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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 17, 2006 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

The phenomenon known as Borat

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I went, I watched, I winced.


I felt ashamed. I felt proud. I felt sorry.


I laughed.


I didn't laugh.


I hated it; I loved it. I don't want to think about the wrestling scene; I can't stop thinking about it.


There's something about ``Borat."


This faux documentary that exploits every stereotype and turns every phobia inside out has exposed not just the obvious — that some people are racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic — but also has cast a light on a cultural pathology unique to our times.


Show a mouse a camera, and he'll want to be a star.


That is, people apparently will allow anyone into their lives as long as there's a shot at fame or celebrity. The photo-snapping, video-camming, MySpace, in-your-face narcissism of our media age became a perfect storm with ``Borat."


The joke isn't on us. It is us.


For those arriving late to Planet Earth, Borat is the fictional star of the runaway hit movie by the same name. Well-known to the under-30 crowd, Borat is one of several characters played by British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen on HBO's ``Da Ali G Show.''


In the film, he pretends to be a Central Asian TV journalist making a documentary about ``Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.''


Essentially, Borat plays a naive, lovable, optimistic, oversexed, anti-Semitic, Third World fool in search of America. His mission takes him and his producer/sidekick (and their pet bear) across country in an ice cream truck in pursuit of Pamela Anderson, whom Borat hopes to wed.


Along the way, he interacts with ``real Americans'' in their natural habitats — a rodeo, a Pentecostal church, an antique store, a bed-and-breakfast, a humor school, a dating service, etc. — and does whatever is necessary to provoke, embarrass, enrage and shock.


In the process, he manages to disable some people's inhibitors, cajoling them into admitting that shooting Jews, hanging homosexuals and running down gypsies are all pretty good ideas.


Now that ``Borat" is a box-office hit, some of the citizen-actors are, shall we say, not happy.


One Mississippi woman lost her job for booking Borat on a local television show. Two University of South Carolina fraternity brothers, who got drunk and reaffirmed every nasty stereotype of the South, have sued for fraud. Residents of the impoverished village of Glod, Romania, who were characterized as prostitutes and abortionists, also are considering suing.


As one woman of Glod told The Associated Press: ``We thought they came here to help us — not mock us.'' Whether any have legal grounds remains to be seen. Although all signed releases waiving their right to sue for defamation, invasion of privacy or fraud, some claim they didn't understand the agreement. The frat boys say they were drunk when they signed.


Performing improv with unknowing participants is both the fun and the fury of ``Borat." The best part is how Cohen, an observant Jew in real life, reclaims anti-Semitism and exposes the absurdity of prejudice. In one unforgettable scene, he and his sidekick frantically toss dollar bills at cockroaches, believing them to be their shape-shifting Jewish innkeepers.


If you find that utterly ridiculous, you have reached the intended conclusion.


The film otherwise is raunchy and scatological in the extreme. Some parts are hilarious, such as when Borat learns that his hideous wife back home has died, which prompts him to ``High-five!'' the messenger.


Other parts are unforgivably mean, such as when he insults the wife of a Birmingham, Ala., minister at a dinner party arranged to instruct Borat in Southern etiquette.


What we learn from that session — which includes Borat excusing himself to visit the loo and returning with the proceeds in a sack — is that these are truly fine people. Gracious and openhearted toward ``the foreigner,'' the Southerners treat Borat respectfully even when he deserves to be defenestrated.


While Borat may have revealed some of the worst of us, he also revealed some of the best. Americans can be credulous, obtuse and tiny-minded, but they also can be generous, kind and forgiving. Many have laughed at themselves upon realizing they'd been duped.


Others not so much, as Borat would put it.


Whatever the outcome of the lawsuits, ``Borat" is making zillions and surely those who were played deserve some of the rewards. Beyond suing, there are other solutions to this silliness.


For starters, Cohen might toss a few million Glod's way. Otherwise, I see road signs: ``Borat's Southern Etiquette and Dining Club.'' Next exit.


High-five.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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