Tag Archives: Monty Python

We get letters

“This new learning amazes me, Sir Bedevere. Explain again, how sheep’s bladders may be employed to prevent nonsensical blog comments.”

Spam, as the old Monty Python song reminds us, is ubiquitous – you get it whether you like it or not.  We’re all familiar with the Viagra ads and the dubious promises of freaky sexual encounters that show up in our email inboxes.  The spam you get on blogs is a bit different; I’ve yet to be assured that I can expand my manhood by several inches in only 30 days, or that Prince Nbeke Mbala desperately needs my help in extracting his oil fortune from Lagos, Nigeria, if only I can send him my bank account details and exclusive rights to my firstborn.  Really, the spam you get in the comments is quite dull.  No one is trying to sell me anything, or asking me to click on a weird link.  What if these are genuine comments from lonely people just looking for a connection, cruelly barred from my site by the unfeeling, unsympathetic Akismet?  What if all they want is an answer?  Well, let it never be said that I don’t consider the needs of my fans.  Here we go:

“Omar” writes:

I thought your video was very intgihsful. I’ve been blogging for about a year & just like Missmikela I’ve yet to make any real money. How did you join Glam, were you referred & also who do you recommend for text links.

Hi, Omar, glad you found the video full of intgihs.  I’m pretty sure she told me she was eighteen, but I wasn’t sure what the stuffed elephant was for.  Anyway, I’ve been to Missmikela’s site and quite frankly, with the questionable theories she puts forth about French deconstructionist literature and its relationship to early Marxist writings, I’m not surprised she hasn’t picked up any spare coin.  My work with Glam kind of began the old-fashioned way – I was enjoying a malted in the soda shop when the agent walked in, handed me a card and asked if I’d done any modeling.  The shabby furniture in the office should have been my first clue, but sometimes it’s just nice to be noticed.  Besides, you can barely tell it’s me in the pictures.  Thanks for writing!

“Gabriela” says:

So much good stuff! Can’t wait for these. I love the new extra weapons some of them come with. I was gttieng tired of the previous ones, so many already and all the same ones. These have more of a mix of weapons.Aside from that, so many great figures, even the repacks. Don’t care much for the game though.

Hey there Gabriela, I know, I was just saying the other day that when I really need to kill something it’s good to be able to choose between the rocket-propelled Semtex grenades and the super-high-velocity repeating bolt action rifles.  A week ago some guy in the mall was looking at me funny and I thought to myself, “if only I had my depleted uranium shell crossbow, I’d show him a thing or two.”  I agree, I much preferred the first version of the game where the princess was in the other castle and there were only twenty-six mushrooms to jump on while avoiding the giant monkey.  Appreciate your thoughts!

“Edinaldo” opines:

First, I’ll give you an example for me. I have a nomarl blood sugar reading of 72 and the nomarl should be 80 120. Sometimes, our bodies can get use to something and that can be our nomarl. As for your situation 90/47 is a very low blood pressure. The bottom is low and the top isn’t to bad. However, you do not want them running close to each other because of risk of stroke or pass out. The nomarl reading for blood pressure is 120/80. So, if you take that into account your blood pressure is moderately low but your body could be use to it.There is no reason for concern.

Wow!  Thanks for the reassurance, Doctor Edinaldo.  Are you the guy from that weirdly compelling telenovela?  I was a little worried after eating that triple cheeseburger with the fried chicken bun and the barbeque sauce when I started feeling palpitations in my thigh.  The weird thing was I was running a half-marathon at the time.  But as long as I increase my daily ice cream intake and follow it with a few good shots of straight vodka at bedtime, I should be able to get this rash under control.  The twitching and night sweats should stop shortly thereafter.  Have a great day!

And finally, from the very cranky “Vasile”:

Well What do you think? It’s not rocket siccnee. I was complimenting you. Where in that sentence did I say, It sucked and was a bad movie ? I said that I remember the good old days using Intel Play and that it couldn’t have been any better with the amount of technology Intel Play provides. Now this I don’t get: Are you a kid or a teenager or what?

I understand where you’re coming from, my friend.  There were script problems from day one and honestly, when you’re dealing with a diva like Marjoe Gortner it’s tough to keep the big picture in perspective.  I’ve never been a fan of Intel Play – I thought their first album showed potential but their misguided foray into Turkish hip-hop was a load of pretentious tripe, and what the hell was with that eighteen-minute timpani solo on “Who Loves a Sailor Then”?  I dig a good set of kettle drums as much as the next guy, but come one, even artistically speaking a little goes a long way.  In answer to your next question, yes, I may come off sounding like a guy in his thirties but I am in fact just on the high side of seven, and I am mocked on the playground constantly for my references to Proust and Aeschylus, but then again, at least I don’t wipe my nose with my sleeve very much anymore.  All the best!

