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Saturday, 2 September, 2006

Despite the miserable conduct of its fictional favorite son, and the hopeless impression given by his portrayal of the country, the government of Kazakhstan has been forced to concede Borat is actually a net positive for the nation.

It appears that Kazakhstan was on nearly no one’s cultural radar in the West, but Borat has at least raised their profile and encouraged a tiny (but at least existing) number of people to seek out information about the Central Asian republic. It appears that Alfred is hosting the “Cossack” President Nursultan Nazarbayev sometime this Fall. The meetings may have been scheduled to coincide with the release of Borat’s movie in order to raise the profile of the home of the world’s busiest spaceport, the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Of course, they still have Borat’s portrayal of the country to overcome. So here’s what you do: Hire a mixed native and Western video crew and invite Sacha Baron Cohen to come to the country for a first class tour and edit it into a television special available at no charge to who ever will air it. Let Cohen’s people shoot footage and they can do their own program/movie/whatever.

Yeah, it might backfire, but fuck it. If Borat’s mere existence has raised the profile of the country you really can’t go wrong.

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