Holiday Horrors: The Christmas Sweater

glennbeck.jpgFor other Holiday Horrors posts, click here.

I hate to divide people into camps, but I think I can safely say there are two kinds of people in America right now: People who hang on Glenn Beck’s every word, and people who think he’s batshit insane. There is no in between. There is no one who sorta likes him or catches his show every now and then. You either despise him or want a lock of his brush cut.

As vile as other right wing yakkers might be (Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly), they’re not stupid. They know how to push people’s buttons, but they also know what they can and can’t say. When push comes to shove, they’re just out to make a buck. If they could figure out how to make one more dollar as lefty talking heads than they do right now, they’d switch sides tomorrow.

Glenn Beck, on the other hand, is genuinely unhinged. And monstrously theatrical. He’s like Joe McCarthy crossed with Bob Fosse. I would not be surprised if he did a whole show in a black union suit and bowler hat while flashing jazz hands.

The more I see Glenn Beck, the more I’m convinced that he will totally implode one day, and soon. It’s a question of when, not if. And this won’t be some simple indiscretion coming to light or a mild tantrum. This is gonna be the full Howard Beale. He is gonna snap, live on the air, and say/do something so insane that not even Fox News can excuse it.

How do I know? The Christmas Sweater.

If you’re an effete liberal snob like me, you may not be familiar with The Christmas Sweater. That’s Beck’s heartstring-tugging multimedia spectacular. It tells the story of an ungrateful poor kid and his “return to redemption” (a phrase that gets exponentially stupider the more you think about it, like “a history of tradition”).

It features Glenn Beck gesturing and fetal-positioning his way to forgiveness, a one-woman gospel Greek chorus, plot contrivances that would be rejected from the worst romance novel, and crying. Lots of crying. Good lord, this man knows how to turn on the waterworks. Do not trust anyone who can cry on cue like that. They’re either manipulative, emotionally unstable, or doing pounds of blow.

Glenn Beck performed The Christmas Sweater last year, and it was simulcast in movie theatres across the country. Now it’s back again, plaguing a multiplex somewhere you. For a blow-by-blow account of this monstrosity, peep Dave Holmes’ blog post about going to see it with a friend for ironic purposes, and discovering to his horror that “the open mockery section…held exactly two people.”

Seriously, read that post and tell me: You think this guy’s here to stay? He’s a sniper in search of a belltower.