"Humiliation doesn't entertain me. I don't like any form of entertainment that uses gullible people as props."This was actually a topic of conversation over dinner last night with some of the readers of this blog (i.e. my friends), and I think I wound up being in the minority. Frankly, I just find the whole process rude and mean. It isn't just Borat; I had the same reaction to the few clips of the Ali G Show that I've seen, and have always hated those "crank calling" shows as well, be they on TV or the radio.
I would see a movie that had fictionalized violence in it, but that's not the same thing as seeing a movie which depicts actual violence that only occurred because of the film. Likewise, I might enjoy a fictional movie about a character like Borat that goes around and preys on random people's politeness to comic effect, but find one that uses such a character against real people who are not "in" on the joke cheap and a bit offensive.
As long as we're on bad manners, let me point out a posting over at Urban Elephants late last night, which was kind enough to inform us that George Pataki's daughter failed her bar exam on the first try. Urban Elephants is a group blog that "aim[s] to bring together the best bloggers, writers, commentators and activists on the Right in the greater New York City area." How in the world sniping about a non-politician's bar exam results aids in that mission escapes me. This isn't Gawker, after all. Again, maybe I'm a prude, but the post struck me as petty and implicitly mean as well. If your allies are going to do stuff like this, no wonder lots of qualified people don't want to get involved in public life.
Maybe this makes me sound like your grandmother, but I just think that we should be better than these cheap shots. I know lots of people aren't - heck, at word of the great Milton Friedman's passing yesterday, some were calling for driving a stake through the man's heart - but that doesn't keep me from hoping.
Just to make sure you don't think I've fallen off of the Miss Manners deep end, let me draw your attention to a conversation that Kathryn Jean Lopez started this morning at the Corner:
"Does Anyone Really Disagree with This?Well, some of her colleagues disagreed, which you can see by reading other posts there during the course of the day. As did Andrew Sullivan, whom I feel compelled to link to since there have been so few things we've agreed on since - well, it feels like since about mid 2004 or so.
A Bush administration HHS nominee is getting grief for his involvement with a pregnancy center that believes: 'that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality and adverse to human health and happiness.'
Passing out contraception without any deeper context or conversation is degrading and disrespectful — to men and women. Tell me I'm crazy."
As for me, Gadfly is pro-birth control. Time to book my ticket to hell.