edit: CIA+bribe trial+Clark/Perle+ Oil = BORAT!

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edit: CIA+bribe trial+Clark/Perle+ Oil = BORAT!

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:51 am

on edit: DAMN. I just remembered the answer to "Why Borat's Kazahkstan?"

And the agit prop distraction of the harsh comic Borat is only the tip of the iceberg.
Borat really IS being promoted to condition geographically ignorant Americans to think of him when they see the word 'Kazahkstan.'

Kazakhstan is newly married into the US-Anglo Oil Empire.

>Yet another CIA scandal will come to a head January 16, 2007 over the former president of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Council being used to bribe the dictator of Kazakhstan with $84 million to get at Caspian Sea oil and gas.

>That dictator was just hosted at the Bush family compound, visited Tony Blair, and even the Queen of England. Birds of a feather.

>Kazakhstan just hired the ex-CEO of the UK's equivalent of the Carlyle Group, 'BAE.'


And we're looking at a movie comic instead. DOH!
Betcha more Americans have heard about an Albanian village suing Borat for $30 million than the oil war bribe to Kazakhstan of $84 million.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... rrer=email
With Kazakh's Visit, Bush Priorities Clash
Autocrat Leads an Oil-Rich Country

By Peter Baker
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 29, 2006; Page A01

President Bush launched an initiative this month to combat international kleptocracy, the sort of high-level corruption by foreign officials that he called "a grave and corrosive abuse of power" that "threatens our national interest and violates our values." The plan, he said, would be "a critical component of our freedom agenda."

Three weeks later, the White House is making arrangements to host the leader of Kazakhstan, an autocrat who runs a nation that is anything but free and who has been accused by U.S. prosecutors of pocketing the bulk of $78 million in bribes from an American businessman. Not only will President Nursultan Nazarbayev visit the White House, people involved say, but he also will travel to the Bush family compound in Maine.
(.....)
Nazarbayev visited the Bush White House in 2001 -- before the Justice Department filed a case in 2003 alleging that he had taken bribes and before the president issued a 2004 proclamation banning corrupt foreign officials from visiting the United States. A State Department official said hundreds of foreign officials have been denied visas under Bush's proclamation but could not explain how it would not apply in Nazarbayev's case.

U.S. prosecutors have charged businessman James H. Giffen with steering $78 million in bribes to Nazarbayev and one of his former prime ministers in the 1990s in exchange for influence in oil transactions. In addition to cash transferred to secret Swiss bank accounts, Nazarbayev, originally identified in court papers simply as "KO-2," allegedly received two snowmobiles, an $80,000 speedboat, fur coats for his wife and daughter, and tuition for his daughter at a Swiss boarding school and later George Washington University.

Giffen's attorneys have argued that he is not guilty because his actions were sanctioned by the U.S. government. Giffen says he disclosed his activities to agencies including the CIA and was encouraged to continue for national security reasons. The Justice Department is appealing a court decision allowing the defense. The case is scheduled to go to trial Jan. 16.


The Eurasion Media Forum in Kazkhstan involves the biggest western media plus local media since 2001 all planning how to propagandize the energy game in play there.
I think Borat or atleast his visibility is a related project.


http://www.eamedia.org/about

The page with the report on Clark's and Perle's joint appearance isn't there anymore but it caused quite a ruckus over at DemocraticUnderground.com when it was exposed-
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=132&topic_id=1719537&mesg_id=1719537

General Wesley Clark and Richard Perle made a joint appearance at a huge Eurasion Media Conference in Kazahkstan back in April 2004 to jointly assure the leaders in the Caspian Sea oil and gas that 'the US would stay the course in Iraq so stick with us.'

General Clark even said 'Iraq was not Vietnam.' I'm not kidding. This was reported in a Scottish paper.


Found a Google cached version. (Search yourself. I'm not putting my IP up in the link.)
US FORCES SHOULD INTERVENE IN DARFUR, SUDAN – GEN. WESLEY CLARK



Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 23 – The United States should intervene militarily to stop the killing in the Darfur province of Sudan, General Wesley Clark told a media conference in Kazakhstan.



“US forces with a [United Nations] mandate and adequate cover should go in and stop the ethnic cleansing and genocide in Darfur,” he said in answer to a question. “It has gone on long enough. Enough is enough. It must stop.”



General Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and a Democrat contender in the last US presidential election, was taking part in a question-and-answer session at the fourth annual Eurasian Media Form in Almaty. He shared the platform with Richard Perle, former US Assistant Secretary of Defense and an adviser to the Bush and other Republican administrations.



Perle said he agreed with General Clark on Darfur and added that the United States should also have taken action in Rwanda in the 1990s.



At that time the US was hindered by United Nations rules which limited the right to intervene to cross-border conflicts. “We need to modernise the United Nations,” he said. “It is a tragedy every time we stand by and ignore… the killing of innocents.”



On Iraq, General Clark rejected any comparison with the Vietnam War. He said he had expected the military campaign to oust Saddam Hussein to be swift but admitted he had not anticipated the scale of the insurgency afterwards.



“However, I still believe this is a policy that can work,” he said. “I think we should talk to other powers in the region, saying that a stable democratic Iraq is in their interests and that it is not in their interests to fan the insurgency.”



Asked whether the armed forces of “the American Empire” were stretched too thinly, General Clark said the real power of the United States was the power of its ideas, that people are created equal and that they should play a part in choosing their own governments.



“The United States is in no sense an empire: it is the custodian of a set of ideas that are spreading around the world… and will make it safer for all of us.”



Talking about the post-Cold War era, General Clark said he believed the expansion of NATO eastwards should bring a sense of stability and order to Russia’s borders. “There is no reason why Russia itself cannot become a member of NATO at some point...” he said. “I hope one day it will be a member.”



Richard Perle was asked about the possibility of US military action against Iran or North Korea.



* On Iran, he said: “I do not expect military action in Iran. I do not believe it would serve any useful purpose. I hope the people of Iran will find their own voice and appoint their own government – not allow themselves to be run by a bunch of mullahs with dictatorial powers who robbed them of the last election.”



· On North Korea, he said: “The government of North Korea is a brutal dictatorship. I wish we had the capacity to end all brutal dictatorships, but obviously we don’t… Given the devastation that has been wrought by successive dictators in North Korea, it might collapse under its own weight…”



From above DU link to Eurasian Media Forum link-
12.04 / 19:41 | 18 US experts, Clark and Perle, to speak at Eurasian Media Forum

Almaty. April 12. KAZINFORM. The leading US experts – General Wesley Clark and Political Advisor of the US Administration Richard Perle- will attend the upcoming April 21-23 Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty. The two will discuss problems of interrelation between East and West, will consider issues of global politics and role of mass media in its formation.

General Clark, former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, was the presidential candidate from Democratic Party at 2004 elections. He will make a speech titled ‘Political globalization: new opportunities and new threats’ and will debate issues connected to political globalization and role of mass media in the process.

Richard Perle is the leading political advisor of Bush Administration. An authoritative expert on national security and regional conflicts, he occupied posts of assistant of US Defense Minister under President R. Reagan, and of chairman of Defense and Policy Council in Bush Administration. His speech is about problems of coverage of terrorist acts.

Eurasian Media Forum is a nongovernmental organization, established 2001 in Kazakhstan. Its purpose is to assist the development of free and open dialogue of politicians, journalists and experts on contemporary world problems, and the role of mass media in covering them.

More 400 delegates are expected to participate in the forum.



Two weeks later Clark and Perle made a joint appearance before the House Armed Services Committee pretending to be opponents over Iraqwhile 'Clarkies' cheered their boy on all over DemocraticUndergound's discussion board.

Total domestic theater and internet psy-ops. For Caspian Sea oil and gas.
Just like Borat.

Aha. A Google cached version from the Eurasian Media Forum site where you can really see the level of deception and London is involved, too. Um, Borat is from where?

US STRATEGISTS TARGET CENTRAL ASIA


Almaty, Kazakhstan, March 2005 - Two leading American strategists, General Wesley K. Clark and Richard Perle, will tackle East-West issues - and underline US interest in Central Asia - at the annual Eurasian Media Forum (EAMF) here in April.

