Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shambhala Sun Space - “Is Sacha Baron Cohen a 21st century Bodhisattva?”

  • Wow, rather unfortunate article. The mental leap required to look at Cohen in this way is huge. My comment (left at the blog) is below the article.

“Is Sacha Baron Cohen a 21st century Bodhisattva?”


Since seeing Sacha Baron Cohen’s movie “Bruno” this past weekend, I have been pondering the question, “Is Sacha Baron Cohen a 21st century Bodhisattva?” While his humor in the movie is crass and sophomoric at best, his actions (antics?) seem to offer the opportunity for the people who are on the receiving end to be challenged, poked, and chased into waking up from their habitual thought patterns.

There are two scenes in particular (no spoilers here) in which I was struck that Cohen seems to be offering the opportunity for the person to break through their habitual thoughts and beliefs and proceed toward another way of thinking. While we are not privy to this actually happening within the movie, we can hope that, perhaps having felt the sharp edge of Cohen’s satiric sword, the person will, in a quiet moment reflect on their experience and wake up. While I haven’t yet teased out evidence of all six paramitas in Cohen’s work, there is certainly a strong case to be made that he has a handle on these actions of a Bodhisattva.

Have you seen Bruno (or Borat)? Is there something noble behind Sacha Baron Cohen’s mission of taking his disruptive comedy to so many places and to so many different kinds of people? Or is this just wishful thinking?

My comment:

Sasha Cohen is at best a trickster figure, in the classic sense of coyote in Southwestern American myth - he may provoke new insights/awareness, but he does so lacking integrity and compassion - certainly not the qualities of a Bodhisattva.

1 comment:

atinyspeckofdust said...

I haven't seen this film - but I loved Borat and find his work inspiring. As for not having enough compassion to be a bodhisattva, consider what trungpa rinpoche said...."compassion is not so much being kind; it is being creative to wake a person up."