October 22, 2007
Why I hate Borat
Bland pop culture seems to be spread pretty thick at gringo cafes in South America, and among the muck of Red Hot Chili Peppers or Bob Marly that constantly seems to be violently asailing ones ears ( the true mantras of the wide eyed ,world traveller), the odd screening of pirated DVDs become a point of obvious attraction for those wearied by the road and in search of more gringo diversions.. ( from the actual country they are visiitng it can seem considering the number of these types of cafes or hostals and the frequency they are patronised). A popular movie in particular that travellers of all walks and countries seem to love and is perpetually on screen is Borat, and it is one movie in particular I loathe in contradiction it seems to popular opinion.
I remember working in England in a dreary grey winter of 99 and the pub hours were late but a particular ray of sunshine in my day was the finishing up in time for the Ali G show around 11. Ali G was a fantastic take on cynical comedic paraody and manged to get the best (or perhaps worst) out of people on their own accord. For the few uniniated, Ali G was a white jewish guy who dressed up like he was a black guy from the projects and had been given a youth focused program to help young people understand the issues of today. And the guests he interviewed went along with this tangential take on current affairs. They ignorantly took his stupidity, crassness and terrible ethnic stereotype for what was todays youth culture and became the joke themselves. It was funny because they so obviously couldnt see past this ridiculous parody and opened themselves up trying to bridge the gap of cross generations. IT was funny how ludicrulous out of touch politicians, PETA activists and academics were with "todays youth".
Then in the second season came Borat. And employing the same stratedgy, that of an alien host from a foreign culture, he managed to bring an even greater amount of horrifyingly honesty opinons and racism out of Englands gentry. Pretending to be Kazakstani and unaquanited with English customs he manged to get away with asking some horrifyingly funny questions and recieving even more disturbing answers. On one occasion he is talking to a participant on his horse about to partake in a fox hunt. WIthout a hint of sarcasm Borat tells the man how he likes to shoot animals because it makes him feel like he has "big balls". How it is fun to blow apart small animals. And the aristocratic hunter agrees, admitting quite confessionally how it makes him feel like a big man.
Once agin the joke was not on Borat, but on the interviewee who could not see through the thinly veiled bullshit or stereotype he presented. He exposed their racism and I took great delight in his episodical revelations of Englands willingness to accept what is presented to them.
TO me what made Borat genius was that he was not Borat. He was a white middle class jewish guy. Borat was a costume worn only for the interview to expose how pathetic it was that people could not see through his stereotype. Borat didnt exist outside of the interview. This is what disturbed me about the movie and made me hate it so.
No longer was Borat a jewish guy pretending to be a helplessly pathetic kazakstani, he was a full blown charcter with a back ground and life and took part in stupid skits without modern society on camera to witness. Suddenly he has a village, with a wife a (skanky ) girlfriend, prostitutes he visits and a poor backward village that become the butt of the jokes. He drinks out of the toilet . This in particular would be funny if it was to provoke shock from a person he was interviewing there in front of him who couldnt realise that everybody in the world has toilets and knows what they are for. Instead this is a cheap joke jabbing at how backwards Kazistanis are and done to appeal to college jock humour.
Putting Borat on screen with a story and background ruined the whole concept of Borat. the ignorance of the populace is no longer the joke but the character of Borat and his cheap pathetic costume which wears very thin when not involved in interviewing the so called powers that be. The whole idea of Borat as subversive has been turned into potty humoured drech. Its a great shame, because there was a time way back in my late teens when Borat made the sunine on the dreaiest of Winter days.
December 6, 2005
I crouch behind the out of place SUV and carefully lob a snowball over the road and right onto her clevage. She turns and curse me out but, shakes with that kind of face that one gives to a pathetic and badly behaved puppy dog. She can't stay angry for long. She turns smiling again. But I nail her again on her back and as she turns another sails through the air and hits her in the face.
And I run off gleefully slipping all over the place, laughing in between the scorse of people lauching themselves down the pavement and dodging the icey shrapnel of others.
November 11, 2005
Late night on a message board..
I'm a little scared by the unchecked racism and blantant ignorance of todays political and migrant situation world wide. So here is my coarse diatribe.
I'm fucking glad they happenned. This needed to happen. It's a big fucking wake up call to the rest of you fat bastards getting rich indirectly off exploiting migrants from countries western countries have laid economic waste too.
These people are dirt fucking poor, earn 20% of what the average French income is, are targeted for harassment by police and forced to live in third world poverty in a first world country. They live in slums. They do the shit work other people in France wouldnt. Thats what governments love about poor migrants. They are basically second class citizens.
You have no fucking idea how difficult a move to foreign country is for most families. You don't get welfare when you arrive. You can't speak the language. Most difficult is the fact you have left your culture behind as you knew it for good. Friends, family and a total way of life is something that doesn't exist anymore. If you're risking all that to go on living, the situation mustn't be very shit hot on your home turf. Ie. it's a fucking serious situation. And you know who is largely responsible for this fucked up spot of bother? Yes, it's your way of life. Your life style supported by your Western Country. I'm sorry if that sounds over the top, but it's true.
Immigrants are actually getting barely any welfare (They are not sucking western countries down the economic gurglier and your taxes with it). I believe they should be getting a WHOLE LOT MORE. We owe it to them. Do you have any idea how much more money you have than most people in the world? If you're reading this you're probably in the top 10%. You know why France is historically a wealthy country and continues to be now? It's because they dominate trade relations with many former arab colonys outsourcing some of the meanest, dirtiest and dangerous factory work to these countries and pay them fuck all. It's because they support corrupt reigmes and supply them with arms and terrorist training. Most colonial countries have been forced backward in the last 50 years with standards of living for their general populous steadily dropping. Countries like France don't want former Arab countries to stand on their own 2 feet because it means a loss of a helluva lot of benefits that are hangovers from the colonial period.
So fuck you all the people living high mighty on their moral "migrant riotors are raping our welfare" pedestal. You have no fucking concept of what the situation is and the position most immigrants from "third world nations" have to occupy.These people have more backbone than you. Don't you understand that violence happens from the poor when they are getting fucked in a very bad way? Sometimes people make me sick.
October 25, 2005
Being a big fan of Chomsky, I've seen my fair share of documentaries and expose's about manipulation of the media and selective reporting. It's something that I've come to associate with a leftist call to action and leftist political standpoint. However, having just watched a documentary pieced together as it turned out by the JBS, John Birch Society, it was interesting to note how hard done by ultra-conservatives can sometimes feel. I guess, this isn't an issue i expected to be raised by members of the opposite end of the political spectrum. It was also rather humerous to note obvious contradiction of distorting media to outline and proffer evidence of distorted media.
The JBS is an anit-communist organisation claiming selective media practices are focusing and distorting issues such as gun control and gobalisation. They are obessed with some freak notion where UN New World Order will crush American god-given freedoms and centralised governments will impose socialist restrictions on basic Christain rights. Have a google on the web and check em out if you don't know about them.. They're obessed with illuminati conspiracies.
October 11, 2005
Milhouse and Elvis. The State of American Decay
September 21, 2005
This scene is from an exhibition I visited a month or so ago of Yoshimoto Naro's work. It is actually his work station reconstructed in a log cabin. He composes cute little Otaku pieces that really struck me for their simplicity and unsual context. His work, like some of the Dali paintings I've seen, have been re-interpreted into statues or 3-D works. One piece was a huge Teacup fountain filled with otaku ghost heads crying. Their tears filling up the Teacup.