Hat tip to East Bay Writer who publishes her blog spam as a regular (and hilarious) feature.

Awesome Albums 2: All Things Must Pass

In the mind of the spiritual man, God and the Father are interchangeable.  Questions of the nature and meaning of our existence are often posed to both the visible parent and the unseen creator; or, if the parent has passed, to both as one.  These questions are what drive us to grow, to pursue, to create, even if we know, instinctively, that the answers will remain forever elusive.  Questions are a great gift; the capacity to ask, to be curious, is the beginning of the journey to become greater than we are.  All Things Must Pass, George Harrison’s 1971 solo debut, is an album full of questions – questions, perhaps, that he had never felt comfortable asking in the company of John, Paul and Ringo.  The songs contained within are not the boy George who complained about the government on “Taxman,” or who idolized Pattie Boyd in “Something.”  These are the cries of a man deeply in tune with his spiritual nature, who is looking both above and within for the answer, and challenging the rest of us to do the same.  George Harrison’s gift was the ability to blend the spiritual with the spirit of rock and roll, and as hard as the album rocks from track to track, even couched beneath producer Phil Spector’s reverb-drenched Wall of Sound, the thread of the pilgrim remains potent and strong – the road ahead clean and clear.  Rarely has a journey inside a man’s soul ever sounded so good.

Monty Python alumnus Terry Gilliam, interviewed for the Concert for George film that documented a tribute put on by Harrison’s best friends one year after his death, described with glee the show’s juxtaposition of Indian ragas and the surviving Pythons’ rendition of “Sit On My Face,” calling it a perfect reflection of the heights and depths of George’s tastes.  I’ve written about my fascination with the contradiction in the human heart, and George Harrison is another shining example – a retiring, quiet soul most at home working in the garden who nonetheless chose a career that made him one of the most famous men in the world.  Gardens are a potent metaphor for George’s solo career; his songs can almost be thought of as seeds of thought he plants in your mind, that grow with care and attention each time you give them a listen.  From the gorgeous “I’d Have You Anytime,” his collaboration with Bob Dylan that opens the album, the beseeching mantra of “My Sweet Lord,” the electronic wail of “Wah-Wah,” the gently cautionary “Beware of Darkness” and the lush title track to name but a few, the music here is deep, layered and elegant.  “Stripped-down,” a favourite label among rock critics, does not apply here – some of the tracks even verge on operatic.  But that is only because of the sheer substance in each.  The album has been described elsewhere as an outpouring of material that George had been unable to showcase in his time with the Beatles because of the wattage of the Lennon-McCartney catalogue – an Old Faithful eruption of creativity, if you will.  Yet the songs are polished and crafted with a great deal of care, George having recruited many good friends, the best in their game (including Eric Clapton) to assist him in preparing his long-gestating message to the world.

John Lennon asserted that all you need is love.  George Harrison agrees, but he views love differently.  To George, the love between a man and his god is just as important as the love between a man and his partner, while never suggesting that one should exceed the other.  “Awaiting On You All,” while superficially a rocking celebration of the perceived power of mantra, dares the listener to break free of the ritualistic trappings of religion and experience the purity of untethered spiritual love.  You come to realize as the album draws to a close that the questions George has been asking throughout are not necessarily directed at God, or a father – but at you.  Of course he still has doubt – “My Sweet Lord” and “Hear Me Lord” are cries of faith in crisis – but George is forcing you to confront your own as well.  In “Run of the Mill,” he sings that “With no one but yourself to be offended, it’s you that decides.”  He can’t answer the question for you, all he knows for certain is that you should be asking it.

Paul McCartney once said that one of the things he was proudest of about the Beatles was that their music was positive; that it never called for anger or violence, but rather repeated, like a mantra, the need for and the power of love.  George Harrison ran with the torch following the split of the Fab Four, singing of the essence of love on a much more philosophical plane.  Throughout his life, George looked for answers in India, in the humor of the Pythons, and in the very fabric of creativity.  Yet he was aware of the transitory nature of existence, that seasons are forever changing, that the world remains in motion, and for him, it was a source of optimism.  “All Things Must Pass” says that “it’s not always gonna be this grey.”  Indeed, we may not find all our answers in this life.  The Greek philosopher Zeno postulated a theory of motion whereby one crosses a distance with each step exactly half the span of the step before, so that even though you never arrive at your destination, you are always moving forward towards it.  That was the life and career of George Harrison, forever questioning and somehow being okay with not ever truly learning what it’s all about – the sort of ego-free humility before the wonders of the universe that marks the purest, the most transcendent of souls:  the poets.