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Roasting Sacred Cows 430

Hans Gilde writes: "Pedophilia has been a big topic in the UK lately, there have been riots, beatings and vandalism resulting from [pedophile witchhunts]. In an attempt "to ask hard questions about the way society and the media deal with its most difficult problems" and point out "that famous people have a habit of denouncing things without knowing much about them", a comedian in the UK produced a TV show, described in an article in the NY Times, in which he actually got a member of Parliament to say the following, on the air, in all seriousness: "Using an area of the Internet the size of Ireland, pedophiles can make your keyboard release toxic vapors that can make you more suggestible."" This show is frankly hilarious, and the reaction to it is even better. You probably want to see the show, eh? It's available in .avi or Real and DivX.
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Roasting Sacred Cows

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  • Hillarious (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spongman ( 182339 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:09AM (#2119336)
    Thanks for posting the links. I've read some of the news articles on the bbc web site about the uproar over this and now that I've seen it I have one thing to say:
    Anyone who takes this seriously is in desparate need of a humor transplant.
    Great satire, guys. Keep it up.
  • You see... (Score:5, Funny)

    by 11thangel ( 103409 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:30AM (#2120776) Homepage
    It's not the kids fault for being idiots and talking ot people online that they never knew and then going out behind their parents backs and getting molested. And it's certainly not the parents fault for not watching their kids internet habits. IT's all the pedophiles and their evil toxic vapors. Just like Microsoft is really good but open source has been drugging the water and making us think GPL is good.

    --End Sarcasm--
    • It's not the kids fault for being idiots and talking ot people online that they never knew and then going out behind their parents backs and getting molested.

      I know this was meant to be sarcastic, but there are a number of factual errors here which should be pointed out in the interest of accuracy.

      As a piece of background, it might be handy to know that I've worked with a number of adult survivors of childhood abuse. My wife has worked with many more than I. In every case we've dealt with, none were abused by a "people [...] that they never knew".

      Research (e.g. by the WHO [who.int]) shows that this is not isolated. The common case is that a child is abused by a male[1], a trusted individual known to them, and usually in a position of authority (often a parent or other relative, neighbour, teacher, priest etc). Furthermore, the child most at risk for this kind of abuse is one who does not have a sufficiently caring and intimate family life. Abusers prey on loneliness and provide the intimacy that children need, albeit in a more damaging form.

      Children being abused by the "stranger on the street" (or on the net, for that matter) is extremely rare. Naturally, it gets reported a lot when it does happen.

      The moral of the story is that if the protection of children is the desired outcome, looking for paedophiles "out there" is precisely the wrong thing to do.

      [1] BTW, in case you're curious why there's a sex disparity here, it might be helpful to know that females tend to abuse in different ways. Women (usually mothers) are more likely to be physically or emotionally abusive than sexually abusive. It does happen, but it's rare. Also, while men tend to physically abuse more, women tend to physically abuse worse, because they tend to use weapons. (Brooms, spoons, belts etc.)

  • 411? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:07AM (#2122639) Homepage Journal
    The Independent Television Commission ... said that 411 calls had come in to support the program.

    Okay, i'm not going to say people should be forbidden from expressing their opinions on such issues, but is this really the right avenue?

    "Hello, Information."

    "Hi, i've got a bone to pick with you. The recent witch hunt against pedophiles is going too far. If we don't get a grip on this hysteria, we're--"

    "Sir, i really believe this goes beyond my training as a telephone operator."
  • by pmc ( 40532 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @11:34AM (#2127203) Homepage
    This program is satire, and very well done satire too. Watching it in isolation is a bit pointless because you will have no idea who or what the targets of the satire are. So a little bit of background is needed.

    The tabloid press in the UK has, for the past few years, been using paedophiles as the new bogey men, and at one point there seemed to be almost a revulsion race to see which paper could revile them the most. One of them ("The News of the World") came up with the most disturbing: they would print photographs and addresses of known paedophiles. This seems reasonable, and it was defended by the NoW as such, but it lead directly the the aforementioned riots and, as the article says, witchhunts. This was entirely predictable.

    The problem with the violence and the witchhunts is that things got out of hand, as they do when a mob tries to think. In one town they forced out a paediatrician by daubing "Paedo out" slogans on her house (see this [bbc.co.uk]). In other locations the naming of people a "Paedos" was enough to get them beaten up - there was a fair bit of score settling going on at the time - here [bbc.co.uk] is the BBC about Paulsgrove, the main estate where such things were happening.

    There was also a bit of feedback going between the sections of press, hand wringing about the violence whilst implicitly condoning it - after all no one could be for paedophilia. So all was good in the world of the press - circulations were up, they were protecting children from evil, and they were secure in the knowledge that nobody could successfully attack them because that would mean that they were for paedophilia, and could instantly be slurred.

    Enter Brass Eye. The press were livid, and instantly attacked. In fact, they attacked before the program went out, and the program was delayed for two weeks whilst the legalities were sorted out - Mr Collins was upset for some reason. The reaction to the show was amazing: every news bulletin, every newspaper, every channel reported it. And reported it negatively at first.

