Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Borat Gets Hammered

I never found Sacha Baron Cohen’s HBO series Da Ali G Show the least bit funny. Cohen's Ali G character was stupid, deeply unfunny and basically a rip-off of Andy Kaufman's old Latka Gravas character. The first time I saw an episode of Da Ali G Show, I wondered how such an unattractively untalented person ever got any airtime at all.

Just to show that past performance means nothing in Hollywood if you're lucky, the failure of Da Ali G Show didn't send Cohen into a well- deserved oblivion. Instead, he's back in the film Borat, a film which has received enthusiastic praise from at last two bloggers whose intellect and opinions I normally respect.

That's why I was delighted to read Armond White's review of Borat. I thought I was alone in my dislike for Cohen's unfunny shtick.

Sacha Baron Cohen, the British-born TV comedian introduced to U.S. audiences in the music video for Madonna’s 1998 single “Music,” is one of those showbiz embarrassments that tasteless people defend as “edgy.”

His film Borat—in which he plays a mustachioed TV reporter from an impoverished Eastern European Muslim country who comes to America to observe capitalist customs and differences—rises from the pits like sewer gas to pollute the movie landscape.

That’s why Borat, praised as “sharply pointed satire,” primarily consists of genital humor, scatological humor and jokes about deformity and mental retardation. This anti-American propaganda is stupid, but its praise (“the return of evil comedy”) starts to feel a bit seditious. The cult of polarization defends calumny only against Americans who think or feel differently from blue staters. Borat doesn’t dare degrade N.Y./L.A. media-centers or their social presumptions.

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