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Post 20

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 1:48pmSanction this postReply
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Most of the scenes were of real people who were duped into being humiliated...
Jordan, have you actually seen the movie to say this?


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Post 21

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 2:27pmSanction this postReply
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Jordan, did you read what bullshit those complaints and lawsuits were? 
That's besides the point. What I object to is the manner in which Cohen got the participant's permission to be in the movie.
Jordan, have you actually seen the movie to say this?
No. However, I've watched Da Ali G show several times (Borat was a character on the show). Also, I've read several news pieces regarding this; most notably an interview with Cohen in The Rolling Stone.

Also, read this article, "What's real in 'Borat'?" http://www.salon.com/ent/feature/2006/11/10/guide_to_borat/

From that Salon article:

* Rowe told Salon that he'd agreed to let Borat sing, believing the story that Borat was a Kazakh journalist traveling across the country.

* Streit contends that the production company that set-up her meetings with Borat put into writing that the session would "be filmed as part of a documentary for Belarus Television and for those purposes only."

* Linda Stein, Grace Welch and Carole De Saram were told by producers that they would be appearing in a documentary to help women in Third World countries

* When Borat arrived, "they kept him away from most people in the dealership. I had no idea who he was. I just thought he didn't know anything about this country."

* We were gotten. Our folks researched the production company, which has its own Web site and sounds legitimate.

* Dharma Arthur, the woman responsible for booking Borat on the show, says she lost her livelihood because of the incident.

* "I had a funny feeling at first," Walker continues. "But some woman called and seemed nice and convincing, and she sent me stuff on some official-looking letterhead. Then when Borat came, all hell broke loose."

* The villagers were told that the filming was for a documentary about their hardship

So, Cohen and company went to great lengths to deceive people. The deception wouldn't be too harmful if this was a simple candid camera type of thing. But, Borat sets out to humiliate these people. I believe that most of the people in the film would not have given their permission if they knew the true nature of the film. It's this combination of deception and humiliation that I find offensive and immoral.


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Post 22

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 2:51pmSanction this postReply
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Another thing...

Shows such as Candid Camera and Taxicab Confessions get releases after the gag has been revealed. This is the moral thing to do. Participants are not being duped into giving permission. Cohen turns this around.


Post 23

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 3:16pmSanction this postReply
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Deception, perhaps, but humiliation? Can you give an example how those people are humiliated?

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Post 24

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 3:36pmSanction this postReply
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Deception, perhaps, but humiliation? Can you give an example how those people are humiliated?

The clips I've seen personally:

* The scene with the Southern Dining Society. He insults several women at the table.

* The people of the town in Kazakhstan. The people are made to look like backwards imbeciles.

Things I've gleaned from the media:

* The two (apparently racist) frat guys. These two guys never intended to be put up for ridicule in the United States. I'm not defending what they said, but had they known what Cohen was doing, they would not have consented.

* According to the Salon article, Jim Sell is made to appear to arrange for Borat to buy a used ice cream truck, the purpose of which is as a "pussy magnet" (with allusions to pedophilia).

* Cohen/Borat's antics at WAPT TV cost one person their job.

(Edited by Jordan Zimmerman on 11/28, 3:37pm)


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Post 25

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 4:27pmSanction this postReply
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Jordan,
I don't know what you are talking about because I don't see that car dealer or "Southern Dining Society" people were humiliated by Borat at all. They all came out as very tolerant, polite, and dignified sort of folks despite Borat's outrageous provocation. So are the most real people in the movie. As for those who came out in some sort of negative light like those frat boys, they were not humiliated by Baron Cohen. They humiliated themselves.

I largely agree with Andre and Phil's view on this movie. I think Baron Cohen is first and foremost a comedian. He is trying to create some sort of outrageous situation to get laughs mainly. As Phil pointed out, the outcomes from those situations are unpredictable and thus the humors are uneven. And yes, there are something that's a bit frightening got revealed in the show. I am not particularly fond of this kind of crude comedy, which is too over the top for me. But it is extremely funny and I groaned, snorted, and laughed.



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Post 26

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 4:34pmSanction this postReply
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As for those who came out in some sort of negative light like those frat boys, they were not humiliated by Baron Cohen. They humiliated themselves.
I would only agree with this if they knew the context in which they were being filmed. If you catch me out of context, I could easily humiliate myself (as could most people). I've seen Da Ali G show several times. Cohen, while very funny, is a manipulative bully.

BTW - I have no problem with this category of humor. I loved the South Park movie, Team America, Beavis and Butthead, et al.


Post 27

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 4:54pmSanction this postReply
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But most people in the movie (or on his show) did come out alright without being humiliated at all!

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Post 28

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 5:08pmSanction this postReply
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But most people in the movie (or on his show) did come out alright without being humiliated at all!
That doesn't excuse the damage to the ones who don't come out alright. Further, I don't get the impression that Cohen cares one way or the other.


