Tag Archive: monty python


yesterday tbV and now my friend as well, brian watson, dropped in for a visit… from South Africa, brian is in the middle of doing his PHD in Arizona in stuff you would have to hear to not really understand [altho solar power and keeping particles the right distance from each other and a billionth of a meter thin wire all enter into it] and it was great to get to see him.

he is actually spending most of the weekend with a friend of his in NYC so trained his way through to hang with us from yesterday afternoon and then left eeearly this morning…

what was really cool was that in the village house over a snack and then later on the train and then outside Mad Mex bar and then on the train and then during and after the potluck we had a number of significant conversations. at least a week’s worth altho probly closer to a month or a year for a lot of people i know.

real talk. about real things. life changing things. frustration with wanting church to get it a little bit closer to God’s way things. relationship things. community things.

[and actually we did touch on sport and movies and food in there but the point being that we spent so little time together – relatively – and yet the conversation was so rich]

i hesitate to finish with a challenge cos i suspect the kind of people who read this blog are the kind of people for whom rich conversations are the norm – not necessarily every one, but at least sometimes, and preferably often. and so maybe the challenge is more about challenging the people you know who can get through a year or a month or a week’s worth of conversations and only have dealt with the latest or rehashed information about food, sport and movies.

our time with brian left us feeling like we’d grown a bit and hopefully he did as well. we got stuff to think about and hopefully gave some. as a result of some of the talk that happened things will probably change, maybe in small ways, but maybe later in larger ones.

i still want to be able to quote Monty Python and get amped when we thrash the Aussies in the coming cricket test match and defend Michael Schumacher’s comeback [give him a car, Ross!] and do weird and silly voices with Monkman and get amped for coffee and chocolate and mashed potato… but at the same time i want to grapple with the problem of the drug dealers on our doorstep and try to figure out how to do community living better with the people we live with, and discover how Jesus and His teaching translates to the Puerto Rican people who live across the road from us and figure out how to improve the aft6er school homework program and formulate an opinion on Occupy Philly and and and…

let’s practice speaking more life, more meaningfully and more real. ly.

so yesterday was one of those fun days when i posted what i thort was a random thort on some global happening and turns out it wasn’t…

not that i am new to this or very much surprised – from not joining the save the orangutang group on facebook which eventually [after much patient messaging and reasoning and trying to be nice] scored Justine from Australia the prize of being the first person i had to block on Facebook [she was seriously stalking me and commenting on every single thing i did on how i had time to change my status but not to save the orangutangs] to wondering if Rob Bell maybe had a point with some of his questions [altho to be honest, this debate just got long and dreary, I can’t remember being personally attacked for it] to not making a big push to save the World of Birds [because christians apparently hate animals and proved it once again] to promoting two township cyclists riding the Epic [because it’s such an expensive race, can’t they ride the Argus and what about the bird people?] to writing about moving to the Simple Way in Philadelphia [cos we have poor people here, how dare you help poor people there] i have been bombarded by a group of people [different every time strangely enough] who have taken up the cause of telling me what a terrible person i am and what i can or can not write on my blog.

yesterday it turned out that i have to love the royal wedding [because one day somehow those two people who got married are going to be my king and queen and will i respect them then? – wrote the south african boy from stellenbosch, south africa] but it is okay if i don’t love sport [cos it’s boring and stupid and real friends do outdoor things]

all of these things remind me of one of my favourite monty python skits from the flying circus series [flip, am i allowed to love british comedy?] which is where a person played by graham chapman walks into the room and announces “there’s trouble at the mill” – when his posh ladyfriend asks him a bunch of questions he eventually gets flustered and says “i was just told to come in here and say there’s trouble at the mill. i didn’t expect a kind of spanish inquisition” – the doors burst open, there is a musical fanfare and three red cardinals come in announcing “Noooooooo-body expects the spanish inquisition. our weapon is fear, that’s all fear and surprise. our TWO weapons are fear, surprise and a ruthless efficiency to the pope, our THREE…” and so on until he changes it to, “Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as…” – ah you should just go and watch it here.

