Sunday, November 26, 2006
Curiouser and curiouser. posted by Richard SeymourWe're still on the theme of films, I'm afraid. I didn't want to contribute to the still churning tidal wave of ordure about Borat, but a glance at the Genocide Tribune brought this curious complaint from the right-wing film critic Joe Queenan to my attention:
Baron Cohen is just another English public school boy who hates Americans. It is fine to hate Americans; it is one of Europe's oldest traditions. But the men who flew the bombing raids over Berlin and the men who died at Omaha Beach and the women who built the Flying Fortresses and Sherman tanks that helped defeat Hitler are the very same people that Baron Cohen pisses all over in Borat. A lot of folks named Cohen would not even be here making anti-American movies if it were not for the hayseeds he despises. [Emphasis added]
The poster is Gene, who got it from Norman Geras - both, mind you, ordinarily rather quick to condemn criticism of Israel as antisemitic. Never mind the "we yanks saved you guys during WWII" shtick. That part of the criticism merely complements some of the sniffy neoconservative whinges from Hitchens and the rest, which are basically to the effect that Americans come off rather beautifully despite the efforts of the satirist (because they were polite in front of the cameras). Queenan adds the claim that the Americans liberated the concentration camps, which is no more deluded than the usual. But the last sentence communicates outrage that a Jew, of all people, would be so outrageous as to satirise Americans. Ingrate! How dare he? As it happens, the Soviet Union, of which Kazakhstan was once a part, played a far more significant role in the liberation of concentration camps than the You Ess of Aiii, but Queenan has no problem with the genuinely crude and racist depiction of that country and those people, and the smearing of Kazakhs as antisemites (without, by the way, even being so courteous as to interview anyone and elicit such sentiments). Queenan's slap-down to this Jew merely means that he agrees with Borat: they should be sanctimoniously squashed if they dare criticise Glorious Nation. In fact, he agrees that Glorious Nation should "sue this Jew". Gene and Geras appear to agree.