Friday, 21 October 2011

"The Life of Brian" revisited

David Lindsay has this about "The Life of Brian" and recent remarks made by Terry Jones, one of the original Python team.

I remember the film coming out, but I can't remember how old I was (a teenager or early 20's I think). I remember thinking that it sounded blasphemous although, to be honest, some of the excerpts I saw made me laugh. As for the song, "Always look on the bright side of life", knowing it was sung by a crucified man (Christ or not, it obviously refers to Him) meant that I got angry whenever I heard it, and I cannot bear to hear it now. That song, I'm afraid, is blasphemous and I would be surprised to hear any Christian say otherwise.

I have seen part of the discussion programme where the film was condemned by Bishop Mervyn Stockwood and Malcolm Muggeridge (this forms the plot of a new film). I thought then that the criticisms were slightly unfair and there could have been a more useful discussion. It seemed to me then (to be honest) that the Python representatives were not treated with much respect. This does not mean that I would watch the film (I have not) and it does not mean that I accepted then - or would now - some of the specious arguments put forward by the film makers. The film was clearly intended as an attack on some religious people (those who did not conform to the Python's views of what a religious person should be). Their protestations rang very hollow when, in a subsequent film, they bitterly attacked the Catholic Church, basing their humour on a very unfair and biased understanding of the Church