The BBC’s comedy clip: “Real Housewives of ISIS”

The media has been criticized for going easy on Muslims, and even ISIS, but at least the BBC has a sense of humor about them. As The Independent and Metro report, on Tuesday the BBC 2 screened the clip below as part of the comedy show “Revolting”.

But the clip has caused outrage among many people who say it is insensitive, with more than 33,000 comments left under the trailer debating whether or not it goes too far.

‘Making fun of vulnerable girls who’ve been groomed and are being raped by terrorists,’ one woman wrote. ‘To everyone finding this funny, you’re sick in the head.’

Judge for yourself, and remember it’s just a self-contained clip, not a real show. Also, since many Muslims criticize or “disown” ISIS, you’d think they wouldn’t be so hard on this kind of satire.

While I’m surprised this appeared on the BBC, I have no problem with it; in fact, I think it’s funny, and good in that it makes a mockery of ISIS. Yes, there’s implied violence, but there was real violence, including a mass suicide and a crucifixion, in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.  Comedy is supposed to push the envelope, and mocking ISIS fills that bill nicely. In fact, here’s an ISIS-themed commercial, with Dakota Johnson that did the same thing, parodying a Toyota commercial. That, too, sparked outrage when it appeared on NBC’s show “Saturday Night Live.”

Here are a few of the comments reproduced by Metro:

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-7-02-36-am

Do you find this offensive? Even if you do, do you still think it’s funny?

 

h/t: Coel

128 Comments

  1. Todd J Morgan
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s offensive. That was the point.

    It was very funny.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Exactly my view. It is supposed to be offensive. The offense, however, shouldn’t be aimed at the people who created this comedy clip. It should be aimed at the people that the comedy clip is satirizing.

      The folks criticizing the creators for being offensive really need to re-think their position. We need more of this kind of stuff, not less.

      • Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        We’re subscribed to four years of the Trump Reality Show, with his every thought to be transmitted instantly, by all media. We will not be able to unsubscribe. Far more offensive.

        • darrelle
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          You’ve got me feeling a bit queasy.

      • Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Yep. It’s so much easier to shoot the messenger.

        • Michiel
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          Sadly some muslims take that literally.

  2. TJR
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Damn, I wish I’d watched the show now.

    See also the Chris Morris film “Four Lions”, a comedy about islamic terrorists.

    • Chris G
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      I actually found ‘Four Lions’ a bit too harrowing and upsetting for reasons I can’t quite put my finger on,
      Chris G.

      • reasonshark
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        That ending, maybe? That’s a sucker punch.

  3. Chris G
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I think it’s brilliant, and very funny. Not to mention rather brave of these actors.
    Stephen ‘GodlessSpellChecker’ Knight has also written a very good piece supporting this kind of satire and mockery,
    Chris G.

  4. GBJames
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Most excellently funny!

  5. Taz
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Making fun of vulnerable girls who’ve been groomed and are being raped by terrorists

    What about vulnerable girls who may be groomed in the future? Comedy can be instructive.

    • Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      “What about vulnerable girls who may be groomed in the future? Comedy can be instructive.”

      Not instructive enough IMO. All these girls look happier, healthier, cleaner, and more attractive than I suspect they actually would be.

      • Sastra
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        But that’s the incongruity which makes it funny. The ‘housewives’ look and behave just like the superficial, pop culture stars of television while in a situation which the viewer realizes is horrific. A documentary showing unhappy, sick, dirty young women in ISIS conditions lacks the viewer’s active recognition of the disparity between cultures — and, I suspect, some of the resemblances.

        In addition to making fun of ISIS, the parody is also making fun of the whole ‘housewives’ genre of reality tv.

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Yeah, it was a satire on ISIS, and a parody of the “real housewives” genre. The best comedy often crosses wires like that to create sparks.

  6. mikeyc
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    IMO.

    Not offensive and a bit funny (humor is a bit obvious, though I did like the hashtags).

    • Craw
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Agree. A brief laugh. I doubt very much whether I would be offended by ANY slap at ISIS or any form of religious fundamentalism, so I’m not the right guy to ask.

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    If people laugh, then its funny since comedy legitimately extends into topics we find uncomfortable. That has been true since the earliest days of comedy.

  8. nickswearsky
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Offensive and funny. I see no problem with that. Remember “Life of Brian”? I still laugh at that. Satire has a necessary role in society. I think ISIS is worthy of scorn and ridicule at every turn.

    • Claudia Baker
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Yup, absolutely. Scorn and ridicule all the way. Bring it on. The more the better.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Righto. Bring it on. Wish it were a real series.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        If satire isn’t making someone uncomfortable, it isn’t working.