so some of what i have learned from these various blogs is the following:

[1] you have to like what i like and so much so that you must support it and if you don’t like it then keep it to yourself and don’t you dare mention that you don’t like it – that will somehow lead to what i like being irreparably damaged forever somehow

[2] if i disagree with what your blog is about i will tell you so, many times, and rush as quickly as i can to making it a personal attack on you, what you like, who you spend time with and what you spend time doing, or don’t

[3] when you write about positive things like creating better relationships or making a difference to the poor i will be very, very quiet because it is a lot harder for me to rant on those things and i prefer the easy targets

[4] some people, like Caryn and Brits, come around and we move to a place of being able to interact quite positively and be mutual encouragers which is why i always will try to take the time to reason and explain and love and try and be patient and engage…

and [5] my friends rock! as someone who likes to believe that i don’t get affected much by what people say and think about me [which is true to a huge extent] i do realise that at the end of another long day of slogging it out with people i don’t know, that a kind comment from Cara or my extended family members or Kleinfrans or Sammi and a bunch of other people who i know and love [or a nice defence/take on by my beautiful wife Val] let’s me realise that actually a barrage does tend to wear one down – so thank you friends and family for your comments when they have come, cos they have brought life and encouragement and strength and helped me to carry on.

and to close off with words from another amazing scene, “Listen, don’t mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right.” [Basil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers, The Germans]

where ‘p’ is for ‘pain’

there are three kinds of people in the world – those who are obsessed with the royal wedding happening in the uk today between william and kate and those who aren’t [the third group being those fortunate enough to have no clue that it is happening, who i assume are the poor and marginalised because if you have a tv or computer you probably cannot avoid having had it thrust before your face numerously]

and if it’s you’re thing and you’re obsessed with it then good for you, well maybe not if you’re obsessed cos then you should go seek help, but if you’re interested and want to watch and stuff, you have my blessing, just do it in the other room, please… i, however, fit into the second category…

people in britain being obsessed i can understand a little bit, but south africans taking the day off work to have scone and champagne parties a lot less so… but again, if that’s your thing and you’re going to enjoy it, enjoy it large…

but for all those who don’t and aren’t, here is a clip worth visiting as the one kind of royalty the uk has brought us which i have appreciated – it’s one of my favourite scenes from monty python’s ‘the quest for the holy grail’ and especially significant this year for me contains the line, “I’m 37, I’m not old” so check it out.

then, if you finished that and are still trying to avoid hearing about which way they swirled the cream on the royal scones [not a metaphor] you can take a look at this one which contains my favourite line of the movie and maybe of all time, even though it has nothing to do with royalty…

“she turned me into a newt.”
[awkward silence]
“i got better.”

it’s my birthday today, and i AM 37 (i know, shock horror gasp, no ways, whatever) but i thort it would be a great day to post one of the greatest conversations from Monty Python’s ‘The Quest for the Holy Grail’ that i finally relate to…

