Wednesday, December 20, 2006

In the Python's grip

What image best captures the meaning of Man's existence?

A haggard, Crusoe-like figure, staggers out of the wilderness. His clothes are tattered, his breathing ragged, his long beard tangled and dirty. It is clear that he is exhausted. His feet can barely carry him, yet he knows his task is urgent, and so he stumbles and falls, crawls his way to where we stand waiting, out of breath by the time he arrives. With a final, heroic burst of effort, he delivers the message he has been sent with, then collapses to the ground.

And what does he have to say for himself, this Kafka-esque messenger? His message is one word long. It's "It's". Yes, that's right. I, t, apostrophe, s. It's.

It's his only line.


People will tell you that buying yourself Christmas presents is just sad. This may be true, but it has the important advantage of ensuring that you get something that you really want. Like this set of the Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus episodes that I just had delivered to me this morning. Yup. 1749 minutes of M/s. Palin, Chapman, Cleese, Gilliam, Idle and Jones all just a press of the play button away.

So, what are you doing for Christmas?


The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Buying Christmas gifts for oneself is not sad. It is infinitely wise. One saves on hours spent practicing 'Oh I love that! Really I do!' and waiting in serpentine exchange counter queues. Why just Christmas? I treat myself on my birthday and anniversary too. After I tell everyone else (and by that I mean my husband) what I want.

km said...

"Dinsdale! DINSDALE!!"

Aishwarya said...

So, what are you doing for Christmas?

Being consumed with envy.

It burnss, preciouss!

Tabula Rasa said...

um, library fell through?

Cheshire Cat said...

I noticed the omission of Palin from your list. Why, why? (Or is it that you felt that the Crusoe-like Kafkaesque messenger had served enough?) The interactions between him and Cleese are the highlight of the show. And those parodies of talking heads - galumptious

How far British comedy is from the American version. Somehow hard to imagine jokes about existentialism on Saturday Night Live...

Falstaff said...

shoe-fiend: True. Though I don't usually bother to pretend (I'm a big believer in destructive feedback), and I'm way too lazy to actually go exchange things. I just leave them laying about until they get thrown out.

km: Yes, exactly.

aishwarya: My sympathies. Maybe you could try touching your nose with your tongue instead.

tr: a) the library doesn't have the full set and b) you can only issue four DVDs at a time. Obviously I have about 60 books issued out from the library, 57 of which are earmarked for reading over the Christmas break (as if), but that's a whole other story.

cat: Oops! An unintentional oversight that. All corrected now.

And yes, I agree. I have a very clear memory of when I first fell in love with the flying circus. It was at the point where John Cleese, covering the Picasso on a bicycle event suddenly launches into a rapid-fire sports commentary describing the relative standing of a whole slew of modern painters. Any program that could turn the history of 20th century art into a sporting event is worth worshipping in my books.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same set that has the German episode at the end?