Sunday, November 12, 2006

Don't read this (it might warp you)

When my Honors English professor announced last week that we must watch Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, for discussion in class next week, my heart sank. I posted my response on the class blog, and then decided to share it here, too.

Borat on YouTube was enough for me to "get it." But when the movie became an assignment, I did some research. (If you don't know about this movie, read a conservative review at PluggedInOnline.)

And I chose not to go. So what if it's meant to be funny? Just reading the reviews felt like sliding through sewer sludge. Blech. I have better things to do with my time and money, not to mention my mind. Life is too short.

I think I've hit on a new slogan: "BE BETTER THAN BORAT." How? One of the best ways to influence people's biases isn't to make fun of them, but befriend them (if they'll let you)--or do something kind for someone else to make our world a better place. So what if unselfish acts don't make the news or earn lots of moolah--what a difference it makes for those to whom we are kind or generous or supportive.

As for lawsuits, I just read an article about the villagers used in the opening scene of the movie: "They claim film-makers lied to them about the true nature of the project, which they believed would be a documentary about their hardship, rather than a comedy mocking their poverty and isolation."

Okay, so let's Be Better Than Borat. Who did you help--or befriend, or encourage, or be kind to--today?