A Setback for Kazakh Missions

I have been loosely aware of the hype surrounding Borat, the mockumentary starring British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.  However, it was only today that I learned the film's subtitle and cultural context.  The full title is Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazkhstan.  Ostensibly the film is a satiric critique of American prejudices. 

It is deeply unfortunate that this should be associated with a real country -- a country, it should be noted, where American and other missionaries are trying to make gospel headway among Muslims and other Kazakhs.  They will appreciate the satire of their country as a place of bigotry and barbarity about as much, I am guessing, as Americans appreciated the Turkish portrayal of American soldiers as wolfish brutes in a notable film critique of the Iraq war.  Yet one more thing for Americans (and the British) to apologize for globally.

I doubt whether many Americans will understand the film's satire very well, either.  Its crude humor will appeal primarily to people with low tastes and to young people who lack the cultural self-awareness to understand the film at anything beyond the level of base vulgarity.  Come to think of it, Borat won't help the missionary effort much on this side of the world, either.


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