    • Christopher
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      But I’d be willing to bet that the regressivist line will be something about how Life of Brian was “punching up”, while Real Housewives of ISIS is “punching down”. After all, Python was comprised of white, male, Anglo-Saxons from a christian cultural background, and RH of I is not from dark-skinned, female arabic Muslims, and even if one or more of the writers and actors are all of those things, the attack can be rewritten, and there are already hints of this, as them not being “true” muslims.

      • nickswearsky
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps. But, whether punching up or down, I say keep punching. Satire does not discriminate. Everyone gets mocked now and again.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who thinks ridiculing network television, not to mention a group that systematically uses violence against civilian populations, is “punching down” is spatially disoriented. They probably need to see an inner-ear specialist.

        • Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          + 1

        • Christopher
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          or proctologist.

          • infiniteimprobabilit
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            beat me to it!

            cr

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

            Unlike their procologist, they can see the root of their problem. Unless, of course, the proctologist gets one of those plumbing inspection cameras and the “LadyDi” colonic irrigation kit.
            Oh ye ghods and fathers! Someone has done a youTube of “Debbie Does Colonic Irrigation” and seems to be playing it straight! The only answer I have to that it to order a pizza.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Let me see now, Life of Brian was mercilessly taking the piss out of, among other things: schisming revolutionary resistance movements; transgender wannabes (‘I want to be a woman’); people with speech defects (‘welease Bwian’); stonings; victims of Stockholm syndrome (‘great people the Romans’); popular charismatic movements (‘how shall we fuck off, Oh Lord?’); stoning; and a host of other things that I’ve probably forgotten. How could this be called ‘punching up’?

        I do agree this ‘punching up / punching down’ is completely daft anyway.

        Personally, I love the movie and I think it’s hilarious.

        cr

        • Carl
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

          I do agree this ‘punching up / punching down’ is completely daft anyway.

          Indeed. Mike Tyson was always punching up. He blasted out most of his opponents that way. It’s a bad metaphor used by people who don’t understand punching (and often, the metaphrand of their point).

      • Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that might be the regressivist line, but then one has to remember that all the characters lampooned in LoB were just as Middle Eastern as ISIS.

  9. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I recall seeing the commercial at the airport long time ago. A real killer.

    Funny and we should be getting much more of this serious humor on the Tube. Most likely all the humor is going to lean toward another subject, call Trump. You can’t cry all the time.

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    It’s hilarious!

    As for being offensive, no one complains about offence when we portray priests as child molesters, or mega-church pastors as greedy hypocrites. This is more of Islam being the one religion we’re not allowed to criticize in the guise of “what about their victims.” It’s not really their victims they’re worried about.

    A bit more mockery of DAESH etc is a good thing.

    This goes back to the meme of every religion being capable of laughing at itself except Islam. They need to grow up. If their religion is so great, wtf are they so worried about?

    • Carl
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      For an anecdotal perspective on an earlier generation, my father and eight uncles fought in WWII. Half of them were Jews. Among the seven who survived, Hogan’s Heroes was a favorite sixties TV program.

      • eric
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        That’s a bit different; the people being made fun (primarily) of in HH are the german soldiers, not the prisoners. My dad had a German exchange student as a roommate in college. He hated Hogan’s Heroes, thought Clink was a highly offensive stereotype.

        Offense tends to be personal and related to how much you sympathize with the victim. As Mel Brooks once said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die.”

        • Ken Kukec
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

          But your dad’s roomie was cool with Sgt. Schultz? 🙂

          Corporals LeBeau and Newkirk were ethnic stereotypes, too. Humor often employs such devices. Maybe dad’s roomie was put off by the implication that Hogan was shtupping Klink’s secretaries, Helga and Hilda?

          • eric
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

            Corporals LeBeau and Newkirk were ethnic stereotypes, too. Humor often employs such devices.

            Yes but the point is that people typically get offended only by stuff that insults them or someone they sympathize with.

            That’s probably why we have such an over-abundance of virtue signaling offendedness happening on campuses today. Lots of well-off young white people trying to show just how much they sympathize with people who have actual problems. How do they show that they’re empathetic feel for the minority group? They get offended by stuff that they perceive would offend actual members of that group.

            • Ken Kukec
              Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

              True, but I’m not as troubled by those who take offense on behalf of a disadvantaged group, as I am by those who take offense on behalf of themselves — those who demand safe mental spaces and who seek to no-platform speakers they disagree with.

              Let’s try not to throw out the social-justice baby with the warriors’ bathwater.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          “Offense tends to be personal”

          No, I think humour tends to be personal. I can’t stand Hogan’s Heroes with its smartass wisecracking characters, specially Hogan.