As keynote speakers, they will examine global policy questions and the impact of media reporting during the three-day conference (April 21-23) in Kazakhstan's commercial capital.
More details>>>



TRADITIONAL MEETING WITH JOURNALISTS IN LONDON ON THE EVE OF THE 4TH EURASIAN MEDIA FORUM


Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 2005 - On the eve of the 4th Eurasian Media Forum, which will take place in Almaty on 21-23 April 2005, the Kazakh Embassy in London held a traditional meeting with British and foreign journalists, including those who are going to attend the conference in Kazakhstan.

The meeting on 7th April was attended by members of the London team of EAMF and journalists from the Financial Times, Times, Daily Telegraph, Economist, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, Observer, India Monitor, Singapore Straits Times, Global Agenda Magazine, News Desk Communications, Dart Centre for Journalism and Trauma, BBC, Al Jazeera International, ITAR TASS et al.

The meeting was held in a friendly environment, hosted by the Foreign Press Association, an independent and authoritative British media institution which has over 700 members representing more than 1,000 newspapers, magazines, TV and radio companies, news agencies and media organisations from 70 countries across the world.

Yerlan Idrisov, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, and Sue Philips, head of the EAMF team in London, thanked the journalists for the interest they had shown in the Almaty Forum, and told them about the agenda of the forthcoming meeting and the delegates. The journalists expressed wishes for the success of the Forum, with informative and friendly debates on a highly topical agenda.



EXHIBITION:"TERRORISM AND DRUGS: THREAT TO CIVILISATION"


Almaty, Kazakhstan, April 2005 - As part of the 4th Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty on 21-23 April, the Russian International News Agency RIA Novosti is staging a photo exhibition on drugs, terror and the rehabilitation of child addicts.

The first part of the display, titled 'Terrorism and Drugs: Threat to Civilisation', portrays the challenge of international terrorism and drug addiction to societies around the world, and also drug dealings counteraction in Russia.

Graphic photographs capture the consequences of terror attacks in the US, Turkey, Dagestan, Chechnya, Moscow, Beslan and other locations around the world, conveying the message that terrorism is a transnational phenomenon and should be fought against by the entire international community.

Other photographs depict the efforts made by the Russian law-enforcement authorities to stop drugs being brought into Russia or transiting through its territory.

The second part of the exhibition is devoted to drawings made by children receiving treatment at Kvartal, the Moscow Children's and Teenagers' Rehabilitation Centre. This is the only special government-owned organisation in Moscow rendering medical, psychological and social assistance to children and teenagers abusing toxic substances such as alcohol and drugs.


-





-------------------------------------------
my original post about Borat as agit prop which is subset of the Kazakhstan/Oil connection -

Jeff locked and moved a thread about the movie 'Borat' to the Fire Pit here -
http://rigorousintuition.ca/board/viewtopic.php?t=9268

There is more comment on Borat in this thread titled 'Is This Racist?'-
http://rigorousintuition.ca/board/viewtopic.php?t=9272

Perhaps read those two threads some and bring an opinion back here?

Exercise for RI: Discuss this popular and thus important movie AMICABLY and POLITELY. Can we do it? Ignore any chance to insult or accuse, please.
*crossing fingers*...*distinguish all smoking materials responsibly*

Jeff has a benign view of 'Borat' and also thinks it is important.
I agree with its importance but wonder about the 'intentions' ascribed to 'Borat.'

Jeff's take -
Borat holds a mirror to America, not Khazakistan. People who don't like what they see, won't much like it. Or some guy named Cohen. Which is why it's important. as well as funny.


Are (actor) Cohen's personal intentions the same as the effect on the audience and what exactly is that effect? THAT'S my inquiry.

Are the intentions of those releasing this hit movie the same as the man playing Borat?

I'm interested in whether or not the movie was intentionally meant to sow ill will and division with MIXED MESSAGES.

I've noticed that 'Borat' is loaded with double-edged offensiveness, sometimes skewering bigots and sometimes skewering innocent people in other countries which is a form of bigotry, isn't it? Hmm. Can be rather confusing and cause people to see what they are predisposed to see, a polarizing effect.

Isn't this what I said was behind replacing Dave Chapelle with crass stereotype-humorist Carlos Mencia? (I called him scornfully 'Carlos Men-CIA' only because the CIA specializes in mass psychology and demoralization though confusion, not because I think Carlos gets a paycheck from Langley, Prof Pan. Still, check his 401k. lol.)

