My Surprising Reaction to Sacha Baron Cohen Going Back to the Old Playbook

This is Philip Wyeth. So Sasha Baron Cohen trolled some Republicans for his new show, “Who is America?” And I did watch the one clip where he pretends to be a former Israeli military specialist, now convincing Republicans to have kids as young as four being trained in firearms.

And I have to say, it was really funny, it was hilarious. I don’t know if the rest of the show is gonna hold up, but here’s just my thoughts on that one. For this older generation of Republicans, say ones over the age of 50, I can see how they would get trolled by a show like this. Anybody under the age of 40, I don’t see how they would get sucked in like that.

It’s like Cohen, because he hasn’t made any TV shows in I guess a decade, now that there’s a Republican back in office, he’s going back to this playbook. Like during the Bush years, trolling politicians and whatnot, you know, getting Trent Lott, Sarah Palin, to fall into lockstep with his ridiculous ideas.

Because for this older generation of Republicans, Israel is basically… they worship Israel, and as long as you couch your plan under something, “Oh, the Israelis did that? That’s that’s very smart of them!” And we’re kind of seeing an awakening on both sides of the aisle, from the younger generation, to at least not swallow everything pro-Israel just because, “It’s Israel!” So that’ll be interesting to see how it plays out, both for conservatives, Democrats, and people who maybe defy political labeling at this point.

And I do want to add that I support the Second Amendment, I own firearms, I don’t support all these measures to disarm people. I know that Baron Cohen is being opportunistic, and the skit was hilarious. You can laugh at these things and have enough self-awareness to know it’s okay that you laugh, and you’re not gonna give in on your principles. That’s what this country used to be all about.

One thing I did find very interesting is the fact that for all the Left’s hemming and hawing over the past year and a half, it took a Jewish British comedian to have more impact in the information war, the comedy war, the political war than anything they’ve done, any American has done.

On a personal note, watching that skit I just felt like a weight was almost lifted. It’s the weirdest thing, kind of like the weight of the corners we’ve all been pushed to since the stress of the 2016 election and everything since, just being able to laugh so hard at that skit… I don’t know, I just I felt kind of free. Like, all right. All bets are off, back to square one, back to zero, whatever you want to call it. And now we can all face the next few months as we get toward this election just with like a refreshed palate.

I think we all subscribed to a lot of talking points to protect ourselves over the past year or so, and now just being able to have a guffaw laugh at something like this… Back to square one, go back to who you were in the months leading up to the 2016 election, and not the crazy person a lot of us have been turned into… almost monsters.

A couple other news stories I want to talk about. So yesterday I was driving pretty early, I had a meeting early across town in LA, and so I put on some of the talk radio shows. It was remarkable how every single station I put on–it didn’t matter if it was right leaning or left leaning—had nothing positive to say about Donald Trump.

It started with Hugh Hewitt, he’s on 870 here in LA, not really a big fan of his but whatever. He was disrespectful toward Trump, expected nothing good out of him, had nothing good to say. Then there was another station, I think it was KABC 790, their little duo in the morning. I think one is pro-Republican, one is pro-Democrat, so there’s their little balance. Again, it was total mockery, it was not even… This man is the president of the country having a diplomatic meeting with a world leader. It was just, “they” were the clowns, “they” were the fools, not Trump.

And then of course I went over to the two Far Left radio stations, first NPR, so those ones obviously had nothing good to say. Had some policy wonk on, some East Coast guy who’s never gotten his hands dirty, like a Dan Aykroyd character from “Trading Places,” just giving this completely out of touch impression of what was gonna happen during the day.

And then I went to the other station, I forget the name [KPFK], they have a host named Sojourner Truth, she wasn’t on at that time. The way they were talking about Trump, it was total Trump Derangement Syndrome, that was the lens they were seeing it through. So I couldn’t even get an accurate idea of what was supposed to happen during this meeting with Putin yesterday.

And again, I was so tied up during meetings all day I didn’t watch the stuff live and just saw the hysterical response afterward. My thought is we are not privy to what’s really going on on the world stage, and whatever tectonic shifts are happening underneath, we’ll see how that plays out in years to come. It’s a joke that we basically are yelling at each other, screaming at each other over events that we have no control over whatsoever.

