July 19, 2001
4:34 AM   Subscribe

Contrary to what you may have heard, the new Brass Eye is indeed about paedophiles. And it's got Phil Collins wearing a "Nonce Sense" t-shirt.
posted by Mocata (20 comments total)
Phil Collins made to look stupid? Genius.

My favourite celebrity piss take by the Morris so far was when all those clebrities lined up to plea for people to help the elephant with its trunk stuck up its own arse.

Closely followed by that splicing of the Nicholas Parsons interview.

I can't wait to watch this. I'm this close to booking my flight home...
posted by davehat at 4:55 AM on July 19, 2001

So they make a celebrity who's trying to do some good for charity look stupid. And the point is...to discourage celebrities and others from doing charitable work? Why?
Sure, people should look more closely into the charities they support. That's why I never give to the Salvation Army. People should do a lot of things. But this "message", if that's what it is, will do more harm than good.
And if it's just trying to be comedy? It's not funny, it's just sad.
posted by hazyjane at 5:58 AM on July 19, 2001

The point should be to poison the whole concept of "celebrity" so that people quit thinking about "celebrities" and get on with making something out of their own lives. Comedy should not rest until the last celebrity is strangled with the, um, underpants of the last politician. Figuratively speaking.
posted by rodii at 6:20 AM on July 19, 2001

Stupid Question:

What does "Nonce Sense" mean?
posted by internal at 6:59 AM on July 19, 2001

(internal: "Nonce" is prison slang for "sex offender", especially one who offends against children.)

What rodii said. The point is to show up the culture of pure celebrity: the notion that something scripted becomes "meaningful" when there's some publicity-famished D-list celeb saying it.

One choice quote from the newest Brass Eye, taken from the latest NME:

Dr Fox, DJ: "Genetically, paedophiles have more genes in common with crabs than they do with you or me. Now that's scientific fact. There's no real evidence for it but it is scientific fact."

(There's a vidcap of the said "Dr" Fox with a crab, explaining this scientific fact. As well as one of Phil Collins wearing a "Nonce Sense" cap and t-shirt)

If you think that reading those things into a camera is "doing charitable work", then it's a sad reflection on what charity has become.

Chris Morris is a genius.
posted by holgate at 7:04 AM on July 19, 2001

I think it means literally non-sense, whereas they told Phil Collins that the name of the charity was nonce...sense. If you don't get it, well - neither do I. Don't think I'll be watching that show.
posted by xammerboy at 7:14 AM on July 19, 2001

Okay, fine. Lets knock down the celebrities. But do we have to do it at the expense of charities?
Hey, at least Phil Collins was trying to do some good. Why should that be turned against him?
And at least Phil is a celebrity for a damn good reason - his work with Genesis. Yes his solo career is pathetic, but have you listened to this album?
posted by hazyjane at 7:21 AM on July 19, 2001

Phil Collins is pretty much as scummy as they get.

The heartfelt rendition of his song about homlessness (another day in paradise) was somewhat spoiled by his bleating that he would leave the country if the Tories lost the 1990 General Election.

To quote Noel Edmonds, "Take care, and I mean, take care"
posted by fullerine at 7:26 AM on July 19, 2001

Hey, at least Phil Collins was trying to do some good. Why should that be turned against him?

I hesitate to say this, because I don't want to encourage the idea that comedy must be meaningful, but celebrities like Phil Collins should check out a group before shilling for its cause. If they can't bother, holding them up to ridicule is a legitimate public service.
posted by rcade at 7:32 AM on July 19, 2001 [1 favorite]

I don't believe comedy has to be meaningful. I just think it shouldn't be destructive. If it is, that makes it not funny. The same way jokes against minorities aren't funny.
Imagine how many calls ole Phil's publicist gets a day from charities asking for his support. Now each and every one of them is more likely to get an immediate "no" to their requests. So this show has knowingly undermined legitimate charity efforts, for their negligibly important cause. Not worth it. Not funny.
posted by hazyjane at 7:44 AM on July 19, 2001

I doubt any self-respecting charity is going to be calling Phil Collins once they see him wearing that t-shirt.

