No, really. The Madison Glenn Beck listeners have chosen brown as the color of their club uniform. They wear... brown shirts.
Brown shirts. For a political protest group organized by a charismatic national leader who writes bad prose. Two possibilities:
- If they didn't realize the connection, the Madison Glenn Beckers suffer a bad case of cultural perspective.
- If they deliberately chose brown shirts, they are at best tasteless and not funny.
The Glenn Beckers are also apparently into phallic imagery on their flags. The cannon, the snakes... but I still enjoyed my hot dog.
I saw and heard some anger and frustration, some good ideas and some bad ideas. I also saw a number of people I know: my cousin Aaron (yes, over 10% of the people at this meeting were Heidelbergers!), my antipodal blogger Steve Sibson, Madison insurance guy Lee Stoddard, former student Emyle Elliott, hog raiser Ben Elliott, good neighbor Imogene Ellis (she brought me cake one really hot day 21 years ago), fellow frequent foot power fan Jerry Heckenliable, and local media stars Neal and Linda McIntyre (see the front page of the Voices section of yesterday's Sioux Falls paper).
Alas—and I mean that: alas—I did not see or hear any sign of an effective political movement that can move general political discourse beyond the entertainment with which Glenn Beck makes his millions. Of course, even the putschists took a few years to progress from clumsy beer hall antics to actually winning an election.
But I enjoy almost any public political discourse breaking out on a beautiful summer evening. So I'll spend some time this morning analyzing the discussions I enjoyed last night while surrounded by brown shirts. Stay tuned....