Author: HighJive

August 30, 2007 / / Uncategorized
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November 10, 2006 / / Uncategorized

by guest contributor HighJive, originally published at MultiCultClassics

boratAnyone familiar with the Russian (a.k.a. Cyrillic) alphabet will immediately spot the typo in posters for “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” The letter serving as an “A” in the title figure’s name (see image above) is actually the phonetic equivalent of a “D” in the English alphabet.

The movie ultimately takes advantage of viewers’ unfamiliarity with the Russian alphabet — as well as our collective ignorance on a host of other cultural tips.

Borat’s skyrocketing popularity cannot be denied. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be disturbed by the rave reviews.

Critics have drawn similarities between Borat and MTV’s Jackass. The comparisons are an insult to Jackass. Yes, both entertainment vehicles share a level of crudeness and obscenity. But Borat is rooted in racism. Only a jackass would fail to recognize it.

Forget the proclamations that Borat is an equal opportunity offender targeting everyone and everything with biased barbs. It just ain’t true. There are no gags involving Latinos, Asians, Indians, Muslims, Native Americans and the usual suspects. Borat preys on specific segments in styles ranging from subliminal to slick to sick.

Aside from a cameo appearance by Republican activist Alan Keyes, the Black folks in Borat’s world are prostitutes and dice-rolling punks. It’s interesting that Sacha Baron Cohen forwards this negative vision, given that he’s made a fortune biting hip-hop via his Ali G persona. It’s also interesting that Borat is much more comfortable hanging with homeboys in the hood (and homosexuals!) than with a sweet Jewish couple in a suburban bed & breakfast. Read the Post Borat means Bigot

October 25, 2006 / / Uncategorized
October 16, 2006 / / Uncategorized

Note from CVK:
I highly encourage you to read Brownstein’s recent op-ed for AdAge.com, in which he quotes his one Black Friend and declares that agencies don’t get enough black and Latino applicants because “inner-city kids love to watch TV commercials — but they have no idea how the commercials are made.” The piece really encapsulates the cluelessness that exists in the advertising industry.

by guest contributor HighJive, originally published at MultiCultClassics

marc brownsteinAdvertising agencies consistently introduce characters that symbolize the cultural cluelessness, insensitivity and even racism so prevalent in the industry. Classic examples include Aunt Jemima, the Frito Bandito, and the Calgon Couple conspiring with their “ancient Chinese secret.” MultiCultClassics is proud to present the latest such character: Marc Brownstein.

Anyone unfamiliar with this new character is cordially encouraged to read the AdAge perspective presented in Essay 1205.

Just to be clear, this commentary is not intended to be a direct attack against Marc Brownstein. After all, it’s highly likely that Brownstein is a decent fellow and upstanding citizen. And he’s probably not a mean-spirited racist. Therefore, let’s avoid being haters regarding the true Marc Brownstein.

Rather, readers can think of Marc Brownstein as a label for actions and attitudes. Based on recent events (many of which have been detailed on this blog over the past months), it seems safe to conclude that every major Madison Avenue shop has a bunch of Marc Brownsteins on staff.

So what exactly is a Marc Brownstein?

When confronting issues of diversity and exclusivity, a Marc Brownstein openly displays passive bias. (Click here to read the MultiCultClassics kickoff essay, which serves up the phenomenon of passive bias.)

For guidance on race-based questions, a Marc Brownstein seeks counsel from a Black friend (who is often the only Black person in the Marc Brownstein social network). Of course, this Black friend will be a class act, unlike the majority of minorities featured on evening news broadcasts and regular installments of The People’s Court and Cops. Plus, the Black friend’s viewpoint will completely represent the opinions of every dark-skinned individual on Earth. Read the Post The ad industry’s mascot of cultural cluelessness

October 4, 2006 / / Uncategorized