Chaser’s Censorship (or Much Ado About Nothing)

Well, I finally got around to watching the second episode of the third season of Chaser’s War On Everything, the current whipping boy of Australia’s Moral Guardians and Supreme Example Of All That Is Wrong With The Media Today.

To recap, Chaser performed a sketch entitled “Make a realistic wish foundation” which involves presenting pencil cases and a stick to children in a parody of the make a wish foundation. It ended with the now infamous line that prompted complaints, a two week ban and the censoring of all future repeats of the episode. “Why spend a lot of money on them, when they’re going to die anyway.”

I feel like a bit of disclosure is due at this point, I myself have spent some time in contact with disabled and dying children and my wife has devoted her career and a large amount of her life to them. Personally I think the make a wish foundation does a wonderful job of providing some small comfort to the children and their parents, who have to face continuing after their death. It is not a fun situation, it is very serious and painful.

I hate censorship and would be here defending them regardless of what they said. With all I said above I sat down with my wife and we watched the show fully prepared to be completely offended.

How surprised was I then that the skit was incredibly short, and made me giggle. It wasn’t roaring funny but neither was it this filthy searing insult to sick children everywhere. It was obviously an irreverent poke at a revered institution. I did wince at the end line, I do think it was in bad taste, but without the controversy I would have forgotten it minutes after it was over.

Sure it was bad taste, but it’s chaser. If you don’t like bad taste humour you’re watching the wrong show, and it’s not like all Australia doesn’t know what they’re like by now.

It’s well overblown, astonishingly so, and it’s disgusting that we have all spent so much time on this issue. It’s also insane how many comments on this issue begin “I haven’t seen the show but…” and then go on to denigrate and abuse them based purely on hearsay, from which you would almost be expecting them to be assaulting sick children in their beds.

To my mind they’ve done far worse in the past and have done nothing but upset the over sensative now. As George Carlin famously said, there is no subject so sacrosanct that you can’t joke about it. He punctuated this with a quite funny routine about rape that elicited much the same response.

That was about thirty years ago. Guess we haven’t come all that far after all have we.

Grow up Australia. If you don’t like it, turn off.


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