    Then the press belated realised that a large section of the public were just not buying the story - see this [bbc.co.uk] for a fairly typical cross-section.

    Certainly no one I know who has seen it thought it in anyway glorified paedophila. No one was particularly offended by it either. It wasn't about paedophilia - it was about media manipulation. It is vastly amusing to see the very same things that were so effectively satirised in the show wheeled out to attack it. This includes government ministers saying "I haven't seen the show but..." (I will except David Blunkett, the Home Secretary from this as he is blind).

  • How is this funny? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bartyboy ( 99076 )
    Pedophiles do not make for a funny subject, neither does the ignorance of elected officials when it comes to technology, or any other topic, for that matter. Sure, we all get a chuckle from hearing how dumb people can be, but these elected officials are there to make laws, and if they're clueless about certain facts, we end up with stuff like the DMCA.

    I'm off to put my troll-mod suit on.
    • by G-Man ( 79561 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:46AM (#2119904)
      Well then, you had best not read Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal [art-bin.com]. Boy will you be in for a shock...
    • Nothing is funny! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by screwballicus ( 313964 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @11:43AM (#2155886)
      Pedophiles do not make for a funny subject

      Humour Is Subjective (i.e., do not tell other people what constitutes a funny subject)

      Take an example: If I were to make a joke regarding Rome annihilating Gaul, would you respond in disgust and anger? Probably not. If I were to make a joke about the Holocaust, would you, then? Probably, yes, indeed. Why? Because you feel more of a close personal attachment to the event of the Holocaust than to the even of the conquering of Gaul. They're both tragic genocides on a similar scale. One is not greater than the other, but we have more personal, emotional interest in tip-toeing around the issue of the Holocaust. That doesn't make it rational in any way shape or form, however.

      neither does the ignorance of elected officials when it comes to technology, or any other topic, for that matter. Sure, we all get a chuckle from hearing how dumb people can be, but these elected officials are there to make laws, and if they're clueless about certain facts, we end up with stuff like the DMCA.

      So because legislation is a "serious issue", it should not be joked about? Are you saying that any joke that involves circumstances that are less than beneficial should not be made? Making fun of our misfortunes is nothing if not the basis for comedy itself. Generally, I find that people who refuse to view the world with any sense of humour become extremely cynical.

    • The best test of the truth is that when you first hear it, it makes you laugh.

      Later on, when you realize it's true, it makes you cry.

      The problem with elected officials is that people tend to put them on a pedestal. They assume that all the words coming out of that official's mouth are blessed by God and unarguably true. Showing the people, dramatically and unarguably, that this is false is an absolute necessity. If the official is such a plonker that he must be reminded to breathe upon occasion, calling peoples' attention to that fact is also a good thing. Maybe then he won't remain an elected official for much longer.

      Elected officials can not be expected to be experts on everything any more than you can. The fact that they are not the least bit informed about something that touches as many of their constituents as the internet does should be worrying a lot of people. I also expect my elected officials to get help from experts when they are going into territory with which they are completely unfamiliar. You'd think there'd be some little alarm bells in their head going "I know nothing on this topic; maybe I'd better ask someone before I go shooting my mouth off..."

  • by Meffan ( 469304 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:19AM (#2134736)
    I watched the program, I live in the UK. It was incredibly hilarious. I know the subject of paedophilia is abhorrent to everyone with an ounce of sense, but guess what - The show contained no paedophilia...

    This is overlooked by almost everyone.

    The point of the show, and of many of Morris' other shows, is that is an attack on self serving publicity hungry semi-celebritys. For example - Phil Collins in a "Nonce Sense" T-shirt (Nonce being an English slang word for paedophile) going to schools, and blindly repeating absolute gibberish fed to him by Morris.

    Most people will say that Phil was doing a good thing, by trying to educate children. I side with Morris, that it was a self-publicising act on his behalf, and that if he had any real interest in protecting children he would have easily spotted it as a spoof. As Eammon Holmes (UK daytime TV presenter) did.

    Other sections included a news report on how children were being crammed into football stadiums to "Keep them safe". How far is this from the truth? Media hysteria makes parents (Like myself) believe that it is impossible to allow children safely out at night, whereas attacks on children are at a relatively constant rate (Can't link to a newspaper - sorry).

    Chris Morris has attacked not children with this show, but he has attacked the misleading media, and attention craving celebrities. For this he has been denounced, his actions upset the status quo - by showing celebrities as fools, by lambasting the newspapers who terrify us with exaggerations of how unsafe we are.

    He is even described in the UK media as "Elitist" , a bludgeoning attempt to ensure people will not try to understand his comedy, for fear that they will be associated with such a negative connotation.

    The UK viewing figures for this programme were 2 million at the start, 1 million at the end. Yet everyone cannot wait to tell each-other "How disgusting it was", in a ferocious attempt to prove that they too are not paedophiles. As though the very act of laughing at, or even watching the show inspires one to go out and attack children.

