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Tuesday, 28 July 2009
No fun in Islam

Brüno, which I saw a couple of weeks ago, turned out to be disappointing. It had some side-splittinlgy funny moments - and I still maintain that Sacha Baron Cohen is a comic genius - but there weren't enough of them. It wasn't a patch on Borat. Funny is the only thing a comdedian has to be. He can be offensive; he can ridicule good people; he can even be phony, but he has to be funny.

There are all kinds of reasons why Brüno was not as good as Borat. The main one is that Baron Cohen is first and foremost a clown, and clowns cannot be too knowing. Borat blundered and bumbled, and got away with making fools of hapless members of the public by being even more hapless. Brüno appeared calculating, rather than endearingly silly. Another drawback was that the film focused too much on America; he's been there and done that, and people know him. He should have stayed in Austria, a country whose überdullards, psychopaths and Mozartkugel are ripe for ruthless mockery. Finally, a strength of Borat, but a weakness of Brüno was the sidekick. Azamat Bagatov, the paunchy "producer" with whom Borat wrestles naked, was an inspired creation. Brüno's companion was limp - as would be a pun if I intended it.

Nevertheless, the film had its moments, one of which was the interview with Aymman Abu Aita, a terrorist from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. True to form, the "militant Palestinian group" is not amused. I suspect that "militant Palestinian groups" don't have much of a laugh. From The Times:

Sacha Baron Cohen has stepped up his security after being threatened by a militant Palestinian group angered at its portrayal in the film Brüno.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a coalition of Palestinian militias in the West Bank, said in a statement released to a Jerusalem-based journalist that it was “very upset” that it featured in the film starring Baron Cohen’s homosexual fashionista alter ego.

“We reserve the right to respond in the way we find suitable against this man,” it said. “The movie was part of a conspiracy against the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades.”

The London-born comic is taking the threat seriously and has improved security for himself and his family in preparation for violent reprisals.  

Baron-Cohen's humour is not to everyone's taste. No doubt some, particularly those who don't get the joke, find him irritating or think he deserves a good spanking. He is an equal opportunities offender, but somehow I doubt the security measures will be needed to protect him against the angry Hassidic Jews, whom he also ridiculed, or against passing Kazaks, or the rodeo lovers of Tucson, Arizona.

Posted on 07/28/2009 6:18 AM by Mary Jackson
28 Jul 2009
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No Fun On The Autobahn
Or: How 'Bout "From Acapulco To Tegucigalpa"?
Or: Splitting By The Shock Of The Bey
Or: Battle Of The Beys*
Or: Take The Turnoff Under The Tucson Sun
Or: In The Garden Of Gethsemane, Good & Weevil**
Or: Keep Your Daughter Of The Er, Dole
Or: I Say "Foghorn Livorno"
    (That's a joke. I say, that's a joke, son)***
Or: The Spelling Bee Abortively Swarmed*
Or: Cardinal Sins & Spelling****
Or: More Yokel Yodeling
Or: Die, Der, Dieter
I found the "Straight Dave" cage match to be side-splittingly funny and the bit on the Richard Bey show - wot with the black audience outraged by the apparent child - abuse was surely more of a laff riot than anything produced by Yusuf Bey and Your Black Muslim Bakery in spite of the lack of a sidekick of the calibre of Borat's Sancho Paunchy.
The last link provided by Mary leadeth to Hugh's jollies over the misspelling of "Tucson" and his French and Italian references which were hopelessly beyond my kitman and ken.  I should disclose that not only would I have likely failed in said spelling, but also Mondegrinned Kraftwerk's lyrics as a Beach Boysie "fun, fun, fun auf der Autobahn" until I checked them on the vinyl sleeve. My spelling was so atrocious that I had trouble Googling the following YouTube of a song I've heard now and then over the radio.  I double-dog dare staff and readers to submit their own unspellchecked attempts at the four burgs therein:
This might be as good a place as any to apologize to any clergy, readers or staff offended by the apocryphal account of the melee and gore with Malchus/Crowley in the Garden of Gethsemane:
  I had 'oped in me 'umble off-the-wall way to point out that the Biblical version is at odds with what appears to be the gist of the Koran.  As Mary seemed to gently point out: another field day for Siggy.
I'll try to keep things more down to earth with a YouTube from Mars Attacks! (not to be confused with Arse Attacks Uranus!) which came yodeling to mind while reading NER recently:
even though, strictly speaking, it's an "Indian Love Call;" that is, as the National Lampoon didn't quite say with respect to its cartoon of a legless frog, "That's North American Amerind Indian funny, not Sikh."
  *  Although this might cause him to be "turned off" and to "tune me out," thanks again to Hugh for (yep, another annoying expression) "turning me on" to Owen Seaman - even though most of his work don't make a licka' sense to this here slowpoke.
** See cotton and Boll and a hat tip to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Master and Commander, and Savannah, Georgia, where my eldest daughter demonstrated that I had failed to follow one of Chris Rock's dictums for Dads.
Btw., it's surprising that no one has commented that Sergeant Crowley should produce a video (here hat tipping editor RB for her link to Chris Rock) titled How Not To Get Your Ass Kicked By The POTUS. 
**** No, not Aaron or Tori, Spelling; the Holy One.  I half expect to PB to weigh in with information that the Cardinal was an apostate from Christian Science.
-Way over my head, but perhaps of interest to Mary, though it might not make her as "happy as a little girl"(see SNL's Bruno-like "Dieter"):