Media Medium
6 August 2001


Beware the Mercurial trickster

Like all young-spirited comics, Chris Morris may think he will
always have another trick up his sleeve but he is about to
embark on his astrological mid-life crisis

Chris Morris leaves you foxed, and so does his horoscope. Its multi-layered planetary patterns are contradictory, subtle and ambivalent, and it is difficult to know what line to take. Can we even believe that this is his 'real' birthdate (stated as June 15 1962)? The one thing an astrologer is fairly sure of is that we are dealing with a media-parodies-media Gemini Twin.

Morris fulfils perfectly the archetypal Gemini function of splitting, dividing and creating arguments. Does his satire have " a real sense of social purpose?" (Michael Jackson). Or is it, as child protection minister Beverley Hughes would have it, " unspeakably sick"? Gemini revels in such either-or splits. The sign is ruled by unpinnable, duplex Mercury, and if we know anything about this amoral trickster god, it is that coming down on either side misses the point:

"To be, or not to be - that is the question. (Shakespeare, Hamlet). To be, or not to be - that is the answer. (Mercury)" - [Pam Tyler, 'Mercury'].

The Chris Morris brand of Gemini humour is, in an important sense, pointless. There is no other reason for it than the game itself, pulling tricks on authority, and all the more fun when that authority is pompous and hypocritical. The most famous story of Mercury-Hermes shows him stealing cattle, reversing the direction of the hoof prints so as to baffle those in pursuit.

So Hermes can always steal a laugh but his tricks bring a calling to account. Saturn opposed Pluto on August 5, and will do so again in November, threatening abysmal consequences for various aspects of media. The Brass Eye paedophile spoof came right on cue as uptight Saturn passed over Chris Morris' Mercury, close to this big planetary configuration. This connection suggests that Brass Eye will be a catalyst for covert attempts at censorship in the current climate. With his own Saturn strong, Morris has a canny instinct of where the boundary lies and the programme stopped just short of the abyss, allowing him to successfully he blow the lid off the journalistic hypocrisy around this taboo subject.

Taboos and sexual secrets bring us in to Scorpio territory, and with his Scorpio Moon, this communicative Gemini can't help but break taboos. The Scorpio Moon always creates a bit of a stink, and it helped to sink the political ambitions of another Gemini- Sun, Scorpio-Moon combination, Michael Portillo. Unlike Portillo, however, Chris Morris has played this combination to the hilt.

Peeling the top layer off Chris Morris' horoscope reveals another planetary pattern, a brutal and cruel Mars in Taurus, opposite Neptune, planet of dupe and hype. The textbooks go to town on this one. According to astrologer Charles Carter, "there may be a vindictive, bullying, unscrupulous disposition, and cunning methods of business." All those poor celebrities, conned into Brass Eye's drugs and cake, sex and nonce-sense.

In addition, Carter suggests that a person with these planets, " though himself honourable and clean-living, may be brought into contact with the objectionable sides of life - indeed, it is certain that this will be the case. For example, unscrupulous money-lenders, cheats, share-pushers, persons addicted to sexual irregularities, drug-takers or vendors, coarse-minded and foul- mouthed persons, bullies, dishonest bankrupts, courtesans, drunkards and so forth. He should avoid such elements most strictly or he may learn that one does not touch pitch without defilement. "

Like all young-spirited, Mercurial funny-men, Morris may think he will always have another trick up his sleeve, but he is about to embark on his astrological mid-life crisis. His most eventful year in the near future is 2003 when argumentative Mars pushes his luck and dangerously provokes thunderbolts from Jupiter. That's when this trickster will need all his Mercurial magic because Jupiter, symbol of the law itself, is the one god that you just don't mess with.

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