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Post 40

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 6:10pmSanction this postReply
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I don't believe he used fraud - it does not meet that definition.
I don't belive there was "malevolent public humiliation" - to me that sounds like the PC police talking about how "their feelings are hurt" and other such bullshit.  You should either be smart enough to figure out that he is bullshit and call him on it, or learn to take a joke.
I see very little "time" lost and it shows you how almost anyone will do anything just to get on TV.
Finally, the VERY conservative Michael Medved thought it was funny.

Roark would have seen right through this guy, and was not concerned about what other people thought. Did you even see it?


Post 41

Thursday, November 30, 2006 - 11:09pmSanction this postReply
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Move along now, folks.


The only "joke" here is that people concerned with reality, objectivity, beauty, and value are wasting so much time on this filth.

I wouldn't outlaw such "comedy" - I'd just have Cohen accidentally extradited to Kazakhstan. In the hopes of this thread dying of its own accord, I had sworn not to sanction anyone here. But I have surrendered and sanctioned every one of Jordan's, Luke's, and especially Reidy's posts here, even those posts that were posted to express that the poster had posted only to express the fact that he had sanctioned someone. Even the ever ebullient Glenn Flectcher was right, although this is apparently an aberration on his part. And Kurt, it wasn't an accident what you did to Jordan. You sanctioned Jordan for the same reason Jefferson slept with Sally. Your body was better than your stated convictions on the matter.

In the meantime, Vladimir Putin is conducting a KGB counter-revolution, and we have dozens of posts on this third rate hack whose claim to fame is the gullibility of others.

This whole fart-joke of a thread is beneath everyone here.

Hong, a Christian has at most four cheeks to turn,
and I'm not a Christian.

Enough, people. That is, if we actually are people.

Ted

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 11/30, 11:14pm)


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Post 42

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 7:21amSanction this postReply
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Kurt asked:

Did you even see it?

Yes, I did.  Pay attention!  I wrote in Post 30:

I have seen it and [Jordan] hits the mark in identifying its fraudulent flaws.

I would not write a detailed review of a movie I had not seen.  Pay attention!

Kurt contended:

I don't believe he used fraud - it does not meet that definition.

I meant the general moral sense of the term, not the legalistic sense.  In the latter case, I would not feel surprise if a judge tossed the consent forms as invalid due to their misleading language.  We shall see.

I don't believe there was "malevolent public humiliation" - to me that sounds like the PC police talking about how "their feelings are hurt" and other such bullshit.  You should either be smart enough to figure out that he is bullshit and call him on it, or learn to take a joke.

Evidently you consider malevolence morally acceptable.  Clearly Cohen wanted laughs at the expense of duping others.  Just because I can take advantage of a retardate does not grant me the moral right to do so.  Benevolence, while not a cardinal virtue, still qualifies as a virtue -- and malevolence a vice.

I see very little "time" lost and it shows you how almost anyone will do anything just to get on TV.

"Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of."  --Benjamin Franklin

An entire dinner evening ruined with a sack of feces and an unwelcome call girl -- a rodeo opening ruined with a malicious and poorly rendered "National Anthem" -- dirt poor third world villagers misled into spending hours or days of filming in hopes of getting exposure and subsequent assistance with their plight -- and many other similar squanderings of precious time and energy -- these all reflect instances of life sucking vampire Cohen living like a parasite.

Finally, the VERY conservative Michael Medved thought it was funny.

Do you now appeal to authority?

Roark would have seen right through this guy, and was not concerned about what other people thought.

Not everyone has his wits.  Certainly poor Cheryl Taggart in Atlas Shrugged did not.  Did that excuse James Taggart's immoral actions toward her?

Legal issues aside, I have profound moral issues with how this movie got made.

I agree with Ted that overseas issues ought to warrant more of our attention.  The success of this movie, however, does say something vicious about the state of our culture here at home -- perhaps closer to home than I would like.

