Kai Chang and Sherman Forrest return to discuss the meltdowns in pro football, Hollywood, and national politics.
Kai Chang: Welcome back to another episode of Shock Therapy now calling from the undamaged by lands of Northern California, I’m Kai Chang.
Sherman Forrest: And I am Sherman Forrest. We’ve been offline for a little while you’ve been battling a gigantic raging wildfire and I’ve been battling the Martian Death flu, but here we are back at again.
Chang: Back at it. It’s been very crazy up here actually watching the sort of the aftermath, watching this rain of ashes just coating everything, it’s very surreal, like a post apocalyptic. And this is I think kind of the segue way but it’s an interesting to testament to living in the benefit of a high trust society versus the low trust one. As someone who survived and clearly there are neighbor who lost everything, just trying to drive around finding a place to donate my spare clothing and dog food and other things that I have an abundance others would need. And there are so many other people who had the same thought that I had to go from place, to place, to place, every shelter was like, “No, no, no, we’re totally full. We have too much stuff. Please just drive elsewhere with it because we literally our lobbies are filled with donated stuff, we can’t take anymore, which is pretty … Imagine this in New Orleans or Oakland, you can’t.
Culture matters and high trust societies, the instinct is and the things that people have had the same thought as me took the initiative and they got there before me so that by the time I got there, I couldn’t even help. I had to keep driving for an hour and a half though I found someplace that could actually take all the stuff that was obscure enough that they weren’t quite as topped off as the most obvious places.
Forrest: It’s nice to see the fundamental decency of America come to the fall in situations like that, the Cajun Navy Houston with Hurricane Harvey and all of that. People were very resilient and their natural instinct is to step in and help and build community, and it’s a great thing. We haven’t lost that.
Chang: That’s the thing. I think a lot of people there is a certain amount nihilistic black pilling that goes on within some members of the different sub communities of the Right Wing community. And I feel like it’s unnecessary and it’s just kind of selfish and stupid, that there is a lot of great things that we still have that needs to be celebrated, awakened and encouraged, I think where our news is obviously giving us a very bad and curated reality. And speaking of curated realities, we have fascinating turnaround in the NFL from this gigantic one single player’s tantrum into a movement, into all of a sudden frantically telling all of their unruly felons to stop and cut this crap out because we’re about to lose a ton of money and all your giant salaries are about to be jeopardized not to mention our own multi billion dollar business and of course. And if the National Felon League people can’t even stop committing assaults and beating their girlfriends in public, it’s going to be fascinating showdown. So what’s your observations from the Pacific Northwest?
Forrest: Well, it’s been very interesting. While I’ve been convalescing from the flu and you’ve been dodging the flames down in Napa, I’ve been watching this tremendous bonfire of the vanities taking place both in Hollywood and the NFL. And honestly, a year or two ago, I would never have predicted what has actually taken place with the situation in NFL and the whole take a knee thing has just dramatically backfired on everybody involved. Up until recently, as far as the National Felon League is concerned, pretty much any kind of misbehavior by its mercenary players has been tolerated in the name of money. And America seems to have been content to watch Monday Night Football and just go along with that, no matter what. This is maybe leading the NFL owners to think that football and murder and rape are just great taste that taste great together.
Chang: And that’s definitely, the scales are falling from our eyes from there. And thank goodness I think, there is a certain kind of stupor, I thought it was interesting kind of watching that. As an outsider, I have never gotten to the American football culture but it seems like it’s secular church huge lot of Americans and somehow that’s been taken away. And I think it does seem to dovetail back into the kind of administration we have, the politics has kind of seeped over everything else in terms of the culture war.
