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Sure it was planned, sure it was MTV, but to see Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as gay Austrian fashion guru Brüno, fly down from the ceiling and land on Eminem’s lap with his crotch in his face, all while Eminem’s homo-hating, Neanderthal masters like Dr. Dre scuttle and scatter about, not having a clue how to react, is still comedy gold.

There’s long been a doth-protest-too-much air to hip-hop’s obsessive gay bashing, and rumors have swirled almost from the beginning about Eminem’s real sexual leanings, in spite of (or because of) all the hate he and his pimps like Dre spew toward the gay community.  But leave it to Sacha Baron Cohen to put it so outrageously in Eminem’s and his posse’s faces.

Misogynistic and homophobic rap and hip hop have mercifully been dying off for a while now.  But they can't die off soon enough and, with this genius bit, Sacha Baron Cohen my have just put the final nail in these douchbags.

Originally posted to Frankie Teardrop on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:48 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yawn. (24+ / 0-)

    It was all staged.  Didn't you notice how the producers were all ready with the cameras to document Eminem's "surprising" exit?

  •  Staged or not... (4+ / 0-)

    ... it's a point of progress.

    Remember, the main consumers of hip-hop culture are young, suburban white kids. (One reason why Dre & crew have sucessfully pimped M&M so well...)

    This is also the demographic that's trending less homophobic, quite rapidly.

    Hatin' on gays and treating women like crap just isn't selling as well as it used to, I guess.

    REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

    by Timoteo on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 06:59:20 AM PDT

    •  Progress? Seriously? (5+ / 0-)

      It's progress and a call to arms in the fight against homophobia to have a semi-nude comedian strapped to a harness with angel wings teabag a white rapper who once had homophobic lyrics?

      Huh, who knew.  All I saw was something that seemed silly and in bad taste.

      Palin/Jindal 2012. I can dream...

      by wmtriallawyer on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:05:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank You. (16+ / 0-)

        I am a gay 50-something man who recognizes that Marshall Mathers is a performer using the stage name Eminem, who in turn is playing a character named Slim Shady.  We do not need to ascribe each characteristic (such as homophobia) of the created character, Slim Shady, to the performer who created the character.

        It's ironic that David Jones, the performer who uses the name David Bowie, who in turn has several stage incarnations (such as Ziggy Stardust) was not called out by the gay community for his flirtation with neo-fascist New Romanticism in the early 1980s. To his credit,  I believe that Bowie subsequently has disavowed the statements he made at the time.

        I know I'm rambling a bit here, but the point is that not all is what it appears to be.

        Cause we find ourselves in the same old mess singin' drunken lullabies--Flogging Molly

        by dalfireplug on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:34:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Some folks just don't "get" writing in (13+ / 0-)

          First Person.

          I had a conversation here at Kos once with a person who was convinced that Mark Knoppfler was "homophobic" based on the lyrics in "Money for Nothing" - totally unable to understand that the song was based on the fucked up views of a couple of guys Mark overheard, and that the whole point of the song was to point out how hypocritical they were for judging musicians as "faggots" while still "wanting their MTV".

          Basically, the homophobic kids I went to school with who talked shit about "fags" but loved Queen.

          Crush the Horror.

          by JesseCW on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:53:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, yeah, but Mark Knopfler also did (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "Les Boys," which isn't exactly flattering.  Definitely the weakest song on an album with a killer first half, and a second half that starts promisingly and just gets worse.

            •  It's not flattering (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              furi kuri, JesseCW

              but it does a clever job of drawing a vivid picture of characters whom Knopfler actually observed, and it even hints that they are people with minds (they dream of Jean Genet, they get nervous and make mistakes). The people who get their kicks by watching them are arguably portrayed even more one-dimensionally ("the high-class whores and the businessmen who drive in a Mercedes-Benz to a whisky bar in old Munchen"). In an ideal world where people were exposed to plenty of positive and neutral images of gay men, the joke on would be on the petty, self-exploiting characters ("Les Boys wear SS caps"), as well as the audience who favors them. Of course, the early '80s were not that kind of ideal world.

              Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

              by AlanF on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:33:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You have to look at it case by case. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2, corvo, lgmcp, dalfireplug

            An entertainer who adopts a bigoted persona may or may not be embracing the persona's bigotry. They may even try to have it both ways in order to give them an alibi ("I was just kidding", "I'm only an entertainer"). It often requires a deep familiarity with the context and the entertainer's material in order to determine what's really going on. There will always be people who won't have that understanding.

            The older I get, the less purpose I feel is achieved by adopting a bigoted or violent persona without making it clear (either through the persona or through events) why the audience should reject it. All too often, it simply fuels those who are ignorant enough to gravitate towards it in the first place. I'm not saying that I favor censorship, just that I don't particularly like this particular approach. I think Colbert and Cohen make it pretty clear that the bigotry in their characters is what makes them pathetic. Knopfler less so. Bowie not at all, which is why I'm glad he's renounced those undertones (not the only thing he's renounced over the course of his career).

            Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

            by AlanF on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:21:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well said. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AlanF, corvo

              "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

              by lgmcp on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:54:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Have to agree with Christgau on Knopfler: (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              An active member of the Fraternal Order of Old Farts since birth, Mark Knopfler has always identified simply, spontaneously, and soddenly with anybody who's bitter because life has passed him by--no, not "him or her," that's just the kind of pussyfooting a man's man won't abide. He's most convincing when directing his empathy at musicians--cf. "Sultans of Swing," in which glam types reject trad tsk-tsk [ . . .]

              I think the swipes at "Les Boys," the "trendy boys" of "Sultans of Swing," and the "little faggot with his own jet airplane" of "Money for Nothing" are best seen in this context.

              •  oops, that's the "trendy boys" of (0+ / 0-)

                "In the Gallery."

              •  "Have to agree with Christgau" (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AlanF, furi kuri, dalfireplug

                Well, maybe I shouldn't bother then, but what the heck.

                And a crowd of young boys they're fooling around in the corner
                Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
                They dont give a damn about any trumpet
                playing band
                It aint what they call rock and roll

                Is as close as he gets to taking any shots at anyone in that tune, and it's true that it's sneering back at a group of people who can't understand why The Sultans are playing in the first place.

                He certainly takes swipes on behalf of the people he indentifies with - but you're soundly confused about who those people are in several of these songs.

                He's mocking the delivery guys who think "rock stars" are "lazy faggots" but keep watching MTV.  Why do you think Sting sang the high parts?  He got it.

                He's mocking the poser kids who think a mediocre old-fashioned Rock-Band is beneath their contempt, but don't understand that it's the root of all the music they listen to.

                He's mocking the Businessman who shows up at the Caberet in Munchen with his High Class Whore - and doesn't understand that Les Boys are mocking Facism because they survived it.

                In the Birthplace of Nazism, they're unbroken and mocking the straight society (in more than one meaning of straight) that tried to erradicate them.

                They have not only survived, but retained their Art and their sense of humor.  They have remained whole.

                Lastly, of course, his tone of voice while singing a given lyric is more than a bit important.

                In every one of the tunes you've referenced as proof his membership in the "Fraternal Order of Old Farts", you're fundementally missing the message of the song in question.

                I'm not at all suprised Christgau took these shots personally, since he is in many ways one of the targets.

                The critic bereft of creative ability, following trends, desperate to be "hipper than thou", and utterly incapable of understanding poetry.  

                A person who doesn't understand the simple beauty that lies in the dedication and devotion of the creating, whether it's done by the proud boys in the Cabaret who perform night after night for an audience that doesn't understand in the slightest what they're doing, or the medicore bar band that plays for the love of playing - even if they don't do it well enough to ever get a record contract, or the sculptur who sculpts what he is driven to sculpt whatever the critics think, or the Musician who couldn't care less if some prick calls him a faggot.

                It's the thread running through his music, the love of the Artist who creates for the Love of Art - and who considers the enjoyment of the audience to be a secondary consideration at best, if it is to be considered at all.

                And, yes, it's accompanied by another strong theme - contempt for those who deride the effort to create.

