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lofter1
November 14th, 2005, 04:49 PM
Kazakhstan threatens "Borat" with court

Monday Nov. 14, 2005
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051114/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_kazakhstan_borat


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

Baron Cohen, who portrays a spoof Kazakh television presenter Borat in his "Da Ali G Show", has won fame ridiculing Kazakhstan, the world's ninth largest country yet still little known to many in the West.

Baron 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.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/thenewswire/archive/ap/borat1.jpg
REUTERS/Jose Manuel Ribeiro

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen 'Borat'
gestures at a photo opportunity after a
news conference in Lisbon November 2, 2005.
Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry threatened
legal action on Monday against comedian
Sacha Baron Cohen, who wins laughs by
portraying the central Asian state as a
country populated by drunks who
enjoy cow-punching as a sport.


"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 behaviour 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 civilised behaviour," Ashykbayev said.


Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited

redhot00
November 14th, 2005, 05:31 PM
My girlfriend's son was adopted from Kazakhstan. I spent a month there with her in 2003 when she went to get him. The Kazakh people are proud and dignified even if they are slightly jaded from years of Soviet oppression.

Good for them for fighting back against this a-hole looking to get cheap laughs at their expense.

lofter1
November 25th, 2005, 11:48 PM
'Sue me,' says Borat

Fri Nov 25, 1:53 PM ET

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051125/od_uk_nm/oukoe_uk_kazakhstan_borat;_ylt=AuekQJowJ8YAOzNUCtr GBMis0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3NW1oMDRpBHNlYwM3NTc-


Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who uses a boorish, sexist and racist Kazakh alter ego called Borat to poke fun at interviewees has responded to a legal threat from the Kazakh authorities by satirically welcoming the move.

Cohen, who plays the spoof Kazakh television reporter in his "Da Ali G Show", incurred the wrath of Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry this month after appearing as Borat at the annual MTV Europe Music Awards.

He described shooting dogs for fun and said his wife could not leave Kazakhstan as she was a woman. The Foreign Ministry said his behaviour was unacceptable and that Cohen might be serving political orders to tarnish Kazakhstan's reputation.

Responding in character as Borat, Cohen, who is Jewish, said: "I like to state, I have no connection with Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew."

"Since 2003 ... Kazakhstan is as civilised as any other country in the world," he said on his website, www.borat.kz (http://www.borat.kz).


http://www.borat.kz/images/borat6.3_10.gif (http://www.borat.kz/www.borat.kz)


"Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hat and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

One Western diplomat in the Central Asian state's biggest city Almaty said he at least partly sympathised with the Kazakh government in trying to set the record straight.

"They are damned if they do (respond) and damned if they don't," he said.

"It's sort of unfortunate that he hit upon Kazakhstan."


Copyright © 2005 Reuters Limited

Mix106
November 26th, 2005, 08:30 AM
Eheheheh!!! Sue "Borat".... Ahahahah
Why?
He is paid to do that!
Leave the man alone!
:D

lofter1
December 14th, 2005, 08:25 AM
Kazakhs pull the plug on Borat's Web site

Yahoo News
December 13, 2005

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20051213/en_nm/kazakhstan_borat_dc;_ylt=AlMC.a91bk46MM5KLkDgATKs0 NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTA3ODdxdHBhBHNlYwM5NjQ-


ALMATY (Reuters) - The authorities in Kazakhstan, angered by a British comedian's satirical portrayal of a boorish, sexist and racist Kazakh television reporter, have pulled the plug on his alter ego's Web site.

Sacha Baron Cohen (http://search.news.yahoo.com/search/news/?p=Sacha+Baron+Cohen) plays Borat in his "Da Ali G Show" and last month he used the character's Web site www.borat.kz (http://www.borat.kz) to respond sarcastically to legal threats from the Central Asian state's Foreign Ministry.

A government-appointed organization regulating Web sites that end in the .kz domain name for Kazakhstan confirmed on Tuesday it had suspended Cohen's site.

"We've done this so he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name," Nurlan Isin, President of the Association of Kazakh IT Companies, told Reuters. "He can go and do whatever he wants at other domains."

Isin said the borat.kz Web site had broken new rules on all .kz sites maintaining two computer servers in Kazakhstan and had registered false names for its administrators.

Cohen, as Borat, hosted the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon last month and described shooting dogs for fun and said his wife could not leave Kazakhstan as she was a woman.

Afterwards, Kazakhstan's Foreign Ministry said it could not rule out that he was under "political orders" to denigrate Kazakhstan's name and threatened to sue him.

Cohen, who is Jewish, responded to the legal threats on the www.borat.kz (http://www.borat.kz) site in character, saying: "I have no connection to Mr Cohen and fully support my government's position to sue this Jew."

In typical vein, he went on: "Please, captain of industry, I invite you to come to Kazakhstan, where we have incredible natural resources, hard working labor and some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of Central Asia."

Borat is one of several outrageous characters devised by Cohen in his television shows. He shot to fame as Ali G, who mocks British street gang culture, and also plays Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion show presenter.

TLOZ Link5
December 14th, 2005, 12:40 PM
An undated photo of ethnic Kazakhs, likely from earlier last century (not a commentary on the state of modern Kazakhstan):

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b8/Prokudin-Gorskii-18.jpg

Compare to Borat.

In fact, the last time I was in Britain I remember reading a Guardian article about Borat and how Cohen was likely playing on American ignorance of Kazakhstan and its people to get away with his portrayal. The article also had a few interviews with Kazakh-Britons regarding their reactions to the character. The verdict: not favorable. This was before I'd ever watched the show, and part of the reason that I don't.

Edward
December 14th, 2005, 01:30 PM
As to the selection of Kazakhstan for his racial jokes, Mr Cohen was very limited. He could not select any country watching his program, that eliminates US and Europe; he cannot select any country in Africa, because it would never be broadcast; he cannot select any Arab country, because they will issue a death sentence for him.

I wonder whether people watching Mr. Cohen programs know that the first man, the first woman, the first dog in space were launched from Kazakhstan.

Ninjahedge
December 14th, 2005, 01:51 PM
Why he could not just make up a name that was similar to it, I don't know.


Sad to say, I did not even know Kazakhstan even existed.... :(


But this is typical of trash humor. Make fun of everything that is different and lump it together into something that looks vaguely foreign so that whoever watches can laugh at "them".

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't this guy use a sort of middle-eastern accent for his character? Isn't he just making $$ off of stereotype?

So when is he going to get a morning FM radio show in NYC? We are running out of obnoxious DJ/s hosts.

lofter1
December 14th, 2005, 02:36 PM
He is making fun of the neo-capitalists that have sprung up all over the place in various former Soviet republics.

Most likely he chose Kazakhstan because there are 2 "k"s in the word.

As any comic can tell you, words with "k"s in them are funny.

lofter1
September 13th, 2006, 08:41 PM
Bush to hold talks on Ali G creator after diplomatic row

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/05/SachaBaronCohenPA_228x395.jpg
Making waves: Sacha Baron Cohen's
creation Kazakh tv presenter Borat

Daily Mail (http://www.dailymail)
12th September 2006

US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.

And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident.

The opening scene, which shows Borat lustily kissing his sister goodbye and setting off for America in a car pulled by a horse, had audiences in stitches when it was first shown last week.

But the film, which has just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, has prompted a swift reaction from the Kazakhstan government, which is launching a PR blitz in the States.

Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev is to fly to the US to meet President Bush in the coming weeks and on the agenda will be his country's image.

President Nazarbayev has confirmed his government will buy "educational" TV spots and print advertisements about the "real Kazakhstan" in a bid to save the country's reputation before the film is released in the US in November.

President Nazarbayev will visit the White House and the Bush family compound in Maine when he flies in for talks that will include the fictional character Borat.

But a spokesman for the Kazakhstan Embassy says it is unlikely that President Nazarbayev will find the film funny.

Roman Vassilenko said: "The Government has expressed its displeasure about Borat's representation of our country.

"Our opinion of the character has not changed.

"We understand that the film exposes the hypocrisy that exists both here in the USA and in the UK and understand that Mr Cohen has a right to freedom of speech.

"Nursultan Nazarbayev has taken Mr Bush up on an invitation to visit this country to help build our relationship with the USA.

"I cannot speak for the president himself, only for the government, but I certainly don't think President Nazarbayev and Mr Bush will share a joke about the film.

"The bottom line is we want people to know that he does not represent the true people of Kazakhstan."

The Kazakh government has previously threatened Baron-Cohen with legal action, for allowing Borat to, among other things, make fun of his homeland, demean women, slander gypsies and urge listeners to "Throw the Jew Down the Well."

Anti-Borat hard-liners have pulled the plug on borat.kz, Borat's Kazakhstan-based Website after his frequent displays of anti-Semitism and his portrayal of Kazakh culture.

Nurlan Isin, President of the Association of Kazakh IT Companies took the action after complaints.

He said: "We've done this so he can't badmouth Kazakhstan under the .kz domain name.

"He can go and do whatever he wants at other domains."

The row originally erupted in November 2005, following Borat's hosting of the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry was furious over Cohen's bad taste representation of the nation.

'No such thing as bad publicity'

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yerzhan Ashykbayev told a news conference: "We view Mr. Cohen's behaviour at the MTV Europe Music Awards as utterly unacceptable, being a concoction of bad taste and ill manners which is completely incompatible with the ethics and civilized behaviour of Kazakhstan's people.

"We reserve the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of the kind."

Baron Cohen responded to Ashykbayev in character by posting a video on the Official Borat website.

In the video, Borat said, "In response to Mr. Ashykbayev's comments, I'd like to state I have no connection with Mr. Cohen and fully support my Government's decision to sue this Jew.

"Since the 2003 Tuleyakiv reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world.

"Women can now travel on inside of bus, homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats, and age of consent has been raised to eight years old."

His blatant outpouring then prompted the Kazakh government to hire two public relations firms to counter the claims, and ran a four-page advertisement in The New York Times.

The ad carried testimonials about the nation's democracy, education system and the power and influence enjoyed by women. News of President Nazarbayev's upcoming visit has prompted experts to study the character's impact on US culture.

Sean R. Roberts, Central Asian Affairs Fellow at Georgetown University, has been studying the phenomenon.

He said: "I have found that more Americans are aware of Kazakhstan than four years ago when I last lived in the United States.

"The increased knowledge of Kazakhstan, however, is not due to the country's economic successes or its role as a U.S. ally in the war on terror.

"Instead, most Americans who have heard of Kazakhstan have heard of it through a satire of a Kazakh journalist named Borat.

"Borat certainly does not promote an image of Kazakhstan that is in sync with that which the government and its leader would like to promote abroad.

"As the old adage goes, however, 'there is no such thing as bad publicity.'

"If that is true, Borat is bringing much more publicity to Kazakhstan."

Cohen's representatives refused to allow him or his alter ego to respond to the controversy because it's not close enough to the film's release date.

©2006 Associated Newspapers Ltd

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 14th, 2006, 03:01 AM
Why he could not just make up a name that was similar to it, I don't know.

Sad to say, I did not even know Kazakhstan even existed.... :(

Yes Ninja, just like Kaufman did with "Im from Caspiar" (fictional island in the Caspian sea).

Will Borat or Ali G ever be like Kaufman? I dont think so - he will always be one of the greats.

Very undignified humour. Kazakh have a proud history and also have a lot of oil at the moment (one of the worlds largest reserves). So I think they will be having the last laugh. Maybe they should do a skit "The Assassination of Borat" and see how he likes it.

lofter1
September 14th, 2006, 09:56 AM
Very undignified humour ...

