Six months that changed a year
March 17, 2002 2:29 AM   Subscribe

Six months that changed a year -- Chris Morris and Armando Iannucci take on 9/11 with predictably dark and comic results... '9/11: The planes strike - as Martin Amis memorably describes them - 'sleeking in like harsh metal ducklings'. Tony Blair publicly drains every drop of blood from his wife to help the injured of New York. Taking his time, George W. Bush formulates a measured response - which turns out to be the most expensive bollocking ever unleashed against shepherds.'
posted by LMG (35 comments total)
A profile of Morris covering his earlier work can be found here and also check out the fansite Cook'd and Bomb'd.
posted by LMG at 2:33 AM on March 17, 2002

So it took two of them to write that?
posted by Summer at 2:39 AM on March 17, 2002

Don't miss this chronology.
posted by pracowity at 2:42 AM on March 17, 2002

'Bush Announces Guardian Newspaper Group Added To Axis Of Evil, Sends In Carpetbombers. Farringdon Road Demolished By Thermobaric Axminster.'
posted by riviera at 2:54 AM on March 17, 2002

oh. i can't look at this. it's just way too soon. i'm sorry.
posted by quonsar at 3:08 AM on March 17, 2002

Half of this makes me want to curl up on the floor and drool with laughter, while the other half makes me want to break wooden objects over my knee and cry in a wretched heap for the next sixteen days.

I'm with you, quonsar. This stuff's razor-sharp, but it's just too soon.
posted by brookedel at 3:24 AM on March 17, 2002

i'm laughing so hard i'm crying. christ.

so contrary, so appallingly out of whack with the general attitude reserved for the events of last year... well, shit somebody had to say it.

i'm returning to new york, later this month. first time in years. there's gonna be two beams of light in the night sky, where the world trade center used to be, and it's not gonna be the same, but dammit, i'm just as free to mourn the loss as i am to snicker at the sanctimonious bullshit i've been exposed to since the towers went down.

and that, i hope, is what mr. morris inteneded.
posted by gangcandy at 3:27 AM on March 17, 2002 [1 favorite]

I was afraid that someone would post this.

It's terrible. I read it and laughed at some stuff, but it all seemed so lazy. Some of the gags are good, most of it smacks of Ianucci rather than Morris. And there is some stuff that's more like Charlie (TV Go Home) Brooker (the BAFTA bit, for example). So perhaps there's a Morris factory.

And huge swathes are just taken whole from their website Smokehammer (also way below par).

Morris is at his best when he's subverting a known form (from his days as a DJ on GLR, through The Day Today and Time To Go to Brass Eye), exposing the contradictions that exist within the media (and the narcissists who produce it). In a similar way, [Blue] Jam was based on a less formal but nonetheless existent sense of the perfectly normal gone very wrong. In a way it works best comedically when it least resembles comedy. This has too little of that, but Iannucci has a track record of producing a sort of knockabout quasi-satire (The Friday Night Armistice springs to mind) so I can blame it on him and retain my fawning Morris-worship.

I hope the money was good, because it's not going to help their reputation.

(Looking at the comments that have goen up while I'm writing this suggests that I might be wrong... so I'll have another look)
posted by Grangousier at 3:35 AM on March 17, 2002

I'm with you, quonsar. This stuff's razor-sharp, but it's just too soon.
posted by quonsar at 3:44 AM on March 17, 2002

Ah well, the sentiment still stands. My personal tolerance for gallows humor is pretty low, although I thought many of the rather one-off lines were excellent.

Described as 'ill-conceived', a Broadway production in which New York firemen perform The Vagina Monologues loses after just three days.

YMMV, of course. The bit about the Olympic ceremony immediately after that blurb was when I decided to leave the rest for another day.
posted by brookedel at 4:40 AM on March 17, 2002

It's pretty darn funny, IMHO - after all, it's not mocking the victims but the insensitive schmaltzy sensationalism that the media gets off on... I agree that it's not exactly Morris' best work ever, but then, that's because he's done such eye-wateringly hilarious skits in the past.
posted by RokkitNite at 5:14 AM on March 17, 2002

I also thought it was funny. I don't see how this is too soon though.
posted by Keen at 5:33 AM on March 17, 2002

Chris Morris. Comedy God.

Oh... the rest of the British media are going to have a field day with this. I'm waiting for the Daily Mail tomorrow: "Chronicle Of Shame: Sicko Morris Lowers The Bar Again".
posted by dlewis at 6:00 AM on March 17, 2002

I may have to frame that swipe at Robert Fisk. Priceless.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:32 AM on March 17, 2002

The Fisk one was good, but I really did like the Olympic piece. Morris has a habit of saying stuff that needs to be said (at least in my opinion) Ianucci's hand is pretty obvious here though, and I have less time for him.
posted by jackiemcghee at 6:46 AM on March 17, 2002

"Figures show that even as the second tower fell, people were switching off their televisions, complaining they'd seen it all before."

That's pretty good.
Like Chuck Palahniuk without all the latent homoeroticism.
posted by dong_resin at 7:06 AM on March 17, 2002

Very clever. And now if they could go back a bit in time and supply us with the same cleverness when the Nazis used buzz bombs against London....oh, that would make me chortle.
posted by Postroad at 7:10 AM on March 17, 2002

The resurgence of Kenneth Branagh since 11 September: pure coincidence?