                Crush the Horror.

                by JesseCW on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:48:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This is an interesting discussion (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  with plenty of food for thought from all directions (like a food fight, but more civilized). Is it possible that we all agree? Perhaps Knopfler consistently feels for those who make art in a world that doesn't appear to deserve it, but he identifies with them due to his own strain of bitterness as well as due to his respect for art? And the presence of that bitterness, without the wisdom that could break the scorn cycle, leads him to paint snide portraits of the attackers rather than rise above them? The same could be said of many rock musicians, especially in their younger years: Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, Graham Parker. Bile does make for good rock and roll, after all, even if it's not a sustainable diet.

                  I also think that Knopfler can come across as sentimental and even mildly patronizing towards the artists he ostensibly defends. He's not just saying that they're not appreciated - he's often saying that they're not very sophisticated, imaginative, or skilled, but heck, they get up under the lights and do their thing. It's a pretty backhanded defense.

                  Listen to progressive talk radio 6 a.m. - 7 p.m. every weekday at

                  by AlanF on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 05:13:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Writing vs living (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2, Tonedevil, corvo, lgmcp, dalfireplug

          I 'get' the act bit - kinda the point of my comment upthread.

          But someone 'crafts' the act. And the fact that 'crafting' a blatantly homophobic, mysogenistic character is no longer bringing in the $$$$ it used to is a fact to be celebrated.

          Even if some people are responding to this change by crafting juvenile stunts.

          And someone doing a "Part" can't divorce themselves so easily from the role.  A writer, in a novel, voices multiple characters, come of whom need to be in conflict if the work is to be interesting.  The nature of that craft is to take up multiple sides of an argument convincingly.

          Mathers, and Bowie, and Andrew "Dice" Clay, etc. pick a single character to live inside. I can't say I feel they get a walk just because "it's art."

          REAFFIRMED as a second-class citizen since Nov 4, 2008!

          by Timoteo on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:44:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Um, I guess they fooled you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dlh77489, JesseCW

    They are both creeps and it was totally staged to coincide with Eminem's new album release.

    ¡Despierta, borinqueño que han dado la señal!¡Despierta de ese sueño que es hora de luchar!

    by HGM MA on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:00:18 AM PDT

  •  anti gay-bashing? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wmtriallawyer, JesseCW

    I'm a fan of Cohen's (and straight), but to suggest that his Bruno character is helping the gay community by taking on gay-bashing rappers is a bit, uh, ironic, no?  

    Plus, of course it was staged.

  •  Bread and Circus (7+ / 0-)

    Cohen and Eminem are self-promoters whose need for publicity for their current projects coincided.  I haven't seen the clip, but does one need to?  You'd really have to rehearse that, wouldn't you?  You can't drop a 180 pound guy from the rafters that accurately unless you have it well-staged.

    So it's just a stunt and to be taken as such, nothing more, nothing less.  You all got punked.

  •  Once again Frankie Teardrop... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quege, GN1927, corvo, lgmcp, Maimonides

    ...promotes crap which is totally unhelpful to any movement towards GLBT rights.

    Batting 1.000, Frankie.

    •  This is his bestest diary ever. (0+ / 0-)

      I wish he would leave a tip jar so we could show him the love.

      "We believe that the people are the source of all governmental power; that the authority of the people is to be extended, not restricted."-Barbara Jordan

      by sancerre2001 on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 03:56:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sounds like a rehash of a Borat gag n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:34:53 AM PDT

  •  I do not believe for a second (3+ / 0-)

    That Eminem is a gay basher. In any of his songs where he sings about gays it's as the alter ego Slim Shady. Slim Shady is supposed to be a satirical parody. Anytime he does that I think it's more along the lines of mocking the ridiculous bigotry, than actually being a bigot himself.

    Plus this was nothing more than a publicity stunt for Eminem's new ablumn. Which sort of validates my above point to an extent.

  •  as usual (5+ / 0-)

    Frankie has about as much of a clue as a bag of hammers.

    1. Total stunt.
    1. Eminem is a bit of satire

    (+0.12, -3.33) perpetually amused by the silliness.

    by terrypinder on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:44:52 AM PDT

  •  staged. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pris from LA, dalfireplug

    and what about the elton john/ eminem performance?  I thought he shed his homophobic image with that one.  no?