Maybe they should do a skit "The Assassination of Borat" and see how he likes it.

GT: Are you DUTCH (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=120117&postcount=88) ???

Edward
September 14th, 2006, 10:51 AM
Not only can women travel "on inside of bus since 2003" in Kazakhstan, they can travel on inside of spaceships - since 1963 - when Valentina Tereshkova (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Valentina_Tereshkova) became the first woman in space. On Monday, Mrs. Ansari - the first female space tourist (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/12/science/space/12tourist.html?) - is going into space from cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

lofter1
September 14th, 2006, 11:16 AM
Talk about ^^^ an American Success Story ...

http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/09/12/science/tourist.190.1.jpg
Space Adventures
Anousheh Ansari is set to lift off on Monday for an
eight-day visit to the International Space Station.


From a balcony in Mashhad, a city between two mountain ranges in northeastern Iran, a young girl looked up at the stars — far away yet close enough to kindle a dream ...

When asked at a recent news conference in Star City why she wore an American and an Iranian flag on her spacesuit, Mrs. Ansari said she wanted to recognize both countries’ contributions to her life.

“I was born in Iran and lived there until the age of 16 and then moved to the United States,” she said, according to wire service reports. “So I have a lot of roots in Iran and feel very close to the Iranian people and the culture of the country.” ...

“I have the coordinates of certain pictures I like taken from space, and I want to see those places in person,” she said. “And I want to see the place where I grew up in Iran, where I first looked up at the stars.”

lofter1
September 14th, 2006, 11:29 AM
...going into space from cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/centers.html (http://www.russianspaceweb.com/centers.html)

Baikonur Cosmodrome

In the world of Star Trek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek) the Baikonur Cosmodrome launched the
SS Mariposa (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_the_Long_Ladder_%28TNG_episode%29) (NAR-7678) on 2123 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2123)-11-27 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/November_27) and the К. Э. Циолковский (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oberth_class_starship#Known_Oberth_class_starships )
(NCC-53911) circa 2363.

nasa.gov (http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/baikonur.html)

Baikonur Cosmodrome is the launch complex where Sputnik 1, Earth's first artificial satellite, was launched.

http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/149272main_fgb_illu_333l_med.jpg

Launch Complex 333-L: Baikonur has two Proton launch complexes,
one for international launches, and one for Russian military launches.
Each launch complex consists of two launch pads. Launch Complex 333,
the left launch pad, was used for the Zarya launch.

This launch pad, which is also referred to as "point 23," was fully refurbished
in 1989. Launch pad 333-R is currently undergoing refurbishment.

Ninjahedge
September 14th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Bottom line, the guy either through his own idiocy or as a deliberate act of defamation, decided to use a real country as his spoof.

He does not use the real accent, traditions or anything relating to that country, and goes WAY over the top in his heavy handed spoof.

It is a little late, but I think he should find that he misspelled the name of his home country Kazakhstan. Maybe Kazaakstan? (God forbid he made fun of a sharewear proggie! He could get sued!) Or maybe Kazakhollie.


All he has to do is use that brain up there in order to move his parody back into the land of fiction where it belongs.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 15th, 2006, 02:52 AM
GT: Are you DUTCH (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=120117&postcount=88) ???

No not like that Dutch guy. I dont believe in real assassinations.

My post described a "skit" of Borat's assassination in a movie, you know, fight fire with fire, or in this case, celluloid with celluloid. :)

The mock assassination on film could be carried out by "enraged" Kazakh agents who burst out in laughter after the mock assassination and start high fiving and saying "I wonder who got the last laugh us or Borat Hahahahahahahah".

See?

lofter1
September 15th, 2006, 11:00 AM
Bottom line, the guy either through his own idiocy or as a deliberate act of defamation, decided to use a real country as his spoof.

All he has to do is use that brain up there in order to move his parody back into the land of fiction where it belongs.

It's not as if Kazakhstan under current president Nursultan Nazarbayev shouldn't be lambasted:

With Kazakh's Visit, Bush Priorities Clash

Autocrat Leads an Oil-Rich Country

Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/28/AR2006082801282_pf.html)
By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 29, 2006; A01

President Bush launched an initiative this month to combat international kleptocracy, the sort of high-level corruption by foreign officials that he called "a grave and corrosive abuse of power" that "threatens our national interest and violates our values." The plan, he said, would be "a critical component of our freedom agenda."

Three weeks later, the White House is making arrangements to host the leader of Kazakhstan, an autocrat who runs a nation that is anything but free and who has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing the bulk of $78 million in bribes from an American businessman. Not only will President Nursultan Nazarbayev visit the White House, people involved say, but he also will travel to the Bush family compound in Maine.

Nazarbayev's upcoming visit, according to analysts and officials, offers a case study in the competing priorities of the Bush administration at a time when the president has vowed to fight for democracy and against corruption around the globe. Nazarbayev has banned opposition parties, intimidated the press and profited from his post, according to the U.S. government. But he also sits atop massive oil reserves that have helped open doors in Washington ...

nick-taylor
September 23rd, 2006, 04:30 PM
Bottom line, the guy either through his own idiocy or as a deliberate act of defamation, decided to use a real country as his spoof.

He does not use the real accent, traditions or anything relating to that country, and goes WAY over the top in his heavy handed spoof.

It is a little late, but I think he should find that he misspelled the name of his home country Kazakhstan. Maybe Kazaakstan? (God forbid he made fun of a sharewear proggie! He could get sued!) Or maybe Kazakhollie.

All he has to do is use that brain up there in order to move his parody back into the land of fiction where it belongs.He's actually an exceptionally gifted person - he went to Haberdashers' and studied History at Christ's College, Cambridge (the highest ranked of the Cambridge colleges and less than 400 admissions each year). He is also Jewish and of a Persian descent - he uses his intelligence and background to play people into situations that they fall into (extract from Wikipedia) and hence the humour:


Sacha Baron Cohen is himself a Jew of Persian descent (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Jew) and uses the Borat character to expose anti-Semitism and racism. By having Borat make anti-Semitic and racist statements, Baron Cohen is able to show people's favorable reaction and thereby expose anti-Semitic/racist sentiment in society. He visited a bar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_%28establishment%29) in Tucson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucson), Arizona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona) where he sang a song about problems in his country, but the subject quickly changed from transportation to Jews, with the lyrics "Throw the Jew down the well/ so my country can be free./ You must grab him by his horns,/ then we have a big party." Rather than reacting in shock or disgust, the crowd at the bar gleefully sang along and clapped with the beat, as per Borat's instructions. While taking a self-defense class, Borat asked the instructor to teach him how to defend against the "Jew Claw", and then he made a claw with his hand and had the instructor defend himself against it. Similarly, while hunting he asked if it was legal to shoot Jews, to which his host replied that he would have no problem with that even if some would.


He's one of a new breed of educated comedians, my favourite at the moment would be Jimmy Carr (who achieved a 1st at Gonville & Caius College in Social & Political Sciences, Cambridge and for a brief time was an executive at Shell!), but Sacha is pretty funny.

I personally don't see the problem - its not like comedians haven't made fun of countries or people before and essentially he is bringing to the surface peoples true views on racism, religion, women and other topics. He talks about throwing jews down the well and all but he is jewish himself.

What makes the situation even funnier is that Dariga Nazarbayeva - the politician and daughter of the Kazakhstan - has come out and defended Sacha (http://www.cbc.ca/story/arts/national/2006/04/21/borat-kazakhstan-defence.html?ref=rss).

I can't wait until it comes out in November!

ablarc
September 23rd, 2006, 08:48 PM
From Wikipedia:

Like other religious minorities in Iran, Jews suffer from officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and housing. They may not occupy senior positions in the government or the military and are prevented from serving in the judiciary and security services and from becoming public school heads.

The anti‑Israel policies of the Iranian government, along with a perception among radical Muslims that all Jewish citizens support Zionism and the State of Israel, create a hostile atmosphere for the Jewish community. In 2004, many Iranian newspapers celebrated the one-hundredth anniversary of the publishing of the anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Jews often are the target of degrading caricatures in the Iranian press. Jewish leaders reportedly are reluctant to draw attention to official mistreatment of their community due to fear of government reprisal.

MAKS
September 23rd, 2006, 11:01 PM
I wonder whether people watching Mr. Cohen programs know that the first man, the first woman, the first dog in space were launched from Kazakhstan.
The first woman, the first dog in space were launched from USSR!!! :mad: Kazakhstan was in USSR, But people which worked by the start in space was soviet (russian) scientists and Kazah people just live near of Baikonur. Space centre was build in Kazah in USSК time, beacause there steppe everywere and on that ground nothing grows!:D

ZippyTheChimp
September 24th, 2006, 01:00 PM
I wonder whether people watching Mr. Cohen programs know that the first man, the first woman, the first dog in space were launched from Kazakhstan.
Not all at once, right?

pianoman11686
September 24th, 2006, 02:27 PM
He visited a bar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_%28establishment%29) in Tucson (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucson), Arizona (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona) where he sang a song about problems in his country...

So that's where that was!

MrSpice
September 24th, 2006, 11:35 PM
So that's where that was!

I think Barat is funny character and I am looking forward to this movie.

Luca
September 25th, 2006, 08:03 AM
I guess if I was Kazakhstani I would fiund it offensive. I agree he should ahve made up a ficticious country. Anyone ignorant enough to believe he is for real (or at least have a doubt) won't know anyway.

That said, the skits are actually hilarious. He introduced the Puyssycat Dolls (in cahracter) at teh MTV awars as "international music prostitutes"......

Theu had a Kazakhstani intellectual (andwomnan) on BB's Radio 4 the other day commenting on this. She thought it was funny though a bit unfortunate. That said, according to her, he's got the accent and the clothes down pat.

lofter1
September 28th, 2006, 12:20 AM
Kazakhs Shrug at ‘Borat’ While the State Fumes


http://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/2006/09/28/arts/28bora.300.jpghttp://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gifhttp://graphics10.nytimes.com/images/misc/spacer.gif
Mario Anzuoini/Reuters

Sacha Baron Cohen plays the title character in the comedy “Borat.”


NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/28/movies/28bora.html)
By STEVEN LEE MYERS
September 28, 2006


ASTANA, Kazakhstan, Sept. 26 — There is no Running of the Jews here. No one greets you with the expression “Jagshemash,” which is either nonsense, garbled Polish or mangled Czech; it’s hard to say. The country’s national drink is not made from horse urine, though fermented horse milk, or kumys, is considered a delicacy. (It tastes like effervescent yogurt.)


There is almost nothing, in short, remotely truthful in the satiric depiction of Kazakhstan popularized by Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian who plays a bumbling, boorish, anti-Semitic, homophobic and misogynistic Kazakh television reporter named Borat Sagdiyev.


And yet Borat — Mr. Cohen, that is — has managed to infuriate and confound the country’s officials. Their attempts to respond, to set the record straight, have resulted only in more attention here, where Borat’s antics, shown on British and American television and on the Internet, now make the rounds like samizdat from the long-gone days when the country was part of the Soviet Union.


“You mean Ali G?” Artyom Artyukhov, an 18-year-old student, said in a sleek new coffeehouse in Almaty, the country’s commercial center, referring to Mr. Cohen’s “Ali G Show,” where Borat first emerged to haunt this proud, prickly Central Asian nation. “A friend from the United States brought me a disc.”


Now Mr. Cohen has a feature-length film, opening Nov. 3 in the United States, called “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” with a title as malapropos as Borat’s sendup of Kazakhstan as a backward land of poverty, prostitution and bigotry.