Isn't Borat's shtick clever agit(ation) prop(aganda)?

Isn't this meant to either create or reinforce stereotypes in the guise of condemning
exactly that?

Isn't this exactly what 'V for Vendetta' did, too, irritate 'both sides?'

Is this what is now going to pass for 'amusing?'

Isn't this a way to divide and conquer people using psychological warfare embedded in 'entertainment?'

Isn't this designed to cause people to argue and especially on internet discussion boards?!! 8)
Last edited by Hugh Manatee Wins on Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:54 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Tom Hanks did a nasty related role.

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 2:21 am

In the 2004 movie 'The Terminal,' directed by (propaganda kingpin) Steven Spielberg , Tom Hanks plays a Central Asian man from a generic something-a-Stan who is trapped in JFK airport when a coup back in his country puts him in a paperwork Catch-22 limbo.

Hanks plays him as a rural simpleton who is naively honorable and unable to cope in sophisticated America, rather like another Forrest Gump. He even helps a fellow countryman get around some rules about taking medicine through the country for a sick relative with the punch line "He really loves his goat!"
You can see this, can't you? Ech.

There was so much propaganda in this movie but the most obvious was the racism and patronizing view of foreigners from the part of the world where the US is killing people for their Caspian Sea oil and gas while supporting torturers.

Funny that Enron was doing business in Kazahkstan to get at all that oil, ay? Now 'Borat.'
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More US spooks massage Kazakhstan PR.

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:31 am

There's a big PR push here and I don't think this because of one comic.
This is complicated.
Just look at all the alphabet types meeting up with Kazakhstan reps. I can't date this -

http://www.reporter.md/en/Report.asp?NewsType=FullDocument&idDocType=5&idDocument=170058
International Conference “Establishment and Development of Democracy” in Geneva

At the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) General Council meeting that took place in September in Chisinau, Moldova was highly praised by the senior leaders of the Jewish organizations from the three continents forming the EAJC for respecting human rights in international and interconfessional relations.

Several weeks later, with the support of the EAJC President Alexander Machkevitch, Kazakhstan was also praised for this. In Switzerland the international forum of Western politicians, whose position influenced the fate of humanity in the last 30 years, have shown satisfaction with the economic and social reforms of our partner from the CIS.
.....
At the summit of the US Chamber of Commerce “Challenges of Kazakhstan: Regional and Global Aspects” that took place in Washington, Machkevich familiarized the Americans with the realities of the national and religious consent in his country. He has also introduced his colleagues from the Kazakh delegation: Adviser to the President of Kazakhstan Karim Massimov, Kazakhstan Minister of Economy Kairat Kelimbetov and Kazakhstan National Bank Chairman Anvar Saidenov to the well-known politician, General Wesley Clark whom he made friends with at the forum in Switzerland.

Then the Kazakh delegation has met former Assistant to the US Secretary of Defense Richard Perle, former CIA and FBI Director William Webster, Sr. Vice President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy Donald Rice, Assistant Secretary of State on European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Bryza and others.

It seems that they, as well as the participants in the Geneva conference, liked the logics and effectiveness of Machkevich’s “Jewish way of thinking” which makes it easier for the West to make real partners in Eurasia, instead of losing time using the old European patterns for CIS countries.
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More US Chamber of Commerce talk

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 3:45 am

The US Chamber of Commerce is very interested in Kazkhstan.
For Americans Borat is to Kazahkstan as Jack Black's Nacho Libre was to Mexico, a benign way to think of a country with geopolitical significance.

I'll bet we're going to hear lots more about this country and Borat is a softening agent of predisposition.

