Saturday 20th September 2014

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:

Sources confirm Cardinal Burke will be removed. But will he attend the Synod?

Sources in Rome have confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Cardinal Raymond Burke, the head of the Vatican’s highest court, known as the Apostolic Signatura, is to be removed from his post as head of the Vatican dicastery and given a non-curial…Continue Reading

Catholic Education Honor Roll Announced

Today, The Cardinal Newman Society released the list of schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Since 2004 the Honor Roll has celebrated quality Catholic education throughout the United States. Honor Roll schools receiving…Continue Reading

Hermeneutic of Continuity: Pope Benedict XVI’s 10 Step Guide to Vatican II

pope200

In 2005 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI gave a Christmas address to the Roman Curia that sparked a “Holy Revolution.” The good pontiff’s comments were received as “epoch-making” by many of those faithful to Sacred Tradition.1 At the heart of…Continue Reading

Satanists Sell Out Controversial Oklahoma ‘Black Mass’ Event, Will Stage Exorcism Despite Christian Protests

The Satanist group that will stage a controversial “black mass” at an Oklahoma City civic center has said that all 88 tickets for its Sept. 21 event are sold out. The co-founder of the group revealed that the ritual will…Continue Reading

Catholic League Bowing Out Of New York’s St. Patrick’s Parade

NEW YORK –  The Catholic League says it will sit out next year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York because parade organizers aren’t letting an anti-abortion Catholic group march. Catholic League head Bill Donohue said Thursday that his organization…Continue Reading

Catholic Cardinal McCarrick Embraces Islam

Catholic Cardinal Theodore McCarrick offered Islamic religious phrases and insisted that Islam shares foundational rules with Christianity, during a Sept. 10 press conference in D.C. “In the name of God, the Merciful and Compassionate,” McCarrick said as he introduced himself…Continue Reading

MURDER OF CATHOLIC NUNS SHOCKS WORLD

The triple murder of three elderly Italian religious sisters in Burundi has their religious family and the local community reeling. The Italian Foreign Ministry has confirmed Monday’s death of a third missionary, Sister Bernadette Boggian, who wasdecapitated, according to a…Continue Reading

Cardinal Dolan and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade

by Hon. Bob Marshall Sept. 8, 2014 New York’s Cardinal Dolan, appointed as Grand Marshal of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Day Parade, praised the decision to allow an openly gay group to march in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “I have…Continue Reading

Founder: Catholic Studies programs help colleges fulfill call to faithfulness

St. Paul, Minn., Sep 8, 2014 / 06:03 pm (CNA).- University-level Catholic Studies programs are an essential response to the increasingly fragmented college experience, said the man who founded the first such program 20 years ago. “At the heart of…Continue Reading

A ‘dereliction of duty’? Catholics react to Cardinal Dolan’s role in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s decision to act as grand marshal of the New York City St. Patrick’s Day parade despite its decision to allow an openly homosexual organization to participate has drawn strong criticism from Catholic writers and outrage from many…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Caves

notredame

The following comes from an Aug. 30 email from the Sycamore Trust, “alumni protecting Notre Dame’s Catholic identity.” Notre Dame is complying with the abortifacient/contraceptive mandate in renewing its student health insurance program for 2014-15. Aetna, the insurer, will now provide students with…Continue Reading

Vatican’s Cardinal Burke dismantles ‘Who am I to judge?’

burk

Cardinal Raymond Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court – the Apostolic Signatura – has given a lengthy televised interview in which he decisively rectifies the false notions about Pope Francis’ “Who am I to judge” quote that has been…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

Pope At Santa Marta: The Courage To Admit We Are Sinners

pope516

(Vatican Radio) Having the courage to acknowledge that we are sinners enables us to receive Christ’s caress, His forgiveness, said Pope Francis Thursday morning during Mass at Santa Marta. The day’s liturgy presents the Gospel of the sinful woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her tears and anoints them with perfume drying them with her hair. Jesus is invited to…Continue Reading

