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"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno

Uncut SEPTEMBER 2005 - by Brian Eno

BRASS EYE

Pop professor prescribes Chris Morris' TV shock treatment.

Brass Eye is what every schoolchild should be shown in order to understand how media works, what is really going on, and how easy it is to create a controversial story. Forget kids learning about geography. Media is the world we live in.

Of course, it's also genius comedy. The "Drugs" episode has to be my favourite. Particularly funny because it resulted in the Conservative MP [David Amess] tabling a motion to ban "cake" coming into Britain. The 2001 special about paedophilia was also extraordinary. It was accused of going too far, but I don't think you can go too far with this sort of thing. It's really important that people realise what the nature of their world is. Brass Eye explained these things to us in a very funny way, but they also tell us so much about how public scares are created. After you watch Brass Eye, it's impossible to watch the news in the same way again. You see a news item and you're thinking: "Is this a put-on?"

I think Chris Morris' work is so astonishingly rich and stands up amazingly well. If you look at it now, it's still sharper than anything else going on. Whenever foreigners ask me what is great about British TV, Brass Eye is always one of the things I cite. It might just be the greatest thing ever shown on British TV.

If I had my way then Chris Morris would be appointed the Minister For Media Literacy. Of course, he would absolutely hate the idea.


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