'Babylonian Chainsaw Massacre’: Glenn reviews Noah after attending screening in LA

Glenn spent an action-packed weekend in California, and he reflected on the experience on radio this morning. On Friday, Glenn addressed a crowd at David Horowitz’s West Coast Retreat in California over the weekend about the importance of culture and American history. On Saturday, Glenn had lunch with the Friends of Abe – a group of roughly 1,500 conservative-minded individuals in Hollywood who made headlines earlier this year when it was revealed they had been trying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status for nearly two years.

But perhaps the most surprising event on Glenn's itinerary was a private screening of the soon to be released motion picture Noah at Paramount Studios. On Friday, Glenn had some harsh words for the movie that has already been panned by critics for its “aggressive environmentalism” and failure to mention God.

Perhaps in an effort to change the buzz ahead of the film’s release this week, Paramount executives reached out to Glenn and asked if he would like to join them for a screening of the movie. Admitting he felt like a bit of a “dirtball: on Friday for basing his critique purely on someone else’s review, Glenn decided to take Paramount up on its offer.

But would the screening change his mind?

Not exactly.

On radio this morning, Glenn did explain why the movie is “awful” – not for the reasons The Hollywood Reporter review listed – but for “100 other reasons.”

PLUS: Photos from Glenn's tour of the Paramount Pictures studio backlot

Below is a partial transcript of Glenn's review:

I went to Los Angeles this weekend after we talked about the movie Noah on Friday and not such a nice way. The producer of the movie, or executive vice president of Paramount called and found out I was in Los Angeles and asked if I would actually see the movie and judge it on its merits. He said the reviewer we were basing our comments on was completely wrong, and he kindly invited us to come to the studios and watch the final print of the movie on Saturday. And we did, because I felt like kind of a dirtball, basing my review on something that I hadn't seen but on someone else's review. That's what people do to me. They don't listen or watch and then they review. It was wrong of me to do. I want to say this: Everybody at Paramount was unbelievably gracious. And I would love, as I said to him after the movie, I would love to be able to come and report that the movie is great, but I can't. It is awful, but it is not for the reasons that the reviewer said on Friday. It is awful for 100 other reasons.

Friday, we talked about the review. And in the review, it say it was a heavy-handed environmental movie and there was no mention of God… The review made it sound like this was a godless climate change movie. I believe that it is not a godless climate change movie. It's more like Sinbad the Sailor meets Shining and Friday the 13th, with a sprinkle of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

And it plays as well as a movie that was just clipping all of that stuff together. Instead of referring to God as God, every reference in the movie is ‘the creator.’ That's fine, but they are definitely talking about God. Noah doesn't really seem to have a real good relationship with God. He sees some miracles, like oh, I don't know, his whole family being saved. In an amazing scene, he plants a seed and an entire forest grows in the desert, while he is standing there. Then he looks into the tent and he's like, ‘Kids, here's the one for the ark.’ Really, Mr. Noah? That's what you would say? You wouldn't even go behold the awesome power of God. You wouldn't go, ‘Whoa!’ That was weird… It's so ridiculous, the entire thing. But he is talking to God occasionally…

If you are looking for a biblical movie, this is definitely not it. Others on the team disagreed with this. This was split. Half the team said they couldn't take the environmentalism. I don't think it's an environmentalism thing as much as it's just pro-animal and antihuman. I mean strongly antihuman, but it's not the story of Noah that I was hoping for. If you are going for that, you will be horribly disappointed. If you are going for a campy, kind of bad, this is the movie to see. If you are looking for something good, you might not make it past the rock people because we nearly didn't.

Giant rock people appear at almost the beginning of the movie, kind of like the tree people in Lord of the Rings, except not as well done and of course made of rock. Not quite as talkative. I suppose they won't burn as easily as the tree people, but… don't bother checking on the scriptural reference to the rock people…

Have you ever wondered, ‘Hey, how did Noah clear the forest that just sprung up?’ Of course the rock people that God sent down as spirits. Then they were encased in lava, and then they got up, they're like, ‘Oh, we are watchers. We help Adam. We help you now too.’ You're like honestly? I felt really bad, because as the rock people story line continued, we all got giggling fits and we started to laugh and mock the movie. And at one point looked over and realized the executive vice president of Paramount, who invited us was standing this, observing how we were reacting to it. And I'm like, ‘I don't think we're going to get out of here without telling him exactly how we feel because I think he probably knows at this point.’ Literally laughing at the rock people.

That’s not the biggest problem with Noah. The biggest problem for me was Noah himself. Maybe it's just me. I'm a little different than some people. I always thought of Noah as more of a nice, gentle guy, prophet of God… I think of him more like that and less of the homicidal maniac that Paramount found in the Bible somehow or another… That is more of the Noah in the Babylonian Chainsaw Massacre – running around, not kidding, trying to kill his whole family… Really quite amazing.

