Wednesday 5th August 2015

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Glenn Beck Takes On The Culture

April 1, 2014 Frontpage No Comments

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK

It appears that Glenn Beck is undertaking a project that has needed undertaking for a long time. My hunch is that Americans under the age of 50 will find it hard to believe that there was a time when the films and television programs with the largest audiences championed patriotism and traditional values. It was not always the case that the “heroes” were scruffy and peevish leftists and the “leading ladies” took off their clothes and slept with whatever passing man caught their fancy. The films of the past were not agitprop for the counterculture.
And that fact helped make the United States a better country. Popular entertainment shapes attitudes, especially of the young. It can affect the culture to a far greater degree than the work of scholars and serious journalists. I hate to say this, but I am convinced that the mocking portrayal of hippies and left-wing professors in the movie Animal House did more to swing American to the right than all the columns of William F. Buckley and Russell Kirk put together. The same can be said of the way the Clint Eastwood character Dirty Harry made a laughingstock of the “criminal-as-victim” theories about the causes of crime. I would argue the CBS television series Blue Bloods, starring Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, and Bridget Moynahan, often does the same.
If conservatives and Christians could somehow find a way to refine and ennoble the message that Eastwood and Belushi delivered, it would make a great difference for the better in the country.
That appears to be what Beck is up to; that he is trying to reach the audience that does not watch Fox News or read The Weekly Standard. There is much truth to the old maxim about the futility of “preaching to the choir.” There are many bright and good people who are “not into politics.” They don’t like much of what they see on television and at the movies, and sense — as they tell the pollsters — that the country is “moving in the wrong direction.”
But they don’t read Pat Buchanan or Charles Krauthammer or watch EWTN. The movies and television programs that Beck is planning to produce might reach them, if Beck does this right.
According to a March 10 column by Eliana Johnson on the online version of National Review, Beck has purchased a “sprawling movie studio” in Las Colinas, near Dallas. It is the studio that produced movies and TV shows like Robocop and Walker, Texas Ranger. This means that Beck will have at his disposal the facilities required to turn out a high-level product with potential mass appeal. If, I repeat, he does this right.
In his interview with National Review, Beck stated that his goal is to “resurrect and revive” the “America of decades past,” to help Americans “see good again. We stand for stories of love and courage, where the good guys win. We are a group of people who believe that the good guys actually win in the end.”
It is a noble goal. One can only wish Beck well. The country is ready for a new version of the uplifting films of old, films with modern counterparts of the heroes and heroines of the past. Not that the country would respond favorably to the stylized righteousness and piety of a “Jack Armstrong” or “Hopalong Cassidy,” or the prayerful upturned eyes of Bradford Dillman playing St. Francis of Assisi. Whether it is an unfortunate cynicism and a strained attempt at sophistication, or a praiseworthy impatience with overwrought displays of piety, modern audiences react with disdain at scenes or dialogue they find unrealistic or preachy. They don’t like anything they see as cant.
Remember the scene in Gladiator where the muscular and heroic Roman general played by Russell Crowe knelt in prayer to the Roman gods? The audiences reacted favorably to it. Beck’s films might find a way of depicting members of the U.S. armed forces in an analogous private Christian prayer before going into battle. Such a scene would work with modern audiences if the actors depicted in prayer possessed the attractive physical attributes that appeal to young audiences.
Beck’s films should also be able to depict the posturing, bedraggled, drug-addicted young leftists that we find on our campuses and in the club scene around Hollywood or New York City as the unfortunate losers that they are. If we could bring John Belushi back to life, he would know how to do it — if someone gave him enough money to quiet any counterculture loyalties that still possessed him.
Beck should have an easy time finding someone to play a left-wing professor like Ward Churchill. Remember him? The pudgy fake “Native American” with the ponytail who made the newspapers a few years ago for claiming that the United States deserved the September 11, 2001 attacks because of “ongoing genocidal American imperialism.” I submit that the country would respond well to a movie scene where a strong and attractive young Marine or West Point cadet, home on leave, interacts with these scruffy characters, much in the manner that Matt Damon upstaged the self-important preppies in the bar scene in Good Will Hunting.
We could go on: Imagine a modern version of Donna Reed, in the role of an attractive young wife and mother with traditional values who finds herself interacting with neighbors who live like the Kardashians or the Real Housewives of New Jersey. People watch the Kardashians and those “Housewives” shows because they find the women empty, silly, preposterous, ridiculous. A screenwriter with traditional values should have an easy time taking it from there, coming up with a script that depicts the empty days and nights of the secular voluptuaries, in comparison to the fulfilled life of the Christian wife and mom.
We’ll see what Glenn Beck gives us. He has a lot to work with. The secular left is many things, but we can start out with the fact that they are wrong about all the things that matter. There is a reason why so many of them end up in one form of rehab or another.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

