Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

23 December 2006

Breaking News from Colorado Springs

So I get into Colorado Springs on Thursday Morning and the roads are closed. I also had to pick up my sister from the same airport at 11:00p, and since I couldn't get to the house (30 minutes away from the airport) because of the closed roads, I ended up stranded in Colorado Springs (quite similar to Tallahassee in its own way) for twelve hours.
So I went to the movies. Of course, they only have a giant multiplex here with crapola Hollywood fare. I refuse to see The Nativity Story, and I had already seen Happyness, Eragon and Apocalypto, so I bought myself a ticket to Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. I found it both imaginative and stupid. I have to say that i thought it was one of the funniest things I'd seen in a long time. It is unmistakeably American in its sensibilities and its humor (nude men wrestling is really funny to us). But for some reason I found the scatological laughs to be freshly conceptualized and well done. It's tasteless and silly and ridiculous. It's also clever, pointed and rather scathing toward the American heartland. I've said before that I think Americans are sort of an easy target, and making fun of people who still support George W. Bush is the simplest thing in the world and nothing new under the sun, but Borat points its lens at the belief systems of these people and their beliefs come off not only as "dumb back-woods American" beliefs, but also as horrifyingly simple-minded. What Borat does successfully is paint a picture of a nation that could have voted for George W. Bush. The people in this movie are the people who kept this man in office for this long. And when you come down to it, while Borat is probably one of the funniest movies I've seen all year, it's also a rather shocking document of this country.