[Marxism] Finally, a reason to support Sacha Baron Cohen

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Nov 14 07:33:29 MST 2006


Kazakh Like Me
Borat reveals the painful politeness of American society.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, Nov. 13, 2006, at 11:51 AM ET

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat. Click image to expand.Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat
I knew this would happen. I pick up my copy of the New Statesman, London's 
leftist weekly, to find a review of Borat, bannered on the table of 
contents as "Sacha Baron Cohen's exposure of crass Americana" and on the 
review page itself with, "The Kazakh ace reporter uncovers uncomfortable 
truths about the US." The author, Ryan Gilbey, proceeds to say the following:

     A redneck rodeo crowd shows no compunction about cheering Borat's 
gung-ho speech about Iraq, clearly not realizing that what he actually said 
was: "We support your war of terror!" And it's shocking to witness the 
tacit acceptance with which Borat's ghoulish requests are greeted. Trying 
to find the ideal car for mowing down gypsies, or seeking the best gun for 
killing Jews, he encounters only compliance among America's salespeople.

Oh, come on. Among the "cultural learnings of America for make benefit 
glorious nation of Kazakhstan" is the discovery that Americans are almost 
pedantic in their hospitality and politesse. At a formal dinner in 
Birmingham, Ala., the guests discuss Borat while he's out of the 
room—filling a bag with ordure in order to bring it back to the table, as 
it happens—and agree what a nice young American he might make. And this is 
after he has called one guest a retard and grossly insulted the wife of 
another (and remember, it's "Americana" that is "crass"). The tony hostess 
even takes him and his bag of shit upstairs and demonstrates the uses not 
just of the water closet but also of the toilet paper. The arrival of a 
mountainous black hooker does admittedly put an end to the evening, but if 
a swarthy stranger had pulled any of the foregoing at a liberal dinner 
party in England, I wouldn't give much for his chances. "The violence that 
Borat encounters on the New York subway after trying to greet male 
strangers with kisses is frighteningly real," writes Gilbey, who either 
doesn't use the London Underground very much or else has a very low 
standard for mayhem.

full: http://www.slate.com/id/2153578/nav/tap2/

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