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The Life O’Brien

Imagine the hilarity as an ordinary wee bigoted hypocrite from Ballycastle keeps getting mistaken for a religious and spiritual leader.

The plot is not without controversy. The scene where O’Brien gets mauled by an elderly German Shepherd on the tip of an iceberg has been described as “a grotesque subversion”

He’s not a Cardinal! He’s a Very Naughty Boy!


Photo: Bigus Dickus (Rome)

Photo actually from politicus


Rising Above the Mundane? Pure Murdo!

The current schism in Scottish Conservatism is reminiscent of the way that wee ultra left wing parties form, fall out and fragment.

Take David Mundane Mundell for instance. This blog doesn’t go in much for Ad Hominem, but in Mundane’s case I’ll make an exception.

The man is a dullard.

If you can imagine the most boring and thick man in a suit you have ever encountered, perhaps a salesman for some obscure dental device or pile cream, overdosed on mogadon, then you can begin to appreciate the level of this guy’s charisma, intelligence and political savvy. Don’t believe me?

Then there’s Murdo Fraser, who in his campaign to lead the Scottish Tories wants to change their name to something modern and snappy that will appeal to the kids.

Anyway Murdo wisely avoided Mundane’s speech at the conference yesterday choosing instead to go in at the end and assist party activists in putting the audience each into the recovery position as they emerged from their comas.

If Murdo Fraser does win the leadership contest, then I’m sure there will be much fun in the media and blogosphere in speculating what the new name will be.

If I were a marketing bod, I’d rename them as Hector. Vote Hector. Heck lets vote Tory – Hector – subliminal isn’t it?

In the meantime, this may be the first time this clip has been used in connection with a right of centre party.

Don’t think it’ll be the last!

The End of Free Speech?

Andy Gray and Richard Keys possibly inhabit a world which hasn’t moved on much from a kind of Bernard Manning/Jim Davidson circa 1975 axis. I wouldn’t have said the kind of things they said the other day and nor do I approve of them. However the remarks they came away with were obviously meant as a joke, no matter how tasteless that joke was. Gray’s behaviour towards the young female TV presenter in the clip I posted was boorish and ignorant. Again the eejit thought it was funny and the woman (Charlotte?) sent him a disdainful look which silently (and correctly) suggested ‘You sad pathetic individual’.

In the grand scheme of things these incidents were wrong but dare I say it, were no big deal.

I’m baffled though. I had a chat yesterday with a pal of mine who defended Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand at the time of ‘Sachsgate’. I thought their leaving the remarks they did on a voicemail and broadcasting it to millions was akin to walking over to someone in a restaurant and gobbing on their meal.

My friend who defended them at the time thought it was quite correct for Gray and Keys to be sacked when their tasteless but private remarks were overheard.Yet he continues to defend Ross and Brand for a very personal verbal attack on an old man and his granddaughter which was quite deliberately broadcast to an audience of millions.

Where are we as a society when a broadcaster can show  fully scripted and pre recorded shows containing material which mocks disability and goodness knows how many other discriminatory subjects with impunity? and yet will not tolerate an overheard private conversation?

Maybe the thought police have the answer.

Footnote: On last night’s Question Time, Edwna Currie came away with the following:

“I cheered when Andy Gray was sacked for his totally unacceptable remarks and behaviour. He is nothing but a fat slob”.

The Life of Brian

This is possibly my favourite film of all time. I remember seeing it for the first time at a cinema in Edgeware Rd. London as a midnight movie not long after its release. Whilst sometimes Mony Python’s TV series could be a little hot and cold, the films were brilliant.

I noticed yesterday that Sue Jones Davis who played Brian’s girlfriend Judith Iscariot 8) in the movie is now Mayor of Aberystwyth in Wales. She found out recently that the film had been banned in the town on its release and as a result had never been shown there.

So almost thirty years on, last night Terry Jones and Michael Palin attended Aberystwyth’s premier of the movie.

Mrs Jones-Davies said: “It was actually a journalist who pointed out to me that the film had never been shown in Aberystwyth because of the ban.

“We didn’t expect the attention it got, we’re still completely thrown. I think the Pythons coming has really put Aberystwyth on the map. It’s great for the town, there are people in Australia who have done interviews saying ‘gosh, it sounds like a great little town’. It’s wonderful for our status.”

And edited to include:

Taboo or not Taboo

Following on from the Carol Thatcher thing (see my post below “Double Standards”) I kept asking the question why Thatcher’s  comment was seized on whilst many others in the British media go about their stock in trade racism relatively untroubled.

I have an answer as I had when I posed the question.