Elon Musk can’t stay out of the news. I have no idea what’s up with that guy. For years I thought he was a BS artist, I just can’t buy into his spiel. I’ve been calling him “Elmer Gantry” Musk because he seems like a con artist. You know, I don’t know what the deal is with Tesla, if that technology and those cars are actually helping mankind or not. I’m obviously a fan of the original man, the scientist, and I love the band Tesla, the song, “Edison’s Medicine.”

But Musk, he just seems like, he’s just not all there. And he taps into this network of people, who again, maybe they’re super-smart scientifically, book smart, office smart, but they just don’t have this comprehensive life experience that I and several of my close friends do. Yeah, we’re college-educated, we come from middle-class families, but we came to LA and we’ve been busting our asses doing a lot of tough jobs, a lot of blue-collar jobs, and had a lot of disappointment trying to do your own thing. Whether it’s musically or entrepreneurially.

And really, getting knocked down like that teaches you serious boundaries about life, and you pay for it, you earn it, but then you can see the world way more clearly. And I just wish that more blue-collar people could get into positions of influence [even] if it’s just behind a microphone. And I’m not talking about Joe the Plumber, that whole… I don’t know if that was a fake persona or what, but people like me who are maybe a little rough around the edges, but we tell it to you straight. And at this point in time I think people need truth over the varnish.

Which again, going back to Palin, who I don’t really have any personal animosity to, never was a fan of hers, but her in her interview with—it was either MSNBC or CNN—she was talking about being pranked by Sacha Baron Cohen and she was just like, “The fact that he would cross the line and pretend to be a wounded military veteran… We love our veterans! We love Israel!”

And it’s just like, everybody falls back onto their programmed talking points, and it’s like, look, this is not 2007 anymore, 2008, or 2012 with Romney, we just can’t do that anymore. And you have to risk being condemned by people with their, as Bill Burr says, their jowels, their moving jowls, because we have a lot at stake, and to be caught up in too many niceties when the country seems to be on the precipice…

Final point I’d like to make: Living in LA, though it’s not as filthy as San Francisco apparently with all the feces in the streets, I can just look around and see the exhaustion. Things breaking down, ripples of the loss of wealth, purchasing power, confidence, stability that we’ve all experienced since 2008, if not 2001, or the mid-90s after NAFTA. We’ve all been forced to scrape by and suffer way more than we [should have] had to. The government, business, military, banking, they all betrayed us and we’ve paid for it. The cracking pavement, tired people, driving older cars.

I don’t know what it’s gonna take to get us out of this. I don’t have blind faith that Donald Trump will save us, but maybe some pro-America policies will at least serve to stop the bleeding so we can take a pause and figure out, “Okay, how can we restore America’s wealth?” I mean, it’s crazy to think back on what, 1996, 1997, and being nostalgic for the innocence, the wealth, the hope, the possibility that seems to have been drained out of us over the past 20 years.

I’m not really trying to end this video on a downer. I’m certainly very inspired about what I’ve accomplished over the last year as a writer, and trying to encourage other people I know to stay in the fight. Regardless of looking out and seeing—whether it’s Republicans, Democrats whoever betraying you—think about what you can do in your own small way.

And that’s why in my last video I refer to this bricklayer who had done a very beautiful job of a facade of bricks outside all of the balconies and also around the curve of the corner of the building. That man who probably was from Armenia, somewhere in Eastern Europe, a craftsman who comes in, no one knows his name, no one thanks him, but he changed the face of that neighborhood forever for the better with his beautiful work on those bricks.

We’re all crushed under the weight of this “change the world” meme that we were indoctrinated with in school and by the media and entertainment. It’s a heavy burden to carry and previous generations were never… they were never treated this way.

So I think if you can find little ways each day… The whole “tend your garden” idea is correct. Believe in the butterfly effect of the small good things you do, and know that you have years to do it, decades to do it. And then you can enjoy life at the same time while you’re doing it.

Thanks as always for listening. Please support me by reading my books. “Reparations USA” is free to download on Smashwords, iTunes, Barnes and Noble. And both my books are available on Amazon as well in eBook and paperback.

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Video was originally uploaded on July 18, 2018.

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