Who Hijacked Our Country

Saturday, November 25, 2006

“Pleased To Mr. Bush Is Make Asshole”

I just saw Borat. The movie finally made it up here to this remote corner of the Northwest. I’ll probably spend several days translating everything into Borat-speak.

Borat was a riot. I thought it might just be a rip-off of those Saturday Night Live skits about “Two Swinging Bachelors From Czechoslovakia” (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd). There’s some similarity but Borat goes much further. Dirty jokes, sick jokes, ethnic stereotypes and every other kind of stereotype — it has all the forbidden pleasures.

I think the soundtrack was authentic, based on music I’ve heard from Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The one thing I’ve known about Kazakhstan is that it’s huge (land area, not population). Several years ago I was looking at a globe and I couldn’t believe the size of it. It dwarfs all the other countries of Central Asia.

It’s the 9th largest country in the world (land area) and has a population density of fifteen people per square mile. (I just found that out from Wikipedia.)

Anyway, check out the movie (if you haven't already). It’s one gut-busting coffee-spewing laugh after another. The movie has generated complaints and even lawsuits; I don’t know enough about them to have an opinion. If the lawsuits are valid — fine.

But we all need to lighten up and find humor in the dark side. If you’re one of those twisted bastards who thinks sick jokes are funny, this movie is just what the doctor ordered.

Joe Bob says check it out.


Blogger Elizabeth said...

I have problems with your taste in films. Not only would I never see "Borat" because I don't believe in cheap humor derived from setting people up--but I'm also amazed you're so impressed by Quentin Tarantino. "Pulp Fiction" was one of the worst movies I ever saw. I didn't walk out only because I was with a relative who was enjoying it. It was juvenile humor combined with sexism combined with tasteless, pointless violence. "Kill Bill v. 1 and 2" were improvements because at least those films had a real story line with interesting characters. But there was the same exploitation...I'm surprised at you.

November 25, 2006 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Elizabeth: “I’m surprised at you.” Well — Surprise! First of all, what does Quentin Tarantino have to do with any of this? This post doesn’t mention him anywhere. I listed him in my Blogger Profile under favorite movies, but I disabled my Profile a month ago. (The only reason I did that was, I’ve started a second blog and I want to keep both of them separate.)

As far as Borat and tasteless movies go, well, you like what you like. I’m not entirely about abstract political analysis and national/world affairs; I also like tasteless jokes and sick humor. You’ll just have to take me as I am :) :)

About the movie itself, my final take was that Borat was making fun of prejudice and ignorance; and not ethnic groups or any other group. If you had seen the movie, I’d be happy to dissect certain scenes with you to indicate what I’m talking about. The movie isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I really thought it was a riot. Sorry if my taste doesn’t meet your high standards.

November 25, 2006 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

If Joe Bob says it's worth seeing, that speaks volumes. Joe Bob Briggs' book "Joe Bob Goes to the Drive-In" is a gut-buster, in my opinion. From the ads I have seen for "Borat", it is one of those for which I think "uh oh..." because I know it will be entirely politically incorrect and probably demeaning, disgusting, etc. ad nauseum... and that I will love it. A few of my other favorite films include "Cannibal: The Musical!" (a MUST-SEE), "Dumb and Dumber", and "Weekend at Bernie's". On the other hand, I also like some of the more classic lowbrow films, such as all those by Monty Python.

I don't know, Elizabeth, maybe it's just one of those goofy "guy" things.

I think some of the lawsuits have to do with some of the people being interviewed claiming they had been tricked into doing the interviews, not told they would be in a movie, things like that.

November 25, 2006 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yup, when Joe Bob says to check out a movie, it's the duty of every red-blooded patriotic American to go see it.

I never heard of "Cannibal: The Musical" but it sounds like a riot. I didn't like Dumb and Dumber, but I like most of Jim Carrey's other movies, plus his work on "In Living Color." And definitely a Thumbs Up for Monty Python and Fawlty Towers.

November 25, 2006 at 9:48 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

"Cannibal" is the first film from Trey Parker and Matt Stone of "South Park" notoriety. It is an actual musical. It is based on the life of Alfred Packer, a guy who led some miners into Colorado from Utah in the 1870's. They got lost, he ate the others. Trey Parker plays Alfred Packer. Matt Stone is amusing in this film, as is Dian Bachar. Check out the "Trapper Song", "Let's Build a Snowman" (parts one and two), and "Hang the Bastard, Hang Him High" (complete with choreography). The "Indians" scenes are great, as are the hilariously fakey gory scenes in the beginning of the picture. This is a lowbrow gem, not to be missed!

November 26, 2006 at 11:49 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: I like South Park a lot, but I haven't watched it much recently. But that movie sounds good; I'll have to check it out.

November 26, 2006 at 7:58 PM  
Blogger Jane Lake said...


Every few years someone gets away with being tasteless in the name of making fun of "prejudice and ignorance"

Kentucky Fried Movie, South Park, Jay and Silent Bob, and Cheech & Chong have certainly done their part for this cause.

Every child goes through the phase of laughing hysterically at mommy, mommy jokes, racial and ethnic jokes (dumb blonde, polish, etc), partially because they know it is wrong, cruel and frowned upon.

If you have ever been bullied, the subject of prejudice, or disabled, I think you would have a different slant on what this type of movie and humor truly promotes and who it is actually hurting.

November 27, 2006 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger frstlymil said...

Trey Parker and Matt Stone did a live action MUSICAL!?!?!? I'm so there.

I love a good satire, dark humor, sick jokes - but I do admit to cringing at the set-up of unexpecting people for laughs. Candid camera and many things British do that to me - so I'd probably watch Borat with my eyes covered. That said, I do applaud what he has accomplished.

Oh, and Elizabeth? Pulp Fiction was AWESOME. (And the bit Tarantino directs in "Sin City" is also pretty up there on the awesome scale.)

November 27, 2006 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jane: I think it mostly comes down to whether a person likes sick humor; and I confess to having that affliction. I like all the movies and performers you mentioned, plus Lampoon Magazine (I haven’t seen it for awhile), the Family Guy, etc. I’ve had my share of slights and misfortunes (like everybody) and I think they’re funny too. Some twisted part of the mind deals with life’s tragedies by laughing at them (at least that’s true for some people).

Frstlymil: I agree that it was sort of slippery the way Borat set those people up. But in order to be an extra in a movie you have to sign a contract (all of those people did). I’ve never been an extra in a movie but I assume that if I ever was, it would be like that proverbial box of chocolates — you don’t know what you’re gonna get.

I think Tarantino’s sort of lost it lately. I kept meaning to change the wording in my Blogger Profile to naming certain movies — I really liked Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs — instead of “anything by Tarantino.” He lost me at Dusk ‘Til Dawn (and all 97 sequels). And yes, Sin City was awesome.

November 27, 2006 at 4:00 PM  
Blogger MetaKate said...

I've not seen "Borat" movie but I've seen enough of the Ali G show to guess why people complain. get a life please - the whole point is to take the piss out of political correctness and expose people whose only goal is to say what they think people want to hear. my favourite sketch is when Ali G manages to get someone to say "Because of course, your black." take it as an education folks.

November 27, 2006 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Meta Kate: Very good point. At some point you have to throw away the PC-ness and just laugh if something’s funny. I’ve never seen the Ali G show. I’ve heard of it for a long time, but I didn’t even know he was the same person who played Borat (until recently). I’ll have to check it out.

November 27, 2006 at 8:18 PM  

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