Kathleen Parker in the Washington Post, she really liked the movie. She says:

I recently viewed the film and can confidently report the following: If you liked “Braveheart,” “Gladiator,” “Star Wars,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Indiana Jones” or “Titanic,” you will like “Noah.” If you liked two or more of the above, you will love “Noah.” Your enjoyment increases exponentially with each movie checked above, though I should warn that “Titanic” made the cut for only one reason, the major difference between it and “Noah” being obvious. “Noah” also includes the essential love story or two, without which no story floats.

Kathleen, could I tell you something, honey? I don't know what kind of medication you are on, but I loved all of those movies, and all of us hated Noah. We honestly had a conversation, ‘Is it too rude to get up and walk out now, because we've got other things to do. We can go collect rocks in the parking lot, where there's other things we could do?’

[…]

I don't care if you believe in the Noah story. I don't believe if you think it's an allegory, if you believe it's complete fiction, it is entirely up to you. I happen to believe the story of Noah's Ark is true. And after the invitation, we went and we really wanted to like it. We really did… I really want a good Noah movie.

Bill Maher is like, ‘You can't be satisfied.’ Rock people, Bill. Rock people. And people like Bill Maher will say, ‘Well, you believe in a sky God.’ I don't believe in rock people, okay? I have a hard time with that one. It's not just a biblically bad movie because it treats a prophet of God like a lunatic. There's no redeeming value in Noah, none. He hates people. I'm sorry. No prophet of God hates people. I never see him try to breach and say turn from your evil ways. Instead, he hides from people because he hates them so much.

He tries to kill his own family. To me, a prophet receives direct communication from God, and Noah is wrong about everything… In the end, the person who makes all the sense is Hermione from Harry Potter. I know she was always the smart one at Hogwarts; but in the ark, I would have liked the prophet of God Noah not to have to go to Hermione and say, ‘Really? We shouldn't kill the whole family?’ It's crazy. Crazy…

It's a $100 million disaster. That's what it is. They just don't know what to do… I wish I could have brought different news to you, but I can't. And I appreciate the people at Paramount understanding because I did talk to them after. It was a really uncomfortable 20 minutes afterwards. He was in there pitching. I wish I can, but I can't. And I'm sorry. Next time – please invite me again and hopefully it will be a good movie.

From the moment the 33-year-old Thomas Jefferson arrived at the Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1776, he was on the radical side. That caused John Adams to like him immediately. Then the Congress stuck Jefferson and Adams together on the five-man committee to write a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain, and their mutual admiration society began.

Jefferson thought Adams should write the Declaration. But Adams protested, saying, “It can't come from me because I'm obnoxious and disliked." Adams reasoned that Jefferson was not obnoxious or disliked, therefore he should write it. Plus, he flattered Jefferson, by telling him he was a great writer. It was a master class in passing the buck.

So, over the next 17 days, Jefferson holed up in his room, applying his lawyer skills to the ideas of the Enlightenment. He borrowed freely from existing documents like the Virginia Declaration of Rights. He later wrote that “he was not striving for originality of principle or sentiment." Instead, he hoped his words served as “an expression of the American mind."

It's safe to say he achieved his goal.

The five-man committee changed about 25 percent of Jefferson's first draft of the Declaration before submitting it to Congress. Then, Congress altered about one-fifth of that draft. But most of the final Declaration's words are Jefferson's, including the most famous passage — the Preamble — which Congress left intact. The result is nothing less than America's mission statement, the words that ultimately bind the nation together. And words that we desperately need to rediscover because of our boiling partisan rage.

The Declaration is brilliant in structure and purpose. It was designed for multiple audiences: the King of Great Britain, the colonists, and the world. And it was designed for multiple purposes: rallying the troops, gaining foreign allies, and announcing the creation of a new country.

The Declaration is structured in five sections: the Introduction, Preamble, the Body composed of two parts, and the Conclusion. It's basically the most genius breakup letter ever written.

In the Introduction, step 1 is the notificationI think we need to break up. And to be fair, I feel I owe you an explanation...

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…

The Continental Congress felt they were entitled by “the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" to “dissolve the political bands," but they needed to prove the legitimacy of their cause. They were defying the world's most powerful nation and needed to motivate foreign allies to join the effort. So, they set their struggle within the entire “Course of human events." They're saying, this is no petty political spat — this is a major event in world history.

Step 2 is declaring what you believe in, your standardsHere's what I'm looking for in a healthy relationship...

This is the most famous part of the Declaration; the part school children recite — the Preamble:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

That's as much as many Americans know of the Declaration. But the Preamble is the DNA of our nation, and it really needs to be taken as a whole:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

The Preamble takes us through a logical progression: All men are created equal; God gives all humans certain inherent rights that cannot be denied; these include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; to protect those rights, we have governments set up; but when a government fails to protect our inherent rights, people have the right to change or replace it.

