Taking humorous pokes and jabs at the nation of Kazakhstan, Borat has managed to force comedy into the arena of international relations.
But there are plenty of nations besides Kazakhstan who deserve this kind of attention. For that matter, there are individual states, regions, and cities who deserve the same thing. Take North Dakota, for example. (Please, take North Dakota!) This place is America’s low-wage “rural ghetto,” beset for years with the on-again, off-again issue of youth outmigration; basically a “brain drain” of the young and smart running from the state and going to decent wages in more promising areas like the bright, shining lights of (oooh, ahhh) Minneapolis/St.Paul. The denizens of the unfortunate state of North Dakota tell themselves outrageous, comforting lies about how the “cost of living” is better, living on that lie as an opium addict lives on the sweet, sticky sap of the poppy.
What state could be more deserving of a comic who would pretend to be a Nodak (as citizens of that unfortunate state are known) and do funny routines based on the state’s lack of windpower utilization, (despite vast windpower potential) export of filthy sulphur-laden coal, and food which is bland to the point of being disturbing? But then there’s backward, jerkwater places like Montana, Mississippi, Idaho, and, of course, those people in Saskatchewan, Canada who can’t keep their roads in decent condition for the nice folks of nearby Manitoba. There’s a plethora of small, primitive nations desperately needing to be put on the international radar by a comedian like Borat.
And what about individual cities who won’t face up to their issus like…Grand Forks, North Dakota, where the air is so heavy with industrial stink that the awful smell can almost distract you from the ugly vista which is the so-called “Gateway Drive” entrance to that sad, decrepit city.
Sigh. The real problem with Borat is there’s only one of him, and we need, perhaps, hundreds of Borats.