Some of my younger readers will need a small history lesson, which I shall impart thusly.
Long, long ago, in the dim and distant past, as we were still hopping from one foot to another while the crust of the Earth cooled...there was no internet. Yes, it's true.
Back in those ancient times, we listened to music on one of two main media. If we were in our homes, music came on round, black things known as "record albums." They were similar to CD's, only three times the size, black, and prone to skipping if you engaged in any disruptive action such as opening the refrigerator, walking across the room, or breathing.
The other media, suitable for playing while on the move, was called a "cassette tape." They were about the size of an iPod, with two wheels in the center and a loop of thin brown tape that held the music for one or two plays until your cassette player(yes, the tape only stored the media--you needed to have a cassette player to access it)spooled it out into a Gordian Knot of despair. This was the only recordable media available, so it was how we stole our music in the old days. We would have to listen to the radio, wait for the song we wanted to be played, and push the "record" button at the right moment...hoping against all odds that the DJ wouldn't talk over it and screw it all up. If you wanted a song that contained anything other than G-rated language, you actually had to go to the record store and buy it.
So, did we have an equivalent of websites back then? Well, sort of. You know that thing your grandparents have beside their recliner chairs? The big paper thing with words all over it? That's called a newspaper. It's the antique version of a news program on television. But we also had things called "alternative" newspapers, published by college students, punk rockers, scenesters and local advertising cabals. One of those alternative newspapers was called...the Onion.
Yeah, for realz. The Onion started out as a real-live, black-and-white, hold-in-your-hand independent newspaper, started by a couple of college students in Madison, Wisconsin. This was way back in 1988, just shortly after the human race had begun discovering the great utility of fire, and right around the time this newfangled fad called the "wheel" was beginning to take off. Living in the neighboring state of Minnesota--and knowing a couple of Madison students at the time--I was one of their first readers. They were a bastion of snark and satire long before every angst-ridden malcontent with a keyboard began considering themselves the next Voice Of Their Generation. They were egalitarian in their snipes, they were fairly ruthless, but there was always the sense of fun lurking behind the nose-tweaking of public figures and absurd situations. They were never just flat-out mean.
Until recently. The first thing that made me raise an eyebrow was this infographic. Pretty nasty, but I thought perhaps I was just being overly thin-skinned. Let's do some site-searching on Palin articles vs. Obama articles. Gee, doesn't it seem like one subject is being way more viciously pilloried than the other?
Okay, whatever, I thought. College students usually break left. Perhaps they don't even realize they're doing it. I learned to ignore the bias, because they really do write some funny stuff to this day. But then they went beyond 'funny.' They went beyond 'satire.' This...this is just plain vile.
I mean, seriously? This is what passes for 'amusement' today? Replace "pink-faced" with "brown-faced" and see if you think it's still as funny. Mr. Beck calls for America to care about each other, practice "Faith, Hope and Charity," and get back to our small-government, pro-freedom, Constitutional roots. As an atheist, I can take or leave the faith thing, but if that's what motivates people to get this nation back on track, I'm all for it.
What is it about a man who's turned his life around, cares about his country and exhorts others to take care of themselves and each other, that inspires such condemnation in the supposedly "peaceful," "caring" and "tolerant" Left? When did sneering and smearing become popular reading material? To be blunt, what crawled up your butt and started biting? Don't hide behind "it was just a joke." This is, for all it's viciousness, intelligent writing. You know the difference between humor and slander--don't even try to play that game.
Mr. Beck is spreading a message of non-violence, concern for our country and our childrens' future, and inclusion of anyone and everyone who believes in themselves and their country--regardless of color, gender, orientation, faith or any other criteria. If this message repulses you to the point of nausea, that says much more about you than the man you condemn.