And Kazakhstan’s government is flustered all over again. That the film had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival this month in advance of a visit to the United States this week by the country’s president, Nursultan A. Nazarbayev, only made matters worse, and a denunciation by the Kazakh Embassy in Washington led to a flurry of newspaper articles asserting — wrongly, the embassy said — that Mr. Nazarbayev intended to complain about “Borat” to President Bush. The embassy has said the country will continue to portray itself in a more positive light with television commercials and newspaper advertisements, like the one that appeared yesterday in The New York Times.


The foreign ministry spokesman, Yerzhan N. Ashykbayev, said in an interview here in Astana, the country’s capital, that “what we are concerned about is that Kazakhstan — terra incognita for many in the West — is depicted in this way.”


Mr. Ashykbayev denounced Mr. Cohen’s performance as host of the MTV Europe Music Awards in Lisbon last fall, in which a skit mocked the imperial aura that surrounds Mr. Nazarbayev, the country’s president since independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Mr. Ashykbayev suggested that Mr. Cohen was acting on behalf of “someone’s political order” to denigrate Kazakhstan and that the government “reserved the right to any legal action to prevent new pranks of this kind.”


Mr. Cohen, who is Jewish, responded, as Borat, in a video posted on his Web site, citing Mr. Ashykbayev by name and declaring that he “fully supported my government’s decision to sue this Jew.”


“Since the 2003 Tulyakov reforms, Kazakhstan is as civilized as any other country in the world,” he goes on in the video, citing fictional details in the absurdly stilted English that is central to his act. “Women can now travel inside of bus. Homosexuals no longer have to wear blue hats. And age of consent has been raised to 8 years old.”


But it was the Foreign Ministry’s complaint that gave some in the country’s news media a chance to report on it, and that was when most Kazakhs first learned that a faraway British comedian had turned the world’s attention to their country.


In an atmosphere of legal constraints on press freedoms, if not outright censorship, the ministry’s statement offered a way to poke fun at Mr. Nazarbayev’s near-absolute political power, at least indirectly, by showing what the fuss was all about.


“There is an unwritten rule that the president’s personality is never criticized,” said Baryz Bayen, a correspondent and editor for TV 31, a privately owned channel in Almaty.


Last fall Mr. Bayen prepared a six-minute feature on the controversy over Mr. Cohen’s MTV performance that included clips of the skit depicting Mr. Nazarbayev, borrowed from Russia’s NTV channel. Mr. Bayen cited a history of political satire dating to Molière and recalled an old refrain from Soviet times: “I have never read Solzhenitsyn, but I condemn him absolutely.”


“I do not feel any false patriotism,” said Mr. Bayen, who, like all ethnic Kazakhs, bears no resemblance to Borat whatsoever. “I saw portions of his show, and I can say it is funny.”


TV 31’s executive producer, Yevgeny Grundberg, said he hoped to send a correspondent to interview Mr. Cohen in character, reversing the roles in Borat’s acts, where his mock interviews have duped some subjects. So far, though, Mr. Cohen has not responded to his offer. He said Mr. Cohen’s satire was hyperbolic at best and wildly off the mark at worst but nonetheless served as an antidote to the articles and broadcasts that appear in official state media, where Kazakhstan is forever harmonious and prosperous.


“Most people take it normally,” he said, noting that those who have seen Borat remain a minority with access to the Internet or satellite television, where “Da Ali G Show” appears on Russian MTV, which is on cable television here. “The nation has changed enough for that.”


Perhaps not. “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” will almost certainly not appear in Kazakhstan’s movie theaters, Mr. Ashykbayev said. He added that law-enforcement agencies would do everything within their power to restrict the film’s importation into the country, as well as the legal distribution of its DVD.


After Mr. Cohen’s MTV appearance last fall the Kazakh authorities stripped his site of its original domain name, .kz. Even Mr. Nazarbayev’s daughter, Dariga, criticized that step, saying in an interview with one of the newspapers she owns that Borat’s site “damaged our image much less than its closure.” In fact it now appears at www.borat.tv (http://www.borat.tv) and remains accessible here.


Borat’s act is a matter of taste, here as elsewhere. Kseniya Udod, an editor who works for Astana, a television channel here owned by the state’s energy company, KazMunaiGaz, called it “humor below the waist.”


At the same time she noted the altogether different reaction in Finland to a running gag by Conan O’Brien, the host of NBC’s “Late Night,” based on his supposed resemblance to that country’s president, Tarja Halonen. Mr. O’Brien was warmly welcomed there when he visited in February following Ms. Halonen’s re-election.


Mr. Nazarbayev’s presidency, by contrast, is autocratic and tolerates little public criticism.


“The government is young,” Ms. Udod said. “Maybe we take these things more painfully.”


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

lofter1
September 29th, 2006, 10:52 AM
Kazakhstan is on the PR offensive -- just saw a new TV ad on CNN: "Kazakhstan -- Ever Wandered?". More here ...

Borat Not Amusing Kazakhstan Leaders,
White House Secret Service

Reporter' visits White House to counter former Soviet republic's public-relations campaign

http://www.mtv.com/onair/ema/2005/flipbook/press/281x211.jpg
Photo: Getty Images
Borat

mtv.com/news (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1541976/20060928/index.jhtml?headlines=true)
Gil Kaufman, with additional reporting by Larry Carroll
September 28, 2006


Yes, Kazakhstan is a real country. No, the painfully naive Borat is not actually from there.


Yes, his new movie — actually the new movie from Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comedian who plays Borat — is called "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." But it has nothing to do with the current major publicity campaign the former Soviet republic that gained freedom in 1991 has launched.


And finally, yes, Borat really did show up at the White House Thursday (September 28), attempting to invite "Premier George Walter Bush" to an upcoming screening. Fans may find all of this quite amusing — but the Secret Service agents who turned Cohen away weren't so amused.


The Kazakhs are saying the battle between the onetime Russian-ruled country and the chameleon-esque comedian is not an attempt to draw attention away from the comedy flick, which opens in November and is full of the kind of outrageous racist and sexist jokes viewers of "Da Ali G Show" are used to from Borat. (If you haven't seen Cohen's show, click here to meet Kazakh reporter Borat. (http://www.borat.tv/))


On the other side of the battle, however, is a man who stormed the gates of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue one day before President Bush is scheduled to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Addressing reporters, the in-character comedian said: "Jagshemash, my name Borat Sagdiyev. ... I would like comment on recent advertisements on television and in media about my nation of Kazakhstan, saying that women are treated equally, and that all religions are tolerated — these are disgusting fabrications."


Attributing the real-life Kazakh ads to a propaganda campaign by the "very nosy" country of Uzbekistan, Borat went on to threaten military action: "If there is one more item of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine, give death penalty for baking bagels or export over 300 tons of human pubis per year, then we will be left with no alternative but to commence bombardment of their cities with our catapults."


The leaders of Kazakhstan wish Borat would just go away and that everyone would instead focus on the beauty of cities like Almaty, which they cite as having "sidewalk benches that seem perpetually occupied by trendy-looking teenagers." The publicity effort for the country of 15 million went into full gear this week, beginning with a splashy, four-page, full-color advertising supplement in the A section of The New York Times on Wednesday.


The public-relations response was timed to coincide with the meeting between Bush and Nazarbayev. Contrary to reports in the British press last month, Nazarbayev has insisted he is not planning to complain about the movie to President Bush during his visit. After Borat's White House-crashing performance, however, it seems hard to imagine that they'll avoid the topic.


"All claims that our glorious leader is displeased with my film, 'Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,' is lie," the mustached character announced. "In facts, main purpose of Premier Nazarbayev's visit to Washingtons is to promote this movie-film."


When asked about the movie this week (for real), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she was vaguely familiar with it but said no Kazakh leaders had called her office. "I didn't [get a call]," she said. "No. No. No."


In the movie, Borat is sent from Kazakhstan to the U.S. to film a documentary at the urging of the Kazakh Ministry of Information in an attempt to raise the country's profile in the West. Most of the movie is similar to the skits on "Da Ali G Show," in which Cohen, as the bumbling Borat, interviews people in character, saying and doing things — like wearing a barely there lime-green wrestling thong on a crowded beach or crudely insulting his host's wife at a fancy dinner — that only a clueless foreigner could (maybe) get away with.


To the likely consternation of the Kazakh government, the movie got mostly rave reviews at September's influential Toronto Film Festival, with Entertainment Weekly calling it one of the funniest, most entertaining satire films in years.


While MTV News couldn't reach anyone at the Kazakh consulate in Washington, D.C., to comment, the first page of the Times supplement, titled "Kazakhstan in the 21st Century: Looking Outward," certainly seems like an attempt at damage control in advance of the movie, or at least an effort to counter lingering negative press accounts about Nazarbayev's clampdown on the country's media outlets and allegations that he's stashed millions in Swiss bank accounts.


The Times supplement featured an article titled "Conclave Calls for Religious Tolerance Among All Faiths Throughout the World," which began, "A booming economy and rich natural resources are not Kazakhstan's only claim to prominence among the Central Asian republics. Religious tolerance is another one of the hallmarks of this nation."


Sure, you wouldn't expect the country's consulate to play Borat's offensive country tune "Throw the Jew Down the Well" (sample lyric: "In my country there is problem/ And that problem is the Jew/ They take everybody money/ They never give it back") for its hold music. But not even religious tolerance can explain why callers to the country's Washington press office are instead subjected to a never-ending loop of an easy-listening version of the Beatles' "Let It Be" rendered on what sounds like a $10 children's keyboard.


The Times blitz didn't come cheap. According to a staffer in the paper's advertising department, the rate for a full-page color ad in the A section of the Times can run up to $100,000 a page. And considering the spread re-ran in the Thursday edition of the Times-affiliated International Herald Tribune, the ad campaign could have cost upward of $1 million. That's not including a series of TV spots, which ran on networks like CNN. Under a bed of Middle Eastern-sounding instrumental music, a series of picturesque urban and pastoral scenes float across the screen, ending with an Australian-sounding voice intoning, "Kazakhstan, ever Wandered?"


Last year, after Cohen's appearance at the MTV Europe Music Awards (see "Coldplay, Green Day Win Big At MTV Europe Music Awards" (http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1512983/11042005/coldplay.jhtml)), Kazakhstan's foreign minister accused the comedian of acting in a way that was "completely incompatible with ethics and civilized behavior" and even threatened to sue Cohen to stop him from further pranks. That was only after it was ominously suggested that Cohen was "serving someone's political order designed to present Kazakhstan and its people in a derogatory way."


Borat responded on his Web site by denying any connection with Cohen (in real life, an observant Jew), and saying he supported his government's decision to "sue this Jew." In fact, Borat continued to invite "captain of industry" to visit his home country to experience the abundant natural resources, hard-working labor and "some of the cleanest prostitutes in all of Central Asia."


Now, Borat is furthering his cause by insisting that he and Nazarbayev are actually visiting Washington this week to extend invitations to their movie screening, as well as a "cocktail party and a discussion of closer ties between our countries at Hooters, on 825 7th Street."


In addition to Bush, Borat also invited "other American dignitaries" such as "Donald Rumsfeld, Bill Gates, O.J. Simpson and Mel Gibsons."


Whether or not the country can, or will, take Cohen's joke, its foreign ministry spokesperson recently told the Times, "What we are concerned about is that Kazakhstan — terra incognita for many in the West — is depicted in this way."