    Mainstream media hates this man for exposing them as liars and fools.

    That just makes me like him more ;-]

  • We were just talking about this the other day [slashdot.org].

    I think the points made in that thread (about code red) also apply here...

    This TV program was headline news for like 3 days. Haven't they got something better to report?

    Nonetheless, the program was as funny as f*ck. I am glad that alot of the Americans enjoyed it. This suprised me, as I have had embarrising incidents using sarcasm/satire with americans.....

  • by magi ( 91730 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @12:58PM (#2137973) Homepage Journal
    Brits have an excellent taste for satire, and make excellent comedy series, I must say. They are also known for not taking religion too seriously, unlike americans. From an unknown source:

    SAN FRANCISCO MAN BECOMES FIRST AMERICAN TO GRASP SIGNIFICANCE OF IRONY

    SAN FRANCISCO - We spoke to Jay Fullmer, 38, who became the first American to get to grips with the concept of irony yesterday.

    "It was weird," Fullmer said, "I was in London and, like, talking to this guy and it was raining and shit and he said, like, great weather, or something like that."

    Said Fullmer: "And I thought - wait a minute, it's like, no way is it great weather."

    Fullmer soon realised that the other man's 'mistake' was deliberate.

    "This guy was pretty cool about it," Fullmer said.

    Fullmer, who is 39 next month and married with two children, aged 8 and 3, planned to use irony himself in future.

    "I'm like saying it all the time." he said. "Weekend last I was like grilling steaks and I like burned them to shit and I said 'great weather'."

    I guess the last paragraph is the most illustrative. ;-)

    • Yup, good ole' Henry VII taught us a healthy disrespect for organised religion. I find it funny, though, that it's the chruch of England, that he founded because he didn't want the catholics telling him he couldn't get a divorce that are up in arms about prince charles getting remarried. what a farce!
  • Taboos (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mwillems ( 266506 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:49AM (#2150295) Homepage
    Pedophilia is today's taboo, and I think taboos are best investigated and questioned.

    Sure, it is a horrible subject: grown people should nothave sex with children. But pedophilia is by no means worse than murder. Yet murder is a legitimate subject for satire, comedy, thrillers, whodunnits: a whole industry has sprung up around it. Ask P.D. James, or read about Kinsey Millhone.

    Pedophilia on te other hand is a taboo; today's taboo. Taboo subjects are subjects "not legitimate for discussion". "Taboo" implies a certain amount of irrationality. This should worry free thinking people. Past taboos have included non-Catholic religion, madness, witchcraft, sexuality, nudity, homosexuality (male and female), the earth turning around the sun, women having the same number of teeth as men, and so on.

    When a subject is taboo, it is legitimate to investigate it. I would say, it is crucial. It is how progress in society is made.

    Yes, sometimes that means investigating distasteful subjects. But the alternative is worse: a society run on the basis of fear, superstition, and unstated interests. That's not where I want to live.

    Michael

    • Re:Taboos (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > Sure, it is a horrible subject: grown people should nothave sex with children.

      Says who?

      How dare you foist your moral view point on other people!
    • Pedophilia on te other hand is a taboo; today's taboo. Taboo subjects are subjects "not legitimate for discussion". "Taboo" implies a certain amount of irrationality. This should worry free thinking people. Past taboos have included non-Catholic religion, madness, witchcraft, sexuality, nudity, homosexuality (male and female), the earth turning around the sun, women having the same number of teeth as men, and so on.

      Note that some of these "past taboos" are still very much current. Also the paedophilia definitly overlaps with sexuality in terms of things such as ages of consent. Especially in the "first world" where people now routinely reach biological maturity whilst they are legally considered "childern".

      When a subject is taboo, it is legitimate to investigate it. I would say, it is crucial. It is how progress in society is made.
      Yes, sometimes that means investigating distasteful subjects. But the alternative is worse: a society run on the basis of fear, superstition, and unstated interests. That's not where I want to live.


      Roving bands of viglantee thugs certainly dosn't help society.
    • I just have to take issue with one of your statements. "But pedophilia is by no means worse than murder." I cannot disagree with this more.

      With murder, the act is over and done with. The damage is done, and no more damage is incurred. With pedophilia, the crime continues to inflict pain and damage, often for generations. Victims of pedophilia (or, for that matter, just about all sex crimes) are significantly more likely to have disfunctional sex lives and relationships for the remainder of their lives. This means that not only does the victim get punished, but that victim's lovers, and children, and so on. It is a pain that continues to inflict long after the initial damage is done.

