Sunday, August 14, 2011

Favorite Intolerant Idiot?

I saw Borat in theaters with my partner in crime in South Carolina as USC grad students when it was first released. We had an additional connection in that our good friend had just adopted a tiny blonde girl from Kazakhstan. I'm pretty sure we both also had (and still do) a major crush on Sacha Baron Cohen.

Surprisingly, Borat holds up to a second viewing. I was worried that the "oh my god did he just say that" and the "gotcha" aspects would be diluted. But, no. I found myself laughing and then immediately cringing and hiding my face behind my hands because really? Someone said that? ON CAMERA?

The DVD, of course, offers extras in the form of deleted scenes. Most are only ok and it's pretty obvious why they were "censored by the Kazakh government" but this one grocery store scene killed me (the audio is SUPER quiet so turn up all volume controls and still listen closely):

This video is cut a tad short--Borat goes through the butter and starts in on the milk before the DVD extra is stopped. I love the patience of the grocery store guy (apparently in South Carolina) but I also love just being able to see SBC trying his damnedest to rattle this guy.

Anyway, see it before you die? Definitely. It's hilarious and a terribly honest look in some cases at the attitudes of Americans. While we have the horribly intolerant we also have the sweet grocery store guy and the wonderful kids in Atlanta who are more than happy to share their culture with some random dude who walks up in the dark. Unfortunately, if you get the idea that maybe we shouldn't be intolerant of other countries (or have absurd ideas about other countries' cultures) because we, too, have our bizarro intolerant idiots, you're probably already way ahead of a black prostitute being the call-the-sheriff last straw.

What says the book? More or less the same thing (I did actually read the entry after typing the above, pinky swear): "Watching our bumpkin wander into the wide world and discover he's a rube and philosopher, the brunt of his adventures actually falls on his interview subjects who presume their superiority, thereby exposing themselves as hate-mongers and fools."

1 comment:

  1. HAHAHAHAHA!! Thank you so much for posting that! I love SBC trying to come up with different ways of asking "and whatisa the-yis?" I want an entire second movie of him and that dude identifying everything in the store. Genius.

    I cringed a lot more this viewing too, I guess remembering what was coming. Particularly at that dinner party with the "retired" guy.