    "But Black Dynamite! I sell drugs in the community!"

    by mallyroyal on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 07:59:34 AM PDT

  •  this isn't 2001.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pris from LA, JesseCW

    and Eminem isn't a gay basher.  

    By the way, he remains good friends with Elton John to this day.  Eminem recently got sober through a 12 step program which Elton John has been a member of for years.  The two were talking every day in Em's early days of recovery.  Em said Elton would call him daily and credited him as not his official sponsor but as a very good friend instrumental in his sobriety.  As Sasha Cohens, Bruno character might say, "Calling Eminem a gay basher is so 2001."

  •  Anyone who's seen Da Ali G Show or Candid Camera (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sancerre2001, serrano, lgmcp

    will understand that this is pure comedy.  Sacha Baron Cohen is known for pushing the accepted boundaries of comedy and I think that Eminem's reaction seems very spontaneous.   The joke is definitely on Eminem.  He clearly did not agree to participate in Bruno's hilarious stunt.

    Sacha Baron Cohen's purpose is always to highlight the absurdity in our society and to bring to light the various forms of hatred that are too often tolerated (racism, homophobia, misogyny, anti-Semitism).  He despises all forms of bigotry and seeks to educate his audiences through his comedy.

    While much of his Borat movie was over the top and not to my liking, I absolutely love the original and brilliant Ali G Show.

    I highly recommend seeing the original Ali G Show on DVD.  It is brilliant and hilarious and Sacha Baron Cohen uses all three of his comedic personas in candid situations with famous and not famous people.  In candid set-ups, people reveal their true and often ugly selves to him.  It is both highly entertaining and deeply disturbing to watch.

    Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

    by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:33:07 AM PDT

    •  That stunt couldn't have been pulled off... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW, hikerbiker

      ...without Eminem's knowing participation and involvement.

      Something like that would have required several rehearsals, blocking for camera angles and safety, etc. etc. The WWE incident where a wrestler died because his "flying" harness failed is still a fresh memory.

      Eminem didn't get "punked," he knew what was going to happen, and his reaction was obviously feigned.

      Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
      No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

      by Pris from LA on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:12:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha! I guess they fooled me! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pris from LA, Actbriniel

        I'm very familiar with Sacha Baron Cohen, and not so familiar with Eminem.

        [BTW, readers may be interested in knowing that Sacha was a history major at Cambridge.  He may look like a buffoon sometimes when he acts, but he is actually a pretty sophisticated guy.]

        Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

        by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:27:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope that Cohen, as Bruno, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

 a chance to pull a surprise attack on the Teabagger protesters. That would be funny and would also be something he could actually do without their advance knowledge. It's not too late, they're going to come out and play on July 4th. I know that Bruno showed up at a pro-Prop H8 rally...I can't wait to see the movie so I can see them get punked.

          Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
          No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

          by Pris from LA on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:33:26 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Me too! I hope he nails the teabaggers. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pris from LA, Actbriniel

            Did you ever see him as Bruno on Da Ali G Show?  He was hilarious on the beach with the dumb homophobic frat boys -- and he almost got beat up, literally ran away!

            His interviews at the fashion show were also hilarious -- all about the vacuousness of the fashion industry, and the idiot he interviewed was putty in his hands, repeating every absurdity as if it was his own original thought and he was proud of it!  

            Cracks me up just to remember it now.


            The Borat movie made me cringe,  mostly because I think it's message was destined to go way over the heads of the teenage shopping mall viewers.  But I absolutely love most of Baron Cohen's work. My husband discovered him first and it took me a while to catch on, but now I am a huge fan.

            I also loved Allen Funt's Candid Camera show when I was a kid.  I still remember many of his candid scenes and they still make me laugh.  Funt was able to reveal many truths about human nature in his work.

            I think that Cohen's ambitions are much higher, since he deals with the dirty underbelly of our society -- all the bigotry and hatred.  Too bad that many people apparently miss his point completely.

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:49:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  CNN just reported on this (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and they seemed to think that Eminem "stormed off" because he was taken by surprise and not happy about it.

        So I guess it's open to interpretation, and we'll eventually learn what really happened.

        Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

        by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again...I'm from Hollywood, I know... (0+ / 0-)

          You can't pull off a stunt like this as a surprise. Eminem was complicit. And he "stormed off" as part of the act. It would not have been cleared by MTV BS&P if there was a chance it could screw up and either Eminem, Baron Cohen or both could be injured or even die. They had to work together on a gag like this for safety reasons.

          Regardless of what you think about Eminem's acting abilities -- and I was pleasantly surprised by 8 Mile -- the temper tantrum after the "surprise" teabagging was an act.

          I haven't seen the footage yet, but I suspect the shots were all very meticulously framed and the camerapeople knew exactly which direction to follow Eminem out of the Gibson Ampitheatre. The only people who got "punk'd" were those not in on the joke.

          Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
          No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

          by Pris from LA on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:55:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You haven't seen it yet? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pris from LA

            Check out the link on this thread.  Then tell me what you think, if you wish.

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:57:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  OK, I'll break it down for you... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Buckeye BattleCry, miholo, hikerbiker

    's the footage. It's an ugly camcorder of the screen but at least you can see what I'm talking about.

              This was pulled off so slickly I can almost see the storyboards in my mind. Note that Eminem was SURROUNDED by burly guys who were there to "spot" Sasha Baron Cohen. Some of those burly guys were also part of Eminem's entourage, and were probably also there as backup.

              Note that there were no swish pans, nothing to suggest that the DP and the other cam operators were scrambling to get the shot. Each shot was carefully taken and framed and gotten, without any sort of scrambling. Eminem kind of went a little over the top, "selling" his indignation a little too hard.

              There was a handheld cameraperson...maybe even wearing a stabilization rig...on the aisle that Eminem and his entourage stormed up. He was there to get the shot as Eminem, "cursing" under his breath (probably more like saying gibberish under his breath to make it look like he's cursing but to also avoid another Janet Jackson/Bono incident) stormed out of the Amphitheatre.

              This was rehearsed, this was blocked, this was pre-arranged. CLEARLY.

              Single Payer Happy Hour, coming to the LA (SFV) area 6/26/09!
              No more SPECIAL RIGHTS for HETEROSEXUALS! Equality now!

              by Pris from LA on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 12:10:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK. You convinced me! (0+ / 0-)

                Especially when I noticed that the camera pans Eminem's face early on in the scene.  

                I fell for it!

                Anyway, the video cracked me up again watching it just now with my husband.  I'm not usually one for slapstick and I hate stereotypes, but this just tickles my funnybone!  So funny to see the reactions in the audience!

                Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:13:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Ali G makes me nauseous (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Black and Caribbean stereotypes being thrown about with abandon with no regard for how it negatively impacts minorities in the UK or elsewhere. I suppose some people who have little or nothing to do with those people being made fun of by Sacha Cohen might find the humor in it. People from that back ground he is mocking would like more respect, and they have a hard time getting it.

      I'll make it easier, if a gentile went around pretending to be some kind of malicious Jewish person we would call it anti-Semitic, the same goes for what he did with Ali G. There are real Ali G's but they are intelligent and thoughtful people. They embrace a culture that has deep meaning to a great many people, being counter culture it is not easily embraced and to do so comes at a cost. That kind of mockery plays to the dominant cultures desire to marginalize all that is different. I am not impressed by his work, it is crude disgusting and cheap.

      Making fun of other ethnic groups and cultures is far from original. If it must be done, do it with respect, which he does not.

      Exposing racism, more like exploiting it...

      •  Ed: a look at your long list of hidden comments (0+ / 0-)

        reminds me that I should not be at all surprised that you completely miss the point of
        Sacha Baron Cohen's work.  He is Jewish and makes fun of Jews, too, in his effort to expose all forms of bigotry.  The fact that this is lost on you just makes perfect sense.

        If the actor were here on DKos and wanted to "expose racism" he would only have to point people to Edtastic's hiddens.

        Would anyone in their right mind accuse Baron Cohen of being homophobic because he does a character who provokes homophobic reactions from unsuspecting homophobes???

        Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

        by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:01:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Could you explain to me how the Ali G movie (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "exposed racism"?

          I won't Rec Ed for several reasons, but his comment is correct.

