirts shifting around uncomfortably. They should have brought their own damn campchairs.

So far, I’m sad to say that no Umbrellahead-Americans have been spotted.

Now, some other sports guy, Pujols. Crowd needs less baseball imagery, more shouty punditry.

Unidentified older man at podium. Get a haircut, aging hippie!

Crowd getting restless. Shots of people wandering away in search of that chili-burger place they saw on teevee.

A lady of color speaking who appears cool and comfortable and projects a sense of calm. Is she actually a religious nutcase? She’s not waving her arms in a ranty enough fashion so I can’t tell. She’s definitely NOT that crazy Alveda King person, who in spite of 2 divorces clings desperately to fame by way of her maiden name. Bet she’ll be the penultimate speaker, so the theft of Dr King’s mana will be completed by a blood relative, kind of like in that one Harry Potter book but with less Angel of Death restraint, more Angels in America treachery. I wonder how Alveda King, who is now an anti-gay, anti-abortion activist, squares up with Beck, who’s reportedly okay with teh marriage of teh gay but more than willing to get on the “I don’t want them punished with a baby” train criticizing Obama for being pro-choice.

Sweet Jesus, that April Fool’s 2008 transcript from Beck was annoying to read. Was it even for real? Yet even though it’s really old, I could be the first person to “like” it on Facebook? What to do? Hmmm…. no.

Back to our show. Oh, here’s Crazy Niece Alveda, waving her arms in the approved fashion.

Oh wait, it’s over, time for gospel singer Angelica Tucker waving her arms in the way you do when you’re singing from the Spirt. Coincidentally, she happens to be black, but she’s getting a little arm-waving response from some of the evangelical Pasty-Americans in the crowd.

Oops, now it’s a preacher in an Anglican- or Methodist-style round collar. Also coincidentally black.

Oops, that was fast, DNA-carrying Niece of Dr Martin Luther King, Alveda introduced a really big gospel singer lady whose REALLY GOT THE CROWD UP AND WAVING THEIR ARMS IN THE APPROVED MANNER NOW. Suck it, atheist bitchez, teh Rapture-Revolution starts any minute now, right after this important news from Goldline.

Is FOX even showing this? Couldn’t find anything but a radio live stream at their site.

Flip flip flip, it’s Alveda yet again after a Brown-Possibly-Mohammedan-American spoke briefly.

Crowd bored now. They want the nice gospel ladies (the young hottie and the older biggie) to come back and tell them more parables in song.

Oh, finally, a crowd shot down the length of the Mall, looking toward the Washington Memorial. Looks like bleachers have been set up back there (which makes this crowd of thousands look more impressive). Still, there’s a lot of step space behind Alveda now – plenty of room.

You can see people packing stuff up and moving off camera! She’s still talking, you Tacky-Americans! But at least you’re finally getting off Lincoln’s front stoop!

Audio on. She’s actually referring to Uncle Martin by name. She’s getting some response but she’s swiping his speech to rant about moral turpitude and repentance from aborting all the babies. I think she just went through his speech with that handy control-replace gadget in the Windows typey machine.

Audio on. Gospel ladies sing the first verse of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which I sing about 3 times a year in church, so I actually know the words, so there.

Oh, here’s Glenn Beck on the Moon! You can’t see his face, it’s obscured by his helmet.

Here’s Glenn charting a course to the New World, founded on faith by people who believed in themselves and a Higher Power. Oh, my God. The Jumbotrons are now downloading this tripe into the helpless Koolaid-Americans and getting ready to send them out into the world to spread the Gospel of St Glenn.

This is actually the first time I’ve heard this huckster speak.

Crowd size estimated by Glenn Beck!! Oh boy! I can’t wait for Politifact to correct his 500,000 estimate. Um, from the images on C-SPAN it thins out pretty much after the Washington Memorial, and the Reflecting Pool forces them to the margins for a great deal of the length.

Pandering to the Greatest Generation and all the other veterans’ groups. I have photos of all of these monuments in my Flickr sets.

Basking in the reflected glory of greater giants than he will ever be.

Is Glenn Beck calling for a more faithy, less reasony version of the American Experiment? Why, I think he is.

Cue blubbering. He’s talking about the speeches engraved on the walls of the Lincoln Memorial now.

OH YES HE’S SWIPING THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS NOW! No need to write your own speech at all when you steal from the

Washington Memorials

Thought for a second he was going to start singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic, since it was also written nearby and ripe for plagiary.

But no, he’s cribbing from the Second Inaugural speech now.

Still a large swath of empty space on the steps for what seems to be the climactic speech of the day. I can hear some kind of echo, crowd not all that engaged until he said “they shall not have died in vain.” I think they thought he was talking about our troops in Eye-Rack and Aff-gan-istan.

Preachy stuff. Oh hey, a cute black child in the crowd! You don’t see that every day at large events in DC.

Crowd hot, tired, clap dutifully when there’s a pause, but waiting for either red meat or a towel to cower under.

