Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

Brüno's So-Called 'Terrorist' Speaks Out

impulse_bannerSacha Baron Cohen, who makes low-grade shock comedies such as the moronic Borat, is an unreconstructed zionist. Some friends also find his politics distasteful but acknowledge Cohen’s comedic ‘talents’.  I can make no such acknowledgment and have never found his movies or grotesque characters remotely worthwhile, half-way satirical or even genuinely funny.

In his latest, Brüno, he interviews near Bethlehem Palestinian shop-keeper and non-violence activist Ayman Abu Aita, luring him into appearing in the movie under false pretenses.

Ayman Abu Aita tells his side of the story here. I’ve pointed to rather than embedded the video as it starts up automatically. Abu Aita is seeking to sue Cohen and the film’s makers, and one hopes he sees some redress to being deceived into appearing in this joke of a movie (the propaganda milked from it didn’t stop there, either).

If Cohen was so intent upon interviewing a terrorist, going so far as to tell lies about it, he would have been spoilt for choice by the terrorists in the illegal israeli outposts or the terrorist war criminals in the israeli occupation forces and in the israeli apartheid cabinet.

14 comments on “Brüno's So-Called 'Terrorist' Speaks Out

  1. VonHayek
    29 July, 2009

    Did you watch the film? If anything, what he does is to ridicule the claims this Palestinian group is terrorist by making simplistic and stupid shocking claims and connections. I got the joke… and it was very good. He then goes to Israel dressed as a gay Jew Orthodox in the streets and is literally chased by people in the street. This completely deconstructs the idea that Israel have tried to sell abroad of a tolerant and non fanatical society. I found this also very funny and clever…

  2. qunfuz
    29 July, 2009

    I think Baron Cohen is very funny indeed, and is often able to bring out people’s prejudice to good satirical effect. One example is the wonderful Borat scene (film or TV? I forget) when he gets an American audience to sing along with ‘Throw the Jew down the Well’. Many, many more examples.

    On the other hand, the Borat character seems very like a composite of recent refugees/ immigrants to Britain – eastern European/ Middle eastern/ central Asian, and it could be argued that it is itself racist. Bruno had much less satirical edge than the Borat film. There’s nothing radical or new in showing that people don’t like being sexually harrassed, and it doesn’t make you intolerant if you don’t like being sexually harrassed by a homosexual. Dressing as an Orthodox Jew, but in a G-string, mocks these people, and I quite understand their anger.

    Cohen’s Zionism undoubtedly colours his work. I don’t agree with VonHayek that the joke about Abu Aita is funny, although Abu Aita dealt with it (in the film) much better than the tame Ghassan Khatib, who sat quietly smiling as his people’s tragedy was mocked. Any attempt to make both sides look equally silly for fighting is an attempt to discredit the cause of the oppressed. To take an extreme example, would it have been amusing to have a Nazi representative and a Jewish representative in the 40s, and laugh at the silliness of both.

    But let’s not be entirely humourless. Baron Cohen remains a comic genius, if a flawed one.

  3. qunfuz
    29 July, 2009

    The Letterman interview does show that Cohen is not trying to satirise the terrorist label. He subscribes to it 100%, and does racist imitations of Arab accents.

  4. VonHayek
    29 July, 2009

    Point taken…

  5. peoplesgeography
    29 July, 2009

    To each their own, I guess. I never found Seinfeld funny either. But for those of us not taking to Cohen’s brand of satire, it does not indicate humourlessness, simply that we dance to the beat of a different comedic drum. Thanks for the comments. I’ll definitely pass on the obnoxious banality of Borat and Bruno.

  6. Dean
    29 July, 2009

    I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t seen any of Cohen’s work except for the omnipresent advertisements.

    I liked very much how qunfuz puts its impact in strategic perspective. It’s an attempt to normalize the absurd.

    Any attempt to make both sides look equally silly for fighting is an attempt to discredit the cause of the oppressed. To take an extreme example, would it have been amusing to have a Nazi representative and a Jewish representative in the 40s, and laugh at the silliness of both.

    My sense is too many people consume such rot without giving it a second thought.

  7. Pingback: War in Context - Brüno’s so-called ‘terrorist’ speaks out

  8. 99
    29 July, 2009

    I can never bring myself to watch more than a few seconds of his stuff… always feels too much like signs of the end times to me…. I know he’s very popular, but I assume it’s the kind of popularity of things like “Jackass: The Movie” and “Dumb and Dumber” and that portly bubba in the Blue Collar Comedy circuit. Maybe I’m just too old, but this stuff is very depressing for me.

    I did, however, just get a huge lift out of the news of Iran and Russia doing a joint military exercise in the Caspian. I’ve been almost dead of the drumbeat for WWIII, becoming increasingly alarmed by each new report of instability in Iran in our media, which is that drumbeat, and this is the first solid sign that Russia intends to discourage an attack on Iran. So, if the end is so nigh, at least there’s a chance the murderating fucks are going to have to pay for their murderation in a big way first.

    Better, of course, they just call the whole thing off.

  9. m.idrees
    30 July, 2009

    Hey, don’t diss Dumb and Dumber. I have watched it more than 10 times and it still abides.

  10. peoplesgeography
    30 July, 2009

    Thanks 99, that is good news and good to see your blog keeping abreast of such important developments. Let’s hope this news does signal deeper and mutually beneficial strategic cooperation and that Russia’s presence serves as something of a major deterrent to the neocon sabre rattlers. I understand Iran wanted its observer status upgraded to full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Council (SCO), so must check to see if there’s any news on that.

  11. 99
    30 July, 2009

    Figures. I know a guy, a very way so high falutin attorney, extremely highly esteemed in his profession, ashamed brother of a world-famous Israel apologist, 65 years old, and STILL has to watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High at least once a month… must be a guy thing, but at least Penn was transcendental in that movie….

  12. 99
    30 July, 2009

    Oh, sorry, I really should have linked that, but I was excited and in a rush. Traveling to Berkeley and stuck on my mother’s extremely badly malfunctioning PC….


    I know at last count Iran was only observer status, but I think that may have changed recently. I think Ahmadinejad was heavily anticipated at their last summit and almost didn’t get to go because of the election freakout. He made it for the second day. I think Iran is listed on the SCO homepage not distinct from the rest of the member companies, but I’m spacing on if that was just on a joint resolution or for the whole gig.

    The last summit was a hotty. They had Zardari and the Indian Prime Minister smiling wanly at each other and they invited Karzai. They invited a bunch of regional potentates who were not in on it before, AND they turned down a request from Clinton to audit the summit.

    I’m dead certain they were discussing what to do if Israel or the US attacks Iran, and about diversifying their reserve currencies. Russia appears very clearly to mean it when they want to be friends with everyone, but they also don’t actually seem to have any interest in letting the US carry out plans to encircle them with missile bases.

    I read that the missiles Iran had ordered from them were delivered and a day or two later read that they hadn’t been shipped yet, just ready to ship. I think they were delivered, but even if they were not, it’s a straight shot into Iran through Georgia, and whoever attacks Iran has to be ready to mess up Georgia pretty badly and be willing to take some heavy, heavy casualties from Russia… and the rest of the SCO and friends seem to me to have learned they are safer sticking together than going along with too much of our shit… economically and security-wise….

    They’re not going to start it, and they will try to just hold us off, but I really don’t think they are going to stand for it.

  13. 99
    30 July, 2009

    …member COUNTRIES… sheesh….

  14. Chrysalis
    1 August, 2009

    Good to see this expose.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


This entry was posted on 29 July, 2009 by in Israel, Palestine, Zionism and tagged , , .

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"