March 02, 2007

Most disturbing comedy of all time - Borat

Today, I finally got the chance to watch the movie "Borat" at home. Despite the fact that the movie was a huge success in America, grossing over 123 million, I found myself heavily dismay by the story and the plot of the movie. I am sad to learn that our society has come to worship and laugh at things that are discriminatory and wrong.

Here are a few things that I found to be most disturbing about the movie:

1) Religion: Regardless whether you are a Christian or an atheist, the segment that Borat made fun of the church gathering is highly unacceptable. I believe that each person should has his own rights to choose what religion he/she believes in and to make fun of that in the public domain is not just politically incorrect, but it shows that our society has not moved forward at all.

2) College Education/Fraternities: I don't care whether you are in a fraternity or not. The scene portray by Borat during the hitchhiking trip to California only shows how ridiculous the American education has become. Is that what our next generate are all like? Getting drunk, discriminating against women, and serving no other purposes in life? If that's what the American tertiary education is about, I would definitely not send my kids to school at the University of South Carolina. I am surprised that the school does not issue any stronger statement regarding the portray of their students in the movie.

3) Women's Rights/Feminists: I have no problem people being feminists or not. As a sociologist, I believe that each person has his/her own belief systems and the historical feminist movement was to break away from the inequalities that has ingrained in our society. I couldn't believe that people actually find it funny to ridicule people who are striving for equal rights and opportunities in this country.

4) Mental Disability: Mental disability should not be a subject of jokes, regardless of the context of it. I couldn't not believe that people actually find it funny to laugh at people who are retarded. It's outrageous and I think those who laugh at them are the retarded ones.

5) African American Movement: I don't find it funny at all by the way that Borat tried to imitate the speaking style of African Americans. He made it seem like that all the African Americans are uneducated and speak in an uncivilized way. The style, language, tone that they use are reflections of their particular lifestyle and cultural impact. The way that Borat portrayed it in the movie would only sustain the discriminatory image that people have about African Americans in this country.

Overall, I am surprised to learn that the movie actually got nominated for Oscar and won award at the Golden Globe.

Is our society moving backward or am I just in the wrong country?

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