          OTOH I love ‘Allo Allo which mocks its French, German, British and Italian characters relentlessly. It has strong elements of farce.

          But Dad’s Army (about a bunch of old duffers in the British Home Guard) I find unutterably boring, it’s far too gentle and not nearly savage enough for me.

          Oh, and I do like MASH, again not least because it has a bit of bite to it, even the fifth repeat of the 127th episode…

          cr

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        In real life, Corporal le Beau (?sp.) had a concentration camp number tattooed on his arm, which wasn’t revealed to the public until some time after the show went off air.

        I loved Hogan’s Heroes too back in the day, and two of my young nieces (just kids) are fans now.

  11. phoffman56
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Since BBC News seems to be required to, it is surprising the comedians weren’t required to change the title to ‘Real Housewives of (so called) ISIS’.

    After that lot (the real ones, both female and male, and from here in Canada as well as Britain, etc.), whose weeping parents don’t elicit the least bit of sympathy from me, plus Trump voters, and a few other things, I’ve decided that I have no idea how really stupid people will react to populist lies or any other obviously BS blandishments. So whether this comedy, very funny to me, will keep a few girls safe, or just the opposite, I have no idea.

    • Sastra
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Why don’t the ‘weeping parents’ whose teenagers have absconded to ISIS fail to elicit the least bit of sympathy from you?

      If it’s because you think they must have either condoned the indoctrination, ignored obvious clues, or refused obvious solutions, then I will venture to make a guess that it’s very possible that you’ve never actually parented teenagers — or haven’t done so long or been exposed to a lot of those who have. Young adults/big kids are not that easy to control, they’re not always influenced by what you provide them, and they’re not always forthcoming on what they’re up to. Some are; some are to an extent; some aren’t at all — and then there are the ones who surprise you by jumping categories.

      At least some things I was sure of before my kids reached adolescence (“I will never let them … my kids will never… my kids would never…”) flew right out the window.

      • Christopher
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        As a parent of a 19-year old, who is both impressively intelligent and startlingly idiotic, and someone who has worked with teens at the high school level, I’d amend your statement about teenagers not being easily controlled. They are easily controlled, the issue is, at least in my experience, that one can never predict the HOW and the WHAT of said control. Granted, adults are like that too, but a bit more set in their ways; teens are far more predictably unpredictable. Probably the most common though entering my mind when I hear of the latest boneheaded teen adventure is: “I expect you to do stupid sh*t once in a while, I just didn’t expect THAT particular stupid sh*t”, more succinctly put, à la Bill Bryson, “Are you sh*ttin’ me?!”

        • Sastra
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          Agree. I was speaking though from the parents’ perspective: we parents often have less control over what our teenagers do than our younger selves expected — or than our critics seem to expect.

          A few years back some social scientist decided to actually test or measure the popular assumption that “parents and the way they parent have much more influence on children than anything else.” Once genetics and abusive or neglectful parenting were taken out of the equation, however, the strongest influence seemed to be peers. Which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, perhaps: status in a peer group is significant when it comes to survival rates, parents can be assumed to already be in favor of their offspring’s survival.

          This might explain part of the appeal of joining ISIS: it’s a close-knit peer group on steroids. They are also good at appealing to the desire to make a real difference in the world and surrender yourself to a divine, perfect cause. In humanism, an ordinary life still “means something.”

          • nicky
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

            “Some social scientists”, you mean Judith Harris? Yes, she caused a small revolution.

      • phoffman56
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, Sastra, to chastise me for coming on somewhat too strongly about my lack of sympathy for these parents. But the conjecture about me having too much optimism concerning getting teenagers to do a parent’s bidding is mostly off the mark—I’m twice a father and once a grandfather; and all three cases have of course included forms of that rebelliousness.

        Let me be just a bit more precise: If a parent, as is likely in most of these cases, has miseducated a child to accept unquestioningly the nonsense of some religious belief (not necessarily Muslim in all these cases), then my sympathy with that parent when that young person ends up in Raqqua or similar, is zero. In the non-Muslim case, I suspect that conversions as a young adult, from being fed as a ‘Christian’ child some kind biblical literalism or Catholic catechism, to ISISish beliefs as a Muslim young adult, are far more common than from being encouraged as a child to think for yourself with a dash of skepticism. Perhaps experiencing pretty dopey CBC TV reporters encouraging a parent to blame my government for lack of action because their child was in that situation, even maybe killed, has led me to be more hard-nosed than I should. But without reason to know that as a child the unfortunate ISIS convert was not led into extreme gullibility partly by the parent, I tend to assume the worst, and to feel no sympathy.