Supporters of this movie ought to submit thoughtful articles explaining exactly what they view as morally good when handling issues of misleading statements, practical jokes on innocents, and so forth.


Post 43

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 7:29amSanction this postReply
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Finally, the VERY conservative Michael Medved thought it was funny.
I didn't know that he was capable of laughing.


Post 44

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 9:50amSanction this postReply
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Given that Art is inherently optional, the choice to focus on the matter of this movie alone is reprehensible.  Even porn has a higher value.  But discussing this crap is like discussing, well, crap.

This website is not named the "Afterbirth of Decadence"

Ted


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Post 45

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 11:42amSanction this postReply
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Ted,
Would you like to join Luke's ROR Censor Squad to decide which issues are filth and should not be discussed by humans (let along objectivists)? Luke would be in charge of which posts should or should not be sanctioned. You two would have covered the whole forum nicely.

Post 46

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 12:28pmSanction this postReply
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Hong asked:

Would you like to join Luke's ROR Censor Squad to decide which issues are filth and should not be discussed by humans (let along objectivists)?

Where did I suggest censoring anyone on RoR?  Even people restricted to the Dissent forum can post freely there.


Post 47

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 12:40pmSanction this postReply
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Ted we were supposed to close the thread, so I agree not to argue about it any longer - this kind of thing is not important enough to worry about.

Post 48

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 6:07pmSanction this postReply
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Hong,

No hard feelings. Just so you know, it is often I who sanctions posts when Luke wonders who keeps doing it. I sanction based not only upon approval but sometimes upon appreciation and effort as well.

Taceo.

=====

[added:]

In response to Steven's post below, I am editing this one, since I do not wish to lengthen this string. I sent him this email:

"Steven,

Are you trying to misunderstand me? Did you not read my response to you in post five? Or my post eight? Most of the people here believe that I am some sort of non-judgmental hedonist hippy. I can understand that you haven't read all my posts on this website, but even on this thread my stance has been obvious enough that your calling me Herr Keer [BTW, I'm a Dane, and the avatar is an American who died fighting the Germans] and speaking of lemon ice-cream shows you aren't paying attention to the answers given to your own questions. And your suggestion that I lighten-up is self-refuting, mr "Black Hat." [Smiley] If you re-read me you will see that my opinion of those who keep posting about this movie is that other things are more worth doing, not that they [as people] are crap. I am not going to add to this thread, but will append my previous post to put this email in the public record.

Mit Herzlichen Gruesse,

Mr. Keer
(Edited by Ted Keer
on 12/02, 2:42pm)

(Edited by Ted Keer
on 12/02, 2:46pm)


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Post 49

Friday, December 1, 2006 - 8:11pmSanction this postReply
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Ted, after your post 41, I suggest you either dial-down or double your drug dosage, whichever helps. 

Somebody needs to definitively answer the question that underlies all of this:  at what point are issues of taste open to moral judgement?  I like lemon ice cream, is that a moral transgression...I liked the humor of Borat, and now I am lower than what Herr Keer can wipe from his shoe soles?

I consider myself an Objectivist, but I won't be told I am morally wrong for the humor I enjoy, especially in light of our relatively humorless crowd.

What did Ayn Rand find funny, and why?


Post 50

Saturday, December 2, 2006 - 2:21amSanction this postReply
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Steven asked:

What did Ayn Rand find funny, and why?

Robert Mayhew did a four hour lecture called "Ayn Rand on Humor":

"Ayn Rand's remarks on humor constitute a fascinating and original perspective. In this course, Dr. Mayhew presents her conception of humor and shows its connection to basic issues in Objectivism, e.g., metaphysical value-judgments, the metaphysical versus the man-made and the benevolent universe premise.  Next, he discusses Ayn Rand's use of humor in her fiction, from her earliest works to Atlas Shrugged. Finally, he contrasts her viewpoint with the major theories of humor in the history of philosophy."

http://www.aynrandbookstore.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AR64D

I have not listened to this lecture but it sounds interesting.