[url]http://www.google.com/search?q=
cache:gl-tBVKThBYJ:www.uschamber.com/
NR/rdonlyres/eyaqeobux57qb7wbdvgftpr2qetuz3vuhsolfwjgj
5rgegh6t26rjzuzoibzlotk4ob67xw367ba2ojd5xhb3jzfxue/
ChallengesofKazakhstanPresentationSummaries.pdf
+Wesley+Clark+Richard+Perle+Kazakhstan&hl=en&gl=
us&ct=clnk&cd=9&client=firefox-a
[/url]
Col. Vladimir Reichel, Head of International Programs, Kazakhstan Armed Forces:

Kazakhstan is faced with a lot of dangers and challenges in Central Asia. We have to deal
with international terrorism, drug trafficking, instability, insecure boundaries, and potential military conflicts in the region. Kazakhstan joined the antiterrorist coalition and has provided critical assistance in both Afghanistan and Iraq. The Kazakh government contributes free over flight rights for coalition aircraft. Furthermore, the Almaty airport is available to the U.S. Air Force for emergency landing and refueling as part of operations in Afghanistan.

The Military Doctrine, covering the period from 2000-2005, includes several efforts to improve security and stability in Central Asia. With the improvement of the armed forces, our high potential military force will be more effective in fighting threats and terrorism. There are also plans to continue to strengthen the Kazakhstan Peacekeeping Battalion (KAZBAT) with the aim of making this unit interoperable and deployable for participation in NATO-led operations.


more...
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Postby AlicetheCurious » Thu Nov 16, 2006 6:46 am

Hugh, I find your argument persuasive, if only because I personally had never heard of Kazakhstan before in my life, now suddenly, it's all over the place.

I haven't seen the movie, but it's been heavily, heavily hyped by BBC World (at one point, a reporter interviewing Cohen collapsed in uncontrollable giggles, in between clips from the movie). The "interview" was shown over and over again.

The only movie that's received more frantic publicity, is the new James Bond flick. My jaw has dropped as several days in a row, the SECOND news item on the so-called 'World News" was one more fawning story about some aspect of the new Bond film. Unbelievable. I have never seen anything like that before.

Anyway. To get back to Borat, it does seem suspiciously coincidental that the people living in a brutal, corrupt dictatorship are dehumanized in a popular movie at this particular time, when the "strategic importance" of the Kazakh regime as an ally of the US, is being celebrated.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking. You want black comedy? THIS is black comedy:

Perle: "“We need to modernise the United Nations,” he said. “It is a tragedy every time we stand by and ignore… the killing of innocents.”

...

General Clark said the real power of the United States was the power of its ideas, that people are created equal and that they should play a part in choosing their own governments.

...

And another pearl from Perle: "I hope the people of Iran will find their own voice and appoint their own government – not allow themselves to be run by a bunch of mullahs with dictatorial powers who robbed them of the last election.”
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Postby Telexx » Thu Nov 16, 2006 7:56 am

The Pearle quote above (noted by AlicetheCurious) made my blood boil! You can imagine the demonic voices cackling in his head as they made his jaw flap up & down at the time. Evil.

With respect of Borat. Borat first appeared on UK TV in 2000, as part of the Ali G show. Even then there were rumblings of discontent from the Khazakhstani officials.

Unofficial Borat Homepage News (2000)

At this point, although Borat was popular with students & young people his fame (and infamy) was limited - a cult figure, who remained in the shadow of Ali G until recently this year.

Acording to Wikipedia (yes I know) the original basis for Borat was in fact an Albanian reporter named Carrique.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacha_Baron_Cohen#Early_career

That evolution is consistent with the development of comedy characters generally (Baron's other character Bruno was originally rumoured to be named Steffan Schpunk).

Although it is certanly possible that some bright, forward thinking neocrat has hijacked (and so promoted) the Borat character to popularise Kazakhstan as a nation of buffoons rather than a nation of oppressed people, given the humble origins of Borat I would very much doubt Cohen would be complicit in that undertaking.

I know that Cambridge University has a habit of producing spies (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0346223/) but in reality the nature of Borat's rise to stardom was organic - in fact if he saw this thread no doubt he'd be making a wee in his lovely swimming costume...

Image

Thanks,

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Postby MASONIC PLOT » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:09 am

The Borat article I posted yesterday says the same, although it was sent to the fire pit for other reasons, which is ok with me since that is where I spend most of my time anyway.

Image
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The Soup Nazi?

Postby greencrow0 » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:15 am

A lot of things look different to me now, post 9/11 and post Iraq/Afghanistan...one of them is one of my favourite characters...

the Seinfeld 'Soup Nazi'.

Now, I see him as a precursor to the pathetic propaganda icon...


