Glenn Beck has said and done many outlandish things in his career as a provacateur, but yesterday he may have topped even his most clownish past antics by unveiling—and putting up for sale—a new work of art: “Obama in Pee Pee.” Brandishing his best—but still terrible—Pepé Le Pew impression, Beck informed the audience that his own “specially brewed Country Time” in a mason jar would sell for the asking-price of $25,000, its worth presumably enhanced by the immersion of an Obama figurine, with the top screwed on nice and tight.
The presentation, while infantile, is also surprisingly amusing. Beck’s job—like that of the one kid in elementary school who would incessantly repeat what other people said just to get a rise out of them—is to provoke as much outrage from the left as possible. What better way to do so than to take a page out of photographer Andres Serrano’s book and place a prominent and respected figure in urine? In 1987, Serrano’s image of a plastic crucified Jesus submerged in his urine, titled Immersion (Piss Christ), received an award that was partly funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, riling up conservatives for 25 years running. (Just this September, religious groups condemned President Obama for “allowing” it to be showcased in New York City.) Serrano has said of his own controversial work, “I don’t see anything wrong with provocative art and… I look forward to the day when I can make work that will even disturb me.”
Beck makes the same argument in his video, saying that all such provocations are protected by the only real work of “celestial art” hanging on his wall: the U.S. constitution. He begins by defending an artist who painted Obama on a crucifix in the piece Truth, stating that though he found it “offensive,” the artist had the right to his own creative interpretations. “Obama in Pee Pee,” then, is, like Piss Christ and Truth, simply Beck’s way of expressing himself through “art.” And liberals, he says, should tolerate it. At the end of the segment, he implies that the mason jar does not actually contain his urine, but a bottle of Dos Equis beer—suggesting that Beck is a better food critic than art critic—and clearly has those on the left in mind when he re-words the brand’s famous slogan: “Stay consistent, my friends.”