Jumble up all the emotions in the world and bake them in a massive pie... (Monday)

The Monday Dog.

Dogs love driving round in cars. This one is having a little look out of the car and seeing what's what. It looks to me like it's deep in thought. Pondering the mysteries of being a dog I'll wager. They're very clever things, dogs. They know it's only a matter of time until they can take over. Once us humans go and f#ck things up dogs will have their chance. They won't f#ck about either. They'll take things forward to the next level. That's probably what this dog is thinking about. Or should I say plotting. yes, that's right. It's plotting. Plotting your demise. Hoorah for dogs!

I got a great email off a mate recently in response to an old post I put up about the Borat film. I thought it might interest readers of this blog so I'm reproducing it here:

Alright squire,
I'm bored sh#tless at work so i've been reading some of your old blog entries and I have to say that one of them annoyed me a bit.
Your 'review' of the Borat film was a load of testicles! Now whilst you are entitled to your opinion I must state that in this instance your opinion is wrong. Fact. The thing I must take umbridge with is this quote:
"Good parody requires an inherent love of the subject you're attempting to ridicule. There's no love in this film for the "wacky foreigner" type which is its subject. It's just a sort of nasty cruel boring attack on a culture which doesn't even, in reality, exist."
What you've done there is approached the film assuming that the subject of the gag is Borat, that the film lampoons this "wacky foreigner", as you so put it. That is not true, the film lampoons the idiotic general public who fall for his buffoonery.
Think of it like Brasseye, that show isn't about a sociopathic news reporter, it's about the scumbag celebs he hoodwinks. Borat is exactly the same (now i'm not saying that Borat is as funny as Brasseye, heaven forbid, Borat is far more scatalogical than satirical).
I'm not ashamed to admit that I laughed like a tw#t throughout the whole Borat film, and laughed just as hard the second time round. With this type of comedy film I don't think you should analyse it to death, just judge it on one criterion: did it make you laugh? And for me the answer is yes, so the film is a success.
I patiently await your scathing retort.

To which I replied:

Can't not use this as a blog update somewhere...
First point; it didn't make me laugh. The TV shows do, the Borat there is more concise in my opinion and fits your analysis more snugly. The joke is a lot clearer and there's not as much fictionalised wackyness. For example you wouldn't be forced to watch a "hilarious" naked romp on the TV show for example. Unlike the film. Fat bloke rolling around with Borat, and woo - they've got no clothes on! Good god.

This is where I take issue with the central thrust of your argument though; I don't think Borat really is about the American's and their buffonery. Who is the buffoon? The daft tw#t pretending to be a forigner and rolling about naked with his mate or the poor sods who are cajoled into saying stupid things occasionally? I didn't find any of their comments particularly revealing or more importantly, amusing. I think part of this is the nature of film. It costs more and so they're obliged to use more of it. The TV versions are much better in that respect. There's too much fucking guff in that film for it to be good. I could edit it down to a mildly amusing 15 minutes I think.

And here's the crux, the stuff I'd cut would be all the bollocks narrative. It's w#nk!
The comparison with Brasseye is apposite. The exciting thing about that programme, for me, is how seamlessly the fictionalised bits blend with the "real life" bits. That's not the case with Borat. They lack the talent to pull that off and as a consequence the format pulls the film down. That's one of the amazing achievements of Brasseye, the celebrity interviews don't manage to overshadow the well realised sketches.

And here's where, in my opinion, your argument really loses its footing: in my opinion Brasseye is not about the celebrities, it's about the media!

That's what really blew my f#cking mind about it. When I watched it I realised everything on the news was a performance. That was a formative experience for me as a kid. The celebrities are mearly puppets in that game. If Brasseye was just about them saying silly things and being "hoodwinked" I'm convinced it wouldn't have the same impact on you, it certainly wouldn't have ahd the same impact on me.

To which he replied:

Very well argued sir, you make a compelling case.

I still disagree with you on Borat (as i found the nude wrestling to be f#cking hilarious) but I concede that everything you say about Brasseye is certainly true.

With that in mind I'm off to put my Brasseye DVD on.

All of this makes for a nice link into the fantastic cookdandbombd.co.uk website where there is a very rare interview with Chris Morris. It's a bootleg of a talk he did at a University for some students. Go see, go see.



Lloydd said…
Am you saying you watched Brass Eye as a kid?
Nicholarse said…
I think Brasseye would actually be around University time. The Day Today would have been when I was a kid.

Then again, I feel anyone who is more than two years younger than me is "just a kid" so there we are.


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