Saturday, November 11, 2006

sometimes I don't feel fresh; or, my musings post-Borat

It was more subtle than I thought it would be.

I'm surprised to find myself writing that about a movie in which a man presents a plastic sack of his own feces to the hostess of a dinner party he is attending.

Anyway, it seems to be getting pegged by a lot of people as gross-out satire, but I thought that this excrutiating movie served up equal amounts of heartbreak, hilarity, and cringing. It's fantastic.

I've read a few great reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, so I'm hesitant to write much more here because other writers have already done it so well. One noted that this movie is particularly effective in showcasing how clearly racism thrives on stupid conformism as much as ignorance. (I could credit the author but can't find the review again. I'll keep looking.)

A beautiful case in point (although there are so many to choose from) is the South Carolina frat boys. One little delighted thought I had as I left the theater was that those boys were never going to get laid again. Now, as you may know, they've launched a lawsuit, claiming that they "engaged in behaviour that they otherwise would not have engaged in", i.e. if they hadn't been plied with likker and filmed under pretenses, they say.

Come on boys, using booze as a scapegoat may be your usual thing after you proudly "sleep with girls and then never call them because you don't respect them" and then brag about it to your lame little friends, but I don't think the lawsuit is going to lend you any credibility, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to help dig yourselves out of this hole you dug for yourselves by being huge douchebags.*

These privileged young white men are so insecure that they actually believe (or state that they believe) minorities are ruining their country, that we should bring back slavery, and that all women are bitches. So maybe this will come off as preachy or self-righteous, but I really mean it: but how about some kind of statement of apology instead of a lawsuit? Just an idea. I know nobody admits to being an asshole anymore, and it would be really hard to do, but I dunno, it might be refreshing.

Think about it boys. People might even believe you. And in time, maybe after a few years, you might even get laid again.

*Did I mention? My friend Andrea and I invented using "douchebag" as an insult, when we were in grade 8, and we used to give each other wrapped boxes of Massengill douches for birthday presents. Typically someone would screw on the "nozzle" and then squeeze the bottle and spray everyone in the room with vinegar water, or whatever it was. I know, we were cool, huh?


At November 12, 2006 5:42 a.m., Anonymous Jonathan said...

I've seen some clips of Borat, and while I did smile, I'm not sure I'll go and watch it at the cinema.

This is going to sound prejudicial in itself, but I already know that America has huge problems with prejudice, racism and poverty - I don't need Borat to show me.

At November 12, 2006 8:57 a.m., Blogger banjeroo said...

I think the thing is that we can all quietly (and even unconsciously) hold assumptions and prejudices about people who are (or appear) different from us, no matter how liberal or tolerant of (or open to) differences we think we are. The thing that stings in Borat is that he's satirizing that in everyone.

Nobody NEEDS Borat to strip off a few layers and remind them of the ways that they and the rest of the world can be closed (to varying degrees), but it sure is one brilliant way to do it.

Plus you'll get to see a terrific wrestling scene.

At November 12, 2006 2:24 p.m., Blogger sgazzetti said...

I'm so happy to hear that you liked, if that's the word, this film. I have yet to see it, and probably will not for a long long time, given the backwardness of my small town's cinema and the fact that I have a two-year-old who vetos almost all of our cinematic choices.

I love pretty much everything S.B. Cohen does, and if you hadn't liked this film at least a little bit I don't think we could be friends.

At November 12, 2006 2:50 p.m., Blogger Hooker said...

I used to have that same box of douche displayed proudly in the bathroom at my last 5 apartments for all guests to see. An ex girlfriend got it for me as a gag gift and I held onto it. I miss my douche.


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