        In the purely Muslim case, and as I expect most people here are aware, there are somewhat more then half a billion adults in the world right now who believe it is their duty to murder, or at least encourage the murder of, an apostate—(Pew surveys for percentages plus a few population figures).
        I cannot think other than almost all of them have inherited this belief from parents. Nor can I think of a much worse example, though there are plenty of bad ones. There is some blamelessness there since the same likely happened to the parent 30 years earlier, but I’m sorry to say that that doesn’t get my milk of human kindness flowing, for immigrants for example, on this matter. These parents do not live in information-suppressed countries any longer.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      If the weeping parents had any hand (even indirect) in their daughter’s stupidity, then I don’t have much sympathy for them either.

      For parents who did everything ‘right’ and are faced with such a terrible loss, I have considerable sympathy – BUT my sympathy doesn’t extend to criticising that satire. Inevitably, whatever you make fun of, there will be someone who has been personally affected by it. That should never be used as a reason to ban comedy. Make a joke about someone who tried to pat a crocodile and there will be someone, somewhere, who did just that. IF our joke reminded someone somewhere not to do anything so stupid, it will have been justified – but comedy requires no justification, IMO.

      cr

      • Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        “Make a joke about someone who tried to pat a crocodile and there will be someone, somewhere, who did just that.” I did! At an Arkansas croc farm. (Or maybe it was alligators, I don’t know, it was50 years ago!)

        They were in a shallow, open concrete pit. (I was told they were in hibernation.) I just wanted to feel the snout, and it opened it’s eyes and mouth. I did an amazing backward leap. My friend and I agreed it was hilarious!

        • Dominic
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

          … & now they call you ‘lefty’! 🙂

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          I did! At an Arkansas croc farm. (Or maybe it was alligators, I don’t know, it was50 years ago!)

          Reminds me of the Canadian joke about how to differentiate between Grizzly bears and Black bears.

          • Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

            …which you surely must post, as there may be different versions!

            • gravelinspector-Aidan
              Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

              OK. Version 1 :
              Non-Canadian : how do you escape from a bear?
              Canadian :That depends if it’s a grizzly or a black bear.
              Non-Canadian :OK, how do you tell if you’re being chased by a black bear, or a grizzly?
              Canadian :Well, you run away, and climb up a tree.
              Non-Canadian :OK, and then what?
              Canadian :Well, if the bear is a grizzly, it will then climb up the tree after you, bite your face off and eat it?
              Non-Canadian :And if it’s a black bear, you’ll be OK?
              Canadian :Wellll … sort of. until the black bear pulls the tree down, bites your face off and eats it.
              Non-Canadian :[Goes black widow spider molesting in Arizona.]

              • phoffman56
                Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

                As a Canuck, and someone who has ‘met up’ with a grizzly a few times (never all that close), I thought it was the other way round, in that full grown grizzlies are generally unable to climb, or don’t usually, whereas blacks do it, and even attack each other in trees.

                One time in spring in Jasper Park, I’d forgotten to keep banging my dangling monocular against the tin cup, rounded a trail corner about 150 metres from a grizzly down a straight stretch, one who may have been never aware of me (wind was from it towards me). After quickly heading back towards where I’d come from to a tree that looked climbable, I waited and never saw it again, but maybe that would have been a mistake, had he headed my way.

              • Carl
                Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

                “I thought it was the other way round, in that full grown grizzlies are generally unable to climb, or don’t usually, whereas blacks do it, and even attack each other in trees.”

                This is correct.

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

                I may have got the joke the wrong way round in which would rip your face off and eat it.
                There’s probably a version of the joke which adds polar bears. Or pandas. Or something almost like a Darwin.

              • Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

                I’m hooked: Version #2 please?

              • gravelinspector-Aidan
                Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

                Line 1 : A grizzly bear, a black bear and a polar bear walked into an Irish bar.
                Over to you for line 2.

              • Posted January 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

                Hey, I don’t write jokes, just laugh at them!

            • Carl
              Posted January 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

              My favorite bear joke is when two campers see a bear approaching and one begins putting on his shoes. The other says, “What are you doing, you can’t outrun a bear.”The first responds, “No, but I can outrun you.”

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          … and then course there’s this…
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtJDntMhYiI

          (and I thought they’d somehow faked it)

          cr

          • Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

            O GEEZ! FIVE TAKES! I had no idea!

            • infiniteimprobabilit
              Posted January 7, 2017 at 2:12 am | Permalink

              I gather the way they got the crocs to stay in position (which is what always puzzled me) is they anchored their rear feet to the bottom of the (shallow) pond. But not, as can be seen, their tails or heads – the crocs would have been quite capable of munching the stunt man.

              cr

  12. rickflick
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I support it, and I hope no fatwas are in the works.

  13. Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    As Christopher Hitchens said, a joke is not really a joke unless it’s in somebody’s expense.

