I just returned from my gym, where I witnessed, while watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer in his situation room, a commercial airing for the country of Kazakhstan.
Gales of laughter erupted, with people actually falling off eliptical trainers and me nearly wiping out on my treadmill as the result. The comic disbelief and wide age range of people “getting” the joke was startling. Old folks, middle-aged and teenagers were all stupified, smacking people next to them and pointing as they were witnessing the sepia hued and rather dull shots of fictional Borat’s true Kazakhstan homeland in a bona fide commercial.
Sacha Baron Cohen, you sir, are a genius.
British born and Cambridge educated Cohen has effectively caused a real international stir with his Borat creation, so much so that reality and satire are completely blurring, and the country of Kazakhstan is left scrambling to educate Americans, most of whom didn’t even know the country existed, by spending real dough on a marketing campaign.
From the look of their actual ads running on television, it is money wasted, which could be used for road improvements and more scintillating national landmarks to draw tourists.
At an unusual press conference recently held in the Washington DC, Cohen as “Borat” of Kazakhstan stood before a lectern outside the Kazakh Embassy in Washington and claimed that recent press reports describing Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev as upset with his portrayal of his homeland as bigoted and backward were false.
“All claims that our glorious leaders is displeased with my film, ‘Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,’ is lyings,” Borat said to reporters. “In fact, main purpose of President Naserbayev’s visit to Washington is promote this movie film.”
The joke continued. Nazarbayev will be hosting a screening of the film, Borat said, with invited guests to include President “George Walter Bush,” Secretary Rumsfeld, Bill Gates, “O.J. Simpsons” and “Mel Gibsons.”
“Conclave calls for religious tolerance among all faiths throughout the world,” read one real headline paid for by Kazakhstan in a four-page New York Times insert on Wednesday.
The NY Times reports today that Borat offered his response, saying, “I would like to make a comment on the recent advertisements on television and in media about my nation of Kazakhstan saying that women are treated equally, and that all religions are tolerated,” he said, adding, “These are disgusting fabrications.”
The film, “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” which early reports are hilariously positive, recount the fictitious Kazakh journalist leaving his beloved homeland and sister “the Number 4 prostitute in all Kazakhstan” and heading to the USA, in hopes of meeting Pamela Anderson.
In one scene, Borat proclaims his support for the war on terror and tells the cheering rodeo crowd, “May your warlord George Bush kill the terrorist men, women and children, and drink their blood!”
Summer movies are behind us. I love the fall.
Note the date on this article may be incorrect due to importing it from our old system.