Wednesday, November 01, 2006
I have long been a fan of The Onion, which more often than not lives up to its banner claim to be 'America's finest news source'. The quality of the writing has never flagged in the ten years since it was established in Madison, Wisconsin ten years ago, which is something phenomenonal considering how even good satire can date and wane so easily. A recent addition to the Onion roster is their audio news section, one-minute bulletins presented by the plausibly-named Doyle Redland. Though this is as masterfully produced as the 'print edition' there is something less convincing about it, probably because it is so hard to take American radio news seriously when it is straight. I found this too with Brass Eye, which I watched again on DVD over the last week. Chris Morris' show is incredibly funny but its bullet-point style, slavishly mimetic, and parodic, of flatulent current-affairs programmes, wearies, mainly because it is so reliant upon its original subject matter for life and vigour. I found it desperately hard to watch more than episode in one sitting. The Onion radio news produces humorous news items that really do not develop beyond the initial hilarity of the headline and the standfirst. Still, 'Parents Blame Rise In Obesity On Eating-Based Video Game' is pretty damn funny, as is 'Morgan Spurlock's Experiment To Try Heroin For 30 Days Enters 200th Day'.