  14. Kevin
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Zero offense. The BBC wives clip was funny, though the humor relied too heavily on social media (but of course that is a predominant feature of ISIS). The SNL clip was not that funny. Neither clip was offensive.

    How can mockery of ISIS or Trump or Mother Teresa or the Catholic Church be offensive? Partly because the world is filled with adults who behave like children who want baby Jesus to float on a bed of fairy dust and boink all the dark clouds away with fuzzy rainbows.

    • darrelle
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Yeah. Instead of offensive it should be thought of as an honored public service.

      • Billy Bl.
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        My sentiment exactly. It also mocks western culture as much as Muslim culture, but no one seems too worried about that.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        I’ve long thought that a comedian who doesn’t spark genuine outage, up to and including spittle flying from offendee’s lips and (ineffectual) threats of personal violence, isn’t really working at their comedy hard enough, and might benefit from a career change. To road sweeper or something less challenging.

    • Dominic
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      I don’t agree – I thought the SNL one was great as well. And better production values! 🙂

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        I found the SNL one too touching to be really funny. Whereas the BBC’s was that bit more over-the-top into savage parody, and I found it hilarious.

        Of course, YMMV.

        cr

  15. Geoff Toscano
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    Not all that funny, but amusing enough, and this type of parody is much needed (both vids). There’s now a new bar been set and, who knows, if ISIS becomes an object of outright ridicule then maybe kids will be less inclined to join?

    • Dominic
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Humour is so personal… what makes you laugh? I never know what will get me.

  16. Sastra
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    During and after WWII, comedies, parodies, and satires of both Adolph Hitler and the Nazis were common. My understanding is that they were particularly appreciated by Allied soldiers, not in spite of the fact that the subjects were responsible for the carnage and destruction these men were actually living through, but because of it. Mockery is a powerful weapon. It also relieves stress.

    In addition to that, though, the ISIS problem has another aspect to it: they are actively trying to recruit naive young women, promising them luxury, love, and a romantic paradise of beautiful Islamism. In too many cases, it’s working. This video then seems specifically targeted towards this very group, puncturing the glowing idealization with a cold dash of reality and humor.

    Does it contain elements of of a more general Islam? Of course. So what? The only aspects which are directly attacked involve cloaking women in black, chaining them to the kitchen, and sending them out as suicide bombers. If those are “Islamic values” then so much the worse for Islam.

    I say it’s funny, and I mean that in all seriousness.

    • Craw
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Hilter has only one left ball
      Goring has two, but very small
      Himmler has something simmler
      And Goebels has no balls at all!

      • Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:55 am | Permalink

        “What is your name, boy?!”

        “Don’t tell him, Pike!”

        /@

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 4:10 am | Permalink

          Recently voted Britain’s funniest one-liner in a survey by Gold TV.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      So what? The only aspects which are directly attacked involve cloaking women in black, chaining them to the kitchen, and sending them out as suicide bombers.

      They went somewhat easy on the sexual slavery aspect of ISIS. Only slight, oblique references. Bit disappointing that.

  17. Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Ah, so this is what it’s all about. I noticed via twitter that somebody had made a joke about ISIS. Eiynah also noted that many of those claiming to be offended equate ISIS with Islam.


    …but there was real violence, including a mass suicide and a crucifixion, in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

    Indeed, and as many will recall the offense police were out in force against that too, but in those days the offense police were priests and conservative politicians.


    I was listening to some (clearly non-racist) young people here in Germany making holocaust jokes a while ago, and it occurred to me that there is an educational aspect to this kind of thing too — in a perverse manner, it keeps the memory of what happened alive in the popular imagination. (…Come to think of it I did in fact tell them the one about why Hitler committed suicide — he got his gas bill.)

  18. Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Very funny! We all know that ISIS has nothing to do with Islam.

  19. Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    “Attacking Islamic values” – so what if it was? I *want* someone to criticize my values, if they can do it rationally – and that includes humour. And if they are right, I hope I can change my brain!

  20. Jamie
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Not at all offensive. Not really funny either. I reserve ‘funny’ for material that actually makes me laugh. This only raised a smile, therefore only warrants ‘amusing’.

    • Alpha Neil
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, the jokes were a bit too obvious. Edgy comedy is tough and they just didn’t pull it off. It would have been a real feat if they had somehow combined these two intellectually shallow entities (ISIS and Reality TV) into something clever and nuanced. I hope those involved in making this didn’t risk their personal safety for what amounts to a silly youtube video.

      It’s probably already been done but I think Islamic States Next Top Model would be funnier and provide some pushback to those who praise the covering of women.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        Of course a quick Google confirms that burqas conform to Rule 34 of the Internet.

        https://xkcd.com/305/

        (The link is to the rule, not to illustrative examples 😉

        cr

  21. DrBrydon
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    “Your going to need a lotta Semtex to kill that one.”

    I wish it was a real show.

  22. Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    We have a strong tradition of black comedy in the U.K.

    If you’ve heard the names Harold Shipman or Joseph Fritzl on U.K. TV anytime after the initial stories broke the chances are it was in the punchline of a joke.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Got a strong tradition of black comedy on this side of the pond, too, mate. Maybe you’ve heard of Heller and Vonnegut and Kubrick (the last, an ex-pat Yank who spent his latter career over there)?

      • darrelle
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Just a couple of weeks ago I was talking to a friend, US born & bred, and discovered that he had never heard of, let alone read, The Big Space Fuck. What’s this country coming to?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          never heard of, let alone read, The Big Space Fuck. What’s this country coming to?

          I’m surprised that it was news to me too, particularly since I’ve got a copy of “Again, Dangerous Visions” somewhere in the bookshelves.
          ‘S good.

  23. Barney
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    The only way it could be called ‘offensive’ is if you think the claims that British girls or women who go to ISIS have been ‘groomed’ are true. Very early on (eg before they took Mosul) that might have been a point – that they didn’t know how vicious ISIS is, or that it effectively makes the women sex slaves – but for a long time, I think anyone who manages to travel to ISIS territory has also had ample warning through the media of its true nature.

    Reasonably funny, though not side-splitting.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Since the genocide of the Yazidis began, at the latest.

  24. Zado
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    Amusing. I liked the “You’re gonna need a lot of Semtex to kill that one” line.

    The humor is a little “off” though. I don’t think it’s targeting ISIS as much as it’s targeting young women who think emigrating to the caliphate might be a good idea. But I suppose they deserve a little mockery too, in addition to sympathy.

  25. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Among my list of benchmarks of a relatively healthy religion is its ability to laugh at jokes at its own expense.

    Unitarians, Buddhists, many Jews (depending on the joke- understandably), and even some liberal Catholics score fairly high on that test.

    “What did Buddha say to the hot dog vendor? Make me one with everything.” gets a laugh from Buddhist groups every time. Cartoons of Mohammed not so much.

    • Flamaddidle
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      And when the Buddha pays the vendor and asks for his change, the vendor replies, “Change comes from within…”

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        When Buddha takes a bite, does he say “om” instead of “yum”?

        • Claudia Baker
          Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Only if it was a veggie dog.

          • Ken Kukec
            Posted January 5, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            No, in that case the universal mantra-of-choice is “yuck.” 🙂

            • Claudia Baker
              Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

              Haha. So, not a vegetarian then, Ken? Me neither, mostly, though I do like most veggie meals my daughter cooks. She has great recipes that are delicious. And I do like “tofurkey” sausages. There’s one brand in particular that are so yummy. Really. I’m not kidding. This from a person, whose favourite meal is medium-rare filet.

              But I hear you on the veggie dogs.

  26. Posted January 5, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Reblogged this on The Logical Place.

  27. zytigon
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    daftynewstv Youtube channel has video, “Dakota Johnson SNL – ISIS Commercial (plus original commercial snippet)” which gives insight on where the spin off is coming from

    Maybe the SNL satire could have had the father, instead of offering money, offer her “The Big Picture” by Sean M. Carroll and say, “Remember the Core Theory”

    When Dakota says, “It’s ISIS” the father could have said, “Would you go with people who can’t tell fables of the men of old from reality ?” (with reference to Surah 8:31 according to skepticsannotatedquran ) 8:32 has the doubters say like Elijah Vs the prophets of Baal, “If the stories are real then prove it by having Allah rain down stones from heaven” but maybe they could have had the people offering their reasonable doubts. What could they have said given what they knew 700 AD ? ‘We have a hunch that it isn’t reality’ or ‘We’ve read the Hebrew Bible and it sounds like mostly fairy tales, we’ve read the New Testament and it sounds like variations on those old Hebrew & Greek fairy tales so why would we give credence to stories which rewrite those old fables again ?’

    • zytigon
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      If Allah was real then you wouldn’t need humans to do the dirty work with guns & knives & stones instead you would expect stones to rain from heaven/ the sky. However an omniscient god would just not allow the conception of those he foreknew wouldn’t go the way he wanted.

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        I see your “omniscient god” card and raise you a “mysterious ways”.
        (If I’ve got the poker terminology right.)

  28. nickswearsky
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I find the real “Real Housewives of…” shows are offensive and they lack the benefit of being funny. I watched one once (just once). The shows feature a bunch of well-off people who are greedy, vain, petty, and horrible in so many ways. But, celebrity! Frankly, they all deserve to be mocked more often.