Pope’s General Audience: The Church Was Born Catholic and Apostolic

pope308

“To be part of the Apostolic Church means to be aware that our faith is anchored in the proclamation and witness of Jesus’ Apostles themselves and, therefore, always to feel sent.” Vatican City, September 17, 2014 (Zenit.org) Here below is the full text of Pope Francis’ weekly general audience catechesis, delivered in St. Peter’s Square, September 17th.  Dear Brothers and…Continue Reading

The Saint Who Was Never Born

By DONALD DeMARCO St. Raymond Nonnatus came into the world in the early 13th century (1200 or 1204 according to scholars) in Portello, Catalonia (Spain). His appended name, in Latin, means “not born.” He was taken from the womb of his mother by caesarean section after her death. Shakespeare used this notion of not being…Continue Reading

Bluster And Bluff In The Baltic

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “I say to the people of Estonia and the people of the Baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. . . . Article 5 is crystal clear: An attack on one is an attack on all. So if . . . you ever ask again, ‘who’ll come to help,’…Continue Reading

One Thing Hillary Clinton’s Memoir Doesn’t Explain About Benghazi

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY In her memoir, Hard Choices, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton included a chapter on the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012. But she failed to specifically explain why Ambassador Chris Stevens was there that day. “U.S. ambassadors are not required to consult or…Continue Reading

Violence Begets Violence

By REY FLORES Is it me or is violence becoming more prevalent across our society? Is it because most people have a cell phone nowadays with a camera and are able to share these ever-increasing acts of violence across cyberspace on social media? Perhaps it’s a little of both, but it’s definitely a lot more…Continue Reading

Birth Statistics Show Collapse Of The Family

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate provided this column; all rights reserved.) + + + If you count a generation as spanning 20 years, then approximately 36 percent of the American generation born from 1993 through 2012 — which has begun turning 21…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. I am currently reading Paul Likoudis’ excellent but shocking book Amchurch Comes Out, regarding incidents of immoral conduct among our clergy, the cover-up, and the accompanying damage that has been wrought within the Church. I recall being alarmed while involved with religious education in our then parish in the late 1980s and attending diocesan seminars for teachers and hearing…Continue Reading

Our Attitude Should Be The Same As Christ’s

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Ezek. 18:25-28 Phil. 2:1-11 Matt. 21:28-32   In the Gospel reading today our Lord asks the question of which son did the will of his father: the one who said he would not go into the field but eventually did or the one who said he would go…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . “And Who Is My Neighbor?” The Embryo And The ALS patient

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The prophet Jeremiah in chapter 20 bewails his isolation as a result of the scorn of nonbelievers: “The word of the Lord has brought me derision and reproach all the day.” He describes his temptation to throw in the towel as a prophet tasked by God with a message for mankind: “I say to myself,…Continue Reading

Priestly Celibacy: Unnatural? Or . . . Supernatural? Celibacy In The Teachings Of St. Paul

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 4 St. Paul was not one of the twelve, but he is known as “the Apostle,” certainly because of the richness of his apostolic zeal in teaching, possibly more than all the other apostles put together. He was educated in the faith by Jesus Himself, and after that intense training, he became as zealous…Continue Reading

The Implications Of Faith In One God

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, we have reflected on but an infinitesimal fraction of all that the faithful affirm when they reverently and genuinely say the first four [or five] words contained in the Creeds of the Church: “I believe in [one] God.” In saying these words with heartfelt sincerity, one is acknowledging his belief in who…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes… St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Mother Teresa Of Calcutta

By CAROLE BRESLIN After returning from a visit to Mother Teresa of Calcutta and giving a retreat to her Missionaries of Charity there, Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, told a class of lay faithful, “Americans are living in a dream world.” He spoke of the thousands of people dying on the streets of Calcutta where Mother had begun her work…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading