Thursday, October 7, 2010

COTTIFOTI: Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck

Hey, everyone! I'm starting a new feature on my blog called "Check Out This Thang I Found On Teh Internetz" or COTTIFOTI, for short. The purpose of this of this feature is to mooch off of the hard work that other people did.

For our first entry, I will be mooching off of one Jonathan McIntosh of the website Rebellious Pixels who has created a video called "Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck in 'Right Wing Radio Duck'". It's a great mash-up of Donald Duck cartoons and Glenn Beck. It starts with Donald getting fired and having his house foreclosed (based on real Donald Duck cartoons where this actually happened), and he finds solace in Glenn Beck's seemingly populist messages. Then Glenn Beck starts acting like Glenn Beck, and then, well, why don't you just check out this thang I found on teh internetz . . .

The first thing I like about this is how good the mash-up job is. If it wasn't for the specific references to Glenn Beck and the newspaper headline that says "Obama bails out wall street. Home foreclosures continue to skyrocket", it would feel like an actual Donald Duck cartoon. Even the message at the end that articulates why he's not violating any copyright laws is made in the style of a Disney cartoon's closing credits.

But what elevates this video above other thangz on teh internetz (like this giraffe fight) is the way it takes down Glenn Beck. Not the fact that it takes him down, the way it does it. Anyone can tear down Glenn Beck, because he's clearly off his rocker. But "Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck" provides a much more nuanced explanation of what's wrong with Beck, and right-wing Tea Party populism in general. And it does it in a way that explains why people are drawn to those ideas. And it does all of that by splicing together Donald Duck cartoons.

First of all, at the beginning you have Beck making these populist statements about the government being in bed with wall street and the fat cats screwing people over. But by the end he's completely contradicting those very sentiments by saying that people who lost their homes deserved it and should just get a job. And both of those parts come from actual Glenn Beck rants.

That's just the nature of right-wing populism. How do you sound like a man of the people while arguing in favor of giving all power to big business. By rapidly changing your position at the drop of a hat. Also, by blaming everything on the Mexicans.

For contrast, around the time this video came out, there was a Daily Show episode, where John Stewart was talking about the mass anti-cuts protests throughout Europe. You'd think Stewart would have pointed to this as an example that Americans should follow, especially given that he was trying to promote his anti-Glenn Beck "Rally to Restore Sanity". But instead, he proposed a "mob swap" that portrayed the European demonstrators as being just as crazy as Glenn Beck. So the legitimate fear people had about their jobs was lumped together with the paranoia about Obama being a Nazi-Communist-Muslim with a crazy reverend.

Apparently Stewart's definition of "sanity" is based on the notion that the truth always lies halfway between the most extreme claims. But as this other thang I found on teh internetz clearly demonstrates, that notion is completely fucking insane.

McIntosh's video, on the other hand, has a much saner take on Glenn Beck. He also did a Buffy/Twilight mash-up that's a far more effective critique of the Twilight series than the usual "emo is for fags" explanation. And it's nice to see someone go that extra distance.

So for John Stewart, and anyone else who rightly thinks Glenn Beck is full of shit, but limits their criticism to "that Glenn Beck sure is crazy", I have some advice for you. Check Out This Thang I Found On Teh Internetz.

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