Borat

*Disclaimer: This post contains generalizations for the purpose of making an argument. I don’t think all persons living in the US (particularly the midwest) have the same opinions. After all, I am a liberal Texan.*

Just went to a blog that I semi-regularly read, Mighty Girl, and read a post she had about Borat. She basically disliked it, and I assumed a lot of people would. I don’t necessarily object to her opinion, because there are some parts in the movie where he, Borat, could be seen as being mean to others. But I don’t think it’s what defines the movie. There were also some comments from readers who thought that by watching and laughing at this movie, we were all part of the joke. Again, I don’t think that’s the point of the movie.

Here is my grand overview of the opinion I formed after watching this movie. I know you are all waiting with bated breath.

I don’t think Sacha Baron Cohen went into the making of this movie with any malice intended. I think he used (admittedly) easy targets for his jokes, but the reason these people are easy targets is because they have made themselves just that. The frat boys, the Secession Drive dwellers, the people at the rodeo who actually clapped when their President was called a warlord premiere, they are they type of people who, in my opinion, need to be laughed at. Mainly because their ideas are so archaic by today’s standards that they are out of step with the rest of the forward-thinking world. They don’t want to accept homosexuals, liberals, or those of a different race. I’m all for marching to your own drum and being true to yourself, but when your beliefs end up killing others, you might want to take a step back and wonder why everyone’s looking at you funny.

By laughing at this movie, I acknowledged sadly that these people represent the voting majority in our country. (Actually, we did just replace a lot of Republicans with Democrats…maybe the country saw this movie and finally realized how appalling we all look to others…) I don’t think that by laughing at this movie I’ve managed to include myself on the losing end of the joke. I feel that those who believe that’s the case are just trying to make those of us who enjoyed the movie feel bad or stupid for doing so. It won’t work. Mr. Cohen wasn’t making fun of me for thinking slavery should still be around, or believing that the Iraq war is what’s best for this country or this world. He wasn’t making fun of me because I don’t believe those things.

I’m tempted to say that this movie is getting too much attention for what it’s worth, but I know that’d be wrong. This movie needs to drum up all of this talking and love and hatred. By making this movie, Mr. Cohen has forced everyone to look at themselves and others with a more careful eye. And I think that’s exactly what this country needs, me included.

So in the end, I’ll always like this movie. It’s not a masterpiece, but it is more important than some would like to admit. It’s easy to write it off as rude, stupid humor, but you’re not giving it a fair shot if you do that.

And anyway, I’d be interested to see how many Borat haters watch reality TV every week. You can’t tell me that some of those programs don’t subject some people to ridicule.

If people have differing opinions and want to let me know about them, I’m all for ’em. After all, I’d be a hypocrite not to listen to them after this post.

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One Response

  1. I think it has to do with it being a comedy. What makes people laugh is so unpredictable and it is so easy to go from funny to cringeworthy. If he’d made the movie as a drama maybe things would be different and it would be taken more seriously.

    I haven’t seen the movie. But I’m with you on people needing to look at themselves. I think one of the major issues with the US is that people really don’t travel overseas that much. Less than half the population even owns a passport. Over where I live, we generally travel overseas somewhere by the time we are 25.

    I’m trying to visit as many of the NaBloPoMo blogs as I can and I thought I’d say hi, I liked your blog.. 🙂

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