Modern culture.

I initially posted this a few days ago, however…someone I respect a lot was offended and insulted by it, so I removed it.  After considering it, I’ve decided it’s accurate, and a blog is…after all…just my thoughts.  If you disagree with this post, just chalk it up to differing opinions.  And to that person who hated this post—even though you liked this movie, I still love you!

I succumbed to all the hype surrounding the movie Borat and bought my ticket…one zillion people can’t be wrong, right?

I went, thrilled at the prospect of escapism…leaving behind my real life for a couple hours.  I’d read a review (“it’s smart and funny! original!), seen how the movie was eliciting stars and thumbs like I’d not seen in a long while.  This is the movie of 2006!  A MUST SEE!

The movie came on…disbelief quickly turned to disgust…then to boredom.  The jokes got old fast.  A Candid Camera with nudity and references to bodily functions and incest.  Daring!  Genius!  After about 30 minutes, I called it quits.

I believe I have a good sense of humor…I fancy myself having an ability to see the absurd or the ironic in daily situations. I rely often on dripping sarcasm to get my point across, and I snicker at the politically incorrect on a frequent basis. So, why was I turned off by this movie?

It’s not that I am necessarily disturbed by the movie itself.  What disturbs me is the fawning, the positive reviews, the declaration by our society that this movie is somehow great.  It’s not.  It appeals to the basest parts of our selves, and the fact that it is the #1 movie in America at present says more about the state of our country than the elections of last week, the war in Iraq, the price of gas, the ozone layer, our timber forests, or the divorce rate.  It says, in essence: we as a nation desire to be amused by the lowest common denominator.  Both a frat boy and the most pretentious university professor can laugh with with equal abandon at Borat. Even playing field.

Time magazine proclaims that anyone over 35 years old will hate this movie, and those under 35 will love it.  That seems a valid demarcation, but you may be that 40 year-old hipster who thinks this movie is truly entertaining.  If you loved this movie and consider yourself somehow intellectual, unique, of fine taste, alas hip…you are not alone.  There’s millions of you (unique) consumers out there-all proclaiming that a man playing jokes on regular folk with a plastic sex toy is GENIUS.

Me thinks the joke’s on you. 

6 thoughts on “Modern culture.

  1. maryjunebrown,

    I haven’t had a chance to see the movie, yet. I have a nine-year-old and usually only see first run movies like Wallace and Gromit. I’ll probably take a look at it when it comes out on dvd, but I’m not in any hurry. The TV ads seem so abysmally stupid.

    I have contributed, periodically, to this radio show/blog hybrid out of Cambridge Ma that tonight did a show on the Borat phenomenon. I’d be curious to hear your take, as somebody who didn’t like it, on the conversation thread on their website, or on the show itself, which is available as a free podcast. You can find both at



  2. You lasted 20 minutes longer than I did – and I’m still a few years under 35… This film is clearly designed to appeal to the “Jackass” generation – as you rightly say, the lowest common denominator.


  3. I’m under 35, and I have absolutely NO desire to see the movie. My brother-in-law is 30 and he was ready to pitch a tent outside the theatre to get first tickets to it. I don’t see the appeal.

    I guess I’m trying to stick to those values we learned in school about not being prejudiced or racist and being mindful of things that are politically uncorrect, etc. This movie strikes me as one that just uses all the taboos for stupid laughs. Not my kind of flick.


  4. I’m under 30 and I went to see this movie. I have to admit I found myself chuckling on a few occasions, but I can’t believe this film is doing so well at the box office. The jokes are childish, racist, toilet-orientated, and anti-American. It gets old fast, especially if you’ve seen the TV show.

    I’m surprised it’s doing so well in the states. We Europeans love to laugh at our American cousins, it makes us feel superior (tongue firmly in cheek here) but I can’t understand why America is going nuts over this movie.

    Borat’s something of a guilty pleasure for me. I did laugh, but you’re right, it’s lowest common denominator comedy. I also found the anti-semetism gags quite offensive.


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