      That said, I applaud the work of the satirist. There is a level of witch hunts going on for all sorts of crimes, including pedophilia, rape, and drugs. All that it takes in today's world to absolutely ruin a person's life is to accuse that person of one of these crimes.
    • Re:Taboos (Score:2, Informative)

      by hyehye ( 451759 )
      -1 for me-too post. I totally agree. I also think it's great to see a show like this, however 'tasteless' it may be described as being. Regardless of how many people were offended or amused by this, it did bring more attention to a troubling subject that NEEDS to be explored. Taboos are not healthy for an informed, free, intelligent, rational society, and this kind of jokesterism is one more step toward open public discussion. Regardless of the *content* of the show (I haven't seen it, don't plan to), thumbs up to the guys who put it on the air. Whether they realized it or not, they've pointed out the foolishness of the general public by way of exposure of 'unmentionable' social issues.
    • Re:Taboos (Score:3, Interesting)

      by debrain ( 29228 )
      The fascinating thing is that pedophilia is really the last information "taboo", without which I (personally) can think of no information on the internet which would be so illegal as to require regulating the internet in the long term. Of course, bomb recipes and operative lists are certainly dangerous and deadly, but their disclosure is limited by those who really have knowledge, whereas pedophilia is in the area where anyone can create and use it.

      Personally, I have a taboo with respect to pedophilia, but I believe it is also culturally based, and this is not something that should necessarily be imposed on other cultures. Much like Afghanistan imposing their beliefs on women in our country, we are equally well armed to justify the ethical position we harbour against pedophilia to those African tribes that firmly believe in female genital mutilations and who would, more often than not, violently oppose the destruction of their beliefs. We will equally oppose the destruction of the belief that children have the inherent right not to be voyeured or put into a sexual context, and many will probably violently oppose any change to that belief. (Ironically, on several levels, children are the ones who would be most open to the idea.)

      For my whole life, I will probably fear and revile pedophilia. But that does not mean it is wrong, nor does it say anything about the actual ethics of pedophilia. But perhaps society will evolve through this, as you said - progress is made by confronting such issues (something society is notoriously bad at, I believe), and my children will be more open minded about it.

    • I'm not sure that there's as much of a taboo against discussing pedophilia as much as there is a taboo against participating in it. I think most societies are in broad agreement that sexual contact between adults and children is hurtful to both parties at best and can leave long-lasting scars on all parties involved. At worst, its an example of predatory behavior by adults against weaker, inexperienced and immature children.

      So when you say there's a taboo against discussing pedophilia, I think most people would respond "What's there to discuss?" I doubt there's any room at all for change in attitudes without endorsing what is tanatamount to child abuse.

      I think the only space for any exploration is "When does mature sexuality begin?" and there's probably sincere people who think that in the special, unique contexts an adult-sexually mature teen relationship is possible. But beyond that sphere, there's little moral or practical room for movement on the issue of pedophilia, which is why people get cranky when you talk about it.
      • At worst, its an example of predatory behavior by adults against weaker, inexperienced and immature children.

        You can get this happening with any age groups. Even where the predator is younger than their "prey".
      • Strongly disagree! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mwillems ( 266506 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:41AM (#2138325) Homepage
        Fwiw, I strongly disagree. On two points: I think that there is a taboo on discussing it, and I think there is a lot to discuss.

        • It is very much a taboo. Even a show about it raises moral objections from the masses. A murderer gets complimented in jail; a pedophile gets murdered. My simple reply (in which btw I said I though pedophilia was distasteful!) elicited a "you sick fuck child rapist" response. Need I say more?
        • There is a LOT to discuss. Is it indeed harmful? To whom? Can we minimise its incidenmce? Can we minimise its harm? Why are some people pedophiles? HOw can we minimise any harm caused? How should released pedophiles return to society? What therapies work best? Is the Internet bad for allwoing free communication? Should the Internet be banned becuase it contains child sex pictures? Is the harm partly or wholly culturally caused? I could go on for a while - and all these questions are taboo, as they generally just receive reactions like that one response to my post I saw that just saud "you sick fuck child rapist". That was a typical reponse not to a pedophile but to someone merely responding to a post ABOUT the subject! And that is what we should fix, and that is what the show no doubt hopes to achieve.
        Michael

      • I think most societies are in broad agreement that sexual contact between adults and children is hurtful to both parties at best and can leave long-lasting scars on all parties involved.

        But is the issue age or "power". Currently the law does not distinguish between a teacher or babysitter (who may themselves be a "child" taking advantage of the person they are entrusted with and someone meeting a young person at a party/bar/club/etc.
      • I doubt there's any room at all for change in attitudes without endorsing what is tanatamount to child abuse.

        Save questioning what, exactly, makes paedophilia tantamount to child abuse? Any scars left on the child are solely a product of the society's reaction to such an affair, disregarding rape. A newborn child is a blank slate by default, everything is imprinted.

        (Admittedly, I have no kids. I also do not lust after children or possess any religious beliefs. I consider myself rather objective on the entire issue.)

        Also, I note the use of the word "morals" in your post. Morals are irrelevant. They are naught but societal imprinting.