Forrest: The culture war and the politics of it bleeding into a great American national pastime, football, I think it’s the cracks of what’s happening. I’m actually a huge football fan, but I am a college football fan and have been for many, many years. I abandoned the NFL a long, long time ago mainly because it got boring, really boring and then secondary because of all the shenanigans going on within the NFL both on the ownership side and the player side, the meta level of it became overwhelming to the game and this is not interesting anymore. And I think there are a lot of people like me who had been on the fence or just walked away from professional football years ago. But I have very fond memories of professional football, the very first professional sports event I ever attended back when I was a kid in Chicago, my grandfather got tickets to Bears, Green Bay Packers game and that was a big deal. We went to that game, me and my granddad and I had no idea what was going on. I was maybe I don’t know eight or nine years old something like that.
And just the whole atmosphere, the stadium was packed, the weather was miserable, it was dumping snow like it does. But just the camaraderie and the energy of the place was amazing and I’ve always just really loved football ever since. And watching what’s been happening over the years with the NFL just becomes more and more about corporate extraction of income and the way the players have behaved and all this, it’s just been disgusting. So I walked away from that a long time ago. But there are a lot of people who have stayed very active fence. Here in Seattle, you wouldn’t think Seattle would be a huge football town but there is tremendous loyalty here.
Chang: For the Sea Hawks, right?
Forrest: For the Sea Hawks, yeah. It’s a big deal, there are 12 flags flying everywhere and Sea Hawk stuff everywhere when game days are a big deal. You wouldn’t necessarily expect it from left coast liberal town like it. But it’s really a major thing. This whole take a knee business I think has really woken up a lot of normal Americans to how far the rot of this political nonsense into everything in our culture. And football for a lot of people has been a refuge from that. It’s just about the game, it’s not about politics, it’s not about the things that divide us on a more fundamental values associated level, it’s just about getting out on the field and watching the game and having a great time. Honestly, there is a substantial level of bread and circuses element to it, there is no question about that. What happens when all the negative stuff that’s going on out in our society bleeds over into the bread and the circuses? It starts waking people up.
Chang: If the powers maybe were smart, they would have left it alone but they can’t help themselves. I’ve heard the comparison that this whole NFL business is like a larger version of Gamer Gate with a much, much, much larger audience. Leftists can’t help but come it and fiddle-faddle with an existing franchise of, “Oh, there is a bunch of people having fun, we got to go tell them how to live.”
Forrest: I personally don’t know very much about Gamergate, I didn’t follow it when it was happening. But definitely, I think one thing that happened here really illustrates how the game has changed. And I’m not talking about football the game, I’m talking about the culture war, I’m talking about what’s happening in our society right now. This NFL thing is a clear illustration of how the game has changed because up until recently, the NFL was getting away with pretty much anything it wanted to. They have not only for decades had legal exemptions to federal anti-trust law and all kinds of beneficial tax treatment.
Chang: It’s a nonprofit.
Forrest: Massive public subsidies and things like arena of stadiums, all of this kind of stuff. But then what’s been happening with their media contracts and the way the presentation of football ink the media has been progressing pushing very, very much more left wing in a political context. We’re seeing this big push for diversity in football and all these other things going on, and at the college title nine. All these various things happening, the deeper features in our political society bending over into the sport world, entertain world. Up until recently, they had the upper hand and they could do kind of whatever they wanted to and push whatever they wanted. And there was really nothing that fans who might be uncomfortable with that or object to it felt that they could do about it. With the populist uprising that put Donald Trump in the White House, people have realized you know what, our voice matter. If we speak up and we band together and we make our displeasure known and we act against this stuff, we can effect change.
And it’s really interesting to see that same dynamic come into play with this take a knee NFL business. It started with Colin Kaepernick more than a year ago, when he started the whole take a knee thing. He was cut not too long after that and has not played in the NFL since. In fact, current rumor is that he’s actively pursuing filling a lawsuit against the NFL for corrosion against him, which has become even more … I don’t follow a lot of the details of NFL these days. Like I said, I’ve been checked out of it for a while. I think the starting quarter back for Green Bay was injured recently, Green Bay needs a starting quarterback, well Kaepernick is the only experienced starting quarter back available and Green Bay is not making any move whatsoever to approach Kaepernick. They would be committing ritual suicide if they did that, they have to know that.
