"I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards!"

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That's a line from the upcoming Sacha Baron Cohen movie, Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which follows the British comic around America in the guise of Borat Sagdiyev, the fictive Kazakhstan TV announcer made famous on Da Ali G Show.

In the movie, sez Drudge, Borat shouts out that line while addressing a Virginia rodeo and clad in a red, white, and blue shirt and cowboy hat. It's part of his preamble to singing the National Anthem for the crowd. Among the other lines Borat delivers before warbling a mangled version of The Star-Spangled Banner:

"And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq!" he continued.

Then the man took off his hat and sang a butchered version of "The Star-Spangled Banner" that ended with the words "your home in the grave," The ROANOKE TIMES reported.

The crowd, which didn't realize it was being punked, was reportedly furious. More here.

The movie, which is being released by Fox, sounds pretty damn funny. And even as it threatens to put U.S. relations with Kazakhstan in the shitter (tear!), maybe it will finally drive home a point the American silent majority doubtlessly believes: The National Anthem works better as a joke song, whether we're talking Leslie Neilsen bumbling away during a Naked Gun joint, Roseanne Barr grabbing her crotch in San Diego, or Olympic hero Carl Lewis croaking his musical obit during a 1993 NBA game.

NEXT: A Pack of Sheep, Not a Herd of Sheep: Vigilant Citizens Beat Back Incursion of Anti-Bush License Plates; Proud Informer Boasts, "I Have No Life and I Must Scream"

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  1. Caught the sneak preview recently, easily the best comedy I’ve seen in years. And for the record, the rodeo scene was probably the closest Borat came to serious bodily harm or worse.

    Jagshemash!

  2. Best. Stupid. Law. Ever: Norway to regulate how a boy can urinate. In a move of “political correctness” they will be required to sit and not stand.

    You can live a full life and never see something like this. =)

    http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1474158.ece

  3. I haven’t even seen this movie yet and it is already one of the most amusing films ever.

    Brilliant.

  4. It is a hard song to sing, vocal-wise, but the lyrics are *not* that hard.

    I confess, I still get goosebumps when they get to “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave” part. Technically, a long way fropm the last verse.

    Anyone know why an old English drinking song has such a range of highs and lows?

  5. I remember when Steve Vai laid down his shredding version of the Banner at a Rock n’ Jock episode for MTV. Quite frankly I felt that having the seventh string on his guitar, tuned to a drop D for communism, was particularly offensive. The finger tapping in the middle, which is notorious for promoting teenage pre-marital sex, only added insult to injury. Ever since then I have been all for pansy thin-skinned patriotic outrage when it comes to pointless national iconography.

    Oh, and for you Steve Vai, next time you don?t check yourself, Mr. Keith is gunna have to stick a boot in dat ass. Peace.

  6. I read somewhere that the Kazaks hate this guy’s guts. They are a bit sensitive about how they are portrayed to the rest of the world. Humor can cut both ways. Is this guy making fun of George Bush or Kazaks and people from exotic cultures in general? I read these things as a send up to the typical middle-eastern fat head. “That evil George Bush should drink the blood of goats!!” Hell, I think Borat needs to start writing for the Guardian and definitely has a great career ahead of him as a diarist on Kos. I bet the movie at least has a few really funny parts and maybe funny as hell.

  7. I dunno, it was funny when it was pompous widbag public figures, but now that he’s moved on to average people, it just seems sort of pathetic. Like making fun of the fat kid; he has no means of fighting back, so where’s the sport? Or maybe it’s just the fact that all the skits seem to lack any art whatsoever. Anybody could come up with them; the fact that everybody else has too much taste to actually do it doesn’t mean that the guy who does is talented.

  8. “Anybody could come up with them; the fact that everybody else has too much taste to actually do it doesn’t mean that the guy who does is talented.”

    Shem,

    That is why I look at it as a send up (if unintentional) of anti-Americanism. There are people out there who pride themselves on being “reality based” “intellectuals” who put out this kind of crap in major newspapers as serious comentary. Like I said, Borat needs to start writing for KOS or the DU.