Check out everything we've got on "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." (http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/295653/moviemain.jhtml)

© 2006 MTV Networks

lofter1
September 29th, 2006, 11:02 AM
White House gates shut to 'Kazakh reporter' comic

http://images.scotsman.com/2006/09/28/2006-09-28T221409Z_01_NOOTR_RTRIDSP_2_OUKEN-UK-LIFE-BORAT.jpg
REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Actor Sacha Baron Cohen in the role of fictitious Kazakh journalist
Borat Sagdiyev attempts to deliver an invitation for his new movie
at the White House.

reuters.com/news (http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyID=2006-09-29T124641Z_01_N28213372_RTRUKOC_0_US-LIFE-BORAT.xml&pageNumber=0&imageid=&cap=&sz=13&WTModLoc=NewsArt-C1-ArticlePage2)
By Andy Sullivan
Fri Sep 29, 2006

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Borat, the fictional TV reporter from Kazakhstan, may have gotten under the skin of Kazakh officials but on Thursday he couldn't get past the gates of the White House.

Secret Service agents turned away British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as the boorish, anti-Semitic journalist, when he tried to invite "Premier George Walter Bush" to a screening of his upcoming movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan." Also invited to the screening: O.J. Simpson, "Mel Gibsons" and other "American dignitaries."

Cohen's stunt was timed to coincide with an official visit by Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who is scheduled to meet with Bush on Friday.

Nazarbayev and other Kazakh officials have sought to raise the profile of the oil-rich former Soviet republic and assure the West that, contrary to Borat's claims, theirs is not a nation of drunken anti-Semites who treat their women worse than their donkeys.

Borat goes to Washington (http://today.reuters.com/tv/videoStory.aspx?isSummitStory=False&storyId=62d592b2fc0474bc09826dfccb0fbab5f208bacc&WTmodLoc=NewsArt-L2-RelatedVideo-2) :: Play Video (http://today.reuters.com/tv/videoStory.aspx?isSummitStory=False&storyId=62d592b2fc0474bc09826dfccb0fbab5f208bacc&WTmodLoc=NewsArt-L2-RelatedVideo-3)

Kazakhstan is expected to become one of the top 10 oil producers within a decade. A U.S. ally with troops in Iraq, the country has drawn criticism for its deteriorating civil liberties and flawed elections.

Shortly after Nazarbayev dedicated a statue in front of the Kazakh embassy, Borat denounced an official Kazakh publicity campaign running in U.S. magazines as "disgusting fabrications" orchestrated by neighboring Uzbekistan.

"If there is one more item of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine, give death penalty for baking bagels, or export over 300 tonnes of human pubis per year, then we will be left with no alternative but to commence bombardment of their cities with our catapults," Borat said.

PHOTO of Borat outside The Kazakhstan Embassy in Washington, D.C. (http://i.today.reuters.com/misc/genImage.aspx?uri=2006-09-29T124638Z_01_N28213372_RTRUKOP_2_PICTURE0.jpg&resize=full)

Cohen, 35, who is Jewish, recently co-starred in the recent U.S. box office hit "Talladega Nights" and has appeared in TV comedy series "Da Ali G Show" on U.S. cable channel HBO and Britain's Channel 4.

Cohen's "Borat" comedy routine has drawn legal threats from the Kazakh government, which keeps a tight lid on criticism in its news media.

Kazakh press secretary Roman Vasilenko said he was worried that some may take the Borat routine seriously.

"He is not a Kazakh. What he represents is a country of Boratastan, a country of one," Vasilenko told Reuters.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

lofter1
October 13th, 2006, 08:57 AM
'Borat' defends portrayal of Kazakhstan

http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/photo/2006/10/12/PH2006101200613.jpg
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Christophe Ena
British ctor Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed in his character "Borat" poses for the press near
the Eiffel tower in Paris, Monday, Oct. 9, 2006. Cohen is in France to promote his film
called "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan".

yahoo.com/s/ap (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061012/ap_en_tv/people_borat;_ylt=Asu6ECXsMrkBVG_iwaFqJK9xFb8C;_yl u=X3oDMTA2Z2szazkxBHNlYwN0bQ)
Oct 12, 2006

The comedian known as "Borat" appeared briefly in Amsterdam Thursday, praising the city's freewheeling nightlife and defending his portrayal of the central Asian country of Kazakhstan. Borat boasted of picking up a date at a popular Amsterdam bar known as a gay meeting place.

"This woman reminded me of Kazakhi woman, she was more tall than me, with hair on arms, and some hair on face, and deep voice," he told the Dutch press.

Borat Sagdiyev, played by British comic Sacha Baron Cohen, has been criticized as a homophobic, misogynistic, English-mangling caricature — the very traits that endear him to fans of his satire.

Kazakhstan's government placed four-page advertising inserts in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune last month, countering Borat's portrayal of the ex-Soviet country as a backward place.

Borat said Thursday the ads were placed by agents of neighboring Uzbekistan and threatened to "commence bombardment of their cities with our catapults," if they do not stop.

In reality, Kazakhstan profiles itself as a forward-looking pro-Western nation, with double-digit economic growth and immense oil reserves.

Last month, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev met with U.S. President George W. Bush to discuss economic ties.

Borat claimed that the true aim of Nazarbayev's trip was to promote Cohen's new film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan."

Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press.

newcastle kid
October 13th, 2006, 09:31 AM
Yes, Kazakhstan is a real country. No, the painfully naive Borat is not actually from there.



Painfully naive? Lol he has literally EVERYONE bent over a barrel doesn't he? Even the people who don't realise he is a fictional character are ignorant of him.

Lets face it, no one would know there was a kazakhstan if it was not for Borat. Well, very few anyway. I didn't. But I suppose I was only like 12 or 13 when I first saw Borat.

I like to think of it as Sascha making dumb uneducated Westeners look stupid, not the actual Kazakstan.

lofter1
October 14th, 2006, 12:14 PM
How I was duped by Ali G.


downtown express (http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_179/howiwasduped.html)
By Linda Stein
Volume 19 • Issue 22
October 13 - 19, 2006


I click onto the trailer of the upcoming 20th Century Fox movie, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” at the urging of friends. They’re right: I’m in it. The clip shows me in my art studio in Tribeca, right near the World Trade Center site. On the wall are my female “Knights,” larger-than-life sculptures of warrior women that I created post-9/11 to evoke peace and protection, and to counter the vulnerability I felt running from the burning towers. The movie moment shows me giving Borat a heave-ho: “That’s it,” I say and walk off camera.


I made the acquaintance of Sacha Baron Cohen, the British entertainer who pretends to be a bumbling journalist from Kazakhstan, in June 2005. A blurb for the movie says “on his cross-country road-trip, Borat meets real people in real situations with hysterical consequences.” Cohen is a comedy star on HBO; predictions are he’ll make millions. I’m a visual artist, and as surprised as anyone to be headed for the big screen.


Borat is a funny guy in more than one way. He doesn’t call; he doesn’t write. He hasn’t invited me to a screening. I bet I’m not even on his party list for the Academy Awards. He doesn’t want to talk about how he induces people to engage with his fake characters. But here — from a somewhat painful first-hand experience — is how it happens.


My initial contact came from Chelsea Barnard, a name that, in retrospect, might have tipped me off to a set-up (I’m still not sure if it was real or not). In a chirpy e-mail, Chelsea said she heard about me because I am on the large board of Veteran Feminists of America, a New York group that highlights the successes and history of women leaders such as Bella Abzug, Betty Friedan and Coretta Scott King. My role with the group has been to mount shows of my works to engage people in the arts at public events.


Chelsea said she was working on “a documentary-style film about America” —although by this definition, “The Daily Show” is a documentary, too. “We are working in conjunction with Belarus Television and a foreign correspondent,” Chelsea wrote, covering up even the fictional nationality of Borat. She wanted to arrange “a round table discussion about the recent history of feminism.” Members of the producing team have worked on productions about women war correspondents and female boxers, she reported.


As a former teacher in the arts, I often extend myself to talk to younger generations and people from afar, and have even traveled to Japan to talk about women artists. When I said I would consider participating, Chelsea rushed to my studio. A dark-haired “LonelyGirl15” type, she was earnest in a pre-interview. One question was odd: What television shows do I watch? I later learned that Borat/Cohen doesn’t like encounters with people who know that he’s the guy from “Da Ali G Show.”


The filming was scheduled so rapidly that I had little time to investigate. A six-person crew and Chelsea arrived the next morning to interview me and two others, although Borat was not with them. I was on the Internet at the time, checking a friend’s assessment of the banal-sounding company listed on Chelsea’s card, One America Productions. “It looks like a front,” she said, suggesting a right-wing cover. “Ask who their funders are,” said another. There was no mention of 20th Century Fox, Borat, Cohen, or a comic movie-in-the-making.


As the crew — obviously professional — set up in my art studio, “Chelsea” handed me a contract. I asked more questions. Chelsea said the funding comes from Belarus Television and deftly clicked my computer to its website. She further persuaded me about the value of the project: she said that they were interviewing former Mayor Ed Koch. As an extra step of precaution, I decided to put in a call to his office, and Koch’s secretary, Mary, confirmed that this was true.


I finally agreed, although I admit that I failed to read the fine detail on the “Standard Consent Agreement.” Since I thought this was a documentary, I probably would have signed it anyway. When I did study it later, I realized that it’s anything but “standard.” Buried are statements asserting that I waive claims for “offensive behavior” and “misleading portrayal” and “fraud (such as any alleged deception or surprise about the film or this consent agreement).” While I’m no legal expert, I can’t believe that you can agree to be defrauded — or wouldn’t every used car dealer use the same clause?


Chelsea paid me the grand sum of $200 — cash — for my appearance. Since I’m fairly successful as an artist, the amount of money didn’t concern me, but the payment convinced me that the project had backing and wouldn’t be a waste of my time. She also paid me another $250 for the use of my premises. Chelsea left and finally, Borat showed his face, bounding into my studio, rumpled suit and all.


The fake journalist began legitimately, asking me to describe my sculptural torsos. These works of Women Warriors draw upon iconic female figures, including Wonder Woman, a character who emerged in the midst of World War II “to further the cause of peace, equality and security in a world that seems to be spiraling madly toward perpetual war,” according to original DC Comics introduction. As I pointed out the various materials in the work — wood, metal and stone — Borat listened closely.


But it wasn’t long before the fake journalist started switching and baiting, performing like a Howard Stern wannabe. Women in his country must walk behind men, he said. Condoleezza Rice is the “chocolate lady,” he claimed, implying that she beds foreign diplomats. He gestured his interest in large-breasted women. His goading produced predictable results. Right before I kicked him out, he declared — as the clip shows — that women have smaller brains than men.


In humor or art theory, you could argue that his statement is so ridiculous that the very utterance of it proves the reverse, and therefore is an unmasking of his character’s small mindedness. Some of Borat’s most famous segments do just that, such as when the comic, who is Jewish, cajoles patrons in a country-western bar to sing “Throw the Jew down the well” to expose covert anti-Semitism. But what exactly is he trying to unmask when he ridicules women?


Borat could cause a sensation by pressing his “small brain” commentary on people like Lawrence Summers, the former president of Harvard who resigned after saying that women can’t be scientists. Instead, for the sake of a cheap laugh, he chooses to reinforce the stereotype of women as the inferior sex, at the expense of women. How funny is that?


Inspired segments of Borat and me were cut. At one point, Borat declared that men are stronger than women and held up two chairs to prove it. I did, too — although I’m only half his size, I’m used to working with bronze and hefty sculpting materials, so his pecs didn’t hold up his thesis. But, clearly, he will only show segments that make the “figures” in his art — his interviewees — look foolish, so that he looks superior.


My art confronts fears and overcomes them with symbols of empowerment. I don’t know what motivates Borat/Cohen to use his considerable talents to deceive and manipulate: maybe it’s his way of gaining power over the childhood sting of religious animosity or the feelings of inferiority from a woman’s beating him at Scrabble. I only know that afterward, I am left feeling confused and sad.


After I threw Borat and his crew out to the hollow landscape of Ground Zero, I returned to my studio. Here my Wonder Woman figures welcomed me as I began, again, to work on my sculpture. Perhaps one of my future female Knights will carry an added layer of protection against celluloid tricks. Maybe then, Borat will send me the outtakes.


Linda Stein is an artist living in New York. Her exhibition on Women Warriors and the Power to Protect opens at Flomenhaft Gallery, 547 W. 27th Street in Chelsea, on November 2 and continues through December 20.


© 2006 Community Media, LLC


***


http://www.lindastein.com/home/index.php


http://www.flomenhaftgallery.com/exhibitions/linda_stein_intro.htm

nick-taylor
October 17th, 2006, 06:04 PM
It isn't released until the 3rd November in the UK and US, but tonight I saw an advanced viewing of it - and what can I say? Funniest thing this year.

My jaw hurts because I couldn't stop laughing
My eyes hurt after crying so much with laughter

I had trouble breathing as I was laughing so much during one scene - lets say you'll never laugh and cringe as much about two naked people, a rubber fist, a lift and a conference....

And he does meet up with Pamela Anderson and tries to get away with a lot more than you expect...

Is it sick? Yes it is! Is it intelligent? Yes it is! Is it funny - yep it is!

lofter1
October 17th, 2006, 07:09 PM
rotten tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/borat/) so far gives it ^^^

100% http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/object/movie/critics_tomatometer_fresh.gif

12 reviews / 12 raves ...

nick-taylor
October 18th, 2006, 06:34 AM
No suprise, it really is funny - I'm still having trouble not to laugh after remembering a few scenes.

lofter1
October 19th, 2006, 12:04 PM
Kazakh Official Invites Fake Journo, Borat,
To Visit 'Homeland'

editorandpublisher.com (http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003285184)
By E&P Staff
October 19, 2006

ALMATY, Afghanistan - A top Kazakh official has invited British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen whose depiction of "Borat" -- a homophobic, anti-semitic, misogynistic Kazakh journalist -- has angered the Central Asian nation, to visit the "homeland."

"His trip could yield a lot of discoveries -- that women not only travel inside buses but also drive their own cars, that we make wine from grapes, that Jews can freely attend synagogues and so on," Aliyev told local news agency Kazakhstan Today late on Wednesday.

Cohen's movie, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," opens in the U.S. next month.

Kazkah officials in the past have threatened to sue the comedian. Cohen, in his Borat guise, even applauded that move to "sue that Jew."

Aliyev said he understands why Kazakhs are unhappy about Cohen's character, Borat Sagdiyev. "But we must have a sense of humor and respect other people's freedom of creativity," Aliyev told Kazakhstan Today.

The Kazakh Foreign Ministry recently ran four-page ads in The New York Times and in the International Herald Tribune touting the nation's economic growth, civil liberties and cultural achievements.

"It's useless to offend an artist and threaten to sue him," Aliyev said. "It will only further damage the country's reputation and make Borat even more popular."

Also this week, a German group thatr defends gypsies said it had filed a suit to try to stop Cohen from showing his latest film in Germany. "We are accusing him of defamation and inciting violence against Sinti and Roma (gypsies)," Marko Knudsen, head of the European Center of Antiziganism Research, told Reuters.

Antiziganism refers to hostility to gypsies.

E&P Staff

ZippyTheChimp
November 3rd, 2006, 01:56 PM
November 3, 2006

MOVIE REVIEW | 'BORAT'

From Kazakhstan, Without a Clue

By MANOHLA DARGIS

Sometime in early 2005, a mustachioed Kazakh journalist known as Borat Sagdiyev slipped into America with the intention of making a documentary for the alleged good of his Central Asian nation. Many months later, the funny bruised fruits of his labor, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” are poised to hit the collective American conscience with a juicy splat. The Minutemen, those self-anointed guardians of American sovereignty, were watching the wrong border.

Borat, who just recently invited the “mighty warlord” George W. Bush to the premiere of his film before a gaggle of excited news crews, is the dim brainchild of Sacha Baron Cohen, the British comic best known until now for another of his pseudonymous identities, Ali G. Described by his creator as a “wannabe gangsta,” Ali G was the host of a British television show, starting in 2000 (HBO had the American edition), where, as the voice of “the yoof,” he interviewed serious and self-serious movers and shakers, including “Boutros Boutros Boutros-Ghali,” Sam Donaldson and Richard Kerr, a former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, who found himself explaining why terrorists could not drive a train into the White House. (No tracks.)

Mr. Baron Cohen succeeded in seducing politicians and pornography stars alike, mostly because Ali G’s phenomenal stupidity made the character seem harmless. He also seemed to represent the ultimate in media big game: young people. Dressed like a Backstreet Boy, complete with Day-Glo romper suits, designer initials and a goatee that looked as if it had been painted on with liquid eyeliner, he was met with bewilderment, exasperation and patience that at times bordered on the saintly. Like Borat and Bruno, another of the comic’s similarly obtuse television alter egos who made regular appearances on the shows, the joke was equally on Ali G and on the targets of his calculated ignorance.

With Borat, Mr. Baron Cohen took the same basic idea that had worked with Ali G and pushed it hard, then harder. The joke begins with an apparently never-washed gray suit badly offset by brown shoes, which the performer accents with a small Afro and the kind of mustache usually now seen only in 1970s pornography, leather bars and trend articles. Think Harry Reems, circa 1972, but by way of the Urals. Married or widowed, and he appears to be both, Borat loves women, including his sister, the “No. 4 prostitute” in Kazakhstan, with whom he shares lusty face time in the film’s opener. He’s a misogynist (a woman’s place is in the cage), which tends to go unnoticed because he’s also casually anti-Semitic.

That Mr. Baron Cohen plays the character’s anti-Semitism for laughs is his most radical gambit. The Anti-Defamation League, for one, has chided him, warning that some people may not be in on the joke. And a sampling of comments on blogs where you can watch some of the older Borat routines, including a singalong in an Arizona bar with the refrain “Throw the Jew down the well,” indicates that the Anti-Defamation League is at least partly right: some people are definitely not in on the joke, though only because some people are too stupid and too racist to understand that the joke is on them. As the 19th-century German thinker August Bebel observed, anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools, a truism Mr. Baron Cohen has embraced with a vengeance.

Given this, it seems instructive to note how discussions of Borat, including the sympathetic and the suspicious, often circle over to the issue of Mr. Baron Cohen’s own identity. Commentators often imply that Borat wouldn’t be funny if Mr. Baron Cohen were not Jewish, which is kind of like saying that Dave Chappelle wouldn’t be funny if he were not black. For these performers, the existential and material givens of growing up as a Jew in Britain and as a black man in America provide not only an apparently limitless source of fertile comic material, but they are also inseparable from their humor. But no worries: Borat makes poop jokes and carries a squawking chicken around in a suitcase.

Like General Sherman, he also lays waste to a sizable swath of the South, a line of attack that begins in New York and ends somewhere between the Hollywood Hills and Pamela Anderson’s bosom. The story opens in Kazakhstan (apparently it was shot in a real Romanian village that looks remarkably like the set for a 1930s Universal horror flick), where Borat sketches out his grand if hazy plans before heading off in a horse-drawn auto. Once in New York, in between planting kisses on startled strangers and taking instruction from a humor coach, he defecates in front of a Trump tower (Donald Trump was one of Ali G’s more uncooperative guests) and masturbates in front of a Victoria’s Secret store. The jackass has landed.

It gets better or worse, sometimes at the same time. Whether you rush for the exits or laugh until your lungs ache will depend both on your appreciation for sight gags, eyebrow gymnastics, sustained slapstick and vulgar malapropisms, and on whether you can stomach the shock of smashed frat boys, apparently sober rodeo attendees and one exceedingly creepy gun-store clerk, all taking the toxic bait offered to them by their grinning interlocutor. There is nothing here as singularly frightening as when, during his run on HBO, Borat encountered a Texan who enthused about the Final Solution. That said, the gun clerk’s suggestion of what kind of gun to use to hunt Jews will freeze your blood, especially when you realize that he hasn’t misheard Borat’s mangled English.

That scene may inspire accusations that Mr. Baron Cohen is simply trading on cultural and regional stereotypes, and he is, just not simply. The brilliance of “Borat” is that its comedy is as pitiless as its social satire, and as brainy. Mr. Baron Cohen isn’t yet a total filmmaker like Jerry Lewis (the film was directed by Larry Charles, who has given it a suitably cheap video look), but the comic’s energy and timing inform every scene of “Borat,” which he wrote with Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and his longtime writing and production partner, Dan Mazer. These guys push political buttons, but they also clear room for two hairy men to wrestle nude in a gaspingly raw interlude of physical slapstick that nearly blasts a hole in the film.

Clenched in unspeakably crude formation, those hairy bodies inspire enormous laughs, but they also serve an elegant formal function. The sheer outrageousness of the setup temporarily pulls you out of the story, which essentially works along the lines of one of the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby road movies, though with loads of smut and acres of body hair, relieving you of the burden of having to juggle your laughter with your increasingly abused conscience. Just when you’re ready to cry, you howl.

“If the comic can berate and finally blow the bully out of the water,” Mr. Lewis once wrote, “he has hitched himself to an identifiable human purpose.” Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t blow bullies out of the water; he obliterates them.

“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It includes raw language, naked men and nude wrestling.


BORAT

Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

Opens today nationwide.

Directed by Larry Charles; written by Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Peter Baynham and Dan Mazer, based on a story by Mr. Baron Cohen, Mr. Baynham, Mr. Hines and Todd Phillips, and a character created by Mr. Baron Cohen; directors of photography, Anthony Hardwick and Luke Geissbühler; edited by Peter Teschner and James Thomas; music by Erran Baron Cohen; produced by Sacha Baron Cohen and Jay Roach; released by 20th Century Fox. Running time: 89 minutes.

WITH: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat), Ken Davitian (Azamat), Luenell (Luenell), Alex Daniels (Naked Fight Coordinator), James P. Vickers (Kidnapping Consultant), Peewee Piemonte (Safety) and Michael Li, Harry Wowchuk and Nicole Randall (Action Team).


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

LeCom
November 3rd, 2006, 04:16 PM
Borat is a perfect example of how America is still full of racist hypocrites. Yes, America in general - just about everyone I met is damn excited about the movie, and all the reviewers seem to rave about it. No one gives a damn if a money-hungry comic (don't tell me Cohen isn't making a big buck on this) is injecting very negative stereorypes about a very underrepresented country in America's diverse landscape. Just imagine the harrassment Kazakh kids will now get at American schools, which is just the tip of the iceberg of cultural damage done to Kazakhstan. In my humble opinion, Cohen needs to get his ass beat, and his "you're doing this to me just because I'm Jewish" (as he actually responded to threats of lawsuits, in his Borat persona) won't fly - he deserves it for being a greedy racist ****, no matter what race.

Ninjahedge
November 3rd, 2006, 04:30 PM
I do not like the fact that he is doing this, but how many Kazah kids are there out there? You are starting to line up the reasons to hate before you look at the reality.

