I first saw an Ali G. show years ago.
I didn’t laugh much, but I did laugh once, as I ‘got’ the joke, and then something spectacularly simple happened; I no longer found it funny. Sacha Baron Cohen was, and continues to be, a one trick pony; 1 ) lie to people, 2) subject them to a false premise conducted by somebody pretending to be even more stupid than he really is, and 3) watch them get initially frustrated by the sheer idiocy put on display, before 4) they finally grow annoyed as they realize that this is nothing but a cheap offensive waste of their time.
That was Ali G then, and that, today, is Borat.
Needless to say, since Sacha is such a one trick pony, he can never quite play the same place twice, such is notoriety. Thus, having pretty much beaten a dead horse to shreds across the ocean, he now comes to Amerika – where the audience has not yet been vaccinated to his particular brand of social offense.
It might be interesting to dwell on the possible motivations inducing a one trick Zionist comedian hack to choose a real nation, and in fact, a nation whose population is mostly Islamic to be the home of the idiot character he portrays – when a fictional nation would have served just as well. One wonders if the extra toxicity was necessary, but that is an issue deserving of a whole article in and of itself.
Of course this tendency on Sacha Baron Cohen’s part is not new. It is certainly no coincidence that his previous idiot of a character was called Ali.
It might also be interesting to wonder how an American media might react to the inverse situation; that a Muslim actor make a movie in which he plays a stupid, rude, crass, offensive, creepy, clumsy, buffoon of a Jew with the likely name of, say, Cohen.
The charges of antisemitism, I suspect, would in sheer volume drown out the cacophony of the wars raging in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Those charges of antisemitism would be leveled not only at the actor, the producers, the studio responsible, the director, but also, I suspect, at those viewers who pay to watch this offense and who laugh, and laugh, and laugh…
As though this were funny.
And yet – no such charges are spoken against Sacha Baron Cohen, or at Everyman Studios, or Four By Two, or Gold/Miller Productions, or One America, or 20th Century Fox, or Larry Charles – or the 837 theaters that screened the movie, or the audiences that have paid upwards of $70 million to enjoy the vicious venom of a vicarious racism.
How did we get here?