“The Bright Side of Life” from Monty Python’s Life of Brian
It’s Good Friday and it seemed a good idea a couple of days ago to post some Christian standup. Christianity may be a divine comedy, but on the evidence provided by YouTube, there isn’t much that’s funny about Christian comedy. It’s like what Howard Stern says about country music: think of the worst song on an Eagles album — that’s country music. The rubber chicken and corn shtick that comedians gave up on fifty years ago (including an ominously unself-aware subtext: e.g. dad taking off his belt to give someone a good whipping) is like a mobile meth lab to Christian comedians. The laughter it generates certainly sounds chemically induced.
This bit from Monty Python may not be the funniest piece of religious satire ever conceived, but it is one of the most cheerful, and that seems appropriate enough. It is Easter Eve Eve after all.
Nabokov in conversation with Pierre Berton and Lionel Trilling about Lolita. (Part 2 of the interview after the jump.)
Today is Vladimir Nabokov‘s birthday (1899-1977).
From The Modern Century:
In Vladimir Nabokov’s novel, Pale Fire, a gentle, wistful, rather touching pastoral poem falls into the hands of a lunatic who proceeds to “annotate” it with a wild paranoid fantasy about his own adventures as a prince in some European state during a revolution. Poem and commentary have nothing to do with each other, and perhaps that is the only point the book makes. But the title, taken from Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens [4.3.438], suggests a certain allegory of the relation of art to the wish-fulfillment fantasies that keep bucking and plunging underneath it. Such forces are in all of us, and are strong enough to destroy the world if they are not controlled through release instead of repression. In my last lecture I want to talk about the way in which the creative arts are absorbed into society through education. Meanwhile we may notice that the real basis for the opposition of artist and society is the fact that not merely communications media and public relations, but the whole structure of society itself, is an anti-art, and old and worn-out creation that needs to be created anew. (CW 10, 48)