Glenn Beck

Sometimes, critique of ideology is just a matter of displacing the accent.  Fox News’s Glenn Beck, the infamous Groucho Marx of the populist Right, deserves his reputation for provoking laughter –  but not where he intends to do so.  The dramaturgy of his typical routine begins with a violently satiric presentation of his opponents and their arguments, accompanied by a grimacing worthy of Jim Carrey; this part, which is supposed to make us laugh, is then followed by a “serious” sentimental moral message.  But we should simply postpone our laughter to this concluding moment: it is the stupidity of the final “serious” point which is laughable, not the acerbic satire whose vulgarity should merely embarrass any decent thinking person.

Zizek, Slavoj.  (2010).  Living in the end times. London: Verso Books.  4, footnote 2.

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