  • I think the idea behind this show is great. The specific issue (in this case, pedophilia) is really rather unimportant. I'd love to see a similar show done in the US, outing celebrities and politicians on both sides of an issue who have absolutely no idea what they're talking about when discussing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law, environmental issues like global warming, internet law, energy concerns, and the like. In fact, I have a fledgeling site running Slash called Simon Jester where I'm trying to do just that... on a smaller scale and in a much less sensational manner. www.simonjester.com [simonjester.com]
  • no registration link (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeko ( 179919 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:33AM (#2155857)
    here [nytimes.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:05AM (#2155952)
    The climate in the UK is very hostile towards men. In fact, British Airways has an official policy of not seating young children next to men when children fly alone. This is discrimination and stereotyping of men - could you imagine if blacks were treated this way?

    I know this is offtopic, but Slashdot has a brother web site (based on Slash) that covers news on men's rights issues:

    http://www.mensactivism.org

    They deal with the decline of men's civil liberties with regard to sex crimes, and many other topics.

    An Anony Mouse

    PS - the BritAir source can be found at:

    http://www.mensactivism.org/articles/01/03/17/02 30 206.shtml
  • by SubtleNuance ( 184325 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @11:51AM (#2155977) Journal
    Want to see some good kiddie porn? Check out the makeup/lighting/clothing/hairstyles of young girls in television commercials. How about Britanny Spears?

    If people woke up to the fact that there are sexual images of children, all around them, maybe I would take this whole 'save the children' thing a little more seriously.

    It is ok for the RIAA to parade a 'pre-teen-appearing' Britanny Spears in the media to sell product? It is okay for them to do it to sell clothing or shampoo?

    Marketing and Advertising uses not so-subtle techniques like these with abandon, just because it is not seedy and badly-lite dosnt mean it is acceptable.... or does it?????
  • by lavaforge ( 245529 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:32AM (#2156183)
    Beverley Hughes, the child protection minister, said though she had not seen the entire program, on account of being too disgusted, she had read about it and found it "unspeakably sick."

    She read about it. How's that for detailed and useful knowledge of a topic you will be deciding on?

    • She read about it. How's that for detailed and useful knowledge of a topic you will be deciding on?

      Hello, kettle.
    • Bullseye! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Rimbo ( 139781 ) <`ten.labolgcbs' `ta' `ytisobmir'> on Saturday August 04, 2001 @12:15PM (#2113608) Homepage Journal
      This comment says it well, from the end of the article:

      `"How Mr. Morris must be laughing," Harry Owen of Horley, Surrey, wrote in a letter to The Daily Telegraph. "Perhaps Channel 4, instead of apologizing, should have simply said, `We rest our case.' "'

      It's funny how satire becomes reality in that way. It's kind of like the South Park movie; the whole thing parodied, prior to the fact, the reaction of everyone to the movie after it was released.

      Such satire is the most brilliant kind -- when a satire makes fun of the very reaction people have tot he satire. It's when you know that the satire's creators have hit their target right in the center of the bullseye.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:41AM (#2124403)
      She masturbated to it. The point is that on camera she has to put up a big show of not watching.

      It's like on IRC or AOL when you say you are putting someone on ignore by announcing that. Everyone knows damn well you did no such thing because you just have to know what's going on but at the same time you have to make believe you really did...even when the person makes a statements and you can totally think of the perfect zinger so you end up logging in as a second person and then repeating the comment with a joking laugh so you can feign surprise and deliver the zinger and thus make up for all those times the person outspoke you and thus caused you to put the idiot on ignore in the first place

      oh bloody 'ell you've gone and ignore me now.
  • by garagekubrick ( 121058 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:00AM (#2156247) Homepage
    Chris Morris is the man behind the show, and as an American living in the UK, I can only say that he is the greatest satirist currently residing on the planet. It's impossible to describe in words just how effective he is at using the medium to parody itself. If you're interested, or have a knee jerk reaction to what was done, then you can only go to Cookd and Bombd [cookdandbombd.co.uk] to read more news articles about him and download more examples of his work, including all the episodes of Brass Eye. His career has one constant trajectory: get a job somewhere, do something insanely brilliant, get fired, move on to the next one. He got his start as a proper news reporter, but used his genius for tape splicing to insert words like "bonobo" into politicians speeches, and filled a studio with slowly leaking helium.

    From there he did a radio show which became the BBC show The Day Today, which offered surreal news stories combined with the best parody of news reportage as stands in the Western world I've ever seen. His vaguely threatening goodnight, the use of insane graphics and pounding music... But then he got Brass Eye.

    In the UK, humor and sex aren't as big a deal as violence, and you'd be amazed at what's shown on television here compared to the US. Before Brass Eye was even aired it became a news story, as several celebrities and politicians complained to the commisioning network, Channel 4, that he had gone too far.

    During the height of Ecstacy hysteria in the UK, he had gotten politicans and celebrities to denounce the evils of a dangerous new drug ruining our children, called CAKE. As in, "We must ban cake." He did it so brilliantly that one of the Members of Parliament who he recorded denouncing cake ("which affects the part of the brain known as Shatner's Bassoon, which affects perception of time - cake is a made up drug, made up of chemicals") asked questions about it in Parliament. The then head of Channel 4 tried to get Morris to tone down the show's vitriol and abuse of celebrities. In the Science on Trial episode he had several UK celebrities talking about the dangers of "heavy electricity" which was killing people in the Far East. So Morris put a subliminal message in the final episode, calling his boss a cunt, which led to statements that he would never work for Channel 4 again. He returned to radio.