Chang: Very rural fans that don’t appreciate being lectured to by a millionaire. And now, the very fact we’ve been kind joking when we refer to it as the National Felon League, it’s not … What was the percentage, a double digit percentage of people in NFL, the most privileged and wealthy, every single advantage and yet just can’t help but get involved in fist fights and being caught with loads of drugs, assault, it’s remarkable.
Forrest: It’s ridiculous. And their misbehavior is legendary. I mean, you got a bunch of entitled privilege millionaires running around behaving like thugs. I mean, there is no other way to describe it, rape, assault.
Chang: Well, there is. . . there are more politically correct terms, but let’s stick with thugs.
Forrest: It is unbelievable and they’ve been doing it for a long time.
Chang: That’s right, it’s not a new thing.
Forrest: And NFL and NFL owners seem to be willing to tolerate virtually anything from these people and yet they are feeling oppressed and discriminated against and need to take a knee and protest. Just the hypocrisy of that unbelievable. But even more interesting I think is the optics of how this came about, so Kaepernick takes a knee at the national anthem, he says he’s protesting discrimination and violence against blacks and whatever his protests against. But your basic American is not watching a football game and seeing him take a knee in protest at the national anthem and listening to anything about the substance of what he’s saying he’s protesting. What they’re seeing is he is protesting America. That’s the visual message that’s coming across on the screen. And regardless of the content of what he’s actually saying he’s protesting, what he’s doing is protesting America. And he’s at the same time equating America and the symbols of the United States of America, the flag and the national anthem with white oppression, white racism.
So he’s saying we are anti-racist, we are anti-America and he’s equating those two things, it’s a carousel blunder from a public relations standpoint.
Chang: It’s very, very bad optics, which is why it was interesting to see to Trump artfully inject himself into those conversations in such a way that if he’s forcing everyone to take a side, choose to kneel for the anthem or choose America. So he caught this flame and he run with it and then everyone played right into his hands. It’s really remarkable how predictable people are in reacting to the ones to hate him. He was just [inaudible 00:16:39] whatever he says, don’t do this or just double down on it. Don’t burn the flag, “Oh, screw you, we’ll just burn 20 flags.”
Forrest: Absolutely. President Trump has just perfect instincts on this kind of thing. He saw this and he recognized those optics for what they were and he immediately stepped in and crystallized the situation as he so often does with a tweet. It’s just absolutely brilliant and crystallized really is the right word. It’s like dropping a seed crystal into a super saturated solution . . .
Chang: I remember that when I was in seventh . . . I’m just going to say, I remember this thing when I was seventh grade. Everything just . . .
Forrest: And this massive catalytic reaction happens around that see crystal and all a sudden there is almost instantaneous realignment. I know, it’s really interesting because Trump has been doing this over and over and over again. You would think that . . .
Chang: His enemies would catch on.
Forrest: . . . the opposition would have learned by now. But of course they haven’t because they can’t. What happened in this case I think is really interesting illustration of how much that dynamic has shifted. In physiology, there is this principle what they called learned helplessness effect.
Chang: Yes, Martin Seligman.
Forrest: So they would do these experiments with rats and they would confine rats and they would do all this bad stuff to them. And mat first, the rats would fight but after a certain period of time of being mistreated in this experiment, some of it is-
Chang: Pretty cruel and pretty horrific—
Forrest: It’s really kind of cruel, but the rats actually sort of surrender and they stopped fighting and they developed a whole new set of behaviors, things that actually look a lot like depression, low energy, they became very passive. And there is a whole spectrum of psychological effects with this that they called learned helplessness. And you can see the same thing in human behavior. And I think for a long time the general population of American has been in a condition of learned helplessness. We have been shit on so much for so many decades by the establishment of power structures in so many different ways that this sort of attitude passivity had set it where people weren’t saying anything about this stuff.
And another thing that they discovered with these experiments of learned helplessness is that like with the rats, after they had trained these rats into learning helplessness, if they brought another rat in who was not in that condition, and the helpless rats saw the new rats resist.
