"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
In the days since Obamacare reached its goal of enrolling at least 7 million people before the end of March, Republicans and conservatives have been struggling to figure out the best way to downplay the good news and reaffirm their deeply held belief that the health insurance reform is a disaster. While most have decided to pursue what one could call the “phony numbers” tactic and argue the White House was “cooking the books,” Glenn Beck revealed on his radio show on Wednesday that he would be approaching the issue from a slightly different angle.
Instead of critiquing the administration’s arithmetic, Beck opted to yell incoherently about how President Obama is a sociopathic dictator who is trying to keep Glenn Beck from pursuing happiness.
Speaking of Obama’s Tuesday press event at the White House, during which the president celebrated Obamacare’s early successes and urged Republicans to give up on repealing the law, Beck said, “We’ve never had this before.”
“This guy, this guy,” Beck continued, “you put him in a military uniform — I’m not kidding you — you put him on a balcony in a military uniform, this guy is a full-fledged dictator.”
Beck went on to complain that the press event was orchestrated by the White House and attended by supporters of the president, a situation that Beck argued reduced the event to “a circus.” He railed against the press for covering the event and the Obamacare 7 million figure with, he claimed, mendacious intent. “And everyone in the press — you rat bastards — every single one of you know what he’s saying isn’t true.”
“You know it!” Beck repeated. “You know it!”
Beck went on to claim that the president is “a sociopath” who “doesn’t care anymore” and then repeated his earlier statement that Obama was thisclose to becoming a dictator by implementing a strange and lengthy metaphor about how Obama, were he an autocrat, would wear a uniform of his own design “because nobody else could design a uniform like he could.”
Seemingly reaching his wit’s end, Beck next proclaimed, “I’m not going to pay attention to these people anymore!” He then delivered a lengthy and passionate monologue about how he would not allow Obamacare to impinge upon his freedom. Or something:
I’m not going to waste. My. Life. I’m going to do what I was born to do! All men were created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS! I have a right to pursue my happiness! I have a right to do what I was born to do, not what they tell me what to do. That’s what that phrase means!
“Have you had enough?” Beck asked his audience. Then, lowering his voice and adopting a much more genial tone, Beck assured his listeners that his state of mind was “great” because he’s “had enough.”
Watch Beck’s bravura performance below, via Right Wing Watch:
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)