good on tv but bad in print
This week I reviewed the first 62 pages of Glenn Beck's new book Common Sense. You can read the full review in this week's Las Vegas Weekly by clicking HERE...and you can read the intro below:
Glenn Beck is great on TV; he shouts, he scoffs, and he cries. But when he writes, when his words are stripped clean of the paint-by-numbers, manufactured emotion that television facilitates, one thing becomes clear: The man has absolutely nothing of consequence to say.
Beck uses every trick in the book to cover this up. He uses more exclamation points than a teenage girl with unlimited texts (e.g., “Open your eyes!” “They’re not rescuing our country; they’re destroying it!”), and more capital letters than a teenage boy writing his first quasi-communist manifesto (e.g., “HISTORY DEMANDS A CLEAR ANSWER.”) But try as he might, Beck can’t turn a paperback book into a flat-screen TV.
Here’s a good example of the type of sentence that might fly on The Glenn Beck Program, but doesn’t hold water in Glenn Beck’s Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Governmen: “The result of preventing failure in a country rooted in freedom is a country that is no longer rooted in logic.”
That sentence would make my undergrad philosophy professor vomit in his mouth. Does Beck actually believe that preventing failure—in all cases, Glenn?—would somehow disengage America from the laws of Boolean logic? Of course not; to paraphrase a Mr. Show sketch, Glenn Beck doesn’t understand what words mean. Or maybe he just doesn’t care.