Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Thursday, October 26, 2006

This movie film is a disgrace!

Yep, the great Borat wave has finally broken, and the moustache and cheesy grin are now to be found everywhere, with varying degrees of legality. It's time for yet another misguided controversy about a Sacha Baron Cohen character.

Last time, Americans for Missing the Point described Ali G as an Al Jonson type character, maybe not quite realising that the aim of the character was not to mock black people (for a start, he isn't black).

And the same thing's happened again. The Kazach ambassador has complained that the film is "designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way." And yet, if people were taking note of the film's main message, it would be the US ambassador complaining that his countrymen had been portrayed as ignorant, backwards jew-haters.

Let's look at the evidence:
- Borat asks the owner of a gunshop what would be an appropriate gun for "hunting the jew." Without hesitation he's shown a 9mm pistol.
- He sings a song in a country club with the refrain "Throw the jew down the well/so my county can be free." Far from a walkout or a barrage of abuse, the song is very well received. We even see people joining in enthusiastically.
- He asks a huntsman if it is permissible to hunt jews as well as deer. He replies "Well, I wouldn't have a problem with it..."

The Kazach ambassador recently pointed out in the Guardian that the Chief Rabbi of Israel has praised his country for its history of openness and tolerance. After reading the article you actually do feel quite sorry for the country for being mocked in this way. But it needs to be remembered that whilst there are no real Kazachs in the film, almost everyone else you see is a real American.

So why isn't the US ambassador defensively reminding the world of his country's inclusive traditions? Because if any country comes across badly in this film it's America.

I am getting stronger every day...

It's 11am on a Thursday, and I'm just starting to think about getting up and going to work. That will be actually be a first for this week.

Sadly, after 6 months of uninterrupted service in Greenborough, I've finally gone sick. And although spending five days in bed was, in some way at least, pretty good, it's maybe time I was getting up and getting on with my important social work responsibilities. I'm pretty certain somebody's been looking after all my clients whilst I've been out.

And if you can't jump out of bed on pay day then it's probably time to give up. Especially when you've just managed to get your biggest pay cheque ever. As an alternative plan, I could just lie in bed and look up flights to the Czech Republic.

Now, if I could only do something about the stabbing pain in my left ear, today would be just perfect.