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“Borat”-ed out.

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In the LA Times, Joel Stein has a complaint:

In "Borat," the highest-grossing film in the country for the second week in a row, [Sacha Baron] Cohen uses the friendly Central Asian to fool unsuspecting Americans into revealing their cultural ignorance (a Southern dinner host politely shows him that his feces go in the toilet, not in the bag he’s presented her with), anti-Semitism (a gun shop owner demonstrates which gun is best for shooting a Jew), homophobia, sexism and hatred of Muslims (we’re going to need to come up with a word for that). And now he’s tricked journalists — who have the distinct advantage of knowing that he’s not real — into showing how much they’re willing to compromise to save our dying industry. No one has been this desperate to sound cool since Pat O’Brien stopped drunk dialing.

Yes, it’s really been disappointing seeing the drop in quality of the usually hard-hitting, confrontational interviews that come off the junket circuit. We still think back fondly to the day we made the Dardenne brothers weep at the online round-table for "L’Enfant": "Let’s be honest. How much would a baby really fetch in Belgium these days? Well? Well?! TALK RIGHT INTO THE RECORDER, THE BATTERIES ARE DYING!!!" Fortunately for Mr. Stein, Rolling Stone has a taste of its cover story up online: Neil Strauss’ interview with a not-in-character Baron Cohen:

"Borat essentially works as a tool," Baron Cohen says. "By himself
being anti-Semitic, he lets people lower their guard and expose their
own prejudice, whether it’s anti-Semitism or an acceptance of
anti-Semitism. ‘Throw the Jew Down the Well’ [a song performed at a
country & western bar during Da Ali G Show] was a very
controversial sketch, and some members of the Jewish community thought
that it was actually going to encourage anti-Semitism. But to me it
revealed something about that bar in Tucson. And the question is: Did
it reveal that they were anti-Semitic? Perhaps. But maybe it just
revealed that they were indifferent to anti-Semitism.

"I remember, when I was in university I studied history, and there
was this one major historian of the Third Reich, Ian Kershaw. And his
quote was, ‘The path to Auschwitz was paved with indifference.’ I know
it’s not very funny being a comedian talking about the Holocaust, but I
think it’s an interesting idea that not everyone in Germany had to be a
raving anti-Semite. They just had to be apathetic."

Elsewhere: The Gypsies are angry at "Borat" (via Justyna Pawlak at Reuters); David Marchese and Willa Paskin at Salon have a list of which scenes were staged.

+ Joel Stein: Borat’s biggest patsies — reporters (LA Times)
+ Sacha Baron Cohen – The Real Borat – Finally Speaks (Rolling Stone)
+ Stand-in village for Borat’s hometown furious (Reuters)
+ What’s real in "Borat"? (Salon)

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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