Maturin42's Blog

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Jesse Ventura on American Conspiracies

I was not always a big fan of Jesse Ventura. I am certainly no fan of wrestling - never have been, and big, loudmouthed superpatriots are not my cup of tea either. Jesse was formerly a big fan of the right wing, but the corruption and fantasies spun by and around the 2nd Bush dynasty found in Jesse a fundamentally honest man who, it turns out, has a brain. A good one. He reads - a lot - and when something doesn't make any sense, he looks further into it, which is a good practice for anyone, and you might say is a fundamental duty of American citizens who want to see our country live up to the ideals that were ingrained in us way back in grammar school. Those ideals are worth striving for, but that does not mean that you have to cling without question to the unadulterated crap that passes for the accounts of the landmark events of our history.

In the version of contemporary history being foisted on the American people, conspiracies have no basis in fact. They rarely happen, and they are never, ever, the product of the actions of our government. The word only gets exercised when its pejorative meaning is trotted out, coupled with "theories" or "theorist" to cast aspersions on alternative views of events. It is used as code to discredit alternative views of events and those who would consider them.

Jesse and his co-author Dick Russell have taken on several of the dominent myths surrounding events that arguably changed the course of the history that us seasoned veterans of that history either were taught in school or lived through. He does so in a blunt and forceful way that makes it readable and engaging. It appears to be well researched, and, in contrast with Jesse's companion television series of a similar title that aired on TruTV, is relatively free of the bombast and dramatic flourishes that, to my mind, somewhat marred that production. I questioned whether his tendency to fall back on testosterone-soaked bombast to punctuate his points would undermine the facts he was bringing out.

I have followed Jesse's public pronouncements since he returned from his NBC-financed "exile" in Mexico, where he was paid to breathe by the network which found the subject matter of his infant TV series, " Jesse Ventura's America" not cool. So not cool that they bought out his contract and said "do what you want just stay off TV". So he used the money to finance a two-year vacation and a villa in Mexico. He returned, and got a lot of attention with his questioning of 9/11. His celebrity meant he was sought by the talking head shows of mainstream media but he had the disturbing tendency to ask questions his hosts preferred remain unasked or unmentioned on their light entertainment shows.

If you have no clue what I am talking about, pick up American Conspiracies and read. If you can't handle Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States", this is a more digestible nugget.

If your mind can't handle alternative views of this country we all love but which some of us love enough to look at without rose-tinted lenses, then turn on the TV and forget I said anything.

American Conspiracies by Jesse Ventura A Review by Liam Scheff
"People prefer to be lied to ably, than be told the truth, boldly. We prefer a colorful and clever story to a documentary filled with sharp and damning evidence; we prefer gossip to investigation. Human kind delights in metaphor when facts get in the way of our passions and pursuits. "

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