I think what he is doing is in poor taste, but the irony is that he is showing how stupid the general public is. I GUARANTEE you that if you were to do something similar in another country and used a little known nation in your own spoof, you would get similar reactions.

So stop pointing fingers and just let it go. The more people scream, the more money Ali G gets.

lofter1
November 3rd, 2006, 09:42 PM
I saw the movie this afternoon -- it's stupid but hilarious at times.

The Kazakhs have little to worry about from this film regarding the youth of Kazakhstan. I mean, how much worse can it be if all the kindergartners there already carry AK-47s? (It's true -- Borat says so -- and has the vid to prove it.)

The Jews have a lot more to scream about -- the Kazakh version of the "running of the bulls" is a real eye opener.

My main concern is how Pamela Anderson came out at the end of this.

But it seems they have some history (http://www.tv.com/story/576.html) ...

LeCom
November 5th, 2006, 07:01 PM
I do not like the fact that he is doing this, but how many Kazah kids are there out there? You are starting to line up the reasons to hate before you look at the reality.
See, that's the problem. While Americans see the evil of stereotyping large minorities like the Blacks and Hispanics, they generally care much less for the small minorities. "How many Kazakh kids are out there?" Not too many in America, that's for sure, but those that are there will catch hell from their peers from now on. In other words, you're saying it's perfectly fine to make fun of a minority and cash in on it if the minority does not have enough power to make their voice heard?

nick-taylor
November 6th, 2006, 03:57 AM
See, that's the problem. While Americans see the evil of stereotyping large minorities like the Blacks and Hispanics, they generally care much less for the small minorities. "How many Kazakh kids are out there?" Not too many in America, that's for sure, but those that are there will catch hell from their peers from now on. In other words, you're saying it's perfectly fine to make fun of a minority and cash in on it if the minority does not have enough power to make their voice heard?And someone making fun of minorities is a new thing in comedy?

Saw it again for a 2nd time - still just as funny.

ZippyTheChimp
November 6th, 2006, 06:44 AM
LeCom: Have you seen the movie?

kz1000ps
November 6th, 2006, 11:33 AM
but those that are there will catch hell from their peers from now on.

My last name is Boucher. Once Adam Sandler's film the Waterboy came out I "caught hell" over it, to the point that my chemistry teacher would quote the movie to me almost every day, "Bobby Boucher, you are a loser."

I cried myself to sleep each night ;)

Fabrizio
November 6th, 2006, 12:03 PM
The concept is nothing new. Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd 30 years ago:

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/77/77afestrunks.phtml

And duping the innocent public was done just a visciously and hilariously by David Letterman and before him, the great Steve Allen.

LeCom
November 8th, 2006, 02:13 AM
LeCom: Have you seen the movie?
I have not, but I have seen plenty of clips from the show and the movie itself. I'm pretty sure that I get the gist of what it's about, and the reviews support my assumptions.

lofter1
November 12th, 2006, 08:43 AM
Borat film 'tricked' poor village actors

http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2006/11/boratb111106_228x535.jpg
(Top) Borat introduces his sister, a 'prostitute'.
(Bottom) One-armed Nicu Tudorache feels ashamed.

dailymail.co.uk (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=415871&in_page_id=1770)
By BOJAN PANCEVSKI and CARMIOLA IONESCU
11th November 2006

• Watch the trailer for Borat's movie here (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/showbiz/viewingroom.html?in_page_id=1922)

When Sacha Baron Cohen wanted a village to represent the impoverished Kazakh home of his character Borat, he found the perfect place in Glod: a remote mountain outpost with no sewerage or running water and where locals eke out meagre livings peddling scrap iron or working patches of land.

But now the villagers of this tiny, close-knit community have angrily accused the comedian of exploiting them, after discovering his new blockbuster film portrays them as a backward group of rapists, abortionists and prostitutes, who happily engage in casual incest.

They claim film-makers lied to them about the true nature of the project, which they believed would be a documentary about their hardship, rather than a comedy mocking their poverty and isolation.

Villagers say they were paid just £3 each for this humiliation, for a film that took around £27million at the worldwide box office in its first week of release.

Now they are planning to scrape together whatever modest sums they can muster to sue Baron Cohen and fellow film-makers, claiming they never gave their consent to be so cruelly misrepresented.

Disabled Nicu Tudorache said: This is disgusting. They conned us into doing all these things and never told us anything about what was going on. They made us look like primitives, like uncivilised savages. Now they,re making millions but have only paid us 15 lei [around £3].

Cambridge-educated Baron Cohen filmed the opening scenes of the Borat movie in Glod - a village that is actually in Romania, rather than Kazakhstan, and whose name literally translates as 'mud', last summer.

Its 1,000 residents live in dilapidated huts in the shadow of the Carpathian mountains. Toilets are little more than sheltered holes in the ground and horses and donkeys are the only source of transport.

Just four villagers have permanent employment in the nearby towns of Pucioasa or Fieni, while the rest live off what little welfare benefits they get.

So when a Hollywood film crew descended on a nearby run-down motel last September, with their flashy cars and expensive equipment, locals thought their lowly community might finally be getting some of the investment it so desperately needs.

The crew was led by a man villagers describe as 'nice and friendly, if a bit weird and ugly', who they later learned was Baron Cohen. It is thought the producers chose the region because locals more closely resembled his comic creation than genuine Kazakhs.

The comedian insisted on travelling everywhere with bulky bodyguards, because, as one local said: 'He seemed to think there were crooks among us.'

While the rest of the crew based themselves in the motel, Baron Cohen stayed in a hotel in Sinaia, a nearby ski resort a world away from Glod's grinding poverty. He would come to the village every morning to do 'weird things', such as bringing animals inside the run-down homes, or have the village children filmed holding weapons.

Mr Tudorache, a deeply religious grandfather who lost his arm in an accident, was one of those who feels most humiliated. For one scene, a rubber sex toy in the shape of a fist was attached to the stump of his missing arm - but he had no idea what it was.

Only when The Mail on Sunday visited him did he find out. He said he was ashamed, confessing that he only agreed to be filmed because he hoped to top up his £70-a-month salary - although in the end he was paid just £3.

He invited us into his humble home and brought out the best food and drink his family had. Visibly disturbed, he said shakily: 'Someone from the council said these Americans need a man with no arm for some scenes. I said yes but I never imagined the whole country, or even the whole world, will see me in the cinemas ridiculed in this way. This is disgusting.

'Our region is very poor, and everyone is trying hard to get out of this misery. It is outrageous to exploit people's misfortune like this to laugh at them.

'We are now coming together and will try to hire a lawyer and take legal action for being cheated and exploited. We are simple folk and don't know anything about these things, but I have faith in God and justice.'

If the village does sue the film-makers, they won't be the first. Last week, two unnamed college students who were caught on film drunkenly making racist and sexist comments took legal action, claiming the production team plied them with alcohol and falsely promised that the footage would never be seen in America.

Many other unwitting victims of Baron Cohen's pranks have also spoken out against the way they were conned and - unsurprisingly - the rulers of Kazakhstan have long taken issue with the image Borat paints of their vast, oil-rich nation.

The residents of Glod only found out about the true nature of the film after seeing a Romanian TV report. Some thought it was an art project, others a documentary.

The Mail on Sunday showed them the cinema trailer - the first footage they had seen from the film. Many were on the brink of tears as they saw how they were portrayed.

Claudia Luca, who lives with her extended family in the house next to the one that served as Borat's home, said: 'We now realise they only came here because we are poorer than anyone else in this village. They never told us what they were doing but took advantage of our misfortune and poverty. They made us look like savages, why would anyone do that?'

Her brother-in law Gheorghe Luca owns the house that stood in for Borat's - which the film-makers adorned by bringing a live cow into his living room. Luca, who now refers to Baron Cohen as to the 'ugly, tall, moustachioed American man', even though the 35-year-old comedian is British, said: 'They paid my family £30 for four full days. They were nice and friendly, but we could not understand a single word they were saying.

'It was very uncomfortable at the end and there was animal manure all over our home. We endured it because we are poor and badly needed the money, but now we realise we were cheated and taken advantage of in the worst way.

'All those things they said about us in the film are terribly humiliating. They said we drink horse urine and sleep with our own kin. You say it's comedy, but how can someone laugh at that?'

Spirea Ciorobea, who played the 'village mechanic and abortionist', said: 'What I saw looks disgusting. Even if we are uneducated and poor, it is not fair that someone does this to us.'

He remembered wondering why the crew took an old, broken Dacia car and turned it into a horse cart. He said: 'We all thought they were a bit crazy, but now its seems they wanted to show that it is us who drive around in carts like that.'

Local councillor Nicolae Staicu helped the crew with their shooting, but he claims he was never told what sort of movie they were making, and that they failed to get a proper permit for filming.

Staicu, who had never dealt with a film crew before, said: 'I was happy they came and I thought it would be useful for our country, but they never bothered to ask for a permit, let alone pay the official fees. 'I realise I should have taken some legal steps but I was simply naive enough to believe that they actually wanted to do something good for the community here. 'They came with bodyguards and expensive cars and just went on with their job, so we assumed someone official in the capital Bucharest had let them film.'

Bogdan Moncea of Castel Film, the Bucharest-based production company that helped the filming in Romania, said the crew donated computers and TV sets to the local school and the villagers. But the locals have denied this.

Mr Staicu said: 'The school got some notebooks, but that was it. People are angry now, they feel cheated.'

It's a feeling Glod is used to. The village, like others in the Dambovita region of Romania, is populated mainly by gipsies who say they are discriminated against by the rest of the country.

Indeed, when local vice-mayor Petre Buzea was asked whether the people felt offended by Baron Cohen's film, he replied: 'They got paid so I am sure they are happy. These gipsies will even kill their own father for money.'

No one from the 20th Century Fox studio was available for comment on the villagers' claims.

But feelings in Glod are running so high that The Mail on Sunday saw angry villagers brandishing farm implements chase out a local TV crew, shouting that they had enough of being exploited.

It is small comfort that few, if any, of them will get to see the Borat film. Not a single villager we spoke to had ever been able to afford a trip to the nearest cinema, 20 miles away. Perhaps that's the real reason why film-makers chose Glod in the first place.

©2006 Associated Newspapers Ltd

ablarc
November 12th, 2006, 10:35 AM
^ Shameful. The joke has gone too far.

Cohen needs to forestall a lawsuit and pony up a portion of his ill-gotten gains or he will seem as much of a hypocrite as those he lampoons.

MidtownGuy
November 12th, 2006, 05:12 PM
I'm disgusted by this! How horrible to exploit those villagers, struggling just to survive!
With all the millions this film is raking in, Cohen should now change the lives of those villagers. Put in plumbing for them, renovate their homes, new school for the children. It would cost a tiny percent of the profits from this movie. Do what's right Cohen!!!!

LeCom
November 20th, 2006, 08:34 PM
I'm disgusted by this! How horrible to exploit those villagers, struggling just to survive!
With all the millions this film is raking in, Cohen should now change the lives of those villagers. Put in plumbing for them, renovate their homes, new school for the children. It would cost a tiny percent of the profits from this movie. Do what's right Cohen!!!!
Cohen doesn't give a rat's ass about tarnishing the image of an entire Central Asian country. Why would he care about a bunch of poor people? (unless it comes to making a buck off their misery, of course)

daver
November 21st, 2006, 09:27 AM
Best thing that happened to Borat in NYC...

Borat punched by non-fan
BY: Actress Archives | Monday, November 13, 2006


Sacha Baron Cohen's new film , Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan topped the box office for the second weekend in a row, bringing in $29 million in its second weekend in theatres. Crowds have been howling at Cohen's antics, but not everyone thinks his routine as a faux reporter from Kazakhstan is funny after Cohen was punched by a non-fan in New York.


