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John R. Bohrer Headshot

Glenn Beck's Set Designs and Sci-Fi Hero Dreams

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Glenn Beck's no longer bluffing. A few months ago, around the launch of his Fox News Channel program, he did a creepy segment with a somber rant bordering on hysteria... yeah, like that's any help narrowing it down. OK, but this one was different because throughout his speech, an odd close-up of his eyes loomed overhead or with him in split-screen.

To which people said, "Uh, what?"

Beck replied that the segment was something he wanted to do "because, quite honestly, we don't look each other in the eye anymore."

No. Quite honestly, you were doing it to imitate the totalitarian imagery that George Orwell and Ray Bradbury did so well. The intimidating screens for monitoring, the floating eyes -- it was immediately clear what he was doing. That he gave a lame excuse instead of admitting it isn't that big of a deal. People make lame excuses all the time. What's really weird is that now he's pointing the finger at the Obama administration and declaring they're "marching us to a brand of nonviolent fascism."

"Or to put it another way, they're marching us toward 1984. Big Brother."

So, Beck finally owns up to the real inspiration for his set design. Not some desire to tell it straight to the American people, but -- quite honestly, as Glenn would say -- to command the machines of his sci-fi fantasies. Last night, Beck performed his fascism spiel from the bottom of a movie-screen with gigantic, slow-moving images of the government officials who dominate him in his imagination. 'Fascists, all,' Beck's monitors say.

For what? For employing a Keynesian economic model? Orwell and Bradbury wrote what they did with concern toward censorship and civil liberties. No matter to Beck, who makes himself appear small in the presence of our supposed oppressors, like he is the hero who has valiantly broken into their control room and only has a minute to tell you -- and the world -- to rise up, to throw off your chains. Quick, before it's too late...

Keep dreaming, Glenn.