In The Passion of Ayn Rand's Critics by James Valliant, the author documents a story in which Ayn Rand humorously tells a questioner in an audience discussing The Fountainhead that she considered the novel's passionate lovemaking scenes "wishful thinking" and this remark made the crowd roar with laughter.  So she did have a sense of humor.  I just doubt she would appreciate the humor in Borat! given at whose expense and under what pretenses the producers made it.


Post 51

Monday, December 4, 2006 - 5:35amSanction this postReply
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I seem to remember John Hospers once telling that Rand did not find Charlie Chaplin funny at all. That says a lot.


Post 52

Monday, December 4, 2006 - 7:50amSanction this postReply
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Since some people here enjoy Borat's antics, I thought I would include links to some of these hilarious Derren Brown videos.

Here's a video where he calls a public phone. He makes the person who answers it fall asleep:

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/M/mindcontrol/trick/phone.html

This is probably the funniest of all. He makes a cab driver lose the London Eye. You can see it in the background, but the driver can't find it:

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/M/mindcontrol/trick/lost.html

(Edited by Chris Baker on 12/04, 10:42am)


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Post 53

Monday, December 4, 2006 - 9:10amSanction this postReply
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Rand enjoyed the movies of Ernst Lubitsch, the great master of high-style romanic comedy - champagne, stolen jewels, etc.  You've seen it plenty of times, but that's because they were all trying (vainly) to do it as well as he did.  She had mixed feelings about Ninotchka, his most famous (see Ayn Rand Answers).  That and Trouble in Paradise are my favorites among the straight comedies, Monte Carlo among the musicals, especially the Beyond the Blue Horizon number.  Lubitsch may have been the model for the director in Her Second Career.

She was also a fan of Noel Coward, who was unmistakably the model for Winston Ayers in the same story.  She alluded to Design for Living in The Fountainhead and championed him in the 50s and 60s when he was dreadfully out of fashion.  Private Lives is his masterpiece.  (Surprisingly, when Lubitsch made a movie of Design for Living, it wasn't one of his best.)

Hospers recalls that the funniest thing she ever heard was about the behaviorist who chanced on one of his colleagues and said "You're fine.  How am I?"


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Post 54

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 9:31amSanction this postReply
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--Moralizing About Borat--

One more comment on "Borat", a movie being criticized for the wrong reasons:

Deciding you will not see a movie based on third-party hearsay about whether (or not) some of the scenes were done with unwitting parties (who were supposedly taken advantage of) is silly. And wasting time debating about this side issue is equally unproductive and probably unresolvable. There are good reasons not to see a movie, but this is not one of them.

Nor is whether you entirely agree with the objects chosen to poke fun of a good reason not to watch or enjoy the cleverness of satire or parody as a literary form. If your argument is an -esthetic- one (it's not funny, poorly executed, etc.) then you are on sounder ground than if you argue that just because the parodies of Kazakhs, Southern rodeo fans, etc. are exaggerated or not entirely fair that the filmmakers are somehow despicable or immoral.

Satire, parody, and hyperbole are as old as western literature. They are -supposed to be- exaggerated and overstated*: Take a trait which actually exists and make it larger than life (or smaller than life) for effect. It's supposed to be taken out of context. It's supposed to be ridiculous and unfair. You're supposed to realize that and factor it in when you are watching or reading.

Exaggeration is valid in art because it is openly so and you are supposed to realize that it is hyperbolic or stylized. It's not a valid rebuttal to or dismissal of a satire or parody to say, "well, Kazakhs are not really that backward" or "Southerners are not always that redneck or evangelicals that fanatical" or"other countries have more anti-semitism than America or Kazakhstan". There -is- an element of backwardness, redneckism, anti-semitism, parochialism in former communist countries like the 'stans'. And, in fact, in much of the non-western world. (And in, for example, the Bible Belt and the Deep South.) And Borat (while it isn't as good later on as he moves through America) is very effective in exaggerating these things.