    Until this year, when changes at Channel 4 led to a rebroadcast of the series and the commisioning of the new one off special on pedophilia. He had a famous London radio DJ stating that pedophiles had more genes in common with crabs than you or I, and there's no evidence for it, but it's a scientific fact! It went on. The result was instant, knee jerk tabloid hysteria, I think best represented in this picture [cream.org]. What you should know is that earlier this year, thanks to a name and shame campaign a major UK tabloid did on paedophiles, a paedatrician was attacked by an angry mob and had her car firebombed. A few days after airing of the programme, several politicans got in on the act, admitting they hadn't seen the show. One of them is even blind!

    But thankfully the British public have shown their sense of good humor and more calls of support were received on Channel 4's complaints line then actual complaints, so the entire issue is now being hushed up.

    I think what really grates about Morris is that he deigned to show that you cannot trust any of the mainstream media you partake of, that celebrity endorsements count for nothing. My favorite moment on the paedophilia special was a presenter for the BBC's technology show stating that internet padeophiles can use penis shaped sound waves to molest children. I think it's far more frightening to the public to know that those people that put a comforting, sickly gloss on the world as it is today are patently full of shit. The result of Morris' work may be greater than any piece of culture I've had all year, because it's made me question everything. I can no longer watch the news without laughing and being shocked by the idiocy and dramatics of it all. For that he deserves to be knighted.

  • I was actually a pretty sexually active child at around age 6, with my own peers. Children are sexually active, it's just not a subject that's ever brought up.

    Now I don't think a child/adult relationship would ever be healthly. There's too much a power/mental gap for such a relationship to ever be anything other than coercive. But the subject is way blown out of porportion in today's media.

    And truthfully, most poeple really don't care about "saving the children", it's just a cause to talk about. If we really cared about our children we'd stop the child on child abuse that's rampant in our schools, or hell, even bother to install seat belts in the school buses that take our children to school.

    It's a hostile world for children, but not because of Evil Pedophiles lurking behind every corner.
    • And truthfully, most poeple really don't care about "saving the children", it's just a cause to talk about.

      But it's one which works well...

      If we really cared about our children we'd stop the child on child abuse that's rampant in our schools, or hell, even bother to install seat belts in the school buses that take our children to school.

      Also build the bus so that it won't go anywhere unless all passengers are belted in. Maybe also prevent parents from acting as a taxi service to school children, creating dangeous congestion and air pollution in an area full of pedestrians.
  • by alewando ( 854 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:34AM (#2156432)
    Adequacy.org [adequacy.org] ran the article Open Letter to Channel 4: Brass Eye Was Unacceptable [adequacy.org], denouncing Channel4 and BrassEye for these escapades.

    If you want a good summary of the opposition, then I'd suggest reading it. It's a good read in any event.
    • Is adequacy.org for real or just pisstake?

      I honestly can't tell. Or is is 'more of the same', ie a spoof of these people. Is Chris Morris actually behind it?

      The 'Open Letter to Channel 4' is fucking hilarious, it had me pissing myself.

    • >1.Sexually explicit images of children, which were even classified on-air as being "obscene" by a former head of the Obscene >Publications Branch, were shown to the >unsuspecting viewing public. Broadcasting this foul artwork must surely have provided >cheap titillation to any perverts watching the programme.

      The FORMER head was giving snap judgements. This section was showing how the people who decide what's obscene simply pull arbitrary judgements from thin air (for instance, a barbie doll with a penis attached to it isn't unacceptable, a womens naked body with a childs head grafted on isn't unacceptable, but a barbie doll with a penis attached and a childs head is)

      >* Mockery was made of last summer's anti-paedopile protests by concerned mothers. It is simply unacceptable to criticise the >genuine fears of honest law-abiding citizens in this >manner.

      These protests were absolutely disgusting. They were made by ill-informed people (banners used often had peadophile spelt incorrectly), their fears were totally illegitimate, and the hysteria came to such heights that a peadiatritcian was chased from her home my a mob. It is perfectly acceptable to mock peoples fears if they are ill advised fears that harmed innocent people. (We do not still respect the fears of the German people during krystallnacht for instance)

      >* The sickening music of the notorious American paedophile rap musician "JLb-8" was openly promoted on this programme.

      Is this letter a joke? (If so I shall continue writing as I'm rather enjoying this). Anyhow, JLb-8 is entirely ficticious, and this section of the programme satirised both the tabloid media's sensationalist views of rappers, and how young, middle class children buy music by people like eminem, despite it not being to do with anything they have, or will ever, experience.

      >Numerous celebrities, including members of parliament, newscasters and a musician were ridiculed by their unsuspecting >involvement with this programme.

      Celebrities thrust themselves into the public eye deliberatly, and as such are liable to be ridiculed, if they wanted to avoid such ridicule, they could have done the tiniest bit of reaserch into what they were saying. This section also made a valid point; that celebrities will endorse anything, so we cannot trust them alone to 'sell' a charity.

      > Worst of all, real children appeared in this programme. It is clearly wrong to expose them to this sinister subject matter at such a >tender age. The experiences of this programme may permanently damage these poor infants.

      This is a disgusting attitude in my opinion. Surely we should expose children in order to educate them about peadophilla, sex and other taboo subjects, rather than keep them in the dark (to maintain the victorian notion of childhood innocence). Knowledge of peadophillia means the child is more likely to report this crime in the unlikely event that they expereince it.

      Futhermore this 'crusade for innocence' has resulted in Britain having the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in europe, as when this innocent child becomes a teenager they will be pressured to have sex, and because they know so little about it (contraception, and how to say 'no') they do it, and ruin their lives by becoming pregnant. This is why the final thing in the programme is a young teenager saying she will lose her virginity 'tomorrow, maybe'.

      That's all I can think of right now, and this as been written pretty hastily so don't be suprised if there are copious spelling mistakes

      P.S. I'm pretty sure that this 'open letter' was one big joke.

  • The DivX downloads dies a few hours ago.

    The site has now been updated... now displays 'Closed for legal reasons', with a BBC test page...

    Shame... Suppose I'll just have to borrow a VHS copy from a mate at work...
  • Ye gods, anytime someone claims to do something "For the children", you know we're in trouble.

    Look, a child-worshipping culture is just as bad as one that worships nobility. You teach children, you educate children, you do not sacrifice freedom or liberty for children.

    The celebrities were furious and said they had been misled. "I was approached to participate in a video which would be released to schools and young people to advise them on the dangers of the Internet and its misuse by pedophiles," Mr. Rapson told Radio 4. "We had to use gobbledygook language. They said that unless you used some of their terminology, young people wouldn't take it as credible."

    An exemplary quote. In other words, Mr. Rapson, in a fit of "for the children", read something he did not understand or know anything about. The fact that he read it, no questions, based entirely on the claim that it was "for the children" ought to prove the satirist's case.

    • Ye gods, anytime someone claims to do something "For the children", you know we're in trouble.

      I work to provide for my children. I set them a good example. I make sure I do what I said I was going to do, treat them with kindness, and discipline them. I teach them to walk, talk, eat, say "please" and "thank you," dress modestly, and take care of themselves. We do without some things so my wife can stay home with them so they'll imitate her actions and not so much those of other children.

      Heck, I drive the speed limit in residential zones and keep my eyes open for running kids.

      It's all for the children. Aren't we in trouble now?

      ...you do not sacrifice freedom or liberty for children.

      I do every day, and children are better for it. I'm glad there are other people that do - the ones that will not sacrifice anything for the children (not just theirs) are seriously misguided.

      You haven't got children, have you?
      • Wow, you missed the point entirely. They just keep whizzing over your head, huh?

        Sacrificing *your* freedom and *your* liberty for *your* children is fine. However, you cross the line when you -- through support of politicians and/or legislation -- that remove somebody else's freedoms or liberty for unspecified and unknown children is wrong.

        It is fundamentally the same as restricting the freedoms and liberty of blacks for the sake of white people.

        No, I do not have children -- thank goodness. I'm not married yet. I do plan to have children, and will provide a good, moral, healthy home and family for them.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The people that run the site have emphatically said that the videos and the site being down has NOTHING to do with "The Slashdot Effect". It is for legal reasons which they have hinted that they cannot explain without getting into deeper trouble. So far, 90% of the assumptions are that Channel 4 is probably pretty pissed that everyone is seeing the show on the web instead of watching their reruns, which is understandable, except for the fact that msot of the people watching it on the web are Americans that have no chance of seeing it in a non-pirated/copied manner.
  • by jesser ( 77961 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @05:29PM (#2161323) Homepage Journal
    When the cookdandbombd .avi mirrors were first linked to [plastic.com] from the Plastic forums, they were immediately unavailable due to high demand. I was able to download the first avi from mirror4 and the second avi from mirror5 (only mirrors 1-3 had been linked to from the main page), but most Plastic readers probably didn't think of that. Now, cookdandbombd has stopped distributing the avis, and their front page [cookdandbombd.co.uk] says "closed for legal reasons" (copyright?).

    What if, instead of hosting the avis themselves, they had put the avis on freenet and given out the key on their web site? That would have taken care of the Plastic effect (which, btw, is an order of magnitude weaker than the Slashdot effect) and also any legal problems arising from distributing the copyrighted show.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Paedophilla is one of those things people go into hysteria about without understanding it. Paedophiles are people (usually male, age 15 or older) who are attracted soly, or almost soly, to pre-pubescencants (not 'children'). Much of this internet-paedophilla hype is bogas because the under-14s simply don't chat on the internet unattended.