Borat.

I haven't seen the movie but my son told me about the plotline...


Very un-funny.

gc
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Postby AlicetheCurious » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:16 am

MP, where did you get the cute smiley? Et in Arcadia Ego also uses amazing smileys (I almost died at the one giving the finger). The ones on the left are no good at all...
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Postby MASONIC PLOT » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:21 am

Check your PM Alice, I sent you the info you requested.
MASONIC PLOT
 

Postby Dreams End » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:21 am

I think the other thread got firepitted due to obsession with the fact that Cohen is Jewish. The Counterpunch stuff was almost pathetic in seeing Borat as a Zionist tool...as he completely mocks the 'war on terror" etc.

But I am actually aware that the US has designs and plans in that region that are not filtering even into the "alternative" media and I'd like to think Cohen himself is not part of that but is someone in the tradition of Andy Kaufman.

I think the film itself reminds me in ways of my opinion of Spike Lee (obviously a far superior film-maker). Lee grabs onto real issues but his politics are all over the place, a lack of depth despite his artistic ability. I think I finally decided to accept this and take him off my hero list when he started doing Nike ads. Still, some of his films I loved, especially the bio on Malcolm X.

The Counterpunch article I saw wanted to say that Cohen was spreading racism via his Ali G character, but my take on Ali G was that he was one of the subculture of young white men who try to adopt the hip hop style with sometimes comical results. In addition, it was another case of the "fool"...the ostensibly foolish person who actually points out the foolhardiness of others.

So my take for now is that, as Jeff said, it's aimed squarely at the U.S. but that I wish he'd not mocked the poor of another country, especially a real one. I think this is due to shallow political understanding, but I'll still take his take over Mel Gibson's any day.
Dreams End
 

Postby MASONIC PLOT » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:26 am

Yes I understand why Jeff put it in the fire pit and I respect him enough not to make a stink of it, I dont always entirely agree with his fire pit choices lol, but that is beside the point as I do understand his desire to keep the board healthy. Im certainly not a stormfront fan myself but I do like to toe the line on the zionist discussion now and then, nothing wrong with that if it is honest and not meant to just inflame passions, sadly that is usually the result it produces anyway, hence the need to moderate.

I do not blame Jeff for any of it, the problem is that most people on these boards are completely incapable of having an objective discussion without letting their emotions get in the way, which is the main reason the internet is mostly void of any real intellectual stimulation, at least for me.
MASONIC PLOT
 

The optics of the new James Bond

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:16 pm

AlicetheCurious wrote:
Hugh, I find your argument persuasive, if only because I personally had never heard of Kazakhstan before in my life, now suddenly, it's all over the place.

I haven't seen the movie, but it's been heavily, heavily hyped by BBC World (at one point, a reporter interviewing Cohen collapsed in uncontrollable giggles, in between clips from the movie). The "interview" was shown over and over again.

The only movie that's received more frantic publicity, is the new James Bond flick. My jaw has dropped as several days in a row, the SECOND news item on the so-called 'World News" was one more fawning story about some aspect of the new Bond film. Unbelievable. I have never seen anything like that before.



The new James Bond is....blonde. For the first time.

He will look a lot less like those oil region evil-doers in Iran and Venezuela, won't he?

Movies were a division of the State Department during WWII when the Office of War Information determined what movies were made and even wrote scripts.
The Cold War use of TV was even more carefully exploited.

This hasn't changed. Image conditioning is big business for fascism and, like drug smuggling, is self-financing with huge profits for all involved.
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Motivation versus effect.

Postby Hugh Manatee Wins » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:26 pm

Dreams End wrote:But I am actually aware that the US has designs and plans in that region that are not filtering even into the "alternative" media and I'd like to think Cohen himself is not part of that but is someone in the tradition of Andy Kaufman.
....
So my take for now is that, as Jeff said, it's aimed squarely at the U.S. but that I wish he'd not mocked the poor of another country, especially a real one. I think this is due to shallow political understanding, but I'll still take his take over Mel Gibson's any day.


I also think Cohen is probably sincere in his anti-bigot agit prop, inconsistent as it is.

Again, this points way up the food chain to those who can make Cohen so visible and who anticipate what the psychological effect will be on which demographics for which topics.