Don't let other factors dull or place blinders on your appreciation of that part of the movie...or, worse, other movies or literature where you fixate too negatively on one aspect you don't like. Otherwise you become like cranky Puritans. Or too quick to anger, cranky old men (from Kazakhstan or from inside Objectivism) who find everything to be a source for outrage and alienation, throw their shoes at the television, can't find even partial pleasure in any entertainment, refuse to read fiction, and across a lifespan progressively close themselves off from different cultural, cinematic, literary forms. Even the ones which are better than this (sometimes funny, sometimes not) movie.

Phil

*My own post earlier on this thread satirizing Luke's review was itself an example of this very thing. Satire and hyperbole or parody and irony (if done well, mine was only so-so) are valid ways of criticizing something, often through overstating some aspect so it stands out in sharp relief. Obviously the person being satirized isn't going to like it and will usually resent it and find -no- element of truth to it.


(Edited by Philip Coates
on 12/05, 9:35am)


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Post 55

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 10:35amSanction this postReply
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re: Phil's Post

People keep missing the point. Le-group-de-anti-Borat (Me, Luke, et al) contend that Cohen committed fraud. It has nothing to do with aesthetics, esthetics, prudishness, etc. My belief is not based on hearsay, but reporting by qualified journalists and comments from Cohen himself. If I saw the film, I would not be further informed as to whether or not fraud was committed by Cohen.

As to whether or not discussing this is a wasted effort or silly - this is a philosophy website isn't it? A cultural phenomenon has just occurred. What could be more appropriate to comment on? In any event, if you find this discussion a waste of time, don't click on the link for this thread and your time won't be wasted.


Post 56

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 8:03pmSanction this postReply
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> My belief is not based on hearsay, but reporting by qualified journalists and comments from Cohen himself.

Your previous posts didn't -prove- this. Moreover, one shouldn't use 'qualified journalists' as if whatever any journalist says is somehow proven because you inserted the word 'qualified' in front of it.

>keep missing the point... [i] contend that Cohen committed fraud.

And you and others keep missing the point that i) it's hearsay...YOU don't have proof he committed what you (inexactly) call fraud, ii) most important - that is not an -esthetic- judgment or a reason not to see the movie or a reason to criticize people for seeing it or it as worth seeing.

Also you're misusing the word 'fraud'. The correct word is 'misrepresentation' or 'misleading' (if in fact they filmmakers even did that). But if you used that word and told someone it was an immoral movie one shouldn't see or was completely flawed by that, it would be clear you need to use a stronger word, so you use a 'heavier' word which has stronger legal connnotations.

Moreover...-who- did it? was it the filmmaker, producer, actors...and...

Oh, I give up!!....Look, this is one of those crazy-ass, pointless, endless time and life-wasting debates Oists like to get into online about academic or profoundly minor or unimportant trivia. I'm disgusted with -myself- for already having killed a few thousand neurons even posting on this topic.

So go ahead and have the last word, if you like. I made my points at length above and and don't want to waste another ten seconds on a "fact checking" debate about who -did- what and who -claimed- what and parsing the meaning of various statements and context surrounding an unimportant movie which will be forgotten in months.


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Post 57

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 8:58pmSanction this postReply
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From http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fraud

fraud: deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.

Please read the Rolling Stone interview with Cohen where he describes his methods (he and his producer to be exact). I don't have the magazine in front of me. But, what I read fits the definition of fraud above.


Post 58

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 9:09pmSanction this postReply
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What could possibly be more of a priority than discussing the philosophical implications of this film? It's not like there are any good films, or like there's any real news going on, here at the end of history. "Poleznij Idiot" ring a bell?



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Post 59

Tuesday, December 5, 2006 - 10:58pmSanction this postReply
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I'm sure we're all capable of discussing more than one thing at once. Gee, isn't that a surprise?

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