Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I saw Borat the other night. It's very niiice.

Usually when I see a movie that's been hyped to all get-out I end up being disappointed. Conversely, when I see a film that's gotten little or no press, or bad press, and that film turns out to be good, it seems a lot better than maybe it really is. I loved the first new Gamera movie in 1995 way more than it deserved because my expectations were so low, for example. But, then again, I also liked Titanic a lot in spite of the way it had been promoted.

Borat isn't nearly as good as everyone seems to think. But, then again, nothing could ever be that good. I guess I don't really get why every God damned thing in this world has to be presented as if it's THE GREATEST THING ANYONE EVER CREATED IN ALL OF HISTORY!!!! Aren't we tired of that approach by now? I am, anyway.

But Borat is a funny movie. I like it because it's got a point, which is something sorely lacking in lots of comedy. I gotta hand it to Sasha Baron Cohen for putting himself in some really dangerous situations just to prove his point. I wouldn't go that far, I know. I mean, kissing random men on a New York subway and singing an anti-American version of the national anthem at a Southern rodeo. That takes some 'nads.

Cohen's point seems to be that, when you get Americans to let their guard down, they say some really assinine things. I'm sure you've heard about the guys who are trying to sue him for putting their asshole comments in the film under false pretenses. They say Borat got them drunk and they said all kinds of things they never would have said if they weren't plastered. Hey, guys, here's a simple solution: DON'T DRINK SO FUCKING MUCH! How about that? Or, if you do, DON'T SAY STUPID SHIT. I have no sympathy.

A lot of Khazakstani people are up in arms over Cohen's portrayal of their country. I can understand that. On the other hand, one of the many ex-drummers for my band Dimentia 13 was from Eastern Europe, and, just like Borat, one of his hobbies was taking pictures of ladies while they made toilet. So there ya go... At any rate, as much as it makes fun of Khazakstan, it makes more fun of how easily so many people fall for this completely ridiculous character. No matter how far he pushes it, no matter how over-the-top he plays it, so many of them keep right on believing.

Watching in in So Cal, you really get a feel for just how highly folks out here think of themselves. The people next to me were making all kinds of self-righteous comments to the people on screen. As if they'd never be that gullible. As if their attitudes are so much more progressive and Correct. Uh-huh.

So, in conclusion, don't get drunk and be stupid and don't fall for fake foreign commentators making documentaries.


A Strange Day said...

A bunch of psychologists did a study once where they had a bunch of people get together(I think it was in like a fake bar) and served some people alcoholic drinks and some people non alcoholic drinks. The only catch was that some of the people that thought they were drinking alcohol actually weren't at all and some of the people that didn't think they were drinking alcohol actually were. Then they observed the people's behavior. And wouldn't you know it, the people who thought they were drinking acted way more "drunk", so to speak, than the people who were actually drinking but didn't know it.

So what's my point? Getting drunk just justifies behavior that people already want to engage in, but feel too ashamed to for whatever reason. Those people didn't just say those things because they were drunk...they said them because they were given the excuse to say them by the alcohol. Plain and simple.

Lone Wolf said...

LOL I'll keep that advice in mind (or at least till I sit Zazen).

Anonymous said...

"Alcohol - the cause of and solution to all our problems."

Homer J. Simpson

brad said...

The natives of Kazakhstan "up in arms" over the way they were portrayed is not the problem with the film. The problem with this film was the blatant exploitation of a poor Romanian village by Cohen (who paid the people of the village up to $3.50 to make utter imbeciles of themselves while tricking them into thinking it was a documentary).

Read this article:
Mocked by Borat, villagers say they'll sue

BlueWolfNine said...

om rama rama oooommm, oh wait a minute, i'm drink right now. shit... ooooommmm ramarama oooooommmmmmm

oxeye said...

I do not think it is possible for one person to make an inbecile out of another person. People usually do a pretty good job of this for themselves.

Tourist dollars are pouring into Kazakhstan and Sacha Baron Cohen has encouraged Westerners to travel to the central Asian state, where, he boasted, human rights have improved: "Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to 8 years old."

Chica said...

Once when I was younger adn my tia was visiting from Peru to US, she got so exasperated and snapped at an adverisement billing soemthing as "the best in the world"

She told me I better not grow into some stupid american who thinks everything about themsleves is the best. I always remmeber that.

Esmerelda said...

Probably the most dangerous thing about the movie is how many people are going to try and sue to make money off him. He is an amazing guy and very smart I hope he has good lawyers.

Stuart said...

> The problem with this film was
> the blatant exploitation of a
> poor Romanian village by Cohen
> (who paid the people of the
> village up to $3.50 to make
> utter imbeciles of themselves
> while tricking them into
> thinking it was a documentary).

Why in the world does it have any relevance that the villagers were paid $3.50? My guess is that you're thinking, "I myself would never work for $3.50, and since my perspective is the One And Only Truth, it's wrong for anyone else to work for $3.50."

When you go job seeking for yourself, decide for yourself what salary you'll accept. And let those poor Romanians do the same.

If giving the villagers $3.50 is exploitation, it's infinitely worse to give them $0. What hypocrisy for someone who gave the villagers nothing to complain of "blatant exploitation."


Jinzang said...

I'm not sure I want to see a movie where a bunch of people are shown up as fools. In my case it comes uncomfortably close to real life.

Matt said...

well, damn

oxeye said...

that was very funny jinzang.. very similar to cohen's humour. so why would you be opposed to seeing borat if you are already thinking the same thing?

Bob J. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob J. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bob J. said...

As much as this movie doesn't appeal to me anyway, I probably won't see it, so I can't judge it. I do look cynically at all these people trying to cash in; here's another one. Is someone behind all the movie promoting these idiotic lawsuits to promote the movie? Is that "real" advertising?

Anonymous said...

stuart you are a total asshole of you can't see what's wrong with doing that to those romanians

Anonymous said...

I saw Borat. There were places where I laughed very hard. But many where I did not. Failed to understand why it's funny to bait other people - just don't get it.

tortoise said...

nice blog

Anonymous said...

As a finn with longish relation with alcohol, I will say that there are no excuses beforehands, nor afterwards, however, when you're drunk, you are
mostly unable to seek shelter.


Andrew said...

Borat was very niiiiice indeed. Naked men wrestling-vomitting=comedy gold.

Johan said...