There are four things most likely to be the root cause of a friendship that breaks apart, and those four things are money, sex, religion and politics. Three of those four topics suck ass… wait… maybe that’s a bad way to put it, but I think you know what I mean.
Chances are you’ve experienced the end of a friendship because of differences over one of the four things. The friendship might not have ended in a knock-down, drag-out fight, but more of a slow separation where phone call frequency dwindles away until one year you realize, “I haven’t talked to that guy in three years,” kind of end.
Dealing with someone who has passionate views about any one of those topics, can get tiresome over time, and depending on the views, it can lead to labels being put upon them.
For example, “JIm has lost his mind when it comes to this religious stuff.”
There are a lot of people who have firmly affixed the “Crazy” label onto the forehead of former Navy SEAL, wrestler, actor, governor, and television personality, Jesse “The Body” Ventura –– and yes, he still calls himself “The Body” from time to time. It’s not a hard conclusion to reach when the only exposure to him is from clips on political commentary shows, or on the spoof news with John Stewart.
Ventura didn’t do himself many favors in this regard on his recent TruTV show, Conspiracy Theory, where for three seasons he investigated subjects like secret stock market manipulations, HAARP, and 9-11 conspiracies.
While his new show Off the Grid doesn’t tackle issues like reptilian shape-shifters running the country, it does continue to carry the torch for those who are distrustful of government. This time, however, we get more opinion from Ventura, and more interview time with people who can help elaborate his points, or explain complicated topics.
At the core of Off the Grid is Ventura’s dislike of the two-party political system and what he insists is government tailored to benefit the highest bidder. He also staunchly defends the constitution and the right of people to pursue their lives without government intrusion.
In other words, if you are able wipe Ventura’s history from your mind, and perhaps look past the fact he’s usually wearing a t-shirt on the show, some of which tie-dyed or feature skeleton pirates, and actually listen to what hes saying, the man tends to make a lot of sense.
In one episode, he interviewed ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project Director Ben Wizner, who serves as Edward Snowden’s legal advisor. Snowden, you might remember, is the CIA tech guy who disclosed thousands of classified documents revealing the NSA’s domestic spying on its everyday citizens.
Is Snowden a hero and patriot?
Ventura thinks so, and he presents a convincing argument for it here.
In another episode, covering a similar topic, he interviews Thomas Drake, himself a former military man and Snowden’s predecessor in some ways, and again leaves viewers wondering whether our own government has our best interests at heart.
Ventura does this again and again with issue after issue. He’s not his usual crazy self in this series, and it gives us all a glimpse at the Ventura that was more than likely on display when he became Minnesota’s governor. It’s also no coincidence he occasionally mentions on the show he is considering a run during the 2016 presidential campaign. “President?” is even one of the flying words, complete with the question mark that pops up after half-second delay, describing Ventura that appear during the show’s intro.
During his interview with Abby Martin, host of RT America, a Russian production, he said, ‘This is my dream job, I’m down here where the temperature is 85 degrees and sunny everyday and nobody tells me what to do.”
Political views are so personal, it might be hard to convince friends to take the time to watch a few episodes to soak in the juice Ventura is making on his new show, but where there is a will there is a way.
Ventura offers thoughts and opinions that are not influenced by the DemoCrips or the ReBloodlicans, as he calls them. He goes after each issue with an independent eye, the way issues should be analyzed. He uses a common sense approach, surprisingly enough, in most circumstances.
You don’t have to tell your friends that when recommending the show though.
Tell your friends he’s crazier than ever and try convincing them to watch it for that reason. You never know, they might learn something while waiting for Ventura to spout off about some wild conspiracy theory, or to break out the feather boas and put on the kind of gun show that would have made the late Gorilla Monsoon proud.
He hasn’t failed to deliver at least a few good points inspiring thinking outside the trappings of American politics in the episodes I’ve seen, and that is never a bad thing. Open minds get things done.
Lee Arnold is the cohost of the Acid Pop Cult podcast and an active to their website. New episodes of Acid Pop Cult drop every Monday. Be sure to tune in! You can verbally harass Lee on Twitter at twitter.com/LeeArnoldMWF.
Jason Price founded the mighty Icon Vs. Icon more than a decade ago. Along the way, he’s assembled an amazing group of like-minded individuals to spread the word on some of the most unique people and projects on the pop culture landscape.