China ordains 1st Catholic bishop since 2012 amid tensions

BEIJING (AP) — A diocese in central China has ordained the country’s first Catholic bishop in three years amid tensions between Beijing and the Vatican and a strained relationship between the Chinese leadership and the Christian religion in general.  The…Continue Reading

Bismarck bishop tells parishes to break ties with Boy Scouts

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bismarck has ordered parishes in western North Dakota to sever sponsorship ties with the Boy Scouts of America following the group’s decision to lift its ban on gay…Continue Reading

Archdiocese responds to petition signed by 20,000 in support of fired gay teacher

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – The Philadelphia Archdiocese received a petition Monday signed by more than 20,000 people in support of a fired catholic school teacher. Margie Winters lost her job at Waldron Mercy Academy because of her same-sex marriage. Today’s petition…Continue Reading

Democrats Defeat Senate Effort to De-Fund Planned Parenthood After It Sells Aborted Babies

Senate Democrats today defeated an effort to revoke taxpayer funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business by filibustering the bill and preventing a vote on it. Republicans were unable to secure the 60 voted needed to invoke cloture and stop…Continue Reading

With Apologies to Donald Trump for the Crazy ‘Nativist’ Rant of Cardinal Dolan

This week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan took to the New York Daily News to write an incoherent and defamatory political hit piece against Donald Trump. As a Catholic priest, I can only say it is embarrassing to have a Cardinal so blatantly and unfairly trying…Continue Reading

Promote the common good and give workers a raise, Catholic leaders tell Congress

Washington D.C., Jul 31, 2015 / 05:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic leaders are calling on Congress to raise the minimum wage, for the good of low-wage workers and their families. “An economy thrives only when it is centered on the…Continue Reading

Catholic Colleges Must Regain the Art of Temperate Drinking, Says Author

July 30, 2015, at 2:40 PM  |  By Justin Petrisek  | Catholic colleges need to be mindful of the moral and spiritual state of their students, said Dr. Michael Foley, associate professor of patristics at Baylor University, in an interview…Continue Reading

Last Catholic priest at US base in Antarctica leaves post

A Catholic priest who served at the U.S.-operated McMurdo Station in Antarctica was told he will have to leave his post due to declining attendance and budget cuts. Father Dan Doyle, who lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, would spend summers…Continue Reading

Jamestown Excavation Unearths Four Bodies and a Possible Catholic Reliquary

Could a mysterious box unearthed in historic Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America, point to a Catholic connection with the foundation of the United States of America? While Spanish and Portuguese exploration, settlement and conquest of…Continue Reading

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope meets with altar servers in St Peter’s Square

pope804

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met Tuesday with thousands of altar servers from around Europe. The encounter in Saint Peter’s Square was part of the ninth International Pilgrimage of Acolytes and Altar Servers. In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis reflected on the theme of this year’s pilgrimage, “Here I am: Send me!” The Holy Father told the young people, “It is important to realize that being close to Jesus and knowing him in the Eucharist through…Continue Reading

‘It was a twin’: New video shows dissection of 20-week baby for parts to sell at Planned Parenthood

 Ben Johnson AbortionTue Aug 4, 2015 – 10:45 am EST HOUSTON, TX, August 4 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A Planned Parenthood official admits that abortionists sometimes provide “intact” babies’ body for organ harvesting and experimentation, in the latest undercover video released by the Center for Medical Progress. It also includes graphic footage of investigators seeing pristine organs extracted from a 20-week-old aborted baby. The director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, told undercover investigators…Continue Reading