[clop clop]
ARTHUR: Old woman!
DENNIS: Man!
ARTHUR: Old Man, sorry. What knight live in that castle over there?
DENNIS: I’m thirty seven.
ARTHUR: What?
DENNIS: I’m thirty seven — I’m not old!
ARTHUR: Well, I can’t just call you `Man’.
DENNIS: Well, you could say `Dennis’.
ARTHUR: Well, I didn’t know you were called `Dennis.’
DENNIS: Well, you didn’t bother to find out, did you?
ARTHUR: I did say sorry about the `old woman,’ but from the behind
you looked–
DENNIS: What I object to is you automatically treat me like an inferior!
ARTHUR: Well, I AM king…
DENNIS: Oh king, eh, very nice. An’ how’d you get that, eh? By
exploitin’ the workers — by ‘angin’ on to outdated imperialist dogma
which perpetuates the economic an’ social differences in our society!
If there’s ever going to be any progress–
WOMAN: Dennis, there’s some lovely filth down here. Oh — how d’you do?
ARTHUR: How do you do, good lady. I am Arthur, King of the Britons.
Who’s castle is that?
WOMAN: King of the who?
ARTHUR: The Britons.
WOMAN: Who are the Britons?
ARTHUR: Well, we all are. we’re all Britons and I am your king.
WOMAN: I didn’t know we had a king. I thought we were an autonomous
collective.
DENNIS: You’re fooling yourself. We’re living in a dictatorship.
A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes–
WOMAN: Oh there you go, bringing class into it again.
DENNIS: That’s what it’s all about if only people would–
ARTHUR: Please, please good people. I am in haste. Who lives
in that castle?
WOMAN: No one live there.
ARTHUR: Then who is your lord?
WOMAN: We don’t have a lord.
ARTHUR: What?
DENNIS: I told you. We’re an anarcho-syndicalist commune. We take
it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week.
ARTHUR: Yes.
DENNIS: But all the decision of that officer have to be ratified
at a special biweekly meeting.
ARTHUR: Yes, I see.
DENNIS: By a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs,–
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: –but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more–
ARTHUR: Be quiet! I order you to be quiet!
WOMAN: Order, eh — who does he think he is?
ARTHUR: I am your king!
WOMAN: Well, I didn’t vote for you.
ARTHUR: You don’t vote for kings.
WOMAN: Well, ‘ow did you become king then?
ARTHUR: The Lady of the Lake,
[angels sing]
her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur
from the bosom of the water signifying by Divine Providence that I,
Arthur, was to carry Excalibur.
[singing stops]
That is why I am your king!
DENNIS: Listen — strange women lying in ponds distributing swords
is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power
derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical
aquatic ceremony.
ARTHUR: Be quiet!
DENNIS: Well you can’t expect to wield supreme executive power
just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: I mean, if I went around sayin’ I was an empereror just
because some moistened bint had lobbed a scimitar at me they’d
put me away!
ARTHUR: Shut up! Will you shut up!
DENNIS: Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
ARTHUR: Shut up!
DENNIS: Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system!
HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
ARTHUR: Bloody peasant!
DENNIS: Oh, what a give away. Did you here that, did you here that,
eh? That’s what I’m on about — did you see him repressing me,
you saw it didn’t you?

[courtesy of http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mphg/mphg.htm%5D

there is a great monty python skit about spam – you really have to watch it (like here for example) to get the full effect of the singing…

Scene: A cafe. One table is occupied by a group of Vikings wearing horned helmets. Whenever the word “spam” is repeated, they begin singing and/or chanting. A man and his wife enter. The man is played by Eric Idle, the wife is played by Graham Chapman (in drag), and the waitress is played by Terry Jones, also in drag.

Man: You sit here, dear.

Wife: All right.

Man: Morning!

Waitress: Morning!
Man: Well, what’ve you got?

Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam…

Waitress: …spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam…

Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

Waitress: …or Lobster Thermidor a Crevette with a mornay sauce served in a Provencale manner with shallots and aubergines garnished with truffle pate, brandy and with a fried egg on top and spam.

Wife: Have you got anything without spam?

Waitress: Well, there’s spam egg sausage and spam, that’s not got much spam in it.

Wife: I don’t want ANY spam!

Man: Why can’t she have egg bacon spam and sausage?

Wife: THAT’S got spam in it!

Man: Hasn’t got as much spam in it as spam egg sausage and spam, has it?

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam… (Crescendo through next few lines…)

Wife: Could you do the egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam then?

Waitress: Urgghh!

Wife: What do you mean ‘Urgghh’? I don’t like spam!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!

Vikings: Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up! (Vikings stop) Bloody Vikings! You can’t have egg bacon spam and sausage without the spam.

Wife: I don’t like spam!

Man: Sshh, dear, don’t cause a fuss. I’ll have your spam. I love it. I’m having spam spam spam spam spam spam spam beaked beans spam spam spam and spam!

Vikings: Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Waitress: Shut up!! Baked beans are off.

Man: Well could I have her spam instead of the baked beans then?