Chang: It gives them new fight.
Forrest: It broke the spell, it changed their behavior and they started to resist too. They had an example that they could follow, oh resistance is still possible, it could be effective and they started resisting again.
I think there is a major element of that here in play in America of Donald Trump who I still will always call the last free man in America, stood up in 2015 and started resisting and did it in an extremely unapologetic way and it broke the spell, the learned helplessness that had settled over America over 40 or 50 years started to evaporate. And I think if you look at what happened with the NFL situation and Donald Trump tweeting about taking a knee, being anti-American, which realistically, it is at least in terms of how they were doing it, it broke the spell. And all of a sudden, this huge segment of the NFL fan base rose up and they started to resist. They changed the channel, they turned off the TV.
Chang: They burned their jerseys
Forrest: They cut the cord on their cable subscription. It was amazing. Within a one week period, NFL ratings were down a third.
Chang: I didn’t know, a third.
Forrest: It’s shocking, it’s totally unprecedented and then the following week it was another 15 percent. And we just heard the news last week CBS having a downgrade on their credit rating and their stock going into free fall because their profits are down so much just in the wake of this NFL thing. So much of their profit was coming from their broadcast of NFL and people just abandoning it wholesale, it had an immediate and massive effect on them. And so, the entertainment complex associated with professional sports has gone into a complete panic mode.
Chang: Please, please, please, don’t run away, it’s like, “Wow, you let that genie out of the bag.”
Forrest: Panic doesn’t really even do justice to what they’re feeling right now. They’re experiencing existential terror, this is something that is completely new to them and the NFL itself is experiencing very much the same thing. They are all of a sudden in very deep trouble, they’re in major damage control mode. Roger Goodell, head of the NFL is massively back peddling on the whole support of the “take a knee” thing, they’re talking about implementing a new rule to require standing for the National Anthem. It’s all too little too late, it’s all just damage control. And the end result has been a total victory against this previously unassailable bastion of establishment power, entertainment media complex total, total victor. And it’s amazing, it’s absolutely amazing.
Chang: And each step of the way, what’s fascinating is watching . . . And this is the thing, I think it’s almost I feel a little bit self conscious discussing tactics but then I realize the Left, they never learn. And so you can openly talk about, he’s going to run this game on you and he’s going to dismantle this thing and they’ll not listen to it, they’ll assume their opponent is some buffoon that just happened to luck his way into the White House, just luck his way into tweeting the correct things and then causing his enemies to self-destruct, it’s like a verbal version of drunken boxing.
Forrest: I don’t think it’s just the Left. I think it’s the entire power establishment in the United States. But the Left are, at the moment, the primary avatars of that because they have been at the leading edge of establishment power politics for a very long time. But they were all playing still out of the 1968 rule book. Well, you know what? It’s 2017 now, it’s the current year. And the game has—
Chang: Game done changed, as they said in “The Wire,” game done changed. And speaking of, I think the other thing that has been gobbling up all of my Twitter feeds is the whole Weinstein thing, Harvey Weinstein who was—
Chang: The casting couch is well known. And this is also interesting to me is that a man of that level of power who is obviously protected from on high by the prince of darkness and suddenly and with great ferocity was cast out. There are a couple of competing things, my view is he must have pissed off somebody in the organization or is it just simply a natural outgrowth of the power structure being unable to please their own, there is turf wars that are spilling out in the open. What do you think is going on? And look at the deep level of connection he has with the Clintons and all the other gigantic power players. There is a great photo of Harvey Weinstein, Huma Abedin and Hillary Clinton and the thing was like it was like a sexual predator surrounded to women married to sexual predators, it was like a great caption. What’s going on?
