Dale’s Jewish Problem

Iain Dale doesn’t appear to be keen on Borat

I have thought long and hard about whether to admit this or not, but I wasted 80 minutes of my life (not to mention £12.99) on watching the DVD of BORAT. I like to think I have a reasonably well developed sense of the ridiculous and am not very PC, but I’m afraid I just didn’t get the joke.

Okay, fair enough. Humour is matter of personal taste after all.

Some of the slapstick moments were worth a titter but the jewish scenes were a disgrace.

Huh?

Iain, the clue’s in the guy’s name – Sascha Noam Baron Cohen. He’s fucking Jewish!

There is enough anti-semitism in the world at the moment without providing the excuse for more. I do realise it is meant to be a comedy, but it really wasn’t funny.

Discuss.

Fuck me, Iain. It’s called satire.

Borat is anti-semitism is a joke in the same way that Alf Garnett’s racism was joke, much as were the nigger jokes in Blazing Saddles, which were written by Richard Pryor, and Mel Brooks’ other great satirical creation, the musical ‘Springtime for Hitler’ in The Producers.

Look it up in a fucking dictionary.

Satire (n) : the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

Cohen, so there’s no mistaking his intent is the grandson of Holocaust survivor, a point lost entirely on one of Dale’s anonymous blogroaches who actually asks why Cohen cannot be anti-semitic even though he’s Jewish using this striking piece of illogic:

Just a second run that past me again Borat’s jewish so therefore he can’t be anti-jewish?

Um so what about all those English Guardianistas who really despise just about everything to do with England and the English.

Now I don’t know if Borat is anti-jewish or not as I’ve never seen more than a couple of minutes of his show but to say that someone with a jewish background can’t be anti-jewish just strikes me as being absurd.

Look, I’m fucked if I’m going to explain this myself – just read this from the Wikipedia article on Cohen.

  • Baron Cohen has had some troubles because of racist or prejudiced comments his characters have made (see Da Ali G Show). HBO spokesman Quentin Schaffer has replied to the criticisms: ‘Through his alter-egos, he delivers an obvious satire that exposes people’s ignorance and prejudice in much the same way All in the Family did years ago.’[18]
Regarding his portrayal as the anti-Semitic Borat, Baron Cohen says the segments are a “dramatic demonstration of how racism feeds on dumb conformity, as much as rabid bigotry,” rather than a display of racism by Baron Cohen himself.[19] “Borat essentially works as a tool. By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice,” Baron Cohen explains. [20] Addressing the same topic in an NPR interview with Robert Siegel, Cohen says “…and I think that’s quite an interesting thing with Borat, which is people really let down their guard with him because they’re in a room with somebody who seems to have these outrageous opinions. They sometimes feel much more relaxed about letting their own outrageous, politically incorrect, prejudiced opinions come out.”[21] Cohen, the grandson of a Holocaust survivor, says he also wishes in particular to expose the role of indifference in that genocide. “When I was in university, there was this major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw, who said, ‘The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.’ I know it’s not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but it’s an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic.”[20] Regarding the enthusiastic response to his song “In My Country There is Problem”, he says, “Did it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.”[20]

Still, as Iain like the slapstick bits, perhaps he’d find this more to more to his tastes…

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Whether his party leader would appreciate the joke is anyone’s guess.

UPDATE…

Aww fuck it, let’s have Spanish Inquisition and International Philosophy as well while we’re on…

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And just by way of something a touch different, Gerald the Gorilla.

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3 thoughts on “Dale’s Jewish Problem

  1. Must admit upon reading Iain’s post I did think he was displaying a collosal lack of understanding about the character. Doesn’t anyone do basic research these days?

  2. Iain Dale’s misunderstanding aside, BORAT really was a good idea strung out rather too far. The bits that tickled me were rip-offs of skits already seen in the Ali G series.

    And frankly – hands up how many people were surprised by the film’s revelation that some Southern merkins are bigots?!

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