Oct 14, 2020
Come Watch Jesse Ventura’s New Internet Teevee Thing Where He Shouts At You In Ten-Minute Increments
Jesse Ventura was pretty exciting, 15 years ago! He is muscular, and is blunt and shouts a lot, and this combination of things is what earned him the Minnesota governorship for a term. We do not really understand the appeal of the muscular/blunt/shouty thing, probably because we are fond of things like “reading” and “quiet thoughtful conversation,” so we know that we are not really his target audience. (Also, we are from Wisconsin, so there is that all-important interstate rivalry to take into account. Boo, Minnesota! Sportsball! Tyranny of small differences!)
We seemed to remember Jesse having a show several years ago, and sure enough! In 2009 he debuted “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura” on truTV, a classic example of a weird specialty cable channel. It ran for a whole three seasons! But now America’s Second-Buffest Former Governor is back! And he’s on a website TV thing called Ora, which is a two-year-old joint venture between affable Mexican money black hole Carlos Slim and America’s own Keebler elf Larry King. It has shit tons of Larry King, of course, but there is also “Real Girl’s Kitchen,” which is about a real live someone named Haylie Duff who has a kitchen, and “Dweebcast,” the host of which fills us with a peculiar, ominous attraction and repulsion.
Also too something called “The Daily Rehash,” which Ora.TV has decided to promote using the creepiest O-face ever.
And, of course, there’s our dear friend Jesse.
The show’s called “Off the Grid.” There’s an opening with heavy metal music and flashing words like “PATRIOT” and “NAVY SEAL” and (gasp) “PRESIDENT?” – just like the Colbert Report has, but unironic.
There are a lot of staticky fast-cuts that go nowhere, and Jesse kind of saunters from side to side like he’s drunk, all to distract you from the fact that you’re getting a continuous shot of a 63-year-old wrestleman yelling at you for 10 minutes. And Jesse Ventura is wearing a too-large camo jacket? We’re not sure why – is he going hunting? Why did he pick a jacket that makes him look like he’s 14 and dressing in his dad’s clothes? Did he always sound suspiciously like Sean Connery and talk about himself in the third person, or is that new?
But he’s Off the Grid, just like the title! He’s broadcasting from Baja California, he says (even though you can’t tell, because he’s perpetually in front of a greenscreen with a washed-out dystopian/patriotic background). He’s free of the mainstream media’s pernicious influence, and also the government’s! We aren’t sure about this – what does getting out of the US have to do with it? Isn’t the magic of the information age that government and media propaganda can infect you literally anywhere? Also, why Mexico? We have no idea! We are sure Jesse received absolutely no seed money for this project from a Mexican media mogul multi-billionaire, because that would be corrupt and hypocritical.
Jesse opens the first episode by introducing his nebbishy assistant Alex, who is “on the grid” and reads news to Jesse so that he can offer trite commentary – and suddenly Jesse cuts Alex off and starts yelling about journamalistic independence, and how his ability to abuse Alex in this not-at-all scripted way means he’s in control. Hell yeah, Jesse! You yell at that man who’s half your size, and get him to shut up! Sooo butch!
So, you are dying to know about the the topics, right? He argues that a flat national sales tax wouldn’t actually be regressive, because shut up math nerds is what. Also the whole “Duck Dynasty” thing, with poorly reasoned First Amendment arguments. Also-also how congresscritters are rich, which is completely unprecedented in America’s history. And so forth and so on forever and ever.
But there were uncomfortable moments where we found ourselves agreeing with him, like when he says that Democrats are wusses, or The Gays are people too, or single-payer health care would be nice. Sometimes he even stops yelling and talks to us like we’re not excitable teenage boys, and we’re gripped by a sudden anxious feeling that he’s our long-lost uncle who likes deer hunting and Ron Paul, talking politics with us at Thanksgiving and only sounding halfway unreasonable, and our little awful heart warms a little and we wonder if this is how a third of the Minnesota electorate voted for him.
And then he starts braying about JESSE THE BODY VENTURA again, or yells about Democrips and Rebloodlicans, and we lean back and cringe. He’s not as much of a liability to our blood pressure as Sarah Palin is, but he’s still godawful AND he interviews Alex Jones.
Finally, excitable people, Jesse Ventura is not actually running for president, just like Donald Trump is not running for president. That is a schtick. Jesse will continue to yell at ever-dwindling audiences until one day he goes to the old wrestler’s home where hopefully they will not let him near a camera. Until then, enjoy/endure “Off The Grid.”