Monday, October 09, 2006

Let's not and say we did

One of the funnier moments on our trip to Bermuda came as we sat in the hotel lounge sharing a nitecap after a fine meal at Henry the VIII's up the road. There was a wide screen TV over the bar. (as there often is) We couldn't hear the sound, but this commercial suddenly caught my eye.

Images of mountain ranges glittering as the sunset behind them, market places filled with smiling vendors...

"Kazakhstan! Have you ever wondered?"

Have I ever wondered...what? Where the hell it is?

But seriously. The cab driver the next day was telling us about how Bermuda now has to compete with so many other destinations for American visitors. You ain't kidding buddy, Kazakhstan is trying to woo them away too! Who knew?

I guess this is not out of the blue. The ads were produced apparently in response to a British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, who's character Borat--- a homophobic, misogynistic Kazakh reporter appears in a new movie just released in the Toronto Film Festival. The Kazakh government is bullshit, as Borat portrays the people of Kazakhstan as addicted to horse urine, fond of shooting dogs and viewing rape and incest as respectable hobbies. Which really isn't nice. At least he could mock foreign countries in good taste like John Stewart. :)

Anyway, I had a few more catchier slogans for the Kazakhstan tourism agency:

Kazakhstan! We have no civil war going on!

Kazakhstan! Walk our roads IED-free!

Kazakhstan, we're not a bunch of alcoholic, dog-shooting, backwards former Soviets!

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