Essay:Thanatos Reviews: The Overton Window Part 1
Beyond the beaten path lies the absolute end. It matters not who you are... Death awaits you."
Thanatos Reviews: The Overton Window Part 1
The Plot Thus Far
The Overton Window, Glenn Beck's first novel, opens in an undisclosed location, where a man (Eli Churchill) makes his final phone call. Attempting to reach the leader of the Founder's Keepers (according to Neck in the afterword in case you didn't get this while reading) in order to tell them he has proof of where 2.3 trillion and 2 nukes missing from the government are. He also makes time to tell you exactly how much that is and links it to actual news (Beck does that alot in this novel) when he is expectantly killed by an assassin.
The book then heads over to Noah Gardner, son of Arthur Gardner, the most ruthless PR man ever. Noah, on his 28th birthday, decides to settle down and lays eyes on Molly Ross, a temp at the PR firm who is putting up a flier for a Founders Keepers rally that night. Noah instantly falls in love with her and decides to attend despite her politics.
The scene then jumps to a meeting about a leaked government memo that details identifying and detaining the "Patriotic Rebellion". This list includes: Teapartiers, anti-semites, homeschoolers, tax resistors, Christian Identity groups, 9/11 truthers, militia organizations and pro-lifers. Noah is praised for his work in nullifying the problem when his father goes of into a long sermon about how the economy is going to fail and how he can create a new world. Noah is then asked to leave and contact members for the afternoon portion of the meeting.
Noah goes to the Founders Keepers rally when the cab he hailed is pulled over by the military (who are their because both presidential candidates are in New York for a debate). Noah is talked to and told that the Founders Keepers have ties with the Aryan Brotherhood (How did the even know he was going?). Noah throws his father's weight around and leaves without a fight, not helping his middle-eastern cab driver.
Noah arrives at the rally where he sees people of every race and social class, and notes a peaceful atmosphere unlike what he had heard about the rally. Noah finds Molly and decides to show her his special talent: He can tell when someone is lying. He points to one guy at the back and says he is a police. Molly then antagonizes the man without question and he leaves.
Molly then introduces the two speakers who will preach to use for the next little while, Danny Bailey, an internet version of Beck,and Beverly Emerson, The founder of the Founders Keepers and Molly's mother.
After drinking and interrupting Bailey's speech (really, he just finished a quote by Gandhi to himself) Noah decides to reveal that some of their Globalist organizations claims are true, and that he works for them. He then goes on to claim that no one will take them seriously and goes on to list what he could call members to destroy the integrity of the group (This includes Teapartier and Holocaust denier).
Bailey then resumes his urging for a revolution when a man in the audience fires a gun. The police rush in and arrest everyone there, with the media waiting outside. Noah, at the jail, recognizes the problematic members of the crowd joking with the cops. Believing they are undercover cops themselves, really contract security officers(Beck tells us in the afterword that cops and federal agents are always on the side of the good guys). Noah tells this to his lawyer, who throws his father's name round. Some cops come forward to collaborate this story and the Founders Keepers are released. Noah gives Molly and her mother a ride to their homes, talks about how seductive and ruthless Bill Clinton was and links his father's PR firm to Nazis. That takes the reader up to page 106, Chapter 13.
TO BE CONTINUED
Thoughts thus far
Reading this is something of a headache. The best way I can describe it is that Beck is armed with an Uzi and shooting from the hip. His attacks are rapid and spraying all over the place. He attacks the Fairness Doctrine and the Patriot ACT in the same paragraph. That being said, I am not really sure if Beck knows who he is attacking in this novel. He purposely leaves out the words Republican and Democrat, but we all know who he really is attacking: PROGRESSIVES! I think that Beck is trying to take every gripe a citizen might have and blend them together so that no matter what your problem is, it is the fault of progressives.
Continuing on, Beverly Emerson and Danny Bailey seem to represent two sides to Glenn Beck's rantings. Emerson is this motherly version of Beck. This is Beck when he starts talking about "restoring America". This is Beck when he invokes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi. Bailey, on the other hand, is Beck with a baseball bat. When confronting Noah about finishing the quote, he mocks him as a Harvard elite and calls him a supporter of Che. Beck seems to write him more negatively, possibly because he is trying to associate himself with Dr. King.
The Founders Keepers are Beck's ideal party. Hardworking people from every walk of life, Noting Beck's usage of the word Tea Party thus far, I have concluded that Beck has lost faith in people taking the party seriously. He tries to paint documented cases of racism within the Tea Party as staged by anti-Tea Party groups. He doesn't really go into what is wrong with the Tea Party, just that people have too many labels to attack them with.
Now, if that infiltration by police reminds people of certain scenes from Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, there is one difference. Beck states that the cops never side with the bad guys. Quote: "If there is one thing that every group fighting for our rights and freedoms agrees on, it's that those entrusted with the public safety, from local cops to federal agents, are on the side of the good guys." I want to see Beck try to explain the police arrests of the Republican National Convention protesters in 2004.
Noah's interest in Molly seems way to far-fetched to me. The narration starts off saying he has always had luck with the ladies, but he decides to have a serious relationship. He sees Molly and falls head over heels for her. After seeing that see supports the Founders Keepers, instead of trying to really get to know her at work, he decides to follow her. And then when he bails out the Founders Keepers, this was a complete change in Noah, as he had just walked away from the Middle-Eastern cab driver who begged for his help.
The PR firm, and by extension Arthur Gardner, is Beck's evil empire. They create everything from stupid fads such as pet rocks, pop music (in contrast to the Founders Keepers who play country. Glenn Beck attacking John Lennon and Bruce Springsteen again?), tobacco companies, manufacturing reasons to go to war et cetra.I particularly like when Arthur Gardner credits himself for bottled water. He is also credited, on a dare, for all the Che and Mao merchandise. If there is anything about American culture that Beck doesn't like, this firm has had a hand in it...The Iraq war was another firm.
Those are my thoughts on the first third of the book. Be sure to check out part two, coming soon.