“Merely to express outrage is to miss the point…”

Finally an account of the Brand/Ross affair I can kind of buy into (must be your age – ed). John Waters echoes some of the points I made on Brassneck last week (Slugger thread here) He can’t have read it though, since I belong beyond the moral Pale in the blogosphere:

Brand belongs to a generation for which comedy is almost literally everything, and the laughter factor the only reliable test. The kinds of energies which previous youth generations expressed through music, art or protest have in his generation compressed into a single essence: a dissociated blend of ridicule and humour that lacks roots in any form of empathy.

This comedy obsession arose in large part because this generation had its capacity for idealism usurped and frustrated by the couple of generations which preceded it, which refuse to countenance that anyone could be more “progressive” or engaged than themselves. Because those who emerged from the 1960s have been running everything, and refusing to provide space for challenging alternative perspectives, irony and humour became, for those born after 1970 or so, the sole cultural outlets for their natural transformative energies.

Here’s where he goes on to skate around the thin patch in the ice:

The tone of detached, vacuous mockery that pervades the internet arises from this cultural stakelessness, now rendered artful by comedians like Russell Brand. On his television show a couple of years back, Ross asked Brand about the hurt humour can inflict: “I just see it as entertainment and try to divorce myself from moral obligation,” he replied.

Last line to John on those cynical baby boomers positioned nicely above this particular food chain:

But the really interesting issue concerns the sabotage of their natural idealism by older generations now vacillating between managed outrage and indulgent giggling. They, still in control, have the last laugh.

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  • Nic

    Based on the excerpts above: a series of fatuous, unqualified statements from Mr. Waters supporting very dodgy conclusions.

  • Tazia Doll

    I agree with a lot Mick said on the London Telegraph gizmo, I think if you know people, in the intimate sense, that means, lovers, art, frat, relatives, then you shouldn’t ( as a general rule) hurt them en clair, for fun. What did we do with manners?

  • Russell Brand is a must for the next Dr Who – i can just see him saying smoothly & repeatedly to an irate Stavros – “Manuel, Manuel, i had an intergalactic session with yer grandaughter.”

  • Danny Boy

    I don’t know what it says about the ‘progress’ achieved by baby boomers that their offspring think a man insulting another man by claiming sexual ownership of one of his female relatives is ‘edgy’. They know nossing – about thousands of years of patriarchy, at least. Maybe that’s a twisted kind of victory.

  • Tazia Doll

    It is the kind of patriarchy who doesn’t have a decent tailor, one has to have standards to do it properly.

    It is absolutely not on, to refer to intimate relation with a lady, in public, and bad enough doing it in private, with a patrician relative of the lady in question.

    Do we need to say this? I don’t think the BBC is immune to gross bad taste, and if anything, I’m a bit surprised, the BBC elders, thought they had a reputation to depend.