Monday, January 08, 2007

A Hairy Guy and a Not-So-Freaky-King

I saw the movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" yesterday. I'm still digesting it. The character is the creation of comedian Sacha Baron Cohen who claims to be a newscaster from the country of Kazakhstan who comes to the United States to learn what he can take back to his homeland.

What happens next is a cross between a "Hidden Camera" television show and slapstick comedy. Borat travels across the country, seeing America. Along the way, he experiences American culture and meets up with the country's finest citizens. The thing is, when this was filmed, most people he met with really thought he was from Kazakhstan and were being filmed for a documentary.

Controversy has swirled about the film. The Kazakhstan government claims "Borat" falsely portrays the country. I'm concerned with how Americans are portrayed. I haven't seen this in the reviews, but the film points out how racism, hate and ignorance are alive and well in the good ole' U.S. of A.

I was also disturbed because Cohen took advantage of people's good intentions to help someone across the globe learn about our country and he made a mockery of it. I think of the times I've traveled to foreign lands and relied on the kindness of strangers to teach me about their culture. Will the incidents of "Borat" cause people to be less trusting? Or what's worse - no one cares this still exists?

After you're done pondering that, I began contributing to a new foodie blog over the weekend, called Feel free to drop by and if you have any food related items to "feed" me, send my way.