The New York Times did an article on the Brüno movie over the weekend, focussing on the film’s overt political message. Surely it must have one. Because comedy is propaganda, you see.
Gay groups are reacting with deeply mixed emotions, heightened by the recent triumphs (Iowa) and losses (California) in efforts to legalize gay marriage. Is the film then vulgar, inappropriate and harmful? Or bold, timely and necessary? All of the above?
Why is it any time someone uses the word ‘inappropriate’ I want to make a hole in their throat and poop in it?
Ultimately the tension surrounding “Brüno” boils down to the worry that certain viewers won’t understand that the joke is on them and will leave the multiplex with their homophobia validated [which I've heard you can redeem for free parking].
“Some people in our community may like this movie, but many are not going to be O.K. with it,” said Rashad Robinson, senior director of media programs for GLAAD. “Sacha Baron Cohen’s well-meaning attempt at satire is problematic in many places and outright offensive in others.”
“We strongly feel that Sacha Baron Cohen and Universal Pictures have a responsibility to remind the viewing public right there in the theater that this is intended to expose homophobia,” said Brad Luna, a spokesman for Human Rights Campaign.
We have a right to ensure stupid people aren’t laughing at jokes for the wrong reasons! Don’t you see? The chicken only braved the dangers of the road because she was fleeing discrimination!
Holding the opposite view are people like Aaron Hicklin, the editor of Out magazine, who said he plans to put Mr. Baron Cohen on the August cover. “The movie does something hugely important, which is showing that people’s attitudes can turn on a dime when they realize you’re gay,” Mr. Hickland said. “The multiplex crowd wouldn’t normally sit down for a two-hour lecture on homophobia, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I’m excited about that.”
Yes. That’s exactly why I’m going. Lecture me, Jew! And make it funny!
Universal won’t discuss the filmmaking process, but the studio insists that the vast majority of the people who appear with Mr. Baron Cohen had no idea they were being filmed for a Hollywood movie. Ads for “Brüno” trumpet, “real people, real situations.”
That was at least true of Representative Ron Paul of Texas, the former Republican presidential candidate. In a scene filmed in early 2008, Mr. Paul sits for an interview with the Baron Cohen character. (Mr. Paul has said he was told the topic would be Austrian economics.) When lighting trouble delays the interview, Mr. Baron Cohen strips to his underwear. Mr. Paul storms out muttering, “This guy is a queer.”
HAHA! It’s funny because gays aren’t real people!