Forrest: Coming off the whole NFL debacle and going right into the Harvey-wood fiasco, it’s very interesting. And I think this business of Weinstein has the potential to blow up into a nuclear bonfire of the vanities. I have to be careful when I talk about this subject because I personally have been secondarily connected to the movie business for more than 20 years. So I have to be a little careful about talking about some of these things, lest I give away a little too much about me personally or put some people who are professional and personal associates of mine in a difficult position. So I have to tread carefully around this. And that I think is part of the cracks here as well—anybody who is even tangentially connected to the movie business faces this problem. Hollywood, the whole entertainment media complex associated with the movie business and television and all of this is massively powerful and is a gigantic cash cow. It is throughout, thoroughly populated at the highest levels with the most degenerate, perverted assholes in the whole world. I say that absolutely unequivocally, categorically—
Chang: Don’t hold back.
Forrest: I have met a whole bunch of these people, they are awful, awful, awful people and there is absolutely no question about that. This is also one of the worst kept secrets in the whole world. Everybody knows it, everybody who has anything to do with them knows all about it. You can’t help it because they’re totally open about it.
Chang: What’s fascinating is watching these disavowals of movies stars, “Oh, I had not idea.” They were probably better off just staying silent and saying nothing about it than to make these incredibly transparent, fake disavowals like, “Oh, I just took his money for all these years and I have all these photos of me budding up.” I had to sound like, no.
Forrest: That’s right. And for many years in my main line of business, I have worked closely with some very wealthy people, not Hollywood people but other very wealthy, very powerful people. And there is something that I want our listeners to really understand about what it’s like to deal with people who have that kind of power and wealth. When you enter into business relationship with them or try to do deals with them, you can protect yourself to a certain extent with things like contracts, the law can shield you a little bit. But, the fact is, they have the kind of the wealth where regardless of what any contract might say or whether you might be in the right and they in the wrong, they can ruin you, absolutely ruin you with vindictive lawsuits and campaigns of reputation destruction and all of these things. Have your eyes open about that. When we’re dealing with the people who are the movers and shakers in just a tremendously powerful industry like Hollywood, there is lots and lots of money. And because they have the control of the means of mass communication, enormous power as well.
You have to be extremely careful when dealing with these power because in many ways their power puts them above the law. They are literally privileged that [inaudible 00:30:08] privileged private law. And we see that in the behavior of these Hollywood people all the time. And it goes back to the privileged of these NFL stars, there is so much money associated with the things that they do that they go out and they rape some groupie of whatever and they manage to avoid all consequences for it because the constellation of power and wealth forms around them to protect them, like a shied. And anybody who challenges that regardless of whether they be in the right would have to have so much power and wealth on their own to punch through it without being ruined, that you have to tread extremely carefully.
This goes back to that whole thing about Donald Trump being the last free man in America, nobody could have stood up and resisted and broken the spell of learned helplessness except a member of the power elite himself. A man who already had the kind of the wealth where the other wealthy powerful movers and shakers were afraid of him at the same level that we are afraid of them.
Chang: They can’t threaten him, “We’ll get you fired from your job.” “I own my own business, a multi-billion dollar business. Piss off.”
Forrest: You may be perfectly virtuous and a great person. If a billionaire decides to ruin you, you are going to be ruined. That’s just a fact, that’s how it works in modern America and it’s awful and it’s a shame but this is shock therapy, wake up. Well, Hollywood is the apex of that. Now, Weinstein is a particularly egregious example.
Chang: He looks the part from central casting of the creepy pervy. And I’ve been told I think two weeks ago most people don’t know about him. What’s fascinating is I’m watching, there are some highlight reals of people mat the Oscars thanking Harvey by name, the ones who loudly disavowed him, “Oh, my God, he is a horrible human being.” And then five years ago at some acceptance speech, “Oh, thank you Harvey so much. I couldn’t have done it without you.” It’s fascinating watching this and he’s just a tip of a very large and ugly iceberg and that’s going to shatter in combination with Hollywood’s reigning power with internet, with digital entertainment being as far more accessible and sidestep in the gatekeepers, people are rebelling. Looking at the Hollywood tickets, the blockbusters are no longer as reliable, the bankable stars, the studios, all of those things, which is a source of their power.