          Sacha Baron Cohen might as well be dropping to his knees singing Mammy in Blackface.

          Crush the Horror.

          by JesseCW on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:02:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I only saw Da Ali G Show on DVD (from HBO) (0+ / 0-)

            and the Borat movie.  I just looked up the Ali G movie after seeing your question and I realize it was before my time.  I think I first saw the DVDs in maybe 2004 or 2005, although my husband was a fan of the HBO show prior to then, having discovered it in England.

            So, I can comment only upon the shows and movie I know...Please let me know if you're still interested in my humble opinion!


            BTW the Borat movie really made me cringe.  But I think the HBO show was very important and entertaining.  Have you seen the HBO show?

            RE: exposing racism:  In every show, Sacha Baron Cohen is in character as either Borat, Ali G, or Bruno, and he acts as if he is either bigoted or he becomes a target of bigotry.  The result, almost consistently, is that the unsuspecting star or stars of the scene end up revealing their hateful biases (as when the people in the bar all sang "throw the Jews into the well").  It is often deeply disturbing and painful to watch, but I think that Baron Cohen does an amazing job of demonstrating that hatred and bigotry and very often just below the surface of many people.

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:26:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've only seen the movies (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              And frankly, the Ali G movie didn't excuse itself by portraying Ali G as a soft-hearted guy...since it portrayed him as soft-headed as well.

              I guess you're ok with Kyrgyz being portrayed as over-sexed disgusting universally anti-semitic virtually illiterate greasy balls of fur?

              When he did a stereotypical Jewish character, was it a giant nosed fat bellied man trying to kill Chistian Children to make Matzoh from their blood?

              Because that would be the rough equivelant.

              Even if Amos and Andy had done a live show in which they got some white folks to say "Let's go lynch some negrahs", it wouldn't have somehow turned the blackface schtick into valuable social commentary.

              Crush the Horror.

              by JesseCW on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:56:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hi again Jesse. (0+ / 0-)

                My husband just reminded me that I actually saw a couple of minutes of the Ali G movie on video a few yrs ago and we turned it off because it was disgusting and ridiculous.  

                And I mentioned before that the Borat movie made me cringe.

                But I do encourage you to watch the HBO show called Da Ali G Show which is truly brilliant.  It's like Allen Funt doing social commentary.

                I think that maybe SBC lost his marbles and went overboard, after some highly successful years with his HBO show.  

                In the show, he interviews unsuspecting people and they reveal their prejudices to him.  The fact that the characters he portrays are such ridiculous stereotypes helps him to demonstrate how quickly average people will reveal their ugliest selves.  He interviews all kinds of people, from a gun shop owner to a teacher of manners, plus Newt Gingrich, Brent Scowcroft, C Everett Koop, Donald Trump, Boutros Boutros Gali, Buzz Aldrin, etc.  It is really worth watching. I would be very interested in hearing your reaction if you do manage to watch some of it.  The videos may be available on line.

                Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

                by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:10:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Another thought on this before I (0+ / 0-)

            race out the door...

            You should know that I abhor racism in all it's forms.  And I think that I am sensitive to it, even when it does not directly affect a group with which I am affiliated or familiar.  (That said, I am always learning more and I think that we all are challenged to recognize and confront bigotry everywhere.)

            I also usually despise comedy which relies on stereotypes of groups.  

            But I believe the SBC's work has a lofty goal which he reaches in his HBO show.  He consistently exposes ignorance and bigotry and shows it for what it is.

            Have you see the show?  If so, do you think I am wrong?  I respect that things are open to interpretation, generally, but it's hard to imagine any well-informed person missing the point of Da Ali G Show, (not the movie which I haven't seen.)

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 11:55:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Proud to have some hiddens (0+ / 0-)

          I am not apart of the echo chamber and I am not afraid to speak the obvious. You think I am an anti-semite right? Not a new attack from the I/P debates where I accumulate hidden comments speaking the truth, to this crap here. I see racism against anybody as wrong not just against Jewish people. Mocking other ethnic groups to expose racism is a ridiculous excuse for what he does. He is out to make a buck and will happily make a mockery of other cultures and ethnic groups to do it.