Waitress: You mean spam spam spam spam spam spam… (but it is too late and the Vikings drown her words)

Vikings: (Singing elaborately…) Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam! Spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam spa-a-a-a-a-am spam. Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam! Spam spam spam spam!

for the sake of the chores part ii

ah bless (as they would say in the englandited kingdom)

it seems the thing about not being able to read tone from an email (so don’t ever have an argument via email – go live, really – meaning received quickly becomes not meaning sent) applies to blogs too

yesterday’s bermuda time triangle in marriage thort which i had intended as a light-hearted whimsical tongue-in-cheek adrian mole/adrian plass type “where’s-the-time” montage was interpreted as a serious cry of anguish which was ripping my marriage asunder and in the words of monty python, “i didn’t expect a kind of spanish inquisiti…”

“NOOOOOOOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!! OUR CHIEF WEAPON IS FEAR, THAT’S ALL, FEAR AND SURPRISE… OUR TWO, OUR TWO MAIN WEAPONS ARE FEAR, SURPRISE, AND A RUTHLESS EFFICIENCY OUR THREE, THREE MAIN WEAPONS ARE FEAR, SURPRISE, RUTHLESS EFFICIENCY, AND AN ALMOST FANATICAL DEVOTION TO THE POPE… AH. AMONGST OUR WEAPONRY ARE SUCH DIVERSE ELEMENTS AS… I’LL COME IN AGAIN.”

or something. which did bring in a lot of well-meaning-intentioned explanationalisms on why dishwashers are the way to go (“saved my marriage” – anon) which is great and i really appreciate all the comments and the love and all of that, but i really was just trying to lightly comment on a phenomena and see if anyone else newly married had noticed the same – i think figuring out the time/space continuum together is an amazing part of marriage which will ‘save my marriage’ as long as we keep doing it together

[all that and our kitchen really doesn’t have space for a dishwasher so we’d really have to move if our marriage needed saving that much which fortunately at the mo, it doesn’t]

thankx everyone. especially you python!

so as part of a pretty incredible weekend up in the kwazulu of natal i managed to get some coffee time with john ellis (formerly of tree63 and ‘john ellis has hung up his cross and become a giant piece of plasticine’ fame) to hear his version of where he is at and whether he still loves Jesus (he does, whoops i hope that wasn’t one of the ‘between you and me’ moments we shared, john?) and what the flippery flop is going on in these parts…

i left having had coffee with a new friend (well i think i did, or having spent time with a reeeeally good actor – aw man he’s probly going to post something on his blog saying i just used time with him to get better blog hits…oh wait, which in turn will give me better blog hits… hee hee win-win, go for it you thespian!) and someone who is a lot on a lot of the pages i find myself on in terms of God, good christian books and Monty Python/Blackadder humour (altho someone do him a favour and buy him a copy of Black Books so can at least update a little, sheesh – oh wait he Mighty Booshed… never mind, as you were) which let’s face it, are among the most important things in life… ‘she turned me into a newt… i got better!’ and all

in fact twice when i mentioned the two books that had changed my life asking him if he’d heard of them his response was ‘that book changed my life’

is john ellis still a christian? you know what? ask him yourself. i’m pretty sure i know the answer to that question and i look forward to many more conversations and hangings (of the caffeine type not the christian lynch mob) with him when we happen to be in the same place and maybe he’ll even one day include a song about No_bob on one of his albums (okay, maybe not THAT close!) but the point is i did not meet jon to interview him for a magazine or a blog and i don’t think it’s particularly fair on him for me to talk about all the stuff we talked about (and hope i haven’t already said too much, john?) and i don’t really want to – i was just glad for the opportunity to spend some time speaking to someone with a brain, who thinks, and loves it that the place where he is in right now is getting other people to think, and has a sly mischievous sense of humour which creeps in and out of his regular conversation

i do think that sometimes the judging of a person, for whatever reason and in whatever way, says more about the person judging than the person being judged and that Jesus had a bit to say on people with planks sticking out of their face muttering comments about the person in front of them cleaning the dust speck off of their contact lens…

tx john for a treemendous time (no no no PLEASE TELL ME I DIDN’T JUST WRITE THAT!)

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