Monday, October 23, 2006

Borat Reveals Seamy Underside of Greatest Nation on Earth

People are so, well, human.

Exhibit A: Borat. A character created by Sacha Baron Cohen, complete with awe-inspiring mustache, has gone from sea-to-shining-sea posing as a "journalist" from Kazakhstan. (He's got an HBO show titled after another character, Ali G, an English hip-hop doing the same schtick.)

Borat is unbelievably crude. An over-the-top anti-Semitic. Offensive to any civilized person. There's too good to be true, and then there's too bad to be true. But, Borat has traveled the U.S. talking to real Americans. People who took him seriously.

There was one bit with a couple good ol' boy wine tasters in the South. Cohen managed to get one of them to say out loud that he lamented the end of slavery. And then, there was a performance of "In My Country There Is Problem," a song so awful, so disgraceful, so stupid, that no one would . . . but they did. The whole bar sang the chorus of "throw the Jew down the well."

I mourn for my country. Dumb as a dirty box full of rocks.

Here are the first four minutes of his feature film, Borat. NSFW, be warned, but geez, it sums up a character no one would take seriously. The schtick is too thick, the irony palpable. They do, though. And not just here. The government of Kazakhstan has waged a complaint against Borat.

And so it goes. Gullibility is one thing, but joining in this kind of stuff doesn't come from nowhere. Mel Gibson?

Mediocrity Can Be Cured

It's been a while since I've blogged about Kathy Sierra and her stellar blog, Creating Passionate Users, and it hasn't been because she's fallen off, not one little bit.

This piece explains how to achieve, or not achieve, according to discretion, mediocrity. Go away from this place and visit Kathy. To quote Dan Rather, "Courage."