AND NOW GLENN BECK STEALS FROM HIS OWN SPEECH since he couldn’t be bothered to think of something new to say, so he recyled “that which you gaze upon you become” from 2006. Is that Nietzsche, the Quran, or Elder McConkie?

Wow, this is rambling all over the place, now we’re watching in Gethsemane. I feel like we’re going to bust out into “Wachet Auf!” in a second.

Okay, we’re all Americans, even us misguided unbelieving Democrat-Americans. Non-political rally my ass, this is a revival meeting and operators are standing by to take your prayer requests and donations.

America is crying out for the remote, not the truth.

Faith, hope… and charity begins at home, all you poors.

Not really listening, talking to my husband David.

Okay, my ears perked up at “Invisible Magic Sky God.” All my atheist friends, THAT IS YOUR CATCHPHRASE!

Now Beck is yammering on some more about his truthiness and God. And know God. The Mormons are all happy because they know in their hearts blah blah blah. They don’t have faith, they know – so this is a little code word just for them.

Oh for God’s sake, I have to take a shower and get the living room vacuumed. Get to the point already.

Now Beck is swiping “God Is Still Speaking” and turning it into the less gay-friendly “God Is Not Done Yet.”

More blubbering. Give me my kid’s cancer, Lord – that’ll get the unbelievers fearing God. Oh, for the love of mercy.

Did you know Glenn Beck attends church? He mentioned tithing, another Mormon shout-out. Here it comes.

Oh. This whole last 10 minutes he was swiping from the stirring and inspiring foundational document, the Declaration of Independence. Still stealing from the best.

And now, the confessional – the truth shall set you free.

We must now go to God’s Boot Camp before we’re ready to go out and Save The World from a gigantic burning building before dropping to our knees and pledge our sacred honor so we’re back on God’s side again.

Honest, I’m not making this shit up. It really sounds like Bullet Points Gone Wild.

Okay, now he’s talking about England killing the Black Regiment (non-conformist evangelical preachers before and during the Revolutionary War) and the crowd actually goes a bit wild when he says the Black Robe Regiment is back today – 240 people who are there to… what? I need to vacuum!

Oh, is there gonna be an altar call? Go to your churches, synagogues and…. mosques. Okay, do what now?

No, you do not represent me.

Took a break to talk to friends who called to say they’d just gotten engaged! After that, I took a shower and dusted the floor in the little room, since it had a margin all around the rug that looked dirty.

Come back and restart the stream, and some gap-toothed preacher was getting embarassingly emotional, and now there are a bunch more Gospel Singers of Many Colors, and everybody is singing hallellujah, thank you Jesus. This makes the evangelicals in the crowd get up and wave their arms around and feel good about being around black people.

Other people in the crowd get up and wave their coolers and campchairs around as they stampede for the quickest way back to their cars, chartered buses, and the very dangerous DC Metro, which will now be hopelessly snarled with all their sweaty, sunburned bodies.

Oh hey, bagpipers!

Crap, isn’t this over? I thought that was it, but no, somebody has to sing “America The Beautiful” to make us think all this shameless Jesus hucksterism is harmless good patriotic feeling. Everybody sing! Or, not so much.

I can’t believe I missed This American Life for this shit.

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7 thoughts on “Who Are All These Tacky People On My Front Stoop?

  1. i lurk on Wonkette all the time. i found your link!

    i’m glad you monitored the Beckapalooza so i didn’t have to. thanks for the report!

    a bunch of my beckian neighbors went. ugh….

  2. Thanks so much for the comment! I didn’t start out to liveblog but it’s amazing what you can get done with the sound off – I’d have been too pissed off or bored if I’d actually been listing to the first couple of… was it hours?

    Which is why it was so funny when I happened to spot Our Riley Incognito, because frankly I was spending a lot of time hunting down links and goofing off playing with the lasergun-toting squirrel in a space suit.

  3. Thanks for this.

    I suspect all the God-frenzy from Beck is meant to be a sop to the GOP’s born-again cadres, who must be majorly pissed over their party’s uncharacteristic non-response to the Prop 8 court decision – & the non-crucifixion of Mehlman.

    “Quick, preach harder – they might start connecting the dots any minute now!”

    Every single account I’ve seen has remarked on the crowd’s tepid reaction … it seems landlords & creditors aren’t “Patriotic” enough to start taking prayers as payment right at the moment.

  4. This was great.

    I was linked to this post by a friend on Facebook and loved every second of it. And thanks to the links in your post, I now know why people read blogs.

  5. Thanks so much for stopping by, Jim and Will!

    As for the tepid crowd reactions, it might be that a lot of people were off the margins of the Reflecting Pool area and the sound system/Jumbotrons weren’t placed right for where many in the crowd ended up.

  6. Hi Ginny!

    I enjoyed reading this very much, and it is hilarious/spooky that you saw my scrawny pale ass on C-SPAN.

    take care!


  7. HI RILEY thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, you were trying to get by some obstructionist barricade, and I remember hollering at the screen about Wonkette sending a ringer into harm’s way.

    Think my brain must have been desperately seeking sanity.

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