Engaging Your Imagination

FUSION JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2010

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Glenn’s Take on the Magic of Words

Picture this scene in your mind…

You’re lying on a big wool blanket in front of a stone fireplace, the flames dancing softly over the logs. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies begins creeping through the house, competing for your attention with the sounds of footsteps and laughter from the kids upstairs. As the kids melodic voices begin to fade, the green and orange flames take their cue and slowly begin to settle into the charred wood below.

Were you able to see that? Did you feel the warmth of the fire, smell the cookies and hear the kids laughing? If so, then you just experienced the amazing power of words to engage the imagination.

When strung together properly, words seem to unleash an almost magical property. How else can you explain why simple arrangements of letters can make people laugh or cry; inspire them, educate them, or even frighten them?

It’s simple: words are magic.

As a child, my mother would often tell me to turn the television off. One night, tired of being forced to stop watching my favorite show, I retorted, “So you got to watch TV when you were a kid, but I can’t?”

“No,” she responded. “We didn’t have television, we had radio.”

I was stunned. No television? How could you live without television? How boring! But then my mom began to describe how she would sit in the living room at night with her parents, staring at a big old radio, its tuning knob glowing in the darkness. She talked about how the broadcasters would tell stories so vividly that it was like she was there. She explained how that glowing knob was like a window to a world more extraordinary than anything that exists in real life.

On my eighth birthday, my mother bought me a “Golden Years of Radio” album and it changed my life. Listening to Orson Welles’ terrifyingly vivid account of alien visitors made me understand that good storytelling can engage the imagination like nothing else.

From that moment on, I was hooked.

After spending over three decades in broadcasting, it’s clear that telling a good story is becoming a lost art. High definition television, Blu-Ray players, DVRs, iPods…it’s all great technology, but its focus is on making video look sharper or be more convenient to watch, not content. Special effects and surround sound can make a good story better, but they’ll never be a substitute for plot, characters and timing. Think about how many movies have nine-figure budgets and first-rate special effects, yet completely bomb at the box office. Why? Because summer blockbusters might entice the eyes, but they don’t capture the mind or touch the heart.

That’s why I love books. To succeed, readers have to feel something. If there’s a death on television the director will likely show you the body at the funeral, but if there’s a death in a book, the author has to make the readers themselves mourn. You can’t just show them what the funeral looks like, you have to make them feel like they are dressed in black, sitting in a pew, listening to Ave Maria. That’s a far more intimate experience and it’s why books and radio can never be trumped by technology.

I will always appreciate television for its unique strengths (and I know how much America loves seeing me in widescreen HD every night) but seeing is not the same as feeling; watching is not the same as engaging your imagination. Sure, a picture might be worth a thousand words, but a single word has something that a thousand pictures never could…magic.

Acclaimed environmentalist and author of "Apocalypse Never" Michael Shellenberger joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Wednesday to warn us about the true goals and effects of climate alarmism: It's become a "secular religion" that lowers standards of living in developed countries, holds developing countries back, and has environmental progress "exactly wrong."

Michael is a Time "Hero of the Environment," Green Book Award winner, and the founder and president of Environmental Progress. He has been called a "environmental guru," "climate guru," "North America's leading public intellectual on clean energy," and "high priest" of the environmental humanist movement for his writings and TED talks, which have been viewed more than 5 million times. But when Michael penned a stunning article in Forbes saying, "On Behalf of Environmentalists, I Apologize for the Climate Scare", the article was pulled just a few hours later. (Read more here.)

On the show, Micheal talked about how environmental alarmism has overtaken scientific fact, leading to a number of unfortunate consequences. He said one of the problems is that rich nations are blocking poor nations from being able to industrialize. Instead, they are seeking to make poverty sustainable, rather than to make poverty history.

"As a cultural anthropologist, I've been traveling to poorer countries and interviewing small farmers for over 30 years. And, obviously there are a lot of causes why countries are poor, but there's no reason we should be helping them to stay poor," Michael said. "A few years ago, there was a movement to make poverty history ... [but] it got taken over by the climate alarmist movement, which has been focused on depriving poor countries, not just of fossil fuels they need to develop, but also the large hydroelectric dams."

He offered the example of the Congo, one of the poorest countries in the world. The Congo has been denied the resources needed to build large hydroelectric dams, which are absolutely essential to pull people out of poverty. And one of the main groups preventing poor countries from the gaining financing they need to to build dams is based in Berkeley, California — a city that gets its electricity from hydroelectric dams.

"It's just unconscionable ... there are major groups, including the Sierra Club, that support efforts to deprive poor countries of energy. And, honestly, they've taken over the World Bank [which] used to fund the basics of development: roads, electricity, sewage systems, flood control, dams," Micheal said.

"Environmentalism, apocalyptic environmentalism in particular, has become the dominant religion of supposedly secular people in the West. So, you know, it's people at the United Nations. It's people that are in very powerful positions who are trying to impose 'nature's order' on societies," he continued. "And, of course, the problem is that nobody can figure out what nature is, and what it's not. That's not a particular good basis for organizing your economy."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Dr. Voddie Baucham, Dean of Theology at African Christian University in Lusaka, Zambia, joined Glenn Beck on the radio program to explain why he agrees with Vice President Mike Pence's refusal to say the phrase "Black Lives Matter."

Baucham, who recently drew national attention when his sermon titled "Ethnic Gnosticism" resurfaced online, said the phrase has been trademarked by a dangerous, violent, Marxist movement that doesn't care about black lives except to use them as political pawns.

"We have to separate this movement from the issues," Baucham warned. "I know that [Black Lives Matter] is a phrase that is part of an organization. It is a trademark phrase. And it's a phrase designed to use black people.

"That phrase dehumanizes black people, because it makes them pawns in a game that has nothing whatsoever to do with black people and their dignity. And has everything to do with a divisive agenda that is bigger than black people. That's why I'm not going to use that phrase, because I love black people. I love being black."

Baucham warned that Black Lives Matter -- a radical Marxist movement -- is using black people and communities to push a dangerous and divisive narrative. He encouraged Americans to educate themselves on the organization's agenda and belief statement.

"This movement is dangerous. This movement is vicious. And this movement uses black people," he emphasized. "And so if I'm really concerned about issues in the black community -- and I am -- then I have to refuse, and I have to repudiate that organization. Because they stand against that for which I am advocating."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

We're going to be doing an amazing broadcast on Thursday, July 2nd, and we will be broadcasting a really important moment. It is restoring truth. It is restoring our history. It is asking to you make a covenant with God. The covenant that was made by the Pilgrims. And it's giving you a road map of things that we can do, to be able to come back home, together.

All of us.

And it's never been more important. Join us live from the Standing Rock Ranch on Blaze TV, YouTube and Facebook at 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday July, 2nd and restore the hope in you.

Make sure you join us and use the hashtag and spread the word, fight the mob today and you'll save $20 on your year of subscription. We need you now more than ever.

RESTORING HOPE: Join Glenn live from Standing Rock Ranch to restore the American covenant youtu.be

On last week's Wednesday night special, Glenn Beck revealed where the Black Lives Matter organization really gets its funding, and the dark money trail leading to a cast of familiar characters. Shortly after the program aired, one of BLM's fiscal sponsors, Thousand Currents, took down its board of directors page, which featured one of these shady characters:

Ex-Marxist professor and author of "Beyond Woke," Michael Rectenwald, joined Glenn Beck on the TV show to fill us in on the suspicious change he discovered on the Thousand Currents webpage and the Communist terrorists who is now helping run the organization. (Fortunately, the internet is forever, so it is still possible to view the board of directors page by looking at a web archive from the WayBack Machine.)

Rectenwald revealed the shocking life history of Thousand Currents' vice chair of the board, Susan Rosenberg, who spent 16 years in federal prison for her part in a series of increasingly violent acts of terrorism, including bombing the U.S. Capitol building, bombing an FBI building, and targeting police for assassination.

"Their whole campaign was one of unbelievably vicious, murderous cop killings, assassinations, and bombings," explained Rectenwald of Rosenberg's terror group known as the May 19th Communist Organization or M19.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Glenn's full investigation into the dark origins of the funding behind Black Lives Matter is available for BlazeTV subscribers. Not a subscriber? Use promo code GLENN to get $10 off your BlazeTV subscription or start your 30-day free trial today.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.