Friday, January 21, 2005

Political Python

On Salon today, a funny and interesting interview with Monty Python's Terry Jones, Python Swallows Bush!. Apparently Mr. Jones has been writing political op-ed pieces for a couple of years now, and they've been put into a new book, Terry Jones' War on the War on Terror. One essay mentioned in the interview is a piece titled, I'm Losing Patience With My Neighbours, Mr. Bush.
For some time now I've been really pissed off with Mr Johnson, who lives a couple of doors down the street. Well, him and Mr Patel, who runs the health food shop. They both give me queer looks, and I'm sure Mr Johnson is planning something nasty for me, but so far I haven't been able to discover what...

[The police will] come up with endless red tape and quibbling about the rights and wrongs of a pre-emptive strike and all the while Mr Johnson will be finalising his plans to do terrible things to me, while Mr Patel will be secretly murdering people. Since I'm the only one in the street with a decent range of automatic firearms, I reckon it's up to me to keep the peace. But until recently that's been a little difficult. Now, however, George W. Bush has made it clear that all I need to do is run out of patience, and then I can wade in and do whatever I want!

The whole interview is worth a read, but the another interesting bit is at the end, in which he compares politics of today to those from the era of Chaucer (about which he wrote another book, Who Murdered Chaucer?).
It was the Archbishop of Arundel who was the real mastermind behind this, the Henry Kissinger of his day. He did exactly what is happening now. He put this illegitimate, illegal regime in power and he lied and cheated to get power himself. Then he neutralized the opposition by declaring a war on heresy. A war on heresy suited his purposes because it was open-ended, he could define heresy how he liked. And he defined it as "you're either with us or you're a heretic." If you criticized the church, you were criticizing the king. It was all the same thing. You saw people using the same mechanisms and tools of power in the 14th century that are used in the war on terror today.


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