This is exactly the combination of research, surveillance, and financing of projects that was begun after WWII in things like MK-ULTRA and deployed in Operation Mockingbird.

Linguistics and image-conditioning are what spook media managers use on us, especially OUR KIDS.
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Sacha Baron Cohen - The Real Borat - Finally Speaks

Postby nomo » Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:31 pm

http://www.rollingstone.com/news/covers ... lly_speaks

Image

Sacha Baron Cohen - The Real Borat - Finally Speaks
In his only interview as himself, Sacha Baron Cohen talks about growing up kosher in London, inventing a new kind of comedy with Ali G and conquering Hollywood with Borat

By NEIL STRAUSS

>> This is an excerpt from the new issue of "Rolling Stone," on newsstands until November 30th.


Two Escalades stop in the middle of Sixty-Fifth Street on the West Side of Manhattan. Out of the front SUV, a tall, awkward mustachioed man in an ill-fitting blue-gray suit emerges. In the past month, through a series of press stunts, interviews, news events and blanket advertising, this man has turned himself into a household name in America: Borat.

It is Halloween, the night of a thousand living Borats roaming our city streets in costumed adulation of the spurious Kazakh journalist, but this Borat is the real thing. A throng of movie publicists, photographers, collaborators and assistants close in around him as he heads toward the escalators that lead up to the Walter Reade Theater, where an advance screening of his American cinematic debut is about to start. He pauses at the foot of the escalator, turns to me and extends a hand. "Hi," he says, in a deep, genteel British accent that I've never heard emerge from this mustachioed visage, despite having watched every minute of available footage he has recorded. "I'm Sacha."

And with this one word -- "Sacha" -- he informs me that I am being let behind the Kazakh curtain, into the mind of the man behind the buffoon, into the very private world of England's most popular enigma, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Since reaching star status in Britain in 1998 with his other alter ego, the wangsta jester Ali G, Baron Cohen has never done an interview in his home country as himself and has never done an interview this extensive anywhere. Even when promoting his supporting role in the Will Ferrell Nascar parody, Talladega Nights, the Sacha Baron Cohen he presented to the press was still a character: typical of either a pretentious British thespian or a really stupid bystander who didn't understand any of their questions. A shorter, shaven-headed man chases after Borat. "Your hair," he mouths, as he reaches him and adjusts the tangle of black curls on his head. This man is Jason Alper, who has designed all of Baron Cohen's costumes and will later tonight accidentally steal his shoes.

After pausing for paparazzi in his usual pose -- shit-eating grin, elbows pressed against his sides and two thumbs up -- Borat heads into the theater and introduces Borat!: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

"At first, Kazakh censors wouldn't let me release this movie because of anti-Semitism," he tells the assemblage. "But then they decided that there was just enough."

What follows is one of the greatest comedies of the last decade and perhaps even a whole new genre of film. It features just four actual actors (and a male porn star found to portray Borat's teenage son, Huey Lewis); the rest of the cast consists of real people Borat encounters while traveling across the country in pursuit of Pamela Anderson -- each one an unwitting actor propelling forward his Don Quixote-like quest (Anderson was in on the joke). If you've been anywhere near a television or newspaper in the last month, you know the story. Chances are you've already seen it. Maybe even twice.

After the screening, Borat returns to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel to shower and transform back into Sacha Baron Cohen: mild-mannered Londoner, fiance of actress Isla Fisher (Wedding Crashers), reluctant sometime resident of Los Angeles. I wait outside the restaurant Asiate for him to appear. I'd met Baron Cohen once before, three years ago, when he was recording his first series of Da Ali G Show for HBO, interviewing a panel of leading scientists as pseudo hip-hop youth talk-show host Ali G. ("Let's talk about when technology goes horribly wrong: Could there be another Nintendo 64?") At the time, our interview resulted in answers like this one: "When me came out me mum's poom poom bush, me immediately started crying in a junglistic riddim. Me first word was 'ho.' "

This interview promises to be different....

Today, without the funny mustache, Baron Cohen responds to the statements from the Kazakh government seriously for the first time.