  29. Dan
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Funny skit. I like them both. I’m sure it is offensive to onion skinned regressive leftists. We should stop listening to their faux outrage.

  30. madscientist
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    More people should watch it – perhaps they’d be a little less inclined to join murderous hordes of fanatics.

  31. Vaal
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Funny.

    Not offensive.

    People who think it’s offensive don’t understand how humor works. (Or, are the rightful objects of the parody in those skits).

    I watched a Louis CK comedy special in which Louie suggested that if you are so allergic to nuts that touching one will kill you, well then maybe you were meant to die. And if we just let all the peanut allergic kids eat peanuts (and die from it) for a year, then we’d be done with the whole peanut allergy problem.

    I found it hilarious.

    And my kid has a deadly peanut allergy that is a constant source of fear and concern!

    If I’d been “offended” I would have totally misunderstood the nature of his comedy bit.
    The whole point is that what he “recommends” IS SO AWFUL and heartless. It’s only the acknowledgement between Louis and the audience of the SERIOUSNESS of nut allergies and horrendously serious consequences of his “solution” that is the source of the humor in the first place! If you get it, you realize he isn’t making light of the situation; his humor depends on acknowledging the seriousness.

    Same with that BBC sketch. It’s because of the acknowledged subtext of the seriousness of how ISIS treats women, how wrong we view it, that makes the parody funny.

    I certainly think there are ways to not do comedy as well, to truly make light of something that goes towards the “inappropriate” spectrum. For instance, as a graphic example, if someone where being stoned to death and people were comically imitating the anguish of the dying person.
    That would be a form of mocking that I certainly wouldn’t find funny because it portrays something terrible and serious as
    unserious and funny. It comes from a scary place of no empathy.

    I’ve seen some people make jokes about cancer, the indignities cancer treatment serves up, etc. But this is within the context of people who share the understanding that cancer is indeed serious and tragic, and that creates the resonance that makes the portrayal of cancer as comedic to be outrageous and hence funny.

    (Oh gawd…I’ve just tried to analyze humor, and hence killed it…)

    • Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Thought you did an *excellent* job of explaining it!

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      OTOH, the ‘stoning’ scene in Life of Brian is quite hilariously funny for several reasons which I won’t analyse (lest I kill the comedy). But I do note that the stoning itself is treated in almost cartoonish fashion, not graphically realist.

      Even so, the Saudi’s recent affection for stoning people does slightly impair the comedy quotient in that scene.

      cr

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Even so, the Saudi’s recent affection for stoning people does slightly impair the comedy quotient in that scene.

        I’m not sure if or when the Saudis (re-)started stoning people, but I don’t think it’s particularly recent. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that they did such things. They may have accelerated it “recently” – say since the time of the Iranian revolution meant they needed to up their game in the “Good Muslim” stakes. I don’t recall there being any astonishment about the subject matter of “Death of A Princess” in 1980, suggesting that no one I knew had any doubt that the Saudis would do such things.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 6, 2017 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          Well, not just the Saudis. I don’t know if it’s got more prevalent in recent years, or just attracted more publicity. Either way it casts a slight shadow over what would be a very funny sketch if only the original custom were as outmoded as the Spanish Inquisition.

          cr

  32. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Fricking hilarious!

    And if we can’t make fun of total idiots, who can we make fun of?

    (Admittedly there’s a fine line between idiocy and mental retardation and I guess girls who volunteer for ISIS must be borderline retards. Is that insulting enough? Frankly, thinking of all the Syrian women trapped in a war zone who would like nothing more than to escape with their lives, stupid girls who voluntarily put themselves in that position – well let’s say that utter scorn, contempt and ridicule is the least they deserve.)

    cr

  33. JoanL
    Posted January 5, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    As Bernard Verlhac (killed at Charlie Hebdo) told LeMonde: “A drawing can make one laugh. When it’s truly received, it can make one think. If it makes one both laugh and think, then it’s an excellent drawing. But the best drawing makes one laugh, think, and provokes a feeling of shame. The reader experiences shame for having laughed at such a grave situation. This drawing is magnificent, because it’s the one that stays.”

    I think this is as true of satire in general as it is of drawings or cartoons.

  34. Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    I found it funny and of course it makes you think about how obsurd it is when young women are attracted to the Isis lifestyle online and join up.

  35. Dominic
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    I love it! 🙂

    • Dominic
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      They should say “OMA!” 😉

  36. Mike
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Love it, the more piss taking the better,if it hurts their “sensitivities” and that’s a joke in itself, tough.

