De­sen­si­tized

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“The ge­nius of Bo­rat is how the char­ac­ter ex­ploits our coun­try’s ob­ses­sion with con­flict-avoid­ance and mul­ti­cul­tural tol­er­ance. It’s a shiv to the guts of ap­pease­ment, and it just might­bethebest—and­cer­tain­lythe fun­ni­est—de­con­struc­tionofAmer­i­can pre­ten­sions ever made. [. . .]

“When it comes to ex­plor­ing un­charted lands of awk­ward­ness and vul­gar­ity, this is the lu­nar land­ing. Free-speech ab­so­lutists will set up elab­o­rate shrines to this film. Teenagers will sneak past movi­ethe­ater ticket tak­ers. Con­cerned moth­ers will won­der what the world is com­ing to. And au­di­ences ev­ery­where will con­vulse in fits of pained laugh­ter.

“Watch­ing the movie is like tak­ing an 89-minute cul­tural-de­sen­si­ti­za­tion course. You walk in with your mores, tastes, and air of ci­vil­ity com­fort­ably in­tact, but when you emerge you no longer have any idea of what’s ac­cept­able.”

Peter Su­d­er­man, writ­ing on “Learn­ing from the Cul­ture,” Nov. 3 in Na­tional Re­view On­line at www.na­tion­al­re­view.com

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