It's destructive. Yes. But it's tearing down a sham. I know it's a brave comparison, but Morris is the closest thing Britain has to a satirist in the Swiftian vein, a "hypocrite reversed": "Satire is a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody's face but their own."

And had you been privy to the nonce-bashing hysteria stoked up by the News of the World last autumn, I think you'd probably appreciate it better.
posted by holgate at 8:07 AM on July 19, 2001

Phil Collins is also lampooned pretty regularly on South Park ever since he beat them for the Academy Award a couple of years ago. He makes it worse (and makes himself a sweet target) by taking it all (and himself) way too seriously.
posted by whatnot at 8:53 AM on July 19, 2001

Sounds like Chris Morris is well on his way to becoming a celebrity himself. Now what?

Although I'm not sure I agree with the way it was done, I keep giggling to myself at the thought of Phil Collins in a "Nonce Sense" t-shirt talking to the kiddies.
posted by witchstone at 9:07 AM on July 19, 2001

He actually tries to stay as far away from "celebrityhood" as possible, partly because it would interfere with his ability to interview people without being recognised, partly because he genuinely dislikes "celebrity" as a vacuous and value-free signifier of worth (hence the basic tenet of Brass Eye - to demonstrate that those celebrities who are used to "inform" people on issues like Drugs or Paedophilia are simply spouting a script and need not have any idea what they are talking about).

Didn't a right-wing tabloid print his home telephone number when Brass Eye was originally broadcast?
posted by Grangousier at 10:13 AM on July 19, 2001

Hee hee! Now that's comedy- loved the bit holgate quoted about the crab DNA thing. Ha!! Hey holgate, where can a 'murrican catch this show, or at least clips of this... =)

Man, we need something like that here in the US of A... better still, to do it with both celebrities and celebrity journalists. They do so desperately need their proper comeuppance...
posted by hincandenza at 10:14 AM on July 19, 2001

hazyjane: I don't believe comedy has to be meaningful. I just think it shouldn't be destructive. If it is, that makes it not funny. The same way jokes against minorities aren't funny

i'll give you the minority point, because i agree. but comedy not being destructive? how do you define destructive? what's some non-destructive comedy?

celebrities are always going to shill for causes... it's part of the job description, i think. this doesn't do anything but make phil collins look like an ass.
posted by sugarfish at 10:35 AM on July 19, 2001

hincandenze: you can watch the shows on the interweb here (although the site doesn't seem to be working right now).
posted by Mocata at 10:45 AM on July 19, 2001

Or here.

Their site is working, but the URL is not. Go figure.

Incidentally the previous Morris link does seem to have been a CookdandBombed hoax rather than a Morris hoax, but I quite enjoyed the heady feeling that anything was possible.
posted by Grangousier at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2001

Hazyjane: check out my profile...where does my name come from then?

Chris Morris is indeed a genious. The hysteria against paedophiles has become more than just irritating. When complaining about the powers of the RIP act in the UK, it's, "well it will help us catch paedophiles..." The implication being that if you oppose the RIP act you are in favour of paedophilia. Believe it or not, a paediatrician from Cardiff had her house vandalised last year because some idiots confused the two words.

I don't have a problem with making celebrities look stupid. Some of the guff Morris makes them read out is just hilarious. At what point do their critical faculties kick in and they realise what they're saying is complete nonsense?
posted by salmacis at 3:43 AM on July 20, 2001

No idea where your name comes from, salmacis. But why not drop Phil a line and ask him - seems like he probably has some time on his hands nowadays, since he probably won't be doing much charity work and his musical career is, well, stagnating.
posted by hazyjane at 1:24 AM on July 23, 2001

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