Friday, February 6, 2009

Television bores me and MONTY PYTHON'S LIFE OF BRIAN (61)

In the past I've been known to watch, well, a lot of television. It was always with a stomach full of dullard's guilt, but I would find myself for hours at a time flipping between cooking show re-runs and whatever competitive reality show might be playing on Bravo. In the last three months or so, I've cut myself, to a large degree off the old idiot box, invested a lot more of my time in reading, writing and distracted wall-staring. Sure, you can still catch me zoned out in front of over-edited basketball highlights, but for the most part, I've given it up.

Last night my father, the most fairweather of sports fans, invited Big Secord and myself over to their house for a night of pizza and Huskies' basketball. I love my dad, and again I do enjoy basketball, so it seemed reasonable to break the boob tube ban for an evening. You know how if you don't eat food for a while your stomach shrinks? And then when you go back to try and eat your regular amount of food, your stomach has shrunk and you can only get like two bites of Cheeze Whiz and crackers before you feel all nauseous? That's what has happened to my brain in terms of television.

The game was shit sure, but twenty, twenty-five minutes in to my watching experience I found myself reaching for a magazine, more interested in the impressive amount of pizza my father was consuming (8 pieces last night, I shit you not) than the flickering images on the screen. Seriously, basketball is a sport I love to watch, but the idea of just staring at a screen for that long put me in a sort of vegetative state in the past I think I've enjoyed.

Before you start tearing me a new one about the fact that yes, this blog is about watching a television screen for extended periods of time, let me say this: the movie/televison difference is marked by the fact that a film is a time-limited finite text; television on the other hand is an endless blob, likely to suck you in to a mushy, oblivious pit.

I have never been a huge fan of Monty Python and all their assorted satires. I can't explain why, but, even being a huge, huge dork, I can't help but find that the MP films are, well, too, uh dorky. I know that many of them are renowned as satires of history and, in the case of Monty Python's Life of Brian (61), Christianity, but all I can think of is the sweat-pant wearing Magic: The Gathering card players from my days working at a comic book store, sweatily reenacting their favorite scenes. This my friends, is a disconcerting image that still haunts my dreams.

Nonetheless, Monty Python's Life of Brian (61) is an enjoyable film to watch, I just don't see at as a part of the comedic canon so many others do. The film, about a man named Brian who's born right before Jesus, has it's moments: Brian's exposure to his waiting crowd, the chase scene in the middle, and of course the whistling, sing-song, crucified ending. I've seen this film a handful of times, and I always chuckle a bit, but I just can never find it as amusing as every one else.

What's awesome about the film is that when it was released, religious groups around the world were outraged by the fact that anyone could make a comedy about, huh, Jesus. Groups all over America and the UK splattered their pants trying to get this silly comedy that features lines like, "Blessed are the cheesemakers" banned. Good job fundamentalist Christians, what a great usage of your time.

Two films in two days. Are you guys proud of me?

Monday: The Passion of Joan of Arc (62)

1 comment:

griffdog said...

It was only 5 pieces, I have told you a million times not to exaggerate.

---your father