Showing posts with label Monty Python. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Monty Python. Show all posts

Friday, November 17, 2023

Too Hot to Handle: Nothing to Complain About

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Monty Python’s Eric Idle on their movie Life of Brian:

“Our movie is a kind of parody of a Hollywood biblical epic. And we realized we couldn’t really write about JC, because there’s nothing you can complain about. The man said, you know, ‘Blessed are the poor,’ ‘Feed and help people ...’ There was something more interesting about exploring what followers of a religion do, both to the religion and to the people they follow, and how unhealthy that becomes.”

Tom: Now, if we really wanted to be critical, IC, we could probably carp about Idle misquoting the Sermon on the Mount or being a bit flippant, but I found the point he was inadvertently making here much more interesting, and that is this: a troupe of comedians legendary for fearlessly spoofing everything under the sun drew a line in the sand at trying to make fun of Jesus Christ. And they did it themselves, not out of fear or respect, apparently, or even because of economic considerations, but rather because they came to the conclusion there were no legitimate laughs to be had at Christ’s expense. There really is nothing you can complain about in the life and character of God’s beloved Son.

Immanuel Can: No, indeed. It’s interesting that the Lord always seems to get a reaction nobody else ever gets, isn’t it?

Friday, September 20, 2019

Too Hot to Handle: Nothing to Complain About

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Violence Inherent in the System

Increasingly, we are being told that it is no longer acceptable to discuss things that are plainly taught in the Bible. To dare to subject the ears of the delicate flowers among our family, friends, neighbours and peers to the word of God — not to mention those who might come across our views on the internet or elsewhere — is to engage in an act of abuse.

The current generation of post-secondary students accepts this as inarguable dogma:
“... if the popular Christian notion of abstinence is wrong, we have been mentally and emotionally abusing quite literally millions of people.”
— Student, to Jerry Walls
Richard Dawkins makes it explicit. You’re not only being repressed, you’re being outright damaged:
“But if your whole upbringing, and everything you have ever been told by parents, teachers and priests, has led you to believe, really believe, utterly and completely, that sinners burn in hell ... it is entirely plausible that words could have a more long-lasting and damaging effect than deeds.”
— Richard Dawkins

Sunday, March 30, 2014

All Things Dull and Ugly: Monty Python and the Millennium

In 1848, a song with the title All Things Bright and Beautiful appeared for the first time in Mrs. Cecil Alexander’s Hymns for Little Children. It subsequently became a Christian standard, and you are probably familiar with at least some of the lyrics (and almost surely the general concept), so I won’t include them here.

Also, they are considerably less amusing than the lyrics to the parody version written by British comedian Eric Idle for Monty Python’s Contractual Obligation Album in 1980. I include a couple of verses to give you the general idea:

       “All things dull and ugly
        All creatures short and squat
        All things rude and nasty
        The Lord God made the lot

        Each nasty little hornet
        Each beastly little squid
        Who made the spiky urchin?
        Who made the sharks? He did”

It goes on in much the same vein for four or five stanzas, but you get the picture. You can read the whole thing here if you care to, or if you don’t recall it (it has been nearly 35 years). As a teenager, I thought it was hilarious … until I didn’t.

My point is actually not to bang out a few paragraphs about how the members of Monty Python are (or were) horrible, irreverent human beings on their way to hell. They did, in fact, take more than a few shots at religion, but many of their targets made themselves more than fair game.

No, my interest in this particular ball of snark hurled at the cultural wall is its uncanny accuracy.

You see, they really do a nice job of making Scripture’s point for it, at least on this topic.