Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sign of the Apocalypse

Fort Smith is in the news as the location of "Borat's" latest prank. We've been Punk'd. (I know, that's Ashton Kutcher, but it makes a point). If you want details, read the full report at The Smoking Gun. This has made the news worldwide.

The last time Fort Smith was in the news on this scale was two summers ago when a rainbow appeared in the sky with lightning. A different kind of rainbow and thunder was the focus of the recent prank. Attendees at a cage fight were enraged by two actors who engaged in PDHA - "public display of homosexual affection."

Here's what I find interesting about this imbroglio . . .

1. In America, Sasha Baron Cohen is known as Borat. Most Americans wouldn't recognize Cohen's real name. Congrats with that Borat.

2. Rumor has it that Sasha Baron Cohen filmed the prank eliciting the homophobic response as part of an effort to promote gay marriage. This is just a rumor, but assuming it has some element of truth, why would a parody of homosexual behavior make any sort of argument for gay marriage. Does "Borat" expect us to believe that his exaggeration is a representation of gay marriage? There are problems regardless of how one answers that question. If the goal was simply to expose redneck homophobia, how does that advance the legitimacy of homosexual marriage? This is a flawed causality.

3. Understandably, people are angry that Cohen has made them the butt of a joke. However, there's not a lot of redeemable content in an event that brags about "hot chicks, cold beer, hardcore fights." In other words, the event was deserving of contempt even before the actors stripped down to their underwear and started kissing.

No comments: