Friday, November 03, 2006

This from the NYT review of the Borat movie:
That Mr. Baron Cohen plays the character’s anti-Semitism for laughs is his most radical gambit. The Anti-Defamation League, for one, has chided him, warning that some people may not be in on the joke. And a sampling of comments on blogs where you can watch some of the older Borat routines, including a singalong in an Arizona bar with the refrain “Throw the Jew down the well,” indicates that the Anti-Defamation League is at least partly right: some people are definitely not in on the joke, though only because some people are too stupid and too racist to understand that the joke is on them. As the 19th-century German thinker August Bebel observed, anti-Semitism is the socialism of fools, a truism Mr. Baron Cohen has embraced with a vengeance.
Huh? That last pseudointellectual reference makes no sense to me. Bebel's point was that the capitalist system is inherently opressive, and that people's anger at those who are successful in the system (i.e. jews) ought to be redirected towards the system itself. I really don't see how the Sasha Baron Cohen embraced Bebel's truism.


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