Think of the presumed essence of Joe Queenan — that very funny (often hilarious), always irreverent, smart-assed film/ culture writer — and then imagine some middle-aged cultural regressive…some staunchly rural, long-of-tooth, Kentucky Fried Chicken-subsisting, V.F.W.- supporting yeehaw who watches Fox News. Once you’ve done that, and once you’ve hankie-dabbed the tears streaming down your cheeks following your latest re-reading of Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation”, tell me who wrote the following:
“When Borat was first released, blue-state sophisticates in New York and Los Angeles were delirious, overjoyed that Sacha Baron Cohen was savaging evangelicals and cowboys and hicks, as if this were either daring or original. Their rationale was that Cohen was merely playing with our heads, forcing us to reassess our convictions. No, he isn’t. Baron Cohen is just another English public school boy who hates Americans.
“It is fine to hate Americans; it is one of Europe’s oldest traditions. But the men who flew the bombing raids over Berlin and the men who died at Omaha Beach and the women who built the Flying Fortresses and Sherman tanks that helped defeat Hitler are the very same people that Baron Cohen pisses all over in Borat. A lot of folks named Cohen would not even be here making anti-American movies if it were not for the hayseeds he despises.
“Personally speaking, it does not bother me that Baron Cohen hates Americans; some of my best friends hate Americans. But it bothers me that my fellow Americans are making yet another odious twit from Cambridge rich. Happily, as Baron Cohen is discovering, if you are going to spit on Americans, you had better be careful which Americans you spit on. As the saying goes in the Bronx: if you mess with us, we’re going to mess with you.”