"I've been in a bizarre situation, where a country has declared me as it's number-one enemy," he says, forcing a wry grin. "It's inherently a comic situation." He stops, then backpedals a little. "I mean, it's always risky when you don't go down the normal route." Pause. Maybe he's taking himself too seriously now. "I wish I would have been there at the briefing that Bush got about who I am, who Borat is. It would have had to be great."

When Baron Cohen first heard that the Kazakh government was thinking of suing him and placing a full-page ad promoting the country in The New York Times, he was editing his movie in Los Angeles. His reaction: "I was surprised, because I always had faith in the audience that they would realize that this was a fictitious country and the mere purpose of it was to allow people to bring out their own prejudices. And the reason we chose Kazakhstan was because it was a country that no one had heard anything about, so we could essentially play on stereotypes they might have about this ex-Soviet backwater. The joke is not on Kazakhstan. I think the joke is on people who can believe that the Kazakhstan that I describe can exist -- who believe that there's a country where homosexuals wear blue hats and the women live in cages and they drink fermented horse urine and the age of consent has been raised to nine years old."

In actuality, it turns out that Borat is a far more damning critique of America than it is of Kazakhstan. The jokes that Baron Cohen mentions above -- and all the rest about beating gypsies, throwing Jews down wells, exporting pubic hair and making monkey porn -- are clearly parody. But the America that Borat discovers on his cross-country trek here -- rife with homophobia, xenophobia, racism, classism and anti-Semitism -- is all too real.

"I think part of the movie shows the absurdity of holding any form of racial prejudice, whether it's hatred of African-Americans or of Jews," Baron Cohen says.

A waiter places a complimentary appetizer in front of Baron Cohen.

"What is this?" he asks.

"Ceviche," the waiter answers.

"No, what's in it?"

"Coconut, fish, yuzu, pomegranate."

Baron Cohen continues to grill the waiter: "What kind of fish?"

It soon becomes clear that he is not merely curious or vegetarian or allergic to peanuts. He keeps kosher and is making sure that there is no shellfish, pork or other forbidden food or food combination in the dish. A devout Jew, Baron Cohen also keeps the Sabbath when he can, which means that he doesn't work from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

Unsure of the waiter's trustworthiness, Baron Cohen pokes at the appetizer as he points out that his parents "love" the Jewish humor. And his maternal grandmother, who's ninety-one and lives in Haifa, Israel, went to a midnight screening, then called her grandson at 4 a.m. to compliment him and dissect the scenes in detail.

"Borat essentially works as a tool," Baron Cohen says. "By himself being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their own prejudice, whether it's anti-Semitism or an acceptance of anti-Semitism. 'Throw the Jew Down the Well' [a song performed at a country & western bar during Da Ali G Show] was a very controversial sketch, and some members of the Jewish community thought that it was actually going to encourage anti-Semitism. But to me it revealed something about that bar in Tucson. And the question is: Did it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.

"I remember, when I was in university I studied history, and there was this one major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw. And his quote was, 'The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.' I know it's not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but I think it's an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic."

Baron Cohen doesn't make this grand statement with confidence. He makes it shyly, as if he's speaking out of turn. It's interesting to watch Baron Cohen get bashful, because it is the exact opposite of the characters he portrays. These sincere boors aren't afraid to bring a bag of their own excrement to the table at an antebellum dinner party or ask David Beckham if he can feed on his wife Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham's breasts.

There is a certain sadism to Baron Cohen, who seems most comfortable when making others uncomfortable. To some degree, Borat and Ali G are safe refuges for him, masks he can hide behind. If everything that comes out of your mouth is parody, then you never have to be accountable for what you say -- because you didn't really mean it anyway. You only said it to lead your interview subjects to the thin line between patience and intolerance in order for their true personality to reveal itself.

In contrast, Baron Cohen himself has no defenses or alibis. One wonders if he could withstand the awkward situations to which he constantly exposes his alter egos.

"I think I'd find it hard to," he admits. "I think you can hide behind the characters and do things that you yourself find difficult."

There are two things Baron Cohen doesn't like talking about: his background and his creative process -- how he creates his characters, how he procures interviews with highly inaccessible figures like Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump, and how he gets them to take seriously his preposterous questions. ...

>> This is an excerpt from the new issue of "Rolling Stone," on newsstands until November 30th.
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