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  #1  
Old 11-13-2006, 02:07 AM
cmac2012's Avatar
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Am I the only one who's not wild about Borat?

I haven't seen the flick yet, not sure I will but I've seen all the promos. He was on the Daily Show, did OK but then I saw him on Leno's show and jeez, the guy was an a$$ all in all. A bit over the top. Way raunchy. I've never seen Leno wince like that. There does seem to be some redeeming social value in the movie (IMHO) in the way it exposes some people's blatant and unknowing bigotry.

The guy is clearly not stupid and will be crying all the way to the bank regarding people like me not joining in with the cheering throng.

I'm not keen on "humor" that involves sneering and smirking at people we presume to be superior to. I'm probably pissing against the wind on this one. Borat is winning plenty of votes, the sort of which are cast with dollars at box offices. I just get squeamish about this highly pubilc "ugly American" stuff. Yeah, I know Cohen's British but the USA is sure embracing his dragging Kazahks and Slavics in general through the mud.

Of course, censoring such speech is even more problematic. Great debate on NPR recently on the topic: Weighing the Limits of Freedom of Expression. The specific question was summed up thusly: On Oct. 18, six journalists, professors and activists gathered to debate the proposition, "Freedom of expression must include the right to offend." One can hear the debate online. It was worth the price of admission, IMO.

Philip Gourevitch, Signe Wilkinson, and Christopher Hitchens argued in support of the motion, and Daisy Khan, David Cesarani, and Mari Matsuda argued against the motion.

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  #2  
Old 11-13-2006, 02:53 AM
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I dont think its funny because he makes fun of Kazakstan and Jews and Gypsies and black people ("chocolate faces"), I think it's funny because he made it big in this politically correct, fake BS world we live in and he says things no one else is willing to say, and shows how stupid and how strangely bigotted people can still be. It is refreshing that someone is not afraid to offend someone else. It may be sad, but that's what this culture has bred.

I mean come on, I witnessed a fellow classmate in my college English class get snapped at because he referred to a girl he didn't know as a "chick," to which one of those huge *****es, we all know the type, replied "'CHICK' ISN'T EXACTLY PC ANYMORE, HONEY!'" to which the fella replied, "...ok..." I could tell he was supressing a huge "I dont give a *****" crack.

And I'd find it funny if anyone who saw the film actually believed Kazakhs are actually as Borat portrays them.
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2006, 03:05 AM
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I was surprised that he focused on Khazakstan. He could have gone with a fictitious place like Elbonia as in the Dilbert cartoons or Vulgaria in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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  #4  
Old 11-13-2006, 03:13 AM
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I found it funny since a longtime friend lived in Uzbekistan at the embassy.

The movie delivery is perfect because people have no preconceptions of "Kazakh" people. He can delve himself into very very difficult situations and has the upper hand on the dialogue under the guise of being a foreigner. I think it's pretty creative.

My lab almost got the schtick (since we're on the Borat theme) but it got cut off after some investigation. I wonder what he had in mind!
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2006, 03:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ara T. View Post
I dont think its funny because he makes fun of Kazakstan and Jews and Gypsies and black people ("chocolate faces"), I think it's funny because he made it big in this politically correct, fake BS world we live in and he says things no one else is willing to say, and shows how stupid and how strangely bigotted people can still be. It is refreshing that someone is not afraid to offend someone else. It may be sad, but that's what this culture has bred.

I mean come on, I witnessed a fellow classmate in my college English class get snapped at because he referred to a girl he didn't know as a "chick," to which one of those huge *****es, we all know the type, replied "'CHICK' ISN'T EXACTLY PC ANYMORE, HONEY!'" to which the fella replied, "...ok..." I could tell he was supressing a huge "I dont give a *****" crack.

And I'd find it funny if anyone who saw the film actually believed Kazakhs are actually as Borat portrays them.
I'm not into pressuring people to be politically correct. 'Tsk, tsking' is obnoxious IMO.

OTOH, civility and mutual respect are good for uhhh... civilization.

OTOH, most all humor involves a bit of goring someone else's ox.

I dunno, I'm schizo about this stuff. Sometimes I think this kind of humor will eventually break down bogus barriers. And then I think it will just cement hostilities and divisions.
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  #6  
Old 11-13-2006, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sixto View Post
I was surprised that he focused on Khazakstan. He could have gone with a fictitious place like Elbonia as in the Dilbert cartoons or Vulgaria in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

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I was thinking a fictitious nation would have been better. I mean the Khazaks can be cretins from what I read. I'm sure plenty of them feel the same way about us.
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  #7  
Old 11-13-2006, 08:49 AM
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i know nothing about kazhaks.

but i suppose they are about like any people....just trying to make it through each day.

my son saw the movie and said he laughed a lot. i will see it when it is available at the dvd rental place.

the promos i have seen (only a few) dont impress that much.

making a lot of money by being outrageous brings us folks lke howard stern and that obnoxious judge guy...or gal.

i just prefer humor that never degrades. but hey, that is a lot harder to do.

tom w
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  #8  
Old 11-13-2006, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post

I'm not keen on "humor" that involves sneering and smirking at people we presume to be superior to. I'm probably pissing against the wind on this one. Borat is winning plenty of votes, the sort of which are cast with dollars at box offices. I just get squeamish about this highly pubilc "ugly American" stuff. Yeah, I know Cohen's British but the USA is sure embracing his dragging Kazahks and Slavics in general through the mud.
My sense is that Westerners (mainly the US) are targets of the satire, not the Kazahks (who aren't Slavs, btw). I think Cohen's point is that Westerners are so ignorant of the rest of the world, that we're prepared to believe just about anything about people we consider to be "inferior", all the while having our own simplicities and prejudices exposed for the world to see. A lot of these things apply to the west in general. I think he's chosen the US as his satirical target because, with the present world political climate, its just easier. And the US is a much bigger market for him to make money in, as well.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:57 AM
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I heard the movie is funny if you like that type of humor. I remember when Letterman would have some little old lady on who won whatever quilting or baking contest and it always appeared that he was getting laughs at their expense. It is unkind to make someone the butt of your joke and they don't know that they are being laughed at.

On the other hand I hear this guy is a Jew poking barbs at the Jews. Anything for a laugh.
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  #10  
Old 11-13-2006, 11:57 AM
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I thought it was hilarious at times, pretty lame others.

The "running of the jew" was pretty funny(he is jewish btw) among other parts.

VERY low budget film, I would imagine the producers are making a killing on this one.....
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Old 11-13-2006, 01:29 PM
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I haven't seen it yet and will wait for the DVD release but I do like Cohen and his characters. I'll reserve judgment until I actually see the film.
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  #12  
Old 11-13-2006, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlomon View Post
My sense is that Westerners (mainly the US) are targets of the satire, not the Kazahks (who aren't Slavs, btw). I think Cohen's point is that Westerners are so ignorant of the rest of the world, that we're prepared to believe just about anything about people we consider to be "inferior", all the while having our own simplicities and prejudices exposed for the world to see. A lot of these things apply to the west in general. I think he's chosen the US as his satirical target because, with the present world political climate, its just easier. And the US is a much bigger market for him to make money in, as well.
I think that's a good take. The Kazahks who take offense are not likely to get that but what can you do? I mention Slavs in the same breath because a lot of Cohen's style reminds me of Russian bashing humor and I understand the Russians like it even less than the Kazahks.

I was more impressed with the guy until I saw him on the tonight show with Leno. Way too much. Started looking like Howard Stern.

I have to give the guy high marks for pluck though.
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Last edited by cmac2012; 11-13-2006 at 03:02 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2006, 02:59 PM
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My Take on Ali G

I was surprised to see the numerous interviews with the likes of James Baker, Newt Gengrich, and other political figures. Opening oneself up to his politically satire would be borderline political russian roulette. Think about it, if the public surmises that the politician is on the spoof..then its all downhill from there.

Having said that, I must say that I have never laughed so damn hard in my life when I have watched him in his skits. I am going to hide under a rock and slip in and watch him at the movies and choke on my popcorn laughing as I often do when I watch him.

I am sure that others will find his work disgusting and unworthy of any time justification or money spent in taking a look see.
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Old 11-13-2006, 03:50 PM
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This all reminds me of :The Producers.



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Old 11-13-2006, 03:55 PM
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I'm not real excited about the movie. I'll catch it on DVD or something.

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