I saw the movie Borat last night, and laughed so hard I almost had a heart attack. For those who don't know, Borat is a fictional journalist from Kazakhstan. The film is a "mockumentary" about America. In reality, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (the king lemur in Madagascar who likes to "move it, move it!") and a camera crew convinced different groups (as Borat) that he was filming a documentary about America that would not be shown in the US, or he interacted with people using hidden cameras to get their reactions.
So, on, the outer level, this is an extremely vulgar comedy making fun of an Eurasian man trying to find his way through America. On a higher level, however, it's a fascinating expose of how insane all of our social customs and taboos must look to an outsider. As Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea put it in the Illuminatus Trilogy, imagine you are a Martian who is observing human culture. Every morning, 80% of men on Earth tie a piece of colored cloth around their necks. Why? Does it symbolize some sort of death fixation? The majority of females put on pointy shoes with sticks underneath the heels that must be painful to walk on. Why? Humanity is full of social customs and taboos (racism, religion, patriotism, homosexuality, affection to strangers, feminism, chauvinism, frank talk of bodily functions, etiquette, etc etc etc) that, if you took a moment to think about, you probably couldn't find a damn good reason for.
I find it hysterical how many people in the movie (the rodeo manager, the frat boys (who are actually suing 20th Century Fox), the feminists, and the manager of Channel 16) are coming forth, angry that they're being show without their social filters in place. ("We never would have acted this way if we had know it would be in a movie shown across America!") I'm sure that's one of those things that wouldn't have been as funny if it had happened to me, but what the hell. It's worth the $10 + sitting through 15 minutes of television commercials before the previews even start.