Thursday, October 19, 2006

From Kazakhstan, to Borat, with Love

According to BBC, a top official from Kazakhstan has invited comedian Sacha Baron Cohen - who pokes fun at the country as his character Borat - to visit the country.

A Borat movie will be released soon, but don't plan on seeing it in Kazakhstan.
"We consider this movie offensive, a complete lie and nonsense," Ruslan Sultanov told Reuters. Sultanov is the distribution manager for Otau, the largest cinema chain in Kazakhstan.

"It's a shame that some Americans will probably believe what they see there," he added.

You may be right, Mr. Sultanov. I wish you could guarantee me, though, that that Kazaks won't watch the Hollywide tripe that you show in your theaters and not come away thinking worse about Americans.

Of all of the injustices that have ever been done to the American reputation and false depictions of the American people, I would credit most of it to Hollywood. Wouldn't it be great if the entire cinematic world could only produce and distribute PBS-style documentaries? Then we would all just have truthful insight into each others cultures.

Hollywood is not America. It has its own lifestyle, its own royalty, its own culture. The rest of America, just like the rest of the world, can count on being subjected to a regular onslaught of offensive falsehoods, lies, half-truths, and rewritten histories.

I hate Hollywood, what it stands for, how it degrades and dehumanizes us all, how they are so damn self-congratulatory, how full of themselves they are. With few notable exception, you can count on just about every Hollywood story being set either in New York (yawn) or Los Angeles (snooze). If you live in the midwest or deep south, any depictions of your local will involve some enlightened outsider (usually from NY or LA) sweeping into a small town to rescue a beautiful maiden from a life of small town drudgery. Either that, or some beautiful people (usually from NY or LA) being terrorized in a small town or other rural location by a psychotic rube.

So Mr. Sultanov, don't worry about Borat. You're in good company.

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