by Larry Stirling [writer] 12/14/06
Was it H.L. Mencken who said: "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American people"?
In the disgusting "R"-rated movie "Borat," iconoclastic Englishman Sacha Baron Cohen again proves Mencken irretrievably correct. Based on ticket sales and press lionizing, a huge number of people agree with a good friend of mine who claims this is the very ultimate in satire and I shouldn't be offended.
Stirling is a former California State Senator and Retired
Superior Court Judge [go to Stirling index]
Sorry pal, but the emperor has no clothes. The film is disgusting. Its grotesque anti-Semitism alone should exclude it from any approval.
Mr. Cohen creates the role of a supposed Kazakhistani reporter hired to complete a documentary on the United States to educate the people of his fictionalized home country. Self-hating Americans, continuously told how bad their nation is by the left, The New York Times and the college professoriate have made Mr. Cohen a very rich man.
Cohen is making millions by doing little more than the equivalent of loudly and intentionally passing gas during a symphony presentation and then sniggering aloud to make sure he gets credit for ruining something he could not possibly emulate.
"Borat" is purely and simply cinematic graffiti.
Mr. Cohen coarsened the world several notches for the sole benefit of his pocketbook. More disgustingly, he subjects entire groups of people to gratuitous ridicule and scorn they do not deserve. The largest case in point are the people of Kazakhstan themselves, who have their own proud history and, of course, their own feelings. He characterizes them as socially antediluvian. In addition, he calls directly for more violence against the world's Jews by urging people to kill a Jewish couple's "egg."
Mr. Cohen is not only an iconoclast, but also the lowest form of entertainer who substitutes shock value (schlock value) for talent. In order to get people to fall for being filmed, however, Mr. Cohen resorted to wholesale lying.
The first victim of Mr. Cohen's mendacity was a remote and impoverished Romanian village named Glod. According to an AP investigation, Mr. Cohen told village elders that film crew was doing a documentary on poverty, and by participating the village would receive publicity that would bring it help.
Instead, according to a lawsuit, the village of Glod filed against Mr. Cohen in a New York federal court, stating the film portrayed the good people of Glod as "rapists, abortionists, prostitutes, thieves, racists and bigots."
It certainly did.
By far, the most disgusting passage in the film was a supposed "Running of the Jews" -- a take-off on "The Running of the Bulls" in Pamplona, Spain. Only here, Mr. Cohen (who claims to be Jewish himself, making this all OK), depicts the people of Glod parading two very large paper-mâché heads bearing odious characterizations of Jews. The huge manikins are completely reminiscent of the work of Adolf Hitler's minister of lies and deceit Dr. Joseph Goebbels.
It doesn't stop there. Mr. Cohen's production has the "mother Jew" lay an egg. The film's narrator then demands the audience go out and smash the egg "before another Jew is hatched."
"Throw the Jew down the well so my country can be free," he says. "You must grab him by the horns. Then we can have a big party."
What is funny about that?
In a world where Jews are being continually maligned by world powers such as Iran with chants of "death to the Jews" along with "death to America," I would not be surprised if Mr. Cohen got some of his financing from the Middle East.
Other subjects of his film have also sued him. In one shtick, an earnest group of ladies are innocently attempting to teach him the dos and don'ts of mealtime etiquette in America at his request. After going to the bathroom, Mr. Cohen returns to victimize them with a bag full of "you can guess what," supposedly wondering what he is supposed to do with the contents.
Needless to say, the civilized ladies are appalled. Great fun? Only for Mr. Cohen and the boorish audience that wouldn't know a salad fork from a pitchfork.
Even Daniel Radosh, the publisher of New Yorker Magazine who doesn't mind poking a stick into anyone's eye (as long as he or she is Republican), took offense at Mr. Cohen's vulgarity.
"It turns out that almost nothing about Borat's Kazakhstan withstands scrutiny," loftily intones the penultimate liberal Radosh.
A scuzzy Cohen recently made the mistake of trying to victimize an actual New Yorker who happened to be waiting on a street minding his own business by saying in Borat character: "I love you clothings. Are nice! Please may I buying? I want to have sex with it."
Cohen's intended victim of humiliation punched him in the face.
I think he asked for it. CRO
2006 Larry Stirling