This article is part of a series on Uncommon Connoisseurships. See also:
- Honey: The Honey Diaries
- Ramen: Package Deal
- Herbal Tea: The Tea Room
L to R: Acacia, Arancia, Millefiori, Eucalipto, Millefiori di Bosco
We were ushered into a wood-paneled second-floor room, leaving the cobbled alley behind us. A warm breeze drifted in through a row of open windows, and the dark blue and brown of Florence’s night could be seen below. Dish after dish of cured meats, cheese, and carbonara and bolognese began to crowd our long, dimly lit wooden table. Where were we? “Don’t worry, I have connections,” grinned Rosetta, the lively, middle-aged leader of our group of twinkling-eyed eighteen-year-olds, and around me, the wine flowed and the voices swelled.
Rosetta welcomed one final platter onto the table. Next to spoons, there resided three thick liquids, and in that dark room, they seemed to glow different colors, yellow and green and blue. “Honey,” Rosetta observed. “Try to taste their differences.” Continue reading
Borat (2006) depicts a well-intentioned-but-oblivious tourist as he stumbles his way through American customs and culture. The characters he meets are played by real people, not actors; they have no idea that the man committing egregious faux pas is himself just an actor, as opposed to an actual Kazakh tourist. The film was met with critical acclaim. “ ‘Borat’ is so gut-bustingly funny it should carry a health warning,” glowed Tom Charity of CNN Entertainment. But I don’t think I actually laughed throughout the entire movie.
I made a noise that resembles laughing. But it was more of a reflex, which was borne out of discomfort, and which imitated laughter, than it was true laughter, which is borne out of humor. True laughter comes from the belly, not from the squirming mind.
Borat was uncomfortable. But it wasn’t funny.
Borat, at the dinner table with hospitable Southern Christians, acts so rudely that his hosts become increasingly uncomfortable, and eventually remove him from the table when he brings in a prostitute.