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Borat Yakov Smirnoff

Borat SmirnoffI recognize Borat. He’s Yakov Smirnoff Y2K, but I’m hung up on another parallel. Smirnoff was the yucks-mascot for the Soviet Empire near the close of the Cold War. If Borat’s Kasak buffoon is a similar Muslim foil, what is the comparable war?

Bush and Company would like to call this the War on Terror, but does that really describe this Christian-Muslim war? I’ve yet to come across a term coined to describe this conflict. Will historians call this the Bush Crusade? The West’s gambit for the Middle East? The New American Century Asserted? Did this entanglement began with Israel in 1948? Upholding white man’s last colonial aggression?

Forget the Gulf War, or Operation Freedom. Forget the Israeli-Arab conflicts. It’s all the same occupation. The US Zionist War.

A great embarrassment about Borat is that unlike Yakov Smirnoff who was a Russian making fun of Russians, Borat is actually a Jew who is making fun of Muslims. This adds insult to injury as measured by the ceaseless Muslim deaths every day in Palestine at the hand of Israelis, and in Iraq and Afghanistan perpetrated by Israel’s Mossad. Borat’s put down of Muslims is too insulting for words.

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Comment from Michael Slivka   (IP:
Time: November 11, 2006, 11:10 pm

Only problem is, the ethnic group from which Borat derives is more characteristic of Eastern Europeans in general than Middle Eastern Muslims….Albanians, Romanians, Hungarians, Polish, Ukrainians. Kasakstan, while primarily Muslim in religion, followed the general cultural patterns of this area. All were virtual serfs until the 1900’s, when the Soviets took over….and continued their serfdom in the guise of socialism. Those “wild and crazy guys”, Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd, on SNL in the 70’s, were from Czechoslovakia, and I’ll bet that you found them humorous. Well, guess what? My grandparents mostly came from the Slovak region of Czechoslovakia around 1914, and I found them funny too! So I imagine we have to speak about what is funny, or is allowed to be funny, given our PC times. African Americans are allowed to joke about the ‘hood, Jews are allowed to joke about their culture, the Irish love to tell stories about their cultural eccentricities, but it seems that no one is allowed to mention any racial or ethnic group that they’re not directly tied to (since I’m 1/8 Polish, or an octo-Polack, I can tell this one: Did you hear about the Polish snow tire? It melted.)

What is it that makes something funny? The best definition I’ve seen came from Robert Heinlein, in “Stranger in a Strange Land”. Michael Valentine was the only survivor of a mission to Mars, actually conceived during the flight by two oversexed astronauts. Raised by Martians, he is brought up in the quintessential alien culture. He gets “rescued ” at about age 20, and is introduced to earth (actually, American) culture. He has no concept of humor at first, but gradually discovers that what is funny is always based on a “badness”: some personal quirk that reveals an unavoidable foible of human nature. Certainly, many of these foibles are ethnic, or cultural, in nature. The Jews have become expert in makjng fun or their own culture. Lenny Bruce was a master of finding and exposing the foibles of 1960’s culture. George Carlin lays bare our most hidden secrets, and we laugh our asses off at him. This is the bridge that can bring us all together…..if we can laugh together, and stop taking ourselves so seriously. DNA analysis of the fossil record has shown that all human life arose in Africa, spread over the millenia into Europe, the mid East, India, China, across the Bering Strait, and down into the Americas. Thus, wherever we came from RECENTLY, we’re all niggahs from da ‘hood, and we should just learn to get along, share a drink or a doobie, and chill.

Comment from Tony Logan   (IP:
Time: November 12, 2006, 1:05 am

Ha-ha-ha. Cohen plays the supposedly obtuse and backward Muslim straight, and Michael plays the obtuse lawyer to perfection. Here’s the thing though. Cohen is not Muslim, but Michael is a lawyer. Somehow I think that this lawyer Michael would not see the humor in a Muslim or Arab comedian playing an obtuse Hassidic Jew or Jewish IDF soldier out a killing. Ali G out.

Comment from Michael Slivka   (IP:
Time: November 12, 2006, 9:28 am

Actually, Tony, you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head, without even realizing it. I would much rather see a couple of raghead comics doing kike skits than watching them do suicide bombings. Let’s turn the UN into a big comedy club, and all the wops, frogs, limeys, micks, chinks, polacks, beaners and other associated spics, fags and bull-dykes can spend their days laughing at one another. No tribe would be sacred. There, did I manage to offend everyone yet?

Comment from Tony   (IP:
Time: November 12, 2006, 12:44 pm

I think you’re just being dishonest again, Mike. Always the lawyer, I see. When I started my comment about Cohen and his routine, I deliberately set it into the context of his film following in the tradition of a number of Hollywood action films, all depicting Arabs and Middle Eastern Muslim types in the most racist manner.

Cohen is a Jewish Islamophobe of the worst sort, and his character ‘Borat’ is not the only one he has invented that burlesque’s Muslims. “Ali G’ is another character he invented to snicker at Muslims with. And then there is ‘Ali G’s uncle, ‘Jamal’. The list goes on.

Once again, I know that if you saw a White American actor portraying Blacks or Hispanics in this manner, even Mike the Lawyer might take offense. Would you want to defend a Black person beat over the head by a cop for no reason and then charged with assault to that same cop, while all the while ignoring some comic made public mainstream while doing blackface representations of exaggeratedly ‘Black ghetto fabulous criminals’? I think not.

Cohen has become so popular despite his offensiveness, simply because so many people don’t recognize the dominant society’s Islamophobic racism in themselves. Your use of the ternm ‘raghead’ is now used much more than ‘kike’ today. The antisemitic hatred has been transferred from hatred of the Jew, to hatred of the Mulsim in American society.

And then we get to Israel itself. Most Americans refuse to recognize the racism of the Israeli Jewish community. They don’t recognize their own racist Islamophobia, so they cannot recognize that Israel is full of Jewish racists itself. You have compared Cohen’s humor as following in the tradition of Lenny Bruce’s. But that is bs, Mike. They are polar opposites. One was a nonracist, and the other is a virulent racist.

Let me say, that one cannot compare Cohen to a Sharon. It is always risky to attack a comedian because it is always going to come back that one is making a mountain out of a molehill. Cohen is certainly not the scale of evil that Sharon represents. Case in point, liberal Norman Solomon attacked the creater of comic strip Dilbert as being a closet reaccionary by supposedly making up Dilbert World the wrong way. He even wrote an entire book to support his argument. He made a mountain out of a molehill, IMO, and came out looking absurd himself. If all there was in this world to attack should only be the Dilbert comic strip? What a nitwit to pick this out of all the material wrong of our world. Norman Solomon made himself look foolish by choosing such a target. But I don’t think that seeing Cohen for what he is is quite the same thing, Michael.

But you will disagree with me on this, because you support Border Walls and ‘Wars on Terror’ . Both ‘wars’ designed to fight the Dark People, right Michael? Or ‘people of color’, to be more liberal pc.

Comment from Marie   (IP:
Time: November 12, 2006, 7:10 pm


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