Yesterday I took an “extended lunch” and went to see the new movie “Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”. I don’t even know where to begin….
Funny is an understatement.
Genius is one word I comfortably would use to describe this movie. We all have been in that situation where a thought pops into our head that we know is funny but we also know really is inappropriate to voice. It is either “politically incorrect” (a term I despise), or too crude or even possibly would reveal too much of our true inner self. But you know it is funny.
There are no limits to what he will say or do to evoke a laugh. No person, subject, race, culture, handicap…sorry, disability (or is it challenge) that he will not degrade or make fun of. And it is all in the name of FUNNY. No harm intended unless you cramp up from laughing too hard.
We know that Jews aren’t really money grubbing devils as Borat suggests. We know that marrying a 12 year old girl is not right. We also know that slavery is wrong. But god isn’t it funny as hell to see someone make fun of people who don’t know these things are wrong?
Yes, it is also scary as hell to know that there are people out there who still don’t know these things are wrong and Borat exposes many of them in the movie.
I think humor is the great cultural divide in America. We have those in this country who just can’t take and appreciate a joke for being just that. A joke. They are too uptight about what other people will think of them if they laugh or worse, what people do think of them.
When you begin to not understand the difference between satire and real life is when you begin to become truly prejudice. You lose sight or you don’t have the ability to understand that we are all the same and we all have our faults and frailties regardless of our race, color or religion. You no longer can separate stereotypes from what you believe and know. This is also when you make bad judgements as to what is funny and what is not and when something is funny and when something is not.
I would not take a small child to see Borat because they are not mature enough to understand the difference between stereotypes and reality. Unfortunately, there are adults I wouldn’t want to see Borat either for the same reasons. The coach who used Ocho to call a defensive formation is one. He probably thought it was funny, and in some settings it actually might be, but not the way he did it.
So, lighten up and go see Borat in the theater this weekend. Leave that stick you have shoved up your butt at home, relax and laugh for humor sake and nothing else. Don’t over analyze and don’t be overly critical. It is funny and you know it.