Thursday, February 5, 2015

Brian is not the Messiah

Someone, not a robot, seems to believe I have a significant dearth of crucifixions on this site. He (or she) seems to have ignored the point of this blog. Every post, every paragraph, every sentence, and yes, every word documents one or another kind of crucifixion that makes up my daily life.

But I concede - one might mistake the soon to be copyrighted tagline, Where every day is a crucifixion, as a promise for daily carnage. I can't keep up with that kind of demand on my schedule - I'm too busy living a life full of woe. So, instead, I offer you this cop-out. I try to avoid video links in my posts - they are too easy. Too much like cheating - but this seems so perfect for the occasion.

What a wonderful movie.

A lot of memories are stirred up when I think of this movie.

And here, dear not a robot, you may want to stop reading because I'm afraid I am about to subject all of my wonderful, gentle readers (all three of you) to that effluvium from my brain which you find so annoying.

The first memory that jumps into the forefront of my predictable mind is always one particular moment in the movie. That moment where everything suddenly goes sideways. I'm talking about the scene in which Brian (not the messiah), is being chased by Roman Centurions up a tightly enclosed spiral staircase, heading (obviously) for the top room of a tower. Suddenly he reaches the zenith of his climb, and . . . steps off the top of the unfinished staircase to plummet (obviously) to his death (obviously).

That's when a ridiculous spaceship that would look more comfortable on the cover of the Yellow Submarine than the airspace of 33BC Jerusalem swoops down just in time for Brian to land in the backseat, avoiding death, and capture.

As a 16 year old geek I loved Monty Python, but I was not prepared for this twist and found myself laughing so hard that I folded over in pain, tears of laughter springing from my eyes as I rolled, actually rolled, on the floor of the Inwood Theater. This was fucking hilarious. It still is.

No more video clips, I promise.

Anyhow, I don't think I've ever laughed that hard at a movie - before or since - so it's not surprising that that is one of the first memories that comes to mind when someone mentions the Life of Brian.

For some reason the next thing I think of is not about the politics of my HS newspaper (I'll get to that soon enough). Instead, I remember my all-time favorite professor in college. One of the reasons he was my favorite professor was the simple fact that I understood him when no one else seemed to have a clue. He was a Marxist with obvious Jesuit training that would make the kind of jokes that I understood immediately. And I would laugh. And no one else in the room knew what the hell was so funny.

He's the guy that told me, "How do you make an agnostic? Send him to parochial school." Or (and he told this joke on the very first day of my first class with him), "The hardest part of getting AIDS is trying to convince your parents you're from Haiti."

Well, he would go on these rants that would start with Richard Nixon, take a detour through the Jesuit order and end up with a Monty Python joke about the Inquisition. He was that kind of a professor. And I was the only one laughing (at least in the poli-sci intro course) because Missouri had such a poor school system (or so I thought).

Anyhow, this is all just fodder and refuse, the effluvium of my brain, one might say, as pre-amble to the memory of hearing Patrick Peritore say,
The Life of Brian is not about religion. It is not about beliefs or the Catholic Church. It is about Politics. In fact it is the best movie about politics ever made.
And, after watching it several times, I have to agree with him.

There are two other very important memories I have connected to The Life of Brian. They are both dear to my heart, and involve dead people.

And I will return shortly to share those memories with all of you.

So, be patient, gentle readers, be patient.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a robot approves of this post. Now we're getting somewhere, and a charming ditty as well.

Still not a robot.