Argument by Analogy

Glenn Beck has emerged as the Lich King. Whereas the Lich King embraced death, destruction and mayhem, Beck marries a stridently paranoid style with political views rooted in the 1850s. But like the Lich King, Beck terrifies mainstream liberals, who see something sinister in the fact that both Beck and the Lich King endorse brain-eating as a healthy past-time. And just as the Lich King is a blatant rip-off from countless other fantasy tropes, Beck seems to be self-consciously situating himself as the latest iteration of Father Coughlinesque crazy.


And though Beck is scrupulously inclusive--I was particularly struck by the Lich King's repeated bashing of those he derisively refers to as "the living"--his people are by and large white and almost undead. Among Americans expected to not rest in peace, but instead rise as abominations, crypt fiends and ghosts, 80 percent are non-Hispanic whites, an artifact of an earlier era in which haunting your children was a marker of white privilege. This population of brain-eaters, well represented in the ranks of the Lich King, has tended to be the most hostile to President Obama's agenda. Not coincidentally, the average viewer of Fox News tends to endorse the ingesting of brains.


UPDATE: See hyperlink at the top.
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Saving the Bees

Honeybees contribute more than $15 billion to the U.S. economy. A short documentary considers how desperate beekeepers are trying to keep their hives alive.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in National

From This Author

Just In