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September 13, 2010

The Beck/Palin Roadshow: Take a Lesson

Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News
Marc Lester/Anchorage Daily News

…So, I’m still filtering through this weekend’s 9/11 anniversary and mid-term visual theatrics (which I welcome you to sample via the Bag’s tweet stream.)

Overall, I continue to appreciate Glenn Beck’s brilliant reframing of the Tea Party* and the extremistic messaging of the far right, building on his huge rally in D.C. on the anniversary of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech.  In this shot from Beck/Palin’s rally on 9/11 this weekend in Alaska (the timing, again, just a coincidence, right?), there are a number of impressive moves going on. Most notably:

1. Exploiting the double blackboards (partly playing off his signature prop for the cuteness effect), Beck/Palin use the anniversary of 9/11 to cloak their reactionary message — now couched in a lot of spiritual/evangelical and patriotic prescriptions and cliches — in the guise of a “high ground” academic lesson and a “teachable” moment.

2. The classroom/seminar staging is also a wonderful way to package Palin, given her primary motivation — beyond proselytizing her ideology and her own brand — being the continuous need to either cover up, or cleverly mock (those who attack) her lack of depth.

Anchorage Daily News article and slideshow.

* 1st Reason Glenn Luther King Hit it Out of the Park in DC — Visual Media Swallowed the King Sham

* A 2nd Reason Glenn Luther King Hit it Out of the Park in DC – They Left the Signs at Home

* A 3rd Reason Glenn Luther King Hit it Out of the Park in DC – God (and GW) are in the Tea House

  • Blue Shark

    Good Lord!…

    …I’ll take the screeching chalk on the blackboard any day rather than listen to these two simpletons.

  • Stan B.

    Just think how reading scores would soar under those two- the twin towers of higher ed! One thinks Africa is a country, both substitute fantasy for history, and everyone knows that the miracle of Christianity trumps all that scientific mumbo jumbo.

    In short, they’re both what America wants- and God bless us each and every one, we’re probably gonna get ‘em worse than we got ‘em now…

  • Enoch Root

    There they are, having Forgotten. You know, the right-wingers for almost a decade have said, “We Will Not Forget,” and here’s Beck and Palin illustrating that they Forgot.

    $70 to get in to see these clowns.

  • Megan

    The blackboards are kinda amazing. I would never have thought about them, but seeing them so well lit makes them very powerful.

    Blackboards carry lots of authenticity.

    But they’re also like television green-screens, right, which can change the image behind the talking heads.

    The telling thing about a blackboard is that you can wipe it clean and start over indefinitely.

    They’re so wholesome.

    I would never have thought there was so much to blackboard imagery. They’re a brilliant touch.

  • gmoke

    Roadshow version of “Glee”? Beck looks as if he’s singing and Palin is about to come off her stool into a dance.

    Wish I could have read what was on the blackboards.

  • DCNW

    Palin’s posture does give off an uncomfortable, poser vibe. And Beck, well, he has his audience by the balls.

    In a less civilized forum, this reading could really be developed.

    Anyone else see Sex Ed?

  • black dog barking

    The chalkboards do have a nostalgic, vintage feel to them. Reinforces the collective Tea Party fantasy of a “return” to “better” days. My sense of the prototypical Tea Partier from news coverage tells me that sitting in a classroom staring at a chalkboard wasn’t the highlight of their younger days. Stirring those memories aids in keeping their signature anger close to the surface.

    Chalkboards? This is 2010. Powerpoint is everywhere. Big screens and CSI-type displays are available even in Alaska. Chalkboards are state of the art, 1950, those wonderful days before Brown v Board of Education.

    Another quality of chalkboards, they are cheap. Two chalkboards, two stools — looks like this stage took seconds to set up, seconds to tear down when the show is over. $70 a seat buys these production values? I saw Bob Dylan at the local baseball park a few weeks ago. They set up a giant stage, a monster pile of sound equipment. There were a couple of semi-trucks standing by to haul it off at the end of the show. $55.

    Doesn’t appear to be any sound equipment at all for this show. Is the venue so small that Mr Beck and Ms Palin don’t need microphones?

  • g

    Funny how with Palin’s signature talking point putting down “Harvard professors” and “elites” she’s posing in this highly staged quasi-nostalgic, stereotypical professorial setting.

    Perhaps because I just finished reading the book, I am reminded of “A Confederacy of Dunces” where the strip-club owner Lana Lee poses for teacher-porn photos with a blackboard, a book and a piece of chalk.

  • tinwoman

    As another poster pointed out, chalkboards are very outdated. As a real teacher, it’s been years since I’ve seen one in a classroom. I usually have a whiteboard, a flipchart, a beamer–sometimes, an overhead projector is still hanging around. But generally it’s laptops and beamers with laser pointers. I am sure Beck is intelligent enough to use these and much more effective tools. My question is, why doesn’t he?

  • mjfgates

    The impression of teaching is much more important than conveying any actual information. (No way could the audience read anything off of those.)

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