Government is only there to protect the rights of mankind. They don't have any power unless we give it to them. That was an extraordinarily radical concept then and we're drifting away from it now.

The Preamble is the justification for revolution. But note how they don't mention Great Britain yet. And again, note how they frame it within a universal context. These are fundamental principles, not just squabbling between neighbors. These are the principles that make the Declaration just as relevant today. It's not just a dusty parchment that applied in 1776.

Step 3 is laying out your caseHere's why things didn't work out between us. It's not me, it's you...

This is Part 1 of the Body of the Declaration. It's the section where Jefferson gets to flex his lawyer muscles by listing 27 grievances against the British crown. This is the specific proof of their right to rebellion:

He has obstructed the administration of justice...

For imposing taxes on us without our consent...

For suspending our own legislatures...

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us...

Again, Congress presented these “causes which impel them to separation" in universal terms to appeal to an international audience. It's like they were saying, by joining our fight you'll be joining mankind's overall fight against tyranny.

Step 4 is demonstrating the actions you took I really tried to make this relationship work, and here's how...

This is Part 2 of the Body. It explains how the colonists attempted to plead their case directly to the British people, only to have the door slammed in their face:

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury...

They too have been deaf to the voice of justice... We must, therefore... hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

This basically wrapped up America's argument for independence — we haven't been treated justly, we tried to talk to you about it, but since you refuse to listen and things are only getting worse, we're done here.

Step 5 is stating your intent — So, I think it's best if we go our separate ways. And my decision is final...

This is the powerful Conclusion. If people know any part of the Declaration besides the Preamble, this is it:

...that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved...

They left no room for doubt. The relationship was over, and America was going to reboot, on its own, with all the rights of an independent nation.

And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The message was clear — this was no pitchfork mob. These were serious men who had carefully thought through the issues before taking action. They were putting everything on the line for this cause.

The Declaration of Independence is a landmark in the history of democracy because it was the first formal statement of a people announcing their right to choose their own government. That seems so obvious to us now, but in 1776 it was radical and unprecedented.

In 1825, Jefferson wrote that the purpose of the Declaration was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of… but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm… to justify ourselves in the independent stand we are compelled to take."

You're not going to do better than the Declaration of Independence. Sure, it worked as a means of breaking away from Great Britain, but its genius is that its principles of equality, inherent rights, and self-government work for all time — as long as we actually know and pursue those principles.

On June 7, 1776, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania State House, better known today as Independence Hall. Virginia delegate Richard Henry Lee introduced a motion calling for the colonies' independence. The “Lee Resolution" was short and sweet:

Resolved, That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.

Intense debate followed, and the Congress voted 7 to 5 (with New York abstaining) to postpone a vote on Lee's Resolution. They called a recess for three weeks. In the meantime, the delegates felt they needed to explain what they were doing in writing. So, before the recess, they appointed a five-man committee to come up with a formal statement justifying a break with Great Britain. They appointed two men from New England — Roger Sherman and John Adams; two from the middle colonies — Robert Livingston and Benjamin Franklin; and one Southerner — Thomas Jefferson. The responsibility for writing what would become the Declaration of Independence fell to Jefferson.

In the rotunda of the National Archives building in Washington, D.C., there are three original documents on permanent display: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. These are the three pillars of the United States, yet America barely seems to know them anymore. We need to get reacquainted — quickly.

In a letter to his friend John Adams in 1816, Jefferson wrote: “I like the dreams of the future, better than the history of the past."

America used to be a forward-looking nation of dreamers. We still are in spots, but the national attitude that we hear broadcast loudest across media is not looking toward the future with optimism and hope. In late 2017, a national poll found 59% of Americans think we are currently at the “lowest point in our nation's history that they can remember."

America spends far too much time looking to the past for blame and excuse. And let's be honest, even the Right is often more concerned with “owning the left" than helping point anyone toward the practical principles of the Declaration of Independence. America has clearly lost touch with who we are as a nation. We have a national identity crisis.

The Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

It is urgent that we get reacquainted with the Declaration of Independence because postmodernism would have us believe that we've evolved beyond the America of our founding documents, and thus they're irrelevant to the present and the future. But the Declaration of Independence is America's thesis statement, and without it America doesn't exist.

Today, much of the nation is so addicted to partisan indignation that "day-to-day" indignation isn't enough to feed the addiction. So, we're reaching into America's past to help us get our fix. In 2016, Democrats in the Louisiana state legislature tabled a bill that would have required fourth through sixth graders to recite the opening lines of the Declaration. They didn't table it because they thought it would be too difficult or too patriotic. They tabled it because the requirement would include the phrase “all men are created equal" and the progressives in the Louisiana legislature didn't want the children to have to recite a lie. Representative Barbara Norton said, “One thing that I do know is, all men are not created equal. When I think back in 1776, July the fourth, African Americans were slaves. And for you to bring a bill to request that our children will recite the Declaration, I think it's a little bit unfair to us. To ask our children to recite something that's not the truth. And for you to ask those children to repeat the Declaration stating that all men's are free. I think that's unfair."

