The Way of the World?

Much to my mother’s chagrin, I discovered Monty Python’s Flying Circus when I was in high school. My college friends were all familiar with the show, and could still quote sketches and bits from different TV episodes and movies. The group hit their peak with Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), and Life of Brian (1979), which is an excellent satire of almost every shade of religious belief. The projected reunion of the living cast members is something I will have to check out.

What makes it relevant for me is how well some of their material holds up, and how well it reflects some realities today. For example:

The Insurance Sketch isn’t just a mirror to dealing with these companies, but some governmental agencies as well.  How often do we deal with people whose motto seems to be “We don’t care because we don’t have to” ?  How often are we told we’ve made an irrevocable choice or about fine print after the fact?

The Architect Sketch is stunning how well it shows some attitudes toward customers in a seller’s market.  It’s frightening how often our non-recreational plans rely on good weather or good luck to work, especially when we know the weather and/or luck won’t always be good.

The Interview Sketch presents an interesting attitude toward labor in general.  This is similar to oral examinations in grad school.  I wonder how much of this resembles job hunting today.

What frightens me today in 2014 is how these go beyond parody and into reality. How much these skits reflect what’s happening now is probably a huge danger signal. After all, real life really shouldn’t look much like Monty Python, although we should always look on the bright side of life.


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