Pope: St Theresa of Avila source of truth and values

terase

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a letter of greeting and encouragement to participants of an Interuniversity Congress on Saint Theresa of Avila. The letter, signed by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Holy Father, expresses gratitude to the Academic world for highlighting the relevance of Saint Theresa’s teachings. Organized by the Catholic University of “Santa Teresa de Jesus de Avila” in collaboration with other Catholic Universities, the 3-day Congress…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: “Jesus is the bread of life”

pope512

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has urged the faithful to look beyond material needs and turn to Jesus who is “the bread of life”. The Pope’s words came as he addressed the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus. Taking his cue from the Gospel reading of the day which tells of the crowd that went looking for Jesus, not because they saw the signs but because they had eaten the loaves of…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . The Truth Ever Ancient And Ever New

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN The Seven Deadly Sins, by Kevin Vost, Psy.D. (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH, 2015), 207 pp.; $18.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com. Always a topic of universal human interest, the seven deadly sins — no matter the number of treatises or books on the subject — continue to capture attention because they apply to…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… The Fragrance Of Baroque Liturgy And Art

By JAMES MONTI All of us have had at some time or another a special moment in church when we have found ourselves before a particularly beautiful altar, with the Blessed Sacrament enthroned upon it in a splendid gold or silver sunburst monstrance, its molded rays sparkling with the shimmer of candles ablaze around it,…Continue Reading

Caring For The Elderly Vs. Assisted Suicide

By FR. JOHN FLYNN, LC (Editor’s Note: Fr. John Flynn, LC, wrote this commentary for ZENIT News Agency. Fr. Flynn, a regular ZENIT contributor, holds degrees from the University of New South Wales and from the Pontifical Gregorian University. All rights reserved.) + + + On Sunday, July 26, the Church in England and Wales…Continue Reading

Holy See Stresses Pro-Life Creds At UN Amid Questions

By PATRICK B. CRAINE and PETE BAKLINSKI NEW YORK (LifeSiteNews) — The Holy See is emphasizing its commitment to promoting life and family at the United Nations after a confusing statement the nunciature made in a negotiation on the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in June. In a speech on June 22, Msgr. Joseph Grech, representing…Continue Reading

Hillary Lies Again

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO In a column I wrote in early July, based on research by my colleagues and my own analysis of government documents and eyewitness statements, I argued that in 2011 and 2012 then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waged a secret war on the governments of Libya and Syria, with the approval of…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Pope John Paul II… The Church Must Continue To Build God’s Spiritual House In America!

(Editor’s Note: Below we reprint the homily Pope John Paul II gave in the Archdiocese of Newark during his 1995 apostolic journey to the United States, 20 years ago. He spoke on October 5 at the Giants Stadium. (Toward the end his talk, John Paul spoke in defense of the unborn, “the stranger in the womb,” in terms which are…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Marking Humanae Vitae’s 47th Anniversary

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Families are under attack on several fronts: whether it is what makes a marriage with one man and one woman, whether it is children who should have a mother and a father or about how life comes into the world. Those who wish to redefine God’s plan continue to apply euphemisms in attempts to change…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . The Divinity Of Christ — A Response To Islam

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 13 In our days, a misguided sense of ecumenism tends to equate the main monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) as different ways to worship the same God. It is like saying that all Protestant denominations are OK as long as you mention the name of Jesus, regardless of the visceral doctrinal contradictions that…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 4 “The Church is catholic,” proclaims the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), firmly and without hesitation. “She proclaims the fullness of the faith. She bears in herself and administers the totality of the means of salvation. She is sent out to all peoples. She speaks to all men. She encompasses all times” (n. 868). Moreover,…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: In the wake of the latest Planned Parenthood scandal involving selling the body parts of aborted babies (see LifeNews.com to view the videos of interviews with Planned Parenthood officials), this is an opportune time to contact not only your legislators about ending taxpayer funding of this conglomerate that kills more than 330,000 babies a year, but also to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Edmund Bojanowski

By CAROLE BRESLIN There are many lay saints throughout the history of the Church from all different walks of life. There is the peasant girl, St. Maria Goretti, patron of young women. St. Thomas More, patron of lawyers, comes to mind when thinking of putting God before government. There are the many lay martyrs, especially in the first few centuries…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading