November 6, 2006

"Borat"

From my upcoming movie review in The American Conservative:


... Baron Cohen, who wrote his thesis at Cambridge on Jewish participation in the American civil rights movement, modeled Borat on an unintentionally funny Russian he had met. His character started out Moldovan and then became Albanian. There are plenty of scary Albanian gangsters in Western Europe who might have taken active offense, however, and Borat was relocated to far-off Kazakhstan in Central Asia.

In reality, Kazakhstan is an arid land of mostly Asian-looking people, but in Baron Cohen's imagination, it's a travesty of old stereotypes about Eastern Europe. The vulgar yet somehow innocent journalist's home was filmed 2500 miles away in an impoverished Romanian village so that Baron Cohen can indulge in traditional Ashkenazi anti-gentilism, the clever townsman's disdain for the slower-witted peasant.

"Borat" is a 21st Century version of the Polish jokes that Borscht Belt comedians like Henny Youngman once helped popularize. While Baron Cohen's Ali G was a milestone in contemporary social satire, the anti-Slavic depiction of Borat as the ultimate goyishe kop (he carries a chicken in his suitcase and has no idea what a toilet is for) is old-fashioned and purposeless.

Still, the film is awfully funny in its intentionally lowbrow way. ...

Fox's masterful hyping of "Borat" is in ironic contrast to how in September the studio drowned like an unwanted kitten the similarly crude and hilarious, but much smarter and more politically daring, "Idiocracy," the sci-fi black comedy about America's dysgenic future by the dazzling but diffident Mike Judge


My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

1 comment:

chaoscontrot said...

Hi! I'm a "Hispanic male" as well and I have to say that I'm more than a little surprised that half of my hispanic bretherin and even more black people do not qualify for military service due to their low IQ's. When I took the stest back in school I scored 138 the first time and 141 the second time, Now I know thats above average and they told me that and put me in AES and (everything which was a lot of help by the way.) And I personally have seen a lot of fellow minorities exhibiting behavior that would suggest a slight gap in intelligence but I assumed that was just due to differences in average household incomes and education opportunities. I never thought the gap was that wide especially since a lto of people with such low IQ's could make a better contribution to society in the armed forces than say, as a server at mcdonalds for the majority of their careers. I found your article enlightening so keep doing what you do!

PEACE! chaoscontrot