who is america

'Who Is America?' A Thought-Provoking Question And Incredibly Satirical Show

Who is America? A question we may think we know the answer to and a TV show we didn't know we needed.

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Lately, it feels like every show and every movie, nearly every word spread on social media, is aimed at the current political state of America. We are assaulted with those shows, movies, posts, etc., whether they be positive or negative, on a daily basis, possibly even hourly. It's not a stretch to say that as a nation it seems we have become desensitized to awful news and thoughts and opinions; so, it is no surprise when we view those harshly political shows, movies, social media posts we are unfazed. Yet, one new TV show with the same underlying theme of political mocking sticks out among the rest: Sacha Baron Cohen's new Showtime series "Who is America?"

Much like Cohen's previous work of "Borat" and "Bruno", this series revolves around Cohen dressing up as a different character, or in this case characters, and interacting with real, everyday people who are not in on the "bit." If the blaring, fast-paced flashing image beginning sequence doesn't immediately draw you in then Cohen's cohort of five incredibly different, yet all insanely funny characters will most definitely do the trick. Each of Cohen's six characters seems to embody a distinct stereotypical, dramatized (we hope) archetype of people and fads in America today.

One of his characters is Dr. Nira Cain-N'Degeocello, an extremely liberal gender-studies professor at Reed College, who wishes to "heal the divide" between conservatives and liberals in America by cycling across the nation and talking to different people including Trump supporters, senators, local politicians, gangster rappers, and many others. If you think this situation sounds like everything could go wrong, you are extremely right. In a way that seems like only Cohen can do, he perfectly mocks the extreme liberalism of some people in modern-day society while also calling out the immense wrongs that the intensely conservative stand for and promote.

One exchange shows Dr. Nina Cain-N'Degeocello trying to help an ailing community in rural Arizona, a community full of very conservative citizens. He proposes they build the biggest mosque outside of the Middle East. To say the least, the people in the town do not like the idea and the exchange that ensues is extremely humorous.

Another of the characters Colonel Erran Morad, a member of the Israeli military and an anti-terrorist expert who shows very off-beat technology and tactics to fight against such enemies as immigrants, terrorists, and pedophiles. In one skit Cohen's character Erran Morad interviews former Alabama G.O.P. candidate Roy Moore, where he shows him a new Israeli technology that is quite like a metal detector but instead of detecting metal it detects pedophiles. As Colonel Erran Morad goes to show Roy Moore how the device works the device starts beeping as it passes the Alabaman. Colonel Erran Morad shakes his head saying something must be wrong with the device and keeps passing it over Roy Moore, only for it to beep every time it is passed over. More beeping, more talking, more "confusion" on both parties parts follow.

It is daring risks like this that make Cohen stand out in his political satire because he's not mocking these people behind their back he's mocking them to their face while pretending he isn't in on the joke, which just makes every situation all the more humorous. Instead of hiding behind a screen or desk and typing or talking away, Cohen dresses up and embodies various characters and personalities found in American society today, while also going out to ridicule the people who are the complete opposite of the people he himself pretends to be.

More than anything it is without thought that this show is extremely funny, but after the belly-deep laughs fade real questions about the state of our country will stick in your mind. The show's title may be "Who is America?" but after binging the series you will wonder who you are in America.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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