Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Da Ali G Bill of Rights

Sacha Baron Cohen, in character as his Kazakhstani sidekick Borat Sagdiyev, has triggered a battle with the government of Kazakhstan. Seriously. Cohen, in character, said some pretty outrageous (though apparently not far off the mark) things about Kazakhstan at the MTV Europe Awards. The Kazakh government was not to happy about it, so they issued statements against him and threatened legal action. Borat responded on a new website to those, and proceeded to launch an even more elaborate tirade. The Kazakh government responded by shutting down the website. Defamer has the blow-by-blow. Apparently Kazakhstan has also taken out full page ads in the NYT to describe its reforms and tout the country as a model for the region. Meanwhile, everyone else says "Kazakhstan is a real country?"

Hilarity has indeed ensued. I hope this fued continues, and I can only barely imagine what any legal battle between the government of Kazakhstan and Cohen would look like.