…in which I become a left-wing subversive

The gentle liberal’s guide to anti-wingnut subversion.

In light of Glenn Beck’s acquiring his first (although surely not-to-be-last) scalp from the Obama Administration, I decided to protest in my own way.

I went to my local Border’s, found all of Glenn Beck’s books in the “current affairs” section, and very gently, taking care not to damage them in any way, placed them — properly alphabetized — in the fiction section.

In my humble opinion, this probably deserves some kind of award from the Federal Trade Commission, but I’m not holding my breath.

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

8 thoughts on “…in which I become a left-wing subversive”

  1. Yeah, claps wildly. Do what they don't expect. Not criminal, but lifts the burden off of sane people.

  2. Going into the politics/current affairs section of the larger bookstores is like walking into the library at Heritage. All too depressing.

  3. Great job, now when one of Becks followers asks the person at the customer service desk where the Glenn Beck book is they will pull it up on the computer and go look for it. When its not there the customer service rep will waive the delivery fee and have the book ordered directly to the saps house. The the diligent customer service rep will get the manager to check who will update the computer to show the books are out of inventory and that will automatically generate an order to buy more of his books as a replacement. If your really lucky some sap browsing the fiction section will stumble upon the Glenn Beck books. These people aren't bright enough to notice its in the wrong section, he'll just pick it up and buy it.

    Maybe if you generate enough copycats you could push Glenn Beck to the best sellers list and get him a big display in the front of the store. What a hoot.

    The best you can hope for is that you never write anything salient that gets you attention from a respectable liberal, because the wing nuts would find this post and use it to show how the loons on the left love to play grade school pranks and should not be listened to when discussing serious policy.

    Thanks a lot. Jackass.

  4. Ya know, I occasionally go into B&N and move Michael Behe's book from the Science section to the Religion section.

    But yours is better.

  5. Assuming Bernie is right, moving books is counterproductive (and makes hassles for underpaid staff). I just turn them over or upside-down, a practice I began with inverting Quayle's "Standing Tall".

  6. Dear Jonathan,

    I don't know why you characterize this, as no doubt Beck himself does, as a "win" for him. Jones made and signed offensively nutty statements. Imagine a hypothetical staffer in some future Republican administration — and there will be one, some day — who turns out to have in the present day signed a petition asking for an inquiry into President Obama's birth certificate, and declared himself at one point a "fascist." Honestly are we to imagine that anyone would think this was OK?

    It doesn't matter how this all came to light; the President did the right thing cutting him loose. I hope and expect that he's got a team combing through the administration looking for other people with loose screws who might have gotten onto his staff through similar failures of vetting.

  7. This is so great! I was stunned to read it because I had independently started doing the same thing. This past weekend at the Mall of Georgia, Barnes and Noble had a table with a stack of Glen Beck books and a stack of Obama books, also audio book versions of them. I quietly distributed the Beck books around the science fiction section and set an Obama audio book on top of the Beck books. I'd encourage everyone to take this one small step.

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