Post 29

Tuesday, November 28, 2006 - 10:28pmSanction this postReply
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> I loved the South Park movie, Team America, Beavis and Butthead, et al. [Jordan]

I would probably enjoy Luke's gifted satirical reviews of them more than I did those movies.

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Post 30

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 1:52amSanction this postReply
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I sanctioned all of Jordan's posts in this thread and agree with his analysis.  He hits the target in spite of the fact that he has not seen the film.  I have seen it and he hits the mark in identifying its fraudulent flaws.

Post 31

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 7:53amSanction this postReply
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You can dislike the movie all you want, it's perfectly fine. Ali G and Borat ARE extremely unpleasant characters. But I think blaming Baron Cohen for things that are one's own doing is a big stretch. Take that TV station woman as example. She got fired and blamed Baron Cohen for it and you just believed her word? What does her former employer have to say about this? 

I also don't understand the logic behind the frat boys' law suit. They said those stupid things in the film because they had thought Borat was real? No, they said it because of who they are. 

I'll leave the legality of Baron Cohen's tactics out since I don't know nearly enough to make the judgement.

(Edited by Hong Zhang on 11/29, 9:39am)


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Post 32

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 9:19amSanction this postReply
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I haven't seen the movie either, but to judge from what people are saying about it, it's in a long tradition of appealing to people by telling them they're better than somebody else, specifically by playing to their class bigotry.  Garry Trudeau, John Kenneth Galbraith, Frank Zappa, Michael Moore and various bumper-sticker manufacturers have made good money this way, and Democratic presidential candidates since Adlai Stevenson have run on it, occasionally winning and never getting less than a third of the popular vote.  John Kerry recently and George McGovern not so recently embarrassed themselves by figuring that, since the people who buy this are numerous enough to float a book or a movie, they are numerous enough to elect a candidate.  Anita Hill is a lady, but Paula Jones with her big hair and trailer-park accent, and the late Mary Jo Kopechne?  That's what a woman's for.

Class prejudice has taken the place of racial or religious prejudice in contemporary culture.  "Nigger" bad, "redneck" OK, despite the fact that one is just as maliciously-intended as the other and they both play to the same atavistic urge to feel superior.  Likewise, you can't knock Judaism or any of the Asian or Americian-Indian religions, but Catholicism and the lowbrow white Protestant denominations ("holy rollers") are fair game, drawing their members as they do from the lower orders.

Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this.  People who don't usually cite the New Yorker are citing http://www.newyorker.com/shouts/content/articles/061204sh_shouts.

Peter


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Post 33

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 - 3:12pmSanction this postReply
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Apparently I'm not the only one who thinks this.  People who don't usually cite the New Yorker are citing http://www.newyorker.com/shouts/content/articles/061204sh_shouts.
Sanctioned.

This article mirrors my feelings. The author pushes ad absurdum but has identified the underlying motive of Cohen, IMHO.


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Post 34

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 7:19amSanction this postReply
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I sanctioned Post 32 for the same causes Jordan cites in Post 33.

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Post 35

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 7:41amSanction this postReply
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I sanctioned you by accident Jordan. 

Both you, Luke, and that author are acting like a bunch of fuddy duddy grandmoms. 


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Post 36

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 10:09amSanction this postReply
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Both you, Luke, and that author are acting like a bunch of fuddy duddy grandmoms. 
;)

I'd accept this comment if I were objecting to the aesthetics of Borat. But, as I mentioned earlier, I don't mind this type of humor. My objection is to Cohen's deceptive humiliations.


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Post 37

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 12:13pmSanction this postReply
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Kurt wrote:

Both you, Luke, and that author are acting like a bunch of fuddy duddy grandmoms.

Who in hell sanctioned Kurt's post?

Kurt:

1. Do you sanction fraud -- yes or no?
2. Do you approve malevolent public humiliation of people under false pretenses -- yes or no?
3. Do you support robbing people of their valuable time using deceptive methods -- yes or no?

I will actually take the derogatory term "fuddy duddy grandmom" as a compliment given that the dictionary defines "fuddy duddy" as "one that is old-fashioned, unimaginative, or conservative."  Certainly my "old-fashioned, ... conservative" parents and grandparents rightly showed no tolerance for fibbing when they raised me.  Cohen arguably deserves a Singapore style caning for his vicious lies.


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Post 38

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 1:25pmSanction this postReply
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>Who in hell sanctioned Kurt's post?

I guess I just went to the hell. Nice place really. ;-)


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Post 39

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 2:05pmSanction this postReply
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I have to agree with Jordan and Luke and the other "fuddy duddy grandmoms" on this thread.  When I first saw the trailer for the movie, with the scene at the dinner table and Borat making fun of the woman, I laughed out loud.  Then I found out how the movie was made and I didn't think it was funny anymore.  I thought it was done with actors; I didn't realize that it was the same format as his TV show.  I won't go see the movie.  It blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality too much.  Seeing someone really slipping on a banana peel isn't funny to me.

Thanks,
Glenn


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