Glenn Beck's Blueprint for a Self-Sufficient Theme Park in Texas

A TV host plans a utopia.


Utopian text of the day:

That's Glenn Beck outlining his vision of Independence Park, a sort of a survivalist EPCOT: a self-sufficient media center, expo park, ranch, and residential area, the latter designed in ways intended to break down class barriers and nourish a rich public life. Other plans for the private city include solar energy, underground roads, a learning center (not a school, because "schools are a thing of the past"), and the town's own "national archives," where the community will keep "the things and the ideas and the books and the papers that tell the truth." In the course of laying this out, the host also touches on the topics of Tesla, the Alamo, Beck's fear of cows, and a Fourth of July entertainment spectacular that Beck is cooking up called The Man in the Moon: An American Story (From the Moon's Perspective).

It's a melange of many ideas (not all of them "right-wing"), and the pitch alone is a great contribution to the American populist-utopian tradition. It is also utterly mad, of course. I'm always skeptical when someone thinks he and a committee of experts can plan an ideal community, and the precursors in the historical record suggest that even if Beck's park is built it will evolve in ways no planner can anticipate. Whatever winds up appearing under the name "Independence Park," you can be sure it'll be different from Beck's blueprint in countless ways.

Still, I'm all for mad plans, as long as they aren't compulsory and as long as they aren't done on the public dime. My personal vision of living freely does not entail moving to a theme park owned by a TV personality. (*) But it does have room for TV personalities who want to spend their money building theme parks, the weirder the better.

(* OK, maybe if it's Gene Scott or Ernie Kovacs. But not anyone else.)