Friday, December 31, 2010


“Never be rude to an Arab, an Israeli, or Saudi, or Jew. Never be rude to an Irishman, no matter what you do” go the lyrics to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus ditty lampooning our political correctness. Yet for all its crassness and seeming insensitivity it does have a message for this New Year.

While the ditty sinks deeper in being downright offensive by hectoring us to “Never poke fun at a Nigger, a Spick, a Wop or a Kraut. And never put down….” it ends in a catastrophic explosion, “kaboom”. Keep on doing what we are now doing, denigrating all that is not “us”, and we will end up with an explosion that will destroy us all.

For all of its political incorrectness, Monty’s Circus preaches tolerance albeit with puerile humor. The Circus, so aptly named, goes on to note that “there are Jews in the world, there are Buddhists, there are Hindus and there are Mormons and then there are those that follow Mohammud [sic], but I’ve never been one of them” before staunchly proclaiming “I’m a Roman Catholic”. By explicitly naming the world’s many religions Monty Python has tacitly given them recognition and their just and proper due.

Tolerance and understanding is what we need in this New Year. If we learn to leaven tolerance with puerile humor and remember that “the world today seems absolutely crackers, with nuclear bombs to blow us all sky high, there are fools and idiots sitting on the trigger. It’s depressing and it’s senseless, and that’s why…” we should all sing Monty Python’s Gospel of Tolerance, with all of its irreverent wit and wisdom.

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