Gene Edward Veith comments on Borat.
Anyway, I can report that “Borat,” the number one movie for weeks, is over-rated. Yes, it is funny, but it is not a good funny. It is rude, crude, unspeakably vulgar and tasteless. I know, that might recommend it these days. But it represents the rebirth of the rude, crude, vulgar, tasteless ethnic joke. We are laughing at eastern Europeans, Jews, rednecks, Southerners, and other people made to seem below us. It is humor that is cruel and degrading, both to the targets and to those of us who laugh at it.
The top-rated comedy is making thousands of high school and college students laugh — and inspiring some of them to imitate the eponymous character’s offensive behavior to women and Jews.
Arriving in character as fake Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev, Cohen said he hoped his comedy would win an Oscar for “best anti-Jewish film”.
However, he said he faced “very fierce competition from your Melvin Gibson” – a reference to the Australian-raised actor’s recent anti-Semitic remarks.
We are concerned, however, that one serious pitfall is that the audience may not always be sophisticated enough to get the joke, and that some may even find it reinforcing their bigotry.
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