          Being Jewish does not anyone a license to offend anymore than being apart of any minority gives license to insult other cultures or ethnicities in a disrespectful way. I suppose it was not your group being made the target of so it is benign in your eyes, for me it does not matter what the group was.

          Borat reinforces xenophobia and the assumption people other countries hate all the people of this group or that. It portrays a whole country as backwards, ignorant, barbaric, misogynistic, and the list goes on. I guess you are not from that  country so you don't care. I am not from there either but I still care.

          The stuff is bigoted, it exploits racism and negative stereotypes for profit, the same could be said for movies like "Soul Plane" and the "Mind of Mencia". I am far from assuming everyone must be cast in an ideal light at all times or that all ethnic humor is bad, but Cohen is far from making innocent jabs he is exaggerating the worst about some cultures with no respect whatsoever. This is not high minded humor, and you are insulting our intelligence to call it that.

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            Being Jewish does not anyone a license to offend anymore than being apart of any minority gives license to insult other cultures or ethnicities in a disrespectful way. I suppose it was not your group being made the target of so it is benign in your eyes, for me it does not matter what the group was.

            You clearly did not see the scene in the HBO program Da Ali G Show in which a bar load of people sing the song "Throw the Jews into the well".  Well, I did, and I'm Jewish, and I'm as sensitive to hatred of Jews and other groups as anyone could be.  

            But I completely understand why Sacha Baron Cohen did that act.  He barely had to provide the opening for the whole bar to break out into song, laughing and singing their anti-Semitic filth.  

            It was painful to watch but an important reminder that anti-Semitism is alive and well in this country.  (contrary to your views, edtastic, as expressed in some of your hidden comments in which you downplay this disturbing phenomenon)

            Regarding "that country" that you guess I'm "not from":  It's Kazakhstan, right next door to Uzbekistan, where I lived.  I spent quite a bit of time in Kazakhstan and happen to find the comic portrayal of Borat to be hilarious.  Now, if you and a few others can't see that SBCohen uses that character to expose the xenophobia of many Americans who have not travelled the world, then there's nothing that I can do to enlighten you.

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 08:42:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  BTW I think you missed the point that the Borat (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            character is a blatant anti-Semite.  And, as a Jewish person, I think it's both hilarious and useful to see the idiocy of that character and the sometimes vicious bigotry that real people reveal to him as they are being filmed in conversation with Borat.  They think it's ok to say hateful things about Jews to him because he spews the same filth.  And this is precisely the goal of the very intelligent history major from Cambridge University, Sacha Baron Cohen.  

            What better way to demonstrate the evil that lies just beneath the surface of our mostly civil society?

            Having read many of your hidden comments over the months, Edtastic, I can see a lot of similarity between your viewpoint and that of the fictitious character, Borat.  Which is why your views on this subject are completely lacking in credibility.

            Consider adopting a homeless pet at (Progressive Animal Welfare Society)

            by hikerbiker on Tue Jun 02, 2009 at 10:21:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  The Ali G character... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kat68 not a black Caribean man. It's a lower-class London white young man compensating for his sense of social inferiority and trying to be cool by acting like a black Caribean man. If any group might be insulted it's lower-class white Londeners. The American version on HBO had its highlights (and I'm sure was commercial success, which I guess was the point...), but was in many way an unfortunate idea because a lot of the cultural references that define the character got completely lost.

    •  Sacha Baron Cohen is a modern day one man (0+ / 0-)

      Amos and Andy act, and not remotely funny.

      Crush the Horror.

      by JesseCW on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 10:55:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's called "anything to make a buck". (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And that's all it was.

  •  Meh (0+ / 0-)

    I didn't find it all that funny.

    I'm a first class taxpayer and a second class citizen. -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

  •  you do realize that eminem is a business man (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miholo, JesseCW

    and will say just about anything so long as it sells albums?

    Hell he's already parodied himself on that very topic.

    Do you really think Elton John would remain friends with him if he was really homophobic?

    This whole stunt was publicity and they got you.

    A song about life
    Why aren't you more like Gandhi? Why aren't I?

    by drache on Mon Jun 01, 2009 at 09:41:06 AM PDT

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