It's 2006. Everyone you know is speaking in a bizarre accent and saying things like "We make-a sexy-time?" or "Throw the Jew down the well!" A very hairy man with a thick moustache and a poor understanding of social norms is on every single awards show and movie trailer that airs during commercial breaks on TRL.
He's Borat Sagdiyev and he's from one of my favorite movies of all time, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Borat is of course a fictional character played by British comedian, Sacha Baron Cohen, but he's much more than that. He is an incredible creation of satire, absurdity, and a very messed-up world. It's crazy that something so moronic, so juvenile, and so perverse could come from a place of absolute creative genius, but it did. I think that even though movies like Bruno and The Brothers Grimsby are very funny and awesomely successful, Borat will always shine above the rest.
Here are just a couple of Borat's best moments!
In a skit that isn't included in many of the copies of Borat, our hero from Kazakstan performs a song in a rough and tumble bar called "Throw The Jew Down The Well." Putting aside any anti-Semitic sentiment from Cohen himself (he's Jewish,) Borat's song and the bar patrons' warm reception to it is what is most surprising. The people in the bar, with very little time to learn the lyrics or understand the song, almost immediately begins singing about throwing Jews into wells.
Do I think these people want to commit genocide? No, probably not. But what Cohen did with this simple song was show us how easy it is to get people to lightheartedly take a serious matter.
In another scene, later in the movie, a tired and defeated Borat finds solace in a Pentecostal church. Just watch it, trust me. Watching a bunch of adults scream and yell in tongues while placing their hands on a complete stranger in an effort to "heal the pain in his heart" is well worth your time.
The fact that Borat is treated with such disgust and horror for his own crazy traditions and beliefs, the open display that crazy traditions and beliefs exist in this country as well is an eye-opening and side-splitting thing to witness.
It's been 10 years since Borat premiered in theaters. But with all that time that has passed, we still can turn it on and learn something new from our favorite reporter from Kazakstan.
Plus, it is really freakin' funny. Watch it if you haven't, watch it again if you have.