  9. on the other hand, getting a whole room of people to sing along to “throw the jew down the well” in a country western bar is more or less the comedy version of turning water into wine.

    also, that no one calls him on the overt and insane antisemitism is interesting. the karate instructor segment was classic.

    “but what if jew come at you with his claws?”

  10. Anybody could come up with them; the fact that everybody else has too much taste to actually do it doesn’t mean that the guy who does is talented.

    Cohen’s schtick is to say outrageous things to fools, giving them enough rope to hang themselves on the tree of stupidity.

    What have you done to make me laugh?

  11. I’m definitely not sure what broader political message we should take from this, but I’m with dhex, the “throw the jew down the well” singalong was hilarious. At least if you can supress the part of your soul that’s creeped the fuck out.

    He really does have a knack for figuring out what people’s prejudices are and working those. I recall one segment where he was at a colonial historical park in Charleston, and he was trying to get the elderly southern aristocrat to show some sign of lamenting the end of slavery, and she just wouldn’t do it. She would just very politely explain that slavery was no longer considered acceptable. But then the came upon a 20-something girl in very non-feminine overalls working on something, and he started asking ‘is that a man or a woman’. This got a bite from the old lady who put on her best look of aristocratic disapproval and said something along the lines of ‘I don’t know, but these days you can never tell.’

    He couldn’t get her to bite on slavery or racism, but he quickly managed to redirect to gender roles. Frankly I thought he as kinda picking on her. But I had no problem with the country-western bar thing. That may just be my own internal bias.

  12. i liked the one guy in the back who was genuinely disgusted with everyone else singing along.

  13. down to the lizards

    Iraqis would be pretty happy if we killed all the lizards. They generally fear and loathe even the tiny geckos over there.

    Even the badass Kurdish specops guys I worked with would not go near a gecko.

  14. Even the badass Kurdish specops guys I worked with would not go near a gecko.

    Maybe, they’re afraid of cheap auto insurance?

  15. Does he have a knack for figuring out what people’s prejudices are? Or just for seeing how far their politeness to (what they think is) an obvious idiot will extend?

  16. Erm, I saw the trailer for this, and nearly lost a lung laughing at a couple of things, but I think Mr. Oliver is on to something there. There is very little comedy in being flat-out rude to people just to piss them off. Eg, the clip where he’s telling the host of a dinner party that his wife is ugly, mangling the national anthem and dragging the US flag in the mud at the rodeo, etc.

    As far as Kazakhstan goes, they’ve switched from trying to silence this guy, to informing Westerners about the good things about their country (they bought a four-page ad in NYT for this purpose a few weeks ago), so they’re taking the “solution to bad speech is more speech” approach, good for them. However, ‘Borat’ actually criticized this, saying it was Uzbek propaganda to say that Kazakhs don’t drink urine and such. This reveals him to be a rather mean-spirited fellow and sower of discord, and as such I cannot support him by paying to see his movie.

  17. ‘Borat’ actually criticized this, saying it was Uzbek propaganda to say that Kazakhs don’t drink urine and such. This reveals him to be a rather mean-spirited fellow and sower of discord, and as such I cannot support him by paying to see his movie.

    Seriously? or is my sarcasm detector on the fritz again? That’s extra funny. It’s funny on top of funny.

  18. John, have you even seen Borat at work? He’s not saying, “That evil George Bush should drink the blood of goats!!”, per your reading. That’s not even the quote.

    As in the Throw-Jews-Down-Well song, the character mouths extreme versions of ignorance at the ignorant to see how far they’ll run with him. Cohen’s not portraying a Kos diarist here, he’s taking warmongering to such an extreme that the rodeo-goers are presented with a bizarro version of their own xenophobia and may in fact become unwitting peaceniks themselves. It’s hilarious and corrosive. When Borat says, “May George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq!” to a bunch of Bush-lovers like yourself, he is parroting their exuberance for war, but through the megaphone of his supposedly moronic and hateful culture. The Kazakhs are pissed because they’re portrayed by this guy as the type of people who would cheer the death of children. Their outrage doesn’t change the fact that you are the main target of Cohen’s satire.

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