Friday, January 14, 2005

Borat The Brave

Friends have raved to me about "Da Ali G Show" for some time, but I've never really warmed to it. Interviews conducted by fictional characters take me only so far (Martin Short's Jiminy Glick works the same street). But then I saw this, and now my interest is piqued. What Sacha Baron Cohen did took major rocks, reminiscent of Roseanne's similar routine back in '90 and Carl Lewis', um, "effort" (and then there's Ozzy Osborne's wrecking of "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" at Wrigley Field, the 7th inning anthem of the Cubs). Many (most?) Americans view the Anthem as a religious hymn, and any parody of this tends to whip up an ugly nationalist response, esp during wartime. And that Cohen did this at a fucking rodeo heightened the danger (only a NASCAR event would be riskier), which will doubtless make for great TV.

Cohen exposed the potential violence rooted not only in our Anthem, but in all nationalist expression. An obvious point, true, but one that should be made more often.