  37. GregZ
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    This cartoon was ahead of the curve.

  38. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted January 6, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    While I’m surprised this appeared on the BBC, […] Yes, there’s implied violence, but there was real violence, including a mass suicide and a crucifixion, in Monty Python’s “Life of Brian”.

    I’m slightly surprised that you find it surprising that this would appear on the Beeb. Granted they do kiss the ring of religion (and I don’t mean a jewellery ring) far too often, but they also have a long and strong history of letting slip the attack dogs of satire on the bunny wabbits of religion. (I can’t believe that they didn’t expect Muggerridge and Bish.Southwark to make complete idiots of themselves in the “serious” show. Cleese almost says so himself in the first quadrant I link to.)

    • zytigon
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      gravelinspector-Aidan, Thanks for those good links. Maybe Eric Idle’s, “Always look on the bright side of life” jolly attitude is what people might have expected the Jesus crucifiction scene to be like if he really was an indestructible son of god. For one thing he could have prayed for pain relief and wouldn’t it just have been a few hours discomfort before certain victory- like undergoing surgery?

      In the SNL comedy clip, what if the father had spent years reading blogs like “Why evolution is true”, “Preposterous universe”, books by Victor Stenger & freethought / atheist writings but had kept it hidden from his daughter lest falling out with the mother. Then the parting comment would have been, “There’s something I should have shared with you but I didn’t want to upset your mother’s religious sensitivities”
      So the aim of preserving domestic calm allowed the disaster of a daughter falling into a deluded cause, hence the tears in parting…if only; Sod’s law.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted January 6, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Loved the Not the Nine O’Clock News link (and I think Pamela Stephenson is hot! – but that’s beside the point)

      “I can’t believe that they didn’t expect Muggerridge and Bish.Southwark to make complete idiots of themselves in the “serious” show. Cleese almost says so himself in the first quadrant I link to.” – at 14 minutes in, yes I saw that – ‘the Bishop and Malcolm Muggeridge are going to come on but it’s not a sketch’
      But they weren’t to know that the Bish and Mugs had missed the first 15 minutes of the screening they saw and therefore assumed that Brian == Jesus and did their nuts, and John Cleese has since said on several occasions that they were dismayed by the tone that the Bish and Mugs took.

      But to take the original point, I’m not at all surprised this appeared on the Beeb – it was the Beeb, after all, that first let Monty Python loose.

      cr

    • MorsGotha
      Posted January 7, 2017 at 3:28 am | Permalink

      Not to forgot Marcus Brigstocke’s rant. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwowbaN1FF4.

      Whilst auntie (the BBC) does tend to back away from getting too involved in a controversy in the news, it definately is not shy in broadcasting potentially offensive comedy.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted January 7, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Hey that was funny. And scathing. He’s obviously an equal-opportunity offence-giver.

        I hadn’t heard of Marcus Brigstocke before but his rants remind me a bit of Jon Oliver’s.

        cr

    • zytigon
      Posted January 9, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      How come the gospel story has pious Chief priests instigate the crucifixion of Jesus even though that is not the exact punishment the Hebrew Bible dictated for blasphemy? If Jesus was concerned that the “righteous” laws of god be upheld then shouldn’t he have demanded that at least he should be stoned to death as the law required if they thought he was guilty of blasphemy, a charge he vigorously denied ?

      “Look it says stoning for blasphemy, can’t you get anything right?” perhaps in the manner of the John Cleese priest character in Life of Brian

      What if the god of love had put the 11th commandment as “Thou shalt not crucify people or use other forms of torture while carrying out capital punishment” ? Then Jesus could have called foul on what the chief priests were doing, “Look, God says you shall not crucify people” I think this shows a distinct lack of foresight by babble god.

      How can people claim the crucifixion was a fulfillment of prophecy ?

      How come none of the other characters in the New Testament complains that Jesus was not killed exactly as stipulated by the law, none of the Pharisees or Sadducees, disciples, St Paul or even god ?

      If stoning was the prescribed punishment for blasphemy then how would Jesus have died without having a bone in his body broken ?

      • zytigon
        Posted January 10, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

        Is there any evidence that the Romans prevented Jews from carrying out stoning ?
        Yet John 8v1-11 has Jesus stop a stoning without warning that it was against Roman law and Acts 7v54-59 has the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem stone Stephen with Paul looking on – no mention of an attempt to hide it from Roman soldiers.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted January 10, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

          Maybe, depending on the local Roman administration, they regarded it as a native custom and didn’t feel impelled to interfere, so long as it didn’t cause a breach of the peace.

          After all, Roman laws were hardly any less savage.

          cr

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted January 11, 2017 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        Expecting internal consistency from a religion? As they say on other fora, “You must be new here!”


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