    I am unable to go into the prefession (speech-therapy) that I wanted because people in this country have an attitude that if any male shows any disire to work with children (teaching or otherwise), then they must be a *paedophile*. Teachers are banned from hugging children (even if they are hurt) because it could be 'paedophilic behaviour", men receive dirty looks if they go anywhere near a swimming-pool with children in it, 3 & 4 year olds are given instructions at kindergarten about how to beware of paedophilic men, fathers are sometimes afraid to hug their own children in public, men are afraid to help out at school & school events, 17 year old boys who make love to their 15 year old girlfriends are charged with 'rape' (for being 'paedophiles'), hysterical news reports go on TV about 'paedophiles' molesting 15 year olds, & so on & so on.

    The hysteria that surrounds paedophilla does infinately more harm to society than actual paedophilla does. All the means of protection society uses are doing more harm than good, and don't work anyhow. Paedophiles are actually quite rare, most perverted idiots who molest children aren't even paedophiles!
  • Gnutella Info (Score:3, Informative)

    by Jade E. 2 ( 313290 ) <slashdot@noSpam.perlstorm.net> on Saturday August 04, 2001 @09:45PM (#2161857) Homepage
    For everyone complaining about the lack of a mirror, the .avi's are making the rounds on gnutella right now. The file names you want are 'cab-brasseyespecial1.avi' and 'cab-brasseyespecial2.avi', a search for 'brasseye' should bring them up.

    Remember, PLEASE share them back out once you get them! I've had 73 ppl download these from me already and there's only like 3 ppl on this section of gnet sharing this. Thanks.

    -Jade E.

  • It's all around us (Score:3, Insightful)

    by macdaddy ( 38372 ) on Saturday August 04, 2001 @10:21PM (#2161907) Homepage Journal
    What people simply don't realize is that the exploitation of little kids is all around us. People are just too nieve to realize it. I saw a show on HBO (I believe) 3-4 months back about this little girl that professionally starred in beauty pagents. Her mother grilled her constantly over walking right, talking right, smiling right, sticking out her chest ("strut it like you'll have it in 10 years"), her numerous dance routines and memorized lines, etc... The demand put on that little girl was extreme. I believe the mother home schooled her as well so they could spend more time in training. The mother would pay professional makeup artists to literally make this girl look like a little Barbie Doll. They made this little girl (eight years old I think) look like a miniature whore. It was sickening. The girl made a mistake on stage during a speaking part and started bawling when she got off stage. The mother ripped her for messing up her lines and now her makeup. It was disguisting. The mother was exploting the little girl. Hell I heard Shirley Temple was viewed as crude by many because of her short dresses and scenes with black men (tap dancing and what not). This shit is nothing more than a witchhunt and the media is doing nothing more than fueling the fire. School shootings are the same way. The media make it out to be a disease that is spreading across the nation and getting wirse every day. That's total bullshit. The number of violent incidents on school campus is dropping every year. It's less than half what it was in in the late 70's. The media will never tell you that. Blood and guts sell. Controversy sells. Early in my mother's teaching career she worked at a school in southern Kansas. A girl (known as a slut to everyone) accused the woodshop teacher of something (touching, sexual assault, I don't remember). She had no proof he did it. He had know that he didn't. Her story kept changing every time she was questioned. Never the less he was suspended. There was a big public outcry against him. Blah blah blah. You've heard it all before. Finally he left and went elsewhere. Shortly after that the girl confessed that she made it up because he gave her a bad grade in his class. It didn't matter. If you go to that town today and bring up his name with a parent around the age of say 55 now they'll probably remember his name and go on and on about his sexual misconduct and shit like that. The truth came out. No one listened. He was still run off. Hmm, I'm starting to rant now. Well, let me close with something I've long since believed. The media should be held accountable for everything they speak or write. If they accuse a teacher of sexual misconduct, they should be held legally accountable if that person is found to be innocent. Now that doesn't mean I don't think they can't print something that's not proven to be true. Say for example someone is hauled into court on sexual charges. State that. Don't print something weeks before on how some kid said person X did something to me. Kids say things. Wait until there is an actual fact. Then print it. Someone being hauled into court is a fact. It's not a fact that they did something but it is a fact that there is enough reason to let a jury or judge decide. Also, if that story is put on the front page with a 72 point headline, the retraction should be just as big and on the front page. It shouldn't be hidden back under the Classifides. It should be given just as much importance as the original story was given. Well, enough of my ramblings. We now return you to your regularly scheduled force-fed media hype.
    • ...about this little girl that professionally starred in beauty pagents. Her mother grilled her constantly over walking right, talking right, smiling right, sticking out her chest ("strut it like you'll have it in 10 years")...

      One of the sketches in Brass Eye *was* a scene that pretended to be from an American beauty pageant, where a couple had had false breasts grafted onto their 7/8/9 (can't remember) year-old daughter so as to improve her chances in the pageant.

      They had one parent holding up the child, with another adoring parent going "Wow, aren't they realistic?" and the proud father going "Yes, and look <shakes child> they even jiggle!"

      (I should add at this point that the breasts were apparently computer generated - and in any case they were then pixellated over, so you couldn't see them anyway.)

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