I knew something was up. Of course it still doesn't explain why Ken doesn't have any lips ...
posted by feelinglistless at 7:12 AM on March 17, 2002

I particularly like the paraphrasing pisstake of Dubya; "...But I give the American people my word : bin Laden has definitely been or will be captured... I would ask you to remember that any future video statements by Mr bin Laden could well have been recorded before we put him in containment. Unless he isn't in there". The Gilbert & George 'commemorabiliart' is quite good too.
posted by boneybaloney at 7:20 AM on March 17, 2002

V1 flying bomb "Looks like a fanny" say leading experts. The design is thought to affect the pushing feathers.
"I smell A lot nicer than you would imagine for a man who is regularly shat upon" says Hitler in exclusive interview. "Honestly. I have a regular bathing schedule that keeps the stench at bay".
posted by davidgentle at 7:30 AM on March 17, 2002

...And let's not forget the classic song Hitler has only got one ball...

"Hitler has only got one ball,
The other is in the Albert Hall.
His mother, the dirty bugger,
Cut it off when he was small."

That song was around in 1939-1940. They were singing it as the bombs dropped.
posted by LMG at 7:47 AM on March 17, 2002

Well, there's a little difference - something more similar in scope would be,

Nazis renovate Albert Hall - Theatre pundits suggest this is the biggest bomb since Vera Lynn's stripshow.

"We will fight them on the beaches." Churchill grabs his water wings, takes his summer vacation at Portishead.

Insults to the enemy and insults to your own places and people arent the same.
posted by Perigee at 8:38 AM on March 17, 2002

I also thought it was funny. I don't see how this is too soon though.

I don't either. Well, I do see, but I don't as well. I understand that it is likely to offend a large number of people, but I also understand that Morris is into pushing the boundaries of taste in the interest of highlighting hypocrisy and manipulation, both by and of, the media. Half of his stuff is performance art in getting a reaction from the press.

Besides, "Easy, Salladin" had me on the floor.
posted by vbfg at 9:21 AM on March 17, 2002

Very funny, very timely, and very healthy. Why give an act of terror (or horror or tragedy) added weight by shackling its remembrance with chains of pious solemnity.

It is a reminder not to go gently, or meekly, or reverently into that good night.

Since it is St. Patrick's day, I am wondering how many people here would be offended at the idea of a festive wake, instead of the head-bowed, fingers-trembling, misty-eyed pompousities (sic) foisted on most 'decent' people.
posted by umberto at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2002

"We will fight them on the beaches." Churchill grabs his water wings, takes his summer vacation at Portishead.

As a Portishead resident, I take offence to that comment. It's ill-timed and too soon after WWII. Tasteless. :)
posted by RokkitNite at 10:09 AM on March 17, 2002

I agree with everything umberto said above.
I also like it when people like umberto say things like that, because it makes my near-sociopathic insensitivity seem kind of noble.
posted by dong_resin at 11:00 AM on March 17, 2002

oh those guys are just sooooo smart.
posted by Satapher at 11:33 AM on March 17, 2002

I heart Chris Morris
posted by ajbattrick at 11:48 AM on March 17, 2002

This is unbeatable! -
"...Less than two weeks into the bombing campaign, the US admits its new range of smart weapons may be too intelligent. Sources say the $7m Supersophic missiles have a range of only 50 metres because less than a second after launch the onboard computer has worked out that violence only leads to more violence and that all war is futile. Realising there's no point any more, the weapon either deliberately crashes itself into a beautiful woman or flies back home to America to spend the rest of its days buzzing round a farm. The Pentagon orders that, from now on, missiles must be 'no more intelligent than a steelworker'..."
posted by dash_slot- at 1:12 PM on March 17, 2002

Love it. Doesn't this just perfectly describe the fixation the trading houses have on making a quick buck!

"30th: Twelve days after the collapse of the World Trade Centre, amazed rescue workers uncover an entire office floor that is still doing business. Despite falling 890 feet and being buried under 12,000 tons of rubble, all workers at Leeman Sachs Trading Inc are unharmed. They have remained at their desks since the bank's Tokyo HQ saw television pictures of the burning towers, called them up and ordered them to keep working. 'We were still sitting at our desks when we landed in the rubble,' said one dealer. 'I actually completed three transactions on the way down.' In fact trading at the buried floor has been so good since 11 September, the bank may sue the New York Fire Dept for digging them out."
posted by five fresh fish at 1:22 PM on March 17, 2002

I think an episode of Brass Eye about the post-9/11 terrorism threat would go down a treat. Didn't get to see the paedophilia episode, but would really love to see it.
posted by wackybrit at 1:28 PM on March 17, 2002

I got to watch the Brass Eye episode on Paedophilia both times it was shown. First time was by accident. I was howling with laughter, but I still think he took it too far for most people (I have an "anything goes" attitude to humour, but I keep it out of people's faces if I don't think they'll appreciate it). If anything, I think they're pulling punches in this war on terrorism stuff. Too fluffy for CM somehow ... must be Ianucci's influence.

Postroad, I'm actually quite glad that we British (generalising) don't have the same sense of humour as you. Don't think for a minute that that makes either party superior though.
posted by walrus at 6:54 AM on March 18, 2002

Rokkitnite - ~whew~ Good thing I left out the part about the gang-bang at Yalta... ~GRIN~
posted by Perigee at 7:35 AM on March 18, 2002

Isn't the timeline format a direct ripoff of Dave Barry's annual New Years retrospective? It has a very similar feel, especially the way the callbacks are done.
posted by straight at 8:13 AM on March 18, 2002

Glad I caught this before it went over the edge. Very funny, thanks.
posted by emf at 3:07 AM on March 19, 2002

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