Back in the late 80s, when I was just getting interested in video production, I shot some stuff at the County Line Mall in Indianapolis with my friend, Butt. (Yes, yes, that’s his real name, his last name. I will refrain from telling his first name in order to spare him potential Google embarrassment.) He’s from Pakistan, and he was one of the first people I met at Indiana University.
We thought it would be funny to go to the shopping mall and interview people as if Butt was a journalist from Pakistan. We hoped we might draw out some unintentionally hilarious comments from American mall-goers. The results were disappointing. For one thing, we could barely figure out how to operate the camera. For another, people were a bit nicer than we expected and we ended up feeling like assholes.
Warning: The following video clip is neither funny nor particularly interesting, and is provided for the sole purpose of making a point.
Butt at the Mall on Vimeo (or YouTube)
(This video ended up being featured in Milk ‘Em All, which was one of the first videos I ever edited, using my parents’ VCR.)
I’m posting this mall Butt video only because the movie Borat (in theaters now) seemed vaguely familiar to me, and I finally realized why. Foreign pseudo-journalist attempting to make fools of Middle Americans? Yes, we did it first, almost twenty years earlier. Sascha Baron Whatshisname ripped us off!
Update: It should be further noted that I haven’t actually seen Borat and thus don’t know what I’m talking about and might reasonably be classified as an idiot.
What made you think people in an Indiana mall wouldn’t be nice?
I think the Klan handing our pamphlets at the enterance had something to do with it…
I was just thinking of that!
I think you have grounds for a frivolous lawsuit!