Saturday, November 19, 2005

Since When is Kazakhstan a Country?

Did you see in the news that Kazakhstan is totally pissed at a fictitious character? I'm not making this up.

Sacha Baron Cohen is a comedian who created the clueless hipster Ali G . He also created clueless Kazakhstani television reporter Borat Sagdiyev. Apparently, he hosted the European MTV awards in the character or Borat, and in the process ticked off the whole country of Kazakhstan.

ASTANA (Reuters) - Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry threatened legal action Monday against a British comedian who wins laughs by portraying the central Asian state as a country populated by drunks who enjoy cow-punching as a sport.

Yeah, um, if you've ever seen the show, you know that that would be mild compared to Borat's normal behavior. I seem to remember him participating in open microphone night at a cowboy bar and singing a song about throwing Jews down the well.

In another episode, Borat goes to a dinner for the Sons of the American Revolution, at this posh event, the following conversation transpires:
The table has been informed that to break wind in Kazkhstan is called doing a 'put'...
Borat: "I can do... I have one. I have one, you want?"
Man: "Borat don't do it"
Borat: "It is coming"
Other Man: (tiresomely) "we're waiting."
Woman: "No we're not!"
Borat: "If you want I can do." (tries to grab the man's hand beside him) "Put your hand close!"

Yes, exactly. More from the story:
Cohen appears to have drawn official Kazakh ire after he hosted the annual MTV Europe Music Awards show in Lisbon earlier this month as Borat, who arrived in an Air Kazakh propeller plane controlled by a one-eyed pilot clutching a vodka bottle. "We do not rule out that Mr. Cohen is serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way," Kazakh Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news briefing.

"We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind." He declined to elaborate.
Cohen's earlier jokes about the Central Asian state include claims that the people would shoot a dog and then have a party, and that local wine was made from fermented horse urine. "We view Mr. Cohen's behavior at the MTV Europe Music Awards as utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with ethics and civilized behavior," Ashykbayev said.

Scarier still, Ali G gave a 2004 Harvard Commencement Address, here's an excerpt: (The Rest of the Speech is here).

"Booyakasha - Professor G indahouse aiii. Big shout out de Harvard massiv I iz done a capital 'H', coz Harvard iz a place innit - u see I ain't no ignoranus. Things like 'apple' and 'orange' do not start with a capital letter, unless dey iz at de start of a sentence - but some of you brainboxes probably know dat already innit.

Me name be Ali G and me represent de UK. For those of u who didn't study geography de UK is a place over a 100 MILES away from here, de capital of it is? Anyone? Not u geography square! ....yes, it is Liverpool. U iz clever and quite fly if u don't mind me sayin.

First of all, I iz got to say I iz a bit nervous speakin to so many of you - at least me would be if I weren't totally mashed. Normally de only public-speaking I does is to 12 people - and it's well easy all me has to say iz me name and de words 'not guilty'.

And my favorite part of the speech:
Anyways I digest. It iz a well big honour to be arksed ere today. To fink dat so many great people has been educated ere like Lyndon Banes Johnson, or as he is better known - JFK, George Clinton was also ere I fink , and de one before him, and also...William Tell - is he one of your lot, probably, and dat bloke wiv de hat, but most importantly dat really fit honey from Star Wars - if u iz out dere, me'd love to - me iz stayin at de Best Western Hotel - me's got a really nice room, altho since dis morning dem has put a parental lock on de tv.

Here's the thing: if you've ever seen Da Ali G Show on HBO, you know that everything about Borat and Ali G is offensive. Accept it and move on. I've seen the show several times and would never have known that Borat purports to be from a real country were it not for the fact that that real country just spoke up. But then again, I'm an idiot.


3rdtimesacharm( 3T ) said...

Countries just need to learn how to take a joke, lighten up, and laugh a little.

Hope you have a good week-end Village Idiot.


logo said...

Doesn't the fact that someone thinks they are worth mocking make them feel good about themselves?
You don't see people riffing on Andorra, or Croatia, or Azerbaijan.
If US officials filed complaints about everyone who mocks us we would never get anything worthwhile accomplished!
Oh wait...

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Badaunt said...

I LOVE Borat. He did some hysterically funny lampooning of fox hunters, I recall. And got some posh English woman to teach him proper manners. (She failed.) She thought he was real.

He is brilliantly offensive to EVERYBODY, and will go bankrupt rapidly if everybody he has offended sues him.

Cooldog said...

Kazakhstan has become a country in 1991. It would be useful for Americans to travel more and look at the world map more often.
I love America but I think we should start seeing other world.
As for Borat I think it is really funny, I suppose he should read some about Mongols who also drank fermented horse milk but managed to conquere Central Asia, part of China, Germany, Russia, Austria,Poland,Iraq and the Syria.
If interested in learning more about Kazakhstan please refer to my blog