Friday, November 24, 2006

Borat Buffoons

Justin Seay and Christopher Rotunda, two members of the Chi Psi fraternity at the University of South Carolina, make drunken, misogynist, racist fools of themselves before the camera in "Borat." Just like Borat himself.

They got $200 for their troubles, and a world of embarrassment. Sacha Baron Cohen, who plays Borat, has a film that has taken in $93 million and counting. The frat boys have sued. Their suit will, no doubt, help the film earn even more.

In the whole film, these guys are the only ones who really embarrass the United States. Just about everyone else, I think, could be charged with an excess of politeness in trying to accommodate a rude, possibly clueless stranger.

The most puzzling part of this lawsuit is that Seay and Rotunda say they were told that the documentary would only be shown outside the United States. That, in their minds, makes it ok. Compare this with the storm that greeted the Dixie Chicks for saying that they were embarrassed that President Bush was a fellow Texan, and for saying it in London. If they had said the same thing in Austin, they would have gotten grief from Republicans, but it would have sunken to a minor difference of opinion among Americans.

No, I think Mr. Seay and Mr. Rotunda deserve their fifteen minutes of ignominy. They have, so far, offered no apology for any of their remarks, nor expressed any remorse for embarrassing their families, their fraternity, their university, and their country. Their only gripe is that they were tricked into revealing to their family, friends, and neighbors what they usually only show to their "brothers" – and, presumably, foreigners.

11 comments:

Russell Smith said...

You're right that these yahoos by far came off the worst of all folks. It still seems like they were set up though -- lots of drinks poured down their throats and set up in an artificial situation. How is this different from "Girls Gone Wild" except that it's "Dudes Gone Wild"

On a related note -- did you see that there are Borat copycats out there now -- teenage kids who go around saying grossly inappropriate comments straight from the movie?
Russell

Gruntled said...

I am not surprised -- he is very quotable, and won't get you in as much trouble with mom as if you said the same thing in your own voice.

Anonymous said...

"In the whole film, these guys are the only ones who really embarrass the United States."

Including the guy at the rodeo who says he hopes that every gay person in the United States will be hanged to death? Because it seems like that should be pretty embarrassing to any decent person.

Gruntled said...

Perhaps I am mis-remembering. I do remember the old guy at the rodeo saying that men don't kiss -- only [waving hand gesture and a noise like "ffffft fffft."] I don't remember him saying anything about hanging, but I may have still been stuck on the hand gestures. Does anyone have the exact dialogue?

Anonymous said...

I think Borat had told him that back in his country, they hang these type of people that do bang bang in another man anus. Then, this old racist high-fived him and told him that's what they're trying to get done here. He had also told Borat to get rid of his mustache because it makes him look like a god-damn terrorist son-of-a-bitch Moslem. I'd say that guy was probably just as embarassing as the frat boys if not more. Anyway, the movie was hilarious.

James

Gruntled said...

You're right, that was worse than I had remembered.

Anonymous said...

I went to jr high with one of the guys from USC and I am not at all shocked by his comments in the movie. He has always had this kind of attitude.

Becky said...

I was going to say exactly the same thing as anonymous...

I'm a little bit late in commenting on this post but I just watched Borat for the second time. This time, the same as the first, I was absolutely shocked by the frat boys, but even more disgusted by the old man at the rodeo.

The frat boys were shockingly horrible and offensive, but I can let go of that a bit more because they were obviously very naive, drunk, stupid and impressionable. The old man however was full of hate and has been for his whole life. It made me feel pretty sad, but as someone from outside of the US (Australia), I found it incredibly scary.

I think the frat guys get more attention because they're so loud, but the old man is calm and just so full of hate.

Anonymous said...

You also forgot about the dinner party. Those people were fine with the poop-in-a-bag, the inappropriate wife comments (that one's good looking, that one not so much), etc.

But as soon as a black woman shows up, they took real offense, even going as far as to call the cops.

White trash in a nice house.

Gruntled said...

I think the dinner party might have objected to him inviting a hooker of any complection.

Anonymous said...

yeah, clearly they were peturbed by the fact she was black and it had nothing to do with the fact she was a hooker who showed up late at night

there are enough racists in that film that you don't have to try to smear the few good southerners depicted to satisfy your prejudices