Forrest: Yeah. That’s what we’re seeing all across the spectrum with the power elites, as the power equation is changed throughout our entire society, new technologies and shift in public entertainment consumption patterns have happened, the power of centralized media has weakened tremendously. We’re seeing that in the news media with the internet first taking away the newspapers classifies ad revenues and then what’s been happening with centralized news channels and all of that. Well, the same thing has been happening in Hollywood, the online streaming media. This has been much more advanced in the music business than it is now in the movie business. But the same dynamic is happening, online sharing of music and online streaming channels have completely changed the music business and the old centralized music distribution models are all nuked, they’re all smoking craters. And the music business is radially transforming. The same thing is happening, lagging a little bit in the business.
And this year in particular has been historically horrible for the movie studious, all of their big tentpole movies are failing with only a couple of notable exemptions—“Wonder Woman” managed to outperform. But all of the other movies are just doing phenomenally badly in the U.S. theater market. And the movie studios are reeling in the wake of that and the whole situation has changed. There are a number of other things, again I have to be kind of careful how much I go in details.
Chang: That’s OK. Well, the goal is to stay safe.
Forrest: I’m very closely associated with some people who have been involved in the business for 10, 20 years now.
It’s also I think important to see that the beginning of the shift in the overall power dynamic in the United States and in the entertainment business. You really have to look at the financial downturn 2008 as a major turning point for all of this. In the movie business in particular—most people may not be aware of this, but the movie business is kind of an ideal . . . what’s the best way for me to put this . . . money laundering scheme. It’s a great way to take a huge amount of cash, which maybe from . . .
Chang: Illicit sources.
Forrest: . . . Not entirely clean sources, and run it through a completely opaque accounting system and have it come out fresh and clean and sparkling. And a lot of money going into Hollywood for the past several decades has been coming from some fairly iffy sources. Most people may not be aware of this also, but the Hollywood movie studios and the way movies are done, they are not generally required to follow GAP, the general accounting practices. There are accounting rules that normal businesses have to follow, and then there is movie accounting.
Chang: It’s an ongoing joke, but it’s real like this [inaudible 00:36:46] on paperless money kind of a thing.
Forrest: It’s opaque, it’s crazy magic and it’s and it’s an entire sub specialty of accounting and financial law to be honest. It’s crazy, it’s scammy and there is . . . I’m not going to go into details—
Chang: And it’s filled with dirty people that use it to bend into their will. So all of that I think—
Forrest: So in the odds—the previous decade, the hedge fund industry discovered Hollywood and they started pumping in enormous amounts of money into Hollywood.
Chang: I’m not paying attention to this.
Forrest: It was great way for them to take a whole bunch of stuff that they were doing, which was . . .
Forrest: Dubious provenance and run it through Hollywood’s books and have it coming out smelling fresh and clean. With the downturn, that cash cow dried up and Hollywood was no longer able to milk the hedge fund industry the way they had been. That really challenged them because they needed to find new sources of incomes and they’ve been struggling with that at the same time that they’re facing some significant market changes happening with a downturn in U.S. box office, the rise of online streaming and hop into other [inaudible 00:38:20]. And so, they’ve been trying to figure out how to deal with that. They obviously have not figured out how to deal with that.
Chang: Scrambling for survival.
Forrest: They’re probably 10 years behind the curve on what’s been going on in the music business and they haven’t learned any of the lessons that the music business has been learning the hard way. So they’re going to have to learn it the hard way.
But what happens is that with, their power is weakening and their wealth is shrinking. And when you have a power elite that is in a situation where the source of their power is weakening.
In our very first episode, I talked about some principles from Gaetano Mosca and his political analysis of ruling elites. When the interests of the elites start to diverge and the pool of resources and power that they depend on for their oligarchic relationship, the stability of that starts to fails they turn on each other and all the knives come out.
Chang: And here is why we were seeing this.
