Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chapter Twenty-Three

Nothing much happens in this chapter aside from a phone call. That's not an exaggeration either. Chapter twenty-three clocks in at a whopping 435 words. Who the heck writes a chapter that is only four hundred words?

I wonder how much blank space is in this book. You think it's ten or fifteen percent of the total page count? Maybe more? It would be interesting to sit down and figure that out. Well, maybe not interesting, per se, but maybe it'd be a solid basis for a class-action lawsuit against Beck's publisher. What's the tipping point between a blank book and a novel anyway?

Kearns calls the terrorist cell using "a hacker gizmo called an orange box to fake the caller ID display" to make it appear he'd called from Bailey's cell phone. I guess it was too much a liability to just bring along Bailey's actual phone. And if he did, we wouldn't get to read about hacker gizmos.

By the end of the call "Stuart Kearns was heartily endorsed as a verified patriot who could absolutely deliver the goods." Whew.

The phone is passed around, since the entire terrorist cell I guess was sitting wherever together waiting to take the call. That's convenient. Everyone talks to their hero Bailey, who I think maybe is the Beckian figure in all this.

Something began to nag at [Bailey] after they'd hung up. The troubling thing was that, though each of those men had laid claim to being his biggest fan, and had seen every video he'd ever produced and read every word he'd ever posted online, they'd all apparently seen and heard and read things that Danny Bailey was pretty sure he'd never actually said.

Aww, the poor thing. He's had his words taken out of context. His violent, dangerous rhetoric has been taken to heart, maybe a bit too literally, by violent, dangerous men. Don't ya just hate when that happens? Whoops! The overthrow-the-government schtick ain't so charming when some douchebag has pinched a nuclear weapon and is actually prepared to detonate it.

Speaking of which...

The cousin of a man arrested for threatening Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) in response to her healthcare vote is claiming the man was "under the spell" of Glenn Beck.

Charles Alan Wilson left a series of threatening messages on Murray's voicemail, saying:

"Just remember that as you are politicing for your reelection. It only takes one piece of lead.... Kill the fucking Senator! Kill the fucking Senator! I'll donate the lead.... Now that you've passed your health-care bill, let the violence begin. Let the violence begin."

"By your attempts to overtake this country with socialism, somebody's gonna get to you one way or another and blow your fucking brains out, and I hope it does happen. If I have the chance, I would do it."

"Kill the fucking Senator! Hang the fucking Senator! I hope somebody puts a fucking bullet between your fucking eyes. Far left liberal socialist democratic bitch. You mother-fucker. You sold the fucking people of the country out for socialism. I hope somebody fucking erasers your fucking life. Yes, I hope somebody assassinates you, you fucking bitch."

"We are going to fuck you up. We are going to fuck you up as bad as we can. Yes, the independents. The real people of this country, not you spineless fucking socialists. You better watch your fucking back, baby, because there's people gonna come after you with fucking both fucking barrels, bitch."

Wilson was arrested by federal agents in April.

Wilson's cousin, in a letter to the court, blamed Glenn Beck's "persuasive personality" as the driving force behind the threats:

What happened later with Charlie is something I think I can understand. He became basically housebound due to illness and his small world became even smaller. His brother got him a computer and he was able to stay connected with family. And he watched television and found Glenn Beck... I found Glenn Beck about the same time Charlie did. I understand how his fears were grown and fostered by Mr. Beck's persuasive personality. The same thing happened to me but I went in a different direction with what I was seeing. Rather than blame politicians for the current issues, I simply got prepared for what Glenn said was coming. I slowly filled our pantry as Glenn fed fear into me. I did not miss watching his show and could not understand why the rest of the world didn't get it -- Glenn became a pariah to me. But I was finally able to step away and realize the error of my ways. The media lost its grip on me. But it still held very tightly to Charlie.

While his actions were undeniably wrong and his choices were terrible, in part they were the actions of others played out by a very gullible Charlie. He was under the spell that Glenn Beck cast, aided by the turbulent times in our economy. I don't believe that Charlie even had the ability to actually carry out his threats.

Another of his family members states that Wilson "has had many surgeries in the past and has battled some major health issues." It seems, irony of ironies, that Wilson actually stood to benefit from healthcare reform, but had been so manipulated, so frightened, that Beck's lies and misinformation "scared him beyond comprehension."

Wilson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.


  1. "Chapter twenty-three clocks in at a whopping 435 words. Who the heck writes a chapter that is only four hundred words?"

    Dan Brown wrote chapters shorter than that in both "Angels & Demons" and "The DaVinci Code". And doesn't the Bible have a couple of New Testament books that are 400± words?

    "'Just remember that as you are politicing for your reelection. It only takes one piece of lead.... Kill the fucking Senator! Kill the fucking Senator! I'll donate the lead....' (etc., ad nauseum.)"

    Is it just me, or could that message be vocaloid-ized and be turned into a Hatecore song? It has a sort of weird rhythm to it...

    "Another of his family members states that Wilson 'has had many surgeries in the past (...)'"

    I gotta wonder if a lobotomy was one of them.

  2. Orange box? Wait... did Beck actually try to go there?

    Sure, in the 'old days' of phone phreaking there were all manner of colored boxen that imitated the signals generated by the public phone system, PBX or POTS. But they haven't been used in ages, especially since the phone system went digital on the backend. Phreaking Ma Bell now takes computers and can't really be done through the phones themselves.

    I suspect that Beck or his ghost writer thought that what could be done in the 70's could be done today, and that blue boxes and red boxes can still be used. *rolls eyes* Naturally I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that there's (a) no way that signal generators can be used to phreak the system anymore and (b) there's no such thing as an orange box... except for this one.

    Second. I do find it interesting that Beckie's author stand-in for this subplot is having these concerns. Because Beck sure as hell hasn't. Beck would be telling the firefighters that they need to stop working for a system that taxes them and forces them to risk their lives for people who don't deserve it... while Rome burned, courtesy of Beck-inspired rioters.

    Third. Uhm, I don't think 'pariah' means what he thinks it means.

  3. "Glenn became a pariah to me."

    I think he means "messiah". "Pariah" is what Beck *should* be.

  4. yeah, that was my thought too.

    or maybe prophet + messiah = pariah?