Remarkable — an elected representative saying it wouldn't be fair for students to have to recite the Declaration because “all men are not created equal." Another Louisiana Democrat explained that the government born out of the Declaration “was used against races of people." I guess they missed that part in school where they might have learned that the same government later made slavery illegal and amended the Constitution to guarantee all men equal protection under the law. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were an admission of guilt by the nation regarding slavery, and an effort to right the wrongs.

Yet, the progressive logic goes something like this: many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, including Thomas Jefferson who wrote it, owned slaves; slavery is evil; therefore, the Declaration of Independence is not valid because it was created by evil slave owners.

It's a sad reality that the left has a very hard time appreciating the universal merits of the Declaration of Independence because they're so hung up on the long-dead issue of slavery. And just to be clear — because people love to take things out of context — of course slavery was horrible. Yes, it is a total stain on our history. But defending the Declaration of Independence is not an effort to excuse any aspect of slavery.

Okay then, people might say, how could the Founders approve the phrase “All men are created equal," when many of them owned slaves? How did they miss that?

They didn't miss it. In fact, Thomas Jefferson included an anti-slavery passage in his first draft of the Declaration. The paragraph blasted King George for condoning slavery and preventing the American Colonies from passing legislation to ban slavery:

He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights to life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere... Determined to keep open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

We don't say “execrable" that much anymore. It means, utterly detestable, abominable, abhorrent — basically very bad.

Jefferson was upset when Georgia and North Carolina threw up the biggest resistance to that paragraph. Ultimately, those two states twisted Congress' arm to delete the paragraph.

Still, how could a man calling the slave trade “execrable" be a slaveowner himself? No doubt about it, Jefferson was a flawed human being. He even had slaves from his estate in Virginia attending him while he was in Philadelphia, in the very apartment where he was writing the Declaration.

Many of the Southern Founders deeply believed in the principles of the Declaration yet couldn't bring themselves to upend the basis of their livelihood. By 1806, Virginia law made it more difficult for slave owners to free their slaves, especially if the owner had significant debts as Jefferson did.

At the same time, the Founders were not idiots. They understood the ramifications of signing on to the principles described so eloquently in the Declaration. They understood that logically, slavery would eventually have to be abolished in America because it was unjust, and the words they were committing to paper said as much. Remember, John Adams was on the committee of five that worked on the Declaration and he later said that the Revolution would never be complete until the slaves were free.

Also, the same generation that signed the Declaration started the process of abolition by banning the importation of slaves in 1807. Jefferson was President at the time and he urged Congress to pass the law.

America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough.

The Declaration took a major step toward crippling the institution of slavery. It made the argument for the first time about the fundamental rights of all humans which completely undermined slavery. Planting the seeds to end slavery is not nearly commendable enough for leftist critics, but you can't discount the fact that the seeds were planted. It's like they started an expiration clock for slavery by approving the Declaration. Everything that happened almost a century later to end slavery, and then a century after that with the Civil Rights movement, flowed from the principles voiced in the Declaration.

Ironically for a movement that calls itself progressive, it is obsessed with retrying and judging the past over and over. Progressives consider this a better use of time than actually putting past abuses in the rearview and striving not to be defined by ancestral failures.

It can be very constructive to look to the past, but not when it's used to flog each other in the present. Examining history is useful in providing a road map for the future. And America has an obvious road map that, as a nation, we're not consulting often enough. But it's right there, the original, under glass. The ink is fading, but the words won't die — as long as we continue to discuss them.

'Good Morning Texas' gives exclusive preview of Mercury One museum

Screen shot from Good Morning Texas

Mercury One is holding a special exhibition over the 4th of July weekend, using hundreds of artifacts, documents and augmented reality experiences to showcase the history of slavery — including slavery today — and a path forward. Good Morning Texas reporter Paige McCoy Smith went through the exhibit for an exclusive preview with Mercury One's chief operating officer Michael Little on Tuesday.

Watch the video below to see the full preview.

Click here to purchase tickets to the museum (running from July 4 - 7).

Over the weekend, journalist Andy Ngo and several other apparent right-leaning people were brutally beaten by masked-gangs of Antifa protesters in Portland, Oregon. Short for "antifascist," Antifa claims to be fighting for social justice and tolerance — by forcibly and violently silencing anyone with opposing opinions. Ngo, who was kicked, punched, and sprayed with an unknown substance, is currently still in the hospital with a "brain bleed" as a result of the savage attack. Watch the video to get the details from Glenn.