Forrest: And that’s what we’re seeing, we’re seeing cracks in the dam in Hollywood. Now, I would not be so quick to assume that Weinstein being cut off and that . . .
Forrest: . . . is the crack in the dam that’s going to cause the whole thing to burst. It would be great if that was the case. I don’t think America is ready for the flood tide sewage that that dam is holding back to come spilling out into the open. I really don’t believe America is ready to deal with that, it is horrifying on a level that most Americans instinctively real from.
Chang: Snippets of it, you see like Corey, what’s his face? The case who talked about . . .
Forrest: Corey Feldman.
Chang: Feldman, thank you.
Forrest: There is a whole level of pedophilia networks and things involved in Hollywood and that goes way beyond Hollywood, it extends well into the political establishment as well. America is not ready to take a hard look at that, and it’s a shame because that needs to be dealt with, that corruption must be cleansed. But we’re not ready to do it yet, and that’s a shame. But this whole thing maybe getting us closer to being ready to deal with it, which is good.
Chang: The mediocre to win can only move so much with each passing year. Honestly, as horrific as it is, I’m pleased with the pace at which we seem to be moving the Overton Window. You’re right, there is a certain amount of horrifying information that has to be . . . If you introduce it all at once, the brain just shuts down and then, “I want my football, I want my movies and I want my whatever.” And that’s what lulling Americans back to sleep, ordinarily. It’s just disturbing enough where people are starting to take notice but not so horrifying that people just immediately reflectively I’m just going to back to my little old corner. So we’re in the middle of a very, very dramatic change.
And so, yes, obviously from one perspective, I would love to see it all burn down immediately but also on a pragmatic level that’s not going to actually happen. And so this is next best thing is these leaks and then watching rats knife each other in the back, very, very satisfying. So this part I’m thoroughly enjoying.
Forrest: Back to the rats metaphorically, I do think that the tremendously positive thing to take from all this is that the spell of learned helplessness is broken, it’s not breaking it’s broken. And that is a tremendously positive development for the future of the United States. It’s amazing and that gives me tremendous hope even with the tremendous cynicism and despair with what’s happening. I look with a knowledgeable eye on the whole Hollywood thing, I see the game has change.
Chang: The game is changing in a lot of fascinating ways. We’ll wrap with—I’m just noticing the campaigns, the midterm elections, with some notable … I’ve never seen campaigns like this before. Paul Nehlen, who’s looking to challenge Paul Ryan’s state in Minneapolis . . . Wisconsin, excuse me.
Forrest: Nehlen is an interesting character. I don’t know that he actually has it in him to actually beat Ryan but—
Chang: But he’s giving a hell of a run for the money.
Forrest: He emblematic of a ground swell.
Chang: And Shiva Ayyadurai, the guy who is challenging Elizabeth Warren’s seat, he has a shit load. First of all, he styles himself as a real Indian combating a fake Indian, which is a great tag line. And then, I don’t know if you saw this on Twitter about a month a half ago, he has her official address on Amazon order a 23andMe kit to the Warren office.
Forrest: I saw that.
Chang: And said, “Hey, as a fellow Indian, I’d love to share our heritage,” blah, blah, blah. And then she returns it. So when he took the screenshot of the return receipt saying, “I paid Amazon extra to gift wrap it.” And literally a little cost to him to campaign because it was returned, whose credit card credited back. He got a gazillion retweets. Can you imagine anybody campaigns like this before 2016.
Forrest: Yeah. We live in interesting times my friend.
Chang: And so, I’m glad this is happening and it’s just tough. We are down on 40 minutes, this is one of longer episodes. We were going to do a short one and here we are blasting out.
Forrest: It’ll happen soon.
Chang: [inaudible 00:44:24] really short, we’ll just [inaudible 00:44:25]. Now, we’re 40 minutes in. We will have a longer more thoughtful analysis of the other happenings that are happening to news week. For this week for Shock Therapy, I’m Kai Chang.
Forrest: And I am Sherman Forest.
Chang: We’re ready to rock.