Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Is Kazakhstan the national equivalent of the tragic "publicity at any cost for no apparent reason is what keeps me going" Anna Nicole Smith? Particularly with reference to her last few gasps on Entertainment Tonight prior to the crescendo death?

All evidence would suggest that yes, indeed, it is.

Take for example, Kazakhstan's totally unironic approach to Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat film which clearly insulted the United States more than it did Kazakhstan. They banned the film, spoke out against it, made official diplomatic statements and gestures about it and made it perfectly clear that they simply didn't get the joke. But they kept the ball going and they got used to the validating heart swelling adrenalin rush that comes to a small nation when people around the world can finally point to it on a map.

Now, seeing as the film is not actually playing in cinemas any more, the media spotlight seems to be turning its back on our favourite little irony-free Eastern European nation and apparently, it doesn't like not being the center of media attention.

So, what do you do when the public lose interest in you?

Well, you take a leaf out of Ms. Smith's book and the minute you feel the attention waining in a fundamental way, you call up your old check writing pals at a major network - in Anna Nicole's case it was her polished and slightly cracked friends Pat O'Brien and Mary Hart and you drag out your solid old issues and cry on cue. Anna Nicole did it on ET anytime she felt the pain of obscurity and real life seeping in. They always rushed on over to the Bahamas too because apparently her tears rate as well as that fat kid's crippled legs.

For Kazakhstan, ET was Yale. According to a report the US Envoy made a speech to the kids at Yale saying that he hoped his address would inform them that Kazakhstan was in fact, nothing like the portrait Cohen painted with his film, "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan"

Who, that gets into Yale, apart from the contingent who pay upfront fees, would actually think that it was even remotely accurate? That's right, no one.

Listen Kzakhstan - it's ok to just be a regular nation. You're fine the way you are. You don't want to end up shaving your head in a public breakdown, do you? America may look like it's the greatest place in the world but underneath all that designer clothing, sparking hair and pearlescent white teeth - it's just a little kid who can't have a normal relationship.

Let the 15 minutes go, Kazakhstan. It's un becoming of a nation to beg for the spotlight. Why not try and win something. Yes, go win a book award or make it legal to marry a mule.

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