While Sacha Baron Cohen was in New York filming an episode of Saturday Night Live alongside fellow Brit Hugh Laurie, Cohen decided to keep the Borat character in the public eye. So, while Borat was on the streets, he approached a New Yorker on the street and asked, "I like your clothes. Are nice! Please may I buying? I want have sex with it." Unfortunately, the New Yorker that Borat chose must not have been a fan of his movie or his humor, and decided to punch Sacha Baron Cohen in the face.


After the man punched Cohen in the face, he cried out for help, though in true New York fashion, no one was willing to come to his aid. In true British fashion, Hugh Laurie came to the support of Cohen, as he pushed the man away and helped Sacha Baron Cohen to his feet. Hugh Laurie was with Cohen as the two were headed out for drinks after taping Saturday Night Live.


An inside source told Britain's The Sun paper that, "Sacha couldn't resist playing the fool as Borat, but he picked the wrong person. I guess this guy thought he was being attacked by someone unstable and lashed out. Sacha is very lucky he didn't get a much worse beating."


Sacha Baron Cohen was shaken by the incident, though he did not sustain any serious injuries. Monsters and Critics reports that "Film bosses are pleading with Cohen, 35, to stop posing as Borat on US streets to avoid further violent attacks."


The New Yorker that assaulted Cohen isn't the only American to fail to see the humor of his comedy. Two anonymous American students appear in Borat, making rude and sexist remarks. The students have filed a lawsuit against Cohen and the filmmakers for allegedly getting the duo drunk before asking them to sign a release to appear in the film. The two students claim to have suffered humiliation and mental distress and are seeking compensation in the realm of $25,000.


While Cohen may have to worry about New Yorkers and their violent reaction to his character, he won't have to worry about Kazakhstan. While Borat was in Australia, he was asked about the success of his film. Australian publication The Age quoted Borat as replying, "If the film was not a success my Government had made it clear that I would be executed. They were also relieved because the last time they used the electric chair in Kazakhstan all the lights in the capital city went out."

Ninjahedge
November 21st, 2006, 11:19 AM
After the man punched Cohen in the face, he cried out for help, though in true New York fashion, no one was willing to come to his aid.

I would have been tempted to help the guy that punched him!!!! ;)

And what is this crap? He gets hit once and NY is portrayed as the city that does not care? Was he being mugged? Did the guy keep hitting him? Nice balanced journalism there!

daver
November 21st, 2006, 11:23 AM
I would have been tempted to help the guy that punched him!!!! ;)

And what is this crap? He gets hit once and NY is portrayed as the city that does not care? Was he being mugged? Did the guy keep hitting him? Nice balanced journalism there!
Yah, that was a nice NYC slag there.

Perhaps the witnesses *DID* recognize him, lol!

Maybe I'm insensitive, but if I saw some knob get in someone's face with his buddies, probably laughing and acting like a jackass, I wouldn't be exactly dropping my bag to come to his aid when he got popped for it. Get a clue.

lofter1
November 24th, 2006, 09:17 AM
Former Transit Worker Suing "Borat" Producers
After Film Appearance

ny1 (http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=64555)
Bobby Cuza
November 23, 2006

Andy Rohman, born and bred in Brooklyn, was a longtime transit employee and by his count, has been riding the subways for 46 years. But he'd never met a character on the train quite like this one.

One day last year, Rohman shared a Downtown express train with Sasha Baron Cohen, aka Borat, the fictional TV journalist from Kazakhstan and of course, star of the movie by the same name.

"He said that this is his first day in America, and he's glad to be here. And I sort of said, 'well, if you keep acting the way you're doing,' I says, 'it's going to be your last day in America,'" recalls Rohman.

That exchange didn't make it into the movie, but another one did, where Rohman tells Borat his name is 'none of your f-ing business.'

Rohman says not only did he never sign a release form, he didn't even know he was being filmed, till the movie was released earlier this month, and friends started calling to say they'd seen him onscreen.

"At no time did I see a camera. At no time did I see any lighting. At no time did I see anybody actually filming anything," says Rohman.

Rohman says he's embarrassed and that his outburst in the movie could hurt his chances for future employment. His attorney is asking the film's producers for damages; if that doesn't work, Rohman is prepared to join the list of those in the movie who've filed lawsuits, including Romanian villagers portrayed as backward Kazakhs. A 20th Century Fox spokesman said it would premature to comment on Rohman's case since he hasn't yet taken any action.

"It's not fair to people, to mock, intimidate, harass, provoke people into acting poorly," says Rohman. "I don't think it's fair that people should make money off that, at other people's expense."

"We expect to get opposition. I'm sure they have very good law firms representing them. But we're willing to take them on. We believe we have the case to beat them," says Rohman's attorney Norman Langer.

If the makers of "Borat" do end up having to pay damages to Andy Rohman or anyone else, it shouldn't make too much of a dent in their profits. The film has so far grossed more than $90 million at the box office.

Copyright © 2006 NY1 News.

lofter1
July 8th, 2008, 02:56 PM
We may need to start a new thread: "Arkansas v. Bruno" :cool:

Fake Ark. bouts showing men kissing draw suspicion

Yahoo News (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/Crowds in Arkansas came for the lure of cage fighting and $1 beer, but police say what they got instead was men ripping each others' clothes off and kissing — a stunt suspected of being orchestrated by Sacha Baron Cohen of "Borat" fame.)
By JON GAMBRELL, Associated Press Writer
Tue Jul 8, 6:13 AM ET

Crowds in Arkansas came for the lure of cage fighting and $1 beer, but police say what they got instead was men ripping each others' clothes off and kissing — a stunt suspected of being orchestrated by Sacha Baron Cohen of "Borat" fame.

We had a contract for cage fighting. We were deceived," said Dwight Duncan, president and CEO of Four States Fair Grounds in Texarkana, where the first of two Arkansas fights raised suspicions last month.

Matt Labov, a Los Angeles-based publicist for Baron Cohen, said he had no comment Monday about the faked fights. One of Baron Cohen's movies is due out next year.

The day after the June 5 Texarkana bout, Fort Smith's convention center hosted "Blue Collar Brawlin.'" Fort Smith police Sgt. Adam Holland said organizers told him a character named "Straight Dave" would goad a planted audience member into the ring for a fight.

[ see the craigslist ad (http://fortsmith.craigslist.org/tix/706337717.html) for " Blue Collar Brawlin' " ]

The two men would then wrestle, rip away some of their clothes and share a brief kiss reminiscent of one between Baron Cohen and Will Ferrell in the film "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

Producers said "there would be a romantic embrace," Holland said. "They said it was kind of to essentially make fun, poke fun at wrestling — two guys rolling around on the floor, all sweaty."

An elaborate array of mounted and handheld video cameras caught the crowd of 1,600's reaction as the two men "went right up to the line" of the city's morality laws, Holland said. The two men stripped down to their underwear, kissed and rubbed on each other, the sergeant said.

The audience, as well as local fighters drawn to take part in the show, became enraged. "It set the crowd off lobbing beers," Holland said. "They had beers in plastic cups. Those things can get some distance on them actually."

Holland said it took officers about 45 minutes to clear the convention center, as the two actors sprinted away through a specially set-aside tunnel.

Those in attendance were told by several signs on display that they'd be filmed, Holland said, and signed waivers before the event. Convention center sales director Karin Hobbs declined to name the event's sponsor Monday.

Baron Cohen became a national celebrity after his 2006 hit movie "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan," in which he played a bumbling reporter from the Central Asia nation.

News of the faked cage fights comes as Baron Cohen is in production of a movie titled "Bruno," named after the gay Austrian fashion reporter he developed for "Da Ali G Show." Baron Cohen, in the guise of Bruno, often interviewed hapless subjects in the South.

If the cage match visits came from Baron Cohen, it wouldn't be the first time Arkansas fell for a practical joke. In 2000, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee fell for a prank and congratulated Canada for preserving its icebound Parliament, calling it a "national igloo."

Copyright © 2008 Yahoo

lofter1
July 8th, 2008, 02:58 PM
The poster (http://www.talive.com/2008/06/tomorrow-night-blue-collar-brawlin-in.html) for Blue Collar:

http://bp3.blogger.com/_UXHwXN4dKxs/SEgGx2LWELI/AAAAAAAAACo/Tc4pYKKxLfE/s1600/bluecollarbrawlin.gif

lofter1
July 8th, 2008, 03:07 PM
From the smoking gun (http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0708081bruno1.html) ...

"Bruno" Pranks It Up

Arkansas cage fights turn gay for new Sacha Baron Cohen movie

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/graphics/art4/0708081inside1.jpg

JULY 8--Lured by $1 beer and the prospect of "hot chicks" and "hardcore fights," thousands of Arkansans were duped last month into appearing as extras in comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's latest staged mayhem. Cohen and his confederates organized cage fighting programs on consecutive days in Texarkana and Fort Smith. Both cards ended with two male grapplers (one was identified as "Straight Dave" and wore camouflage) tearing each other's clothes off and, while in underwear, kissing down their opponent's chest. This man-on-man action triggered Fort Smith fans to throw chairs and beer at the ring, according to one cop present at the city's Convention Center.

Cohen is currently filming a follow-up, of sorts, to his smash 2006 film featuring Borat, his fictional Kazakh journalist. The new film stars another of Cohen's creations, Bruno, a gay Austrian journalist who interviews subjects about fashion and entertainment. It is reportedly titled, "Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruno_(film))."

The June 5 Texarkana promotion was adverstised as "Red, White, and Blood." ...

Jasonik
July 8th, 2008, 04:10 PM
Baron Cohen dupes Israeli intelligence

A former Mossad official said he was the target of the latest undercover operation by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Israeli analyst Yossi Alpher was invited to be interviewed for what was supposed to be a documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israeli analyst Yossi Alpher was invited to be interviewed for what was supposed to be a documentary on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
He said he realised something was amiss when he saw the interviewer - a man claiming to be a German rock star dressed in leather and studs - who compared the Middle East conflict to the spat between actor Brad Pitt's former and current wives.

Alpher said he was led down a winding staircase and through long corridors to the interview site in Jerusalem, but only learned later that the interviewer was Cohen's latest character, Bruno.

Cohen's other characters include rude-boy Ali G and the Kazakh journalist Borat.

Due to the sheer inanity of the questions, Mr Alpher and his Palestinian counterpart began to suspect the interview was a scam, but it was too late to pull out as the two had signed release forms and received payment for the interview.

In answering one question, the interviewees had to explain the difference between Hamas - an Islamic group ruling Gaza - and hummus - a chickpea paste eaten throughout the region.

© Independent Television News Limited 2008. (http://itn.co.uk/news/af84157123e8d2221cc849c73c1380d1.html)

OmegaNYC
July 8th, 2008, 05:26 PM
Say what you want about Cohen, but this guy is a genius when it comes to comedy. I can't wait till I see this. :cool:

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 9th, 2008, 05:33 AM
Comic Genius?

Pauly Shore has more genius than this guy. Seriously.

Cohens genius is up there with Roy Schneider.

Anyway, Cohen's game is up -

Anti Kazakh = Anti Muslim

Anti Austrian = Anti Shickelgruber

Who would ever have those empathies?

Nuff said...

Luca
July 9th, 2008, 08:40 AM
Cohen's schtick is to take advantage of people's credulity and/or politeness. :(

What was the point of the Arkansas thinbg? To suggest (shock! Horror!) that guys that go see pro-wrestlign may be act homophobically when confronted with some over-the-top man-grappling? :rolleyes:

Such insight....

Fabrizio
July 9th, 2008, 08:54 AM
He's very cool but wears thin after about 10 minutes.

He's copied it all from : Candid Camera, Steve Allen, and early David Letterman.

malec
July 9th, 2008, 02:31 PM
What a bunch of boring old men you all are, I can't believe you're actually analysing Borat. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw this film :)

Luca
July 11th, 2008, 02:50 AM
In aswer to your rhetorical question :)

As I grow older, I find my sense of compassion interferes annoyingly with my enjoyment of humor at the expense of powerless people like the obese, the ignorant, the mentally handicapped, hillbillies, etc.

I still fully enjoy ridicule of the powerful and pompous.

lofter1
July 11th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Here, here ...

http://www.magazine.org/editorial/40-40-covers/23.jpg

http://www.brendan-nyhan.com/photos/uncategorized/mike0921.gif

but also I think SBC is pretty damned funny :cool:

Ninjahedge
July 11th, 2008, 02:53 PM
There there.


BTW, the first comic isn't linking.....

lofter1
July 11th, 2008, 08:16 PM
X = Bush as Alfred E. Newman and a sign saying "WORRY"

KenNYC
July 12th, 2008, 08:57 AM
I honestly don't get what people find amusing by Borat/Ali-G...

And to me it's not what Luca says either, I'm not really bothered by making fun of the "weak", my only problem with this guy is that he simply isn't funny.

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 12th, 2008, 10:11 AM
Heres the ranking.

From the bottom...

1000. Flight of the Conchords

999. Sasha

998. Rob Schneider

From the top down

1. Stella Street

2. Dave Chappelle

3. The Royle Family

Never heard of Stella Street?

Here you go *language warning*:

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=hym4u6kCAUw&feature=related

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 12th, 2008, 10:34 AM
When Stella Street sharts, Sasha Cohen comes out.

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2O4BPzvI8

Nuff said.

lofter1
June 1st, 2009, 12:21 AM
Sasha's been reinacarnated and is back for more fun (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FoKf5HS62oM) ...

This guy, DUPREE (http://dramadupree.com/2009/05/mtv-response.html), can't contain himself after Bruno's mishap tonight on the (otherwise tediously stupid) MTV Movie Awards Show.

Gregory Tenenbaum
June 1st, 2009, 04:42 PM
Even Fanboys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBkA3R2Habo) is funnier than Sasha.

Pauly Shore (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcfySy_gzbQ) is funnier than Sasha.

Nuff said.

Unlike Shatner, Sasha is unable to laugh at himself.

Thats the difference.

meesalikeu
July 9th, 2009, 10:20 AM
it was obviously scripted to an extent, but the today show's matt lauer just had a very funny interview with bruno this morning:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/31827689#31827689

http://msnbcmedia3.msn.com/j/MSNBC/Components/Photo/_new/g-tdy-090808-bruno-hsmall-6a.grid-2x2.jpg

slideshow -- around the world with bruno:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/31664305/ns/today_entertainment-today/displaymode/1247/?beginSlide=1&beginChapter=1&beginTab=1

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 13th, 2009, 06:11 AM
Bruno: A Review

A British Jew with bad teeth and a penchant for putting down Muslims and Austrians puts on a blonde wig and lipstick, and plays "gay".

He has no talent.

Groucho Marx, Charlie Chaplin and even the Austrian Arnold Shwarznegger put him to shame.

But he knows best - he'll keep making shock movies using dodgy pretexts in an effort to bring attention to himself.

He is nothing more than the "Candid Camera" 7.30 Saturday Night TV slot of Hollywood.

lofter1
July 13th, 2009, 10:26 AM
But it looks like he suckered someone into giving him some $$$$ :D

Who's the smarter one?

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 13th, 2009, 10:48 AM
In about 500 years, no one will give a hoot about Cohen.

Everyone will know who Groucho and Chaplin was.

Who didn't do this when they were 10 years old. The 10 year olds of now or 2100 won't be doing Bruno or Borat, thats for sure.

http://wpsmedia.latimes.com/image/backlot/2008/5/1/Groucho_audition/Groucho_audition-large.jpg

Gregory Tenenbaum
July 13th, 2009, 10:51 AM
But it looks like he suckered someone into giving him some $$$$ :D

Who's the smarter one?

I don't speak for other people, but if people want to pay money to see it - good for them.

I don't care if people buy Top 40 albums either, it still doesn't make the Beatles somehow better than Beethoven.

lofter1
October 5th, 2010, 12:39 AM
Taking Revenge on ‘Borat,’ Amorous Donkey and All

NY TIMES (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/05/world/europe/05kazakh.html?ref=world)
By CLIFFORD J. LEVY
Published: October 4, 2010

ALMATY JOURNAL

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Sitting before some editing banks on the second floor of a nightclub here, a Kazakh director named Erkin Rakishev described the weighty task ahead: defending the honor of all Kazakhs by wreaking revenge on the odious movie “Borat.”

Even now, four years after the film left the multiplexes, people here still bristle at Sacha Baron Cohen’s portrayal of a buffoonish television reporter from Kazakhstan named Borat Sagdiyev, who has various misadventures in the United States and at home. The film was — and still is — considered an affront to the Kazakh national character. (Even its full name — “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” — was unflattering.)

“I want to show modern Kazakhstan, as it is in reality,” Mr. Rakishev said. “After the original film, everyone around the world started mocking the Kazakh people. We were made to look crazy, wild, barbarous. It was not the truth.”

Mr. Rakishev was certainly right. Kazakhstan, a vast former Soviet republic in Central Asia with a vibrant economy driven by oil and other natural resources, bears almost no resemblance to the place caricatured in Mr. Baron Cohen’s film.

So, would Mr. Rakishev’s retort be a documentary that extolled prosperous Kazakh cities like Almaty, the commercial capital, with its megamalls, coffee bars and boutiques selling the latest Parisian labels? Would it be a polemic that denounced Western imperialism for using cinema to undermine emerging nations like Kazakhstan?

Not exactly. Coming soon to theaters near you (all right, mostly Kazakh ones): “My Brother, Borat,” a film that seeks to portray today’s Kazakhstan with some curious narrative devices. Like an amorous donkey. Which somehow has its way with Borat’s loopy brother. Who then gets pregnant. And the two get married.

Remind us again how this is supposed to improve the image of Kazakhstan?

“It’s a black comedy,” Mr. Rakishev said. “If we do a comedy for the Kazakh people, in the West, they may not understand it. In Kazakhstan, they understand a donkey.” ...

Copyright 2010 The New York Times Company

***

"My Brother, Borat"


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3RF6q9GDkU

Ninjahedge
October 5th, 2010, 09:08 AM
“It’s a black comedy,” Mr. Rakishev said. “If we do a comedy for the Kazakh people, in the West, they may not understand it. In Kazakhstan, they understand a donkey.” ...

Remind us again how this is supposed to improve the image of Kazakhstan?

Somehow I do not think they are going to redeem their image with that.

But I think it would make an interesting sequel... GENUINELY making fun of the Borat character as if he was "My Idiot Brother".... Bringing him BACK to Kaz in order to show how he does not fit in there and why he went to the US to try and prove himself.....?

fiona1990
October 7th, 2010, 06:59 PM
Iv just had a quick scan throughout this post. It appears that a lot of people find him to be stereotypically racist but to be honest this sounds stupid but I had never heard of Kazakhstan before Borat, and I must admit I found the film really funny, I still find it hard to to chuckle to myself when I think of scenes from it. Its like saying he is damaging the UK's reputation by doing Ali G (fair enough its not quite as offensive) but it too is very funny and I personally take no offence by the Ali G movie or series. I don't think Bruno was as funny as a lot of it was extremely unrealistic and just would not happen but it did make me laugh too. I can see why people would be offended by his choices but its clear its just for comical factor and it must have worked for him as its paid him well.

Ninjahedge
October 8th, 2010, 08:51 AM
Fiona, the main problem was that he took a real country and made fun of it outright.

Ali-G does not make fun of England directly, but more the whole pop-music culture.

If they had just chosen a fictional country, changed 2 letters in Kazakhstan, say, Kazechstan or something similar, we would not have this anger and he would still have a generic stereotypical "Middle European" character to dance around in costume for.

fiona1990
October 10th, 2010, 04:24 PM
That is fair enough, it should have been altered in some way to differ it from Kazakhstan. Its taken from stereotypes of the country and should have been replicated in a manner which was not so direct. Scotland is very much seen in a stereotypical manner and everyone seems to think we kick around in kilts and ginger hair but I guess every country has its stereotypes which seem to stick.

lofter1
October 10th, 2010, 04:53 PM
But the word 'Kazakhstan' is, in itself, funny. It even has two "k"s -- twice as many as needed for a good joke (http://www.waywordradio.org/words-with-k-in-them-are-funny/).

fiona1990
October 10th, 2010, 05:58 PM
I heard before something about that but didn't get it?

ZippyTheChimp
June 18th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Can't wait for Kazakhstan's first gold medal in London.



Confusing the Borat Theme with the National Anthem Can Get You Jail Time in Kazakhstan Now

By Joanna Lillis


Following some high-profile incidents, the embarrassed Kazakh government
wants people to start taking its national symbols more seriously.

http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/international/borat%20june17%20p.jpg
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat, his Kazakh caricature. (20th Century Fox)

Following some embarrassing incidents involving its national anthem, Kazakhstan has passed new legislation imposing stiff punishments for treating its state symbols with disrespect.

Under a bill passed by the upper house of parliament on June 14, anyone who mistreats or desecrates state symbols, which include the country's flag as well as its anthem, faces up to a year in jail or a stiff fine, the Novosti-Kazakhstan news agency reports.

The new legislation was drafted after Kazakhstan made international headlines over a mix-up involving its national anthem at a March sporting event in Kuwait. Then, the hosts accidentally played (http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/03/another-country-confuses-borat-music-with-kazakhstans-national-anthem/255028/) a version of the spoof anthem that featured in the 2006 movie Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which extols Kazakhstan's potassium and prostitutes and memorably contains the line "Kazakhstan: greatest country in the world, all other countries are run by little girls."

That blunder came just days after a goof-up in northern Kazakhstan, where the Ricky Martin song "Livin' la Vida Loca" was accidentally played (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65sJCET54CQ) instead of the anthem at the opening of a skiing festival.

The incidents made headlines and got laughs abroad, but at home Astana -- ever sensitive to its international image -- was not smiling.

This new legislation is its response, and the penalties are tough: up to a year in jail and a maximum fine of 3.2 million tenge ($21,000). Bakytzhan Sagyntayev, the minister for economic development and trade, has said that the legislation came in response to the anthem mix-ups and to an incident where people were found to be using the national flag to transport garbage.

In order to avoid any embarrassing incidents at the London Olympics this July, sporting officials have been ordered to make sure the right version of the national anthem is played and sportsmen taking part have been told to learn the words of the song, which was adapted from a Kazakh popular folk ditty (allegedly with the personal assistance of President Nursultan Nazarbayev) and extols the virtues of the open skies and the steppe. The new law does not impose penalties for sportsmen who mess up, however.

This article originally appeared at EurasiaNet.org, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/confusing-the-borat-theme-with-the-national-anthem-can-get-you-jail-time-in-kazakhstan-now/258576/

Copyright © 2012 by The Atlantic Monthly Group.

Ninjahedge
June 18th, 2012, 10:07 AM
That is just anal and childish.