Simon Heffer in the Telegraph or Jeremy Clarkson/Richard Littlejohn in the Sun can write a whole page of racist invective and the nation shrugs its shoulders. However Carol Thatcher and before her Ron Atkinson say one single word and it seems that the whole world is outraged.

Now before anybody thinks I’m defending people for being racist I am most certainly not. I would never use or condone the use of either of these expressions and any racism is to be condemned.

What is it though about the magic power of one word that can have a person sacked and vilified?

As Frank Zappa said a word is simply an arbitrary label -that’s the foundation of linguistics. But many people think otherwise. They believe in word magic: that uttering a spell, incantation, curse, or prayer can change the world.

Swearing is another kind of word magic. People believe, contrary to logic, that certain words can corrupt the moral order – that piss and shit! and fucking are dangerous in a way that pee and sugar! and feckin’ are not. This quirk in our psychology lies in the ability of taboo words to activate primitive emotional circuits in the brain.

Have a look at this.

Linguistic taboos aren’t always a bad thing. The “N” word is firmly beyond the pale. Fuck-peppered speech gets tedious, and malicious epithets can express condemnable attitudes. But in a free society, these annoyances are naturally regulated in the marketplace of people’s reactions—as Atkinson and Thatcher learned the hard way.

Any legal ban on words and articles pertaining to them leads to absurdities. If a golliwog is to be banned from sale why not playing cards? Is the ace of spades not the epitome of  blackness to the racist? How do we deal with “monkey” and “ape”? do we have to find new words for them only for racists to find some other word to express their venom?

Taboos don’t disappear, they only change.

This is a clip of Dustin Hoffman playing Lenny Bruce.

Whilst that took place in the USA, social attitudes and laws were similar on this side of the Atlantic. Thank goodness, due to the breaking of taboos, that sort of thing couldn’t happen now.

Could it?

(Thanks to Max Blunt )

The Life Of Brian – Bigus Dickus

A few weeks ago I posted the clip from Brian about the Judean Peoples' Front. I can remember clearly where I first saw this film which is one of my all time favourites. It was at a Friday Night midnight movie in Edgeware Rd London just after the film had been released. This clip sees Michael Palin taliking about his "fwend Bigus Dickus" – hilarious.

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Insomnia, George Galloway and the Peoples’ Front of Judea

I'm not sure what it is that's keeping me awake (it is currently 3:34 am). It could be the tragedy of Scotland's exit from the European Championships. It may be the Curry Club Special I had when I got home. One thing is for sure it isn't the current trials and tribulations of the the Respect Party which is causing my insomnia. However I have just been on the George Galloway Website which is excellent value for money.

It headlines with an apology for the cancelation of a planned convention in Blackpool. Apparently the directors of Blackpool Pleasure Beach cancelled the Respect do at the last minute. The explanation according to George is that Blackpool Pleasure Beach Ltd. is a contributor to the Conservative Party.

George apologises.

I then turned my attention to a link which promises a signed (by George!) copy of the Fidel Castro Handbook – buy your copy here! step right up!! only to find this:

"We have been unable to supply recent orders for the Fidel Castro Handbook. This has been because the publishers, MQ, are in liquidation and the books, as assets, are being held in a warehouse and not released until the legal formalities are settled. So, a sincere apology to anyone who has recently ordered the book and it has not been sent.

We have been talking to the former publishers and the liquidator and we are hopeful that we can shortly resume supply. However, it you have ordered and paid for the book and if the matter is not resolved by the end of this coming week, April 27, a full refund will be sent to you."

George apologises.

It is not clear whether MQ are (were) contributors to the Conservative Party.

Then if one scrolls down a little one gets the inside track on the schism in the Respect Party in an article headed "Respect at the Crossroad". It's all the SWP's (Socialist Workers Party) fault apparently. There really is no need for me to go in to much detail here. Simply study any left wing/socialist party in Britain over the last 50 years or so (including I may say the Labour Party in the 80's) and you'll get the gist of it. The fundamentalist left wingers, (Dave and Derdrie Spart) are resisting any move to popularise the party and calling it a right wing plot. The supreme irony here is that the article immediately below "Respect at the Crossroad" advertises "The Global Peace and Unity Event"

I have heard and seen several references to Respect and Respect Renewal (George's new party – we await the next split with interest) this week and the uncanny similarity to one particular section of Monty Python's Life of Brian.


The site also has a link to George's radio show, the most recent of which has him discussing Scottish independence and the terrible case of the young Saudi Arabian woman who was gang raped and ended up with a more severe punishment than her attackers. George despite his fondness for all things Moslem and Islam manages to wriggle about the subject in his own inimitable fashion.


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