In which I defer to God……
(God as in Monty Pythons ….or the FSM , don’t come in expecting a religious sermon)
This is a quasi-post based on an old idea dug out of the obscurity of my depressingly large Drafts folder and is inspired by Rohit‘s damn funny post on religion. Which is appropriate, since the genesis of this old blog-post was a chat discussion with him about religion. As it happens when we talk of such matters, the Flying Spaghetti Monster was invoked (all hail FSM!) and during the chat it came out that according to the Church of FSM, heaven was supposed to consist of strip clubs and beer volcanoes ! Which is all very good – I mean its no 72 virgins – but then there aren’t any pre-conditions either!
At this moment, I contended that instead of beer, heaven should have an unlimited supply of the more esoteric, yes you guessed it right, Martinis ! Rohit, however wanted to stick to the arguably more proletarian beer. And…..we got into a bit of an argument over this. Thus the Pastafarian movement, as had happened with its more illustrious predecessors, started a slippery descent down the slopes of narrow sectarianism – the New Martinites (admittedly counting only myself as a member at this point but expected to grow) versus the Originalists (or theBeer-ites).
Thus I was going to write a funny post on the lines of how all religions are divided and such, but soon decided (thankfully before inflicting pain on the meager readership of this blog) that satirical humor is not really my cup of tea. Besides, as I was re-watching Life of Brian a couple of weeks ago, I realized that the Monty Pythons, aka Gods of satire and irreverent comedy, had already done this. Therefore, I am doing the simple and lazy thing of pointing to the relevant sections of the film. In case you have not watched this film, which is a bit of a sacrilege by itself, here is the trailer:
So the relevant section is when this character Brian of Nazareth (born a few barns down the road and about the same time as Jesus himself), through a series of incidences, is unwittingly taken to be a Messiah and develops and sizable following. While he tries to flee from the hordes of these ‘followers’, he happens to leave behind one shoe (and a gourd for some reason). His followers come upon the gourd and the shoe and controversy breaks out about the "true" path designated by their Messiah. Unfortunately, I could not find a video for this particular scene – but here is the transcript:
SHOE FOLLOWER: He has given us… His shoe!
ARTHUR: The shoe is the sign. Let us follow His example.
ARTHUR: Let us, like Him, hold up one shoe and let the other be upon our foot, for this is His sign, that all who follow Him shall do likewise.
SHOE FOLLOWER: No, no, no. The shoe is…
SHOE FOLLOWER: …a sign that we must gather shoes together in abundance.
GIRL: Cast off…
SPIKE: Aye. What?
GIRL: …the shoes! Follow the Gourd!
SHOE FOLLOWER: No! Let us gather shoes together!
SHOE FOLLOWER: Let me!
ELSIE: Oh, get off!
YOUTH: No, no! It is a sign that, like Him, we must think not of the things of the body, but of the face and head!
SHOE FOLLOWER: Give me your shoe!
YOUTH: Get off!
GIRL: Follow the Gourd! The Holy Gourd of Jerusalem!
FOLLOWER: The Gourd!
HARRY: Hold up the sandal, as He has commanded us!
ARTHUR: It is a shoe! It is a shoe!
HARRY: It’s a sandal!
ARTHUR: No, it isn’t!
GIRL: Cast it away!
ARTHUR: Put it on!
YOUTH: And clear off!
SHOE FOLLOWER: Take the shoes and follow Him!
GIRL: …all ye who call yourself Gourdenes!
Also watch this very funny exchange, when the followers reach Brian’s house. The Pythons hit it on the nail with this bit of dialog:
Brian: ‘Look, you’ve got it all wrong! You don’t NEED to follow ME, you don’t NEED to follow ANYBODY! You’ve got to think for yourselves! You’re ALL individuals!
The Crowd (speaking in unison): ‘Yes! We’re all individuals!’
Brian: ‘You’re all different!’
The Crowd (in unison): ‘Yes, we ARE all different!’
(btw, don’t get taken in by the scarcely dressed woman at the beginning of the video, and do keep watching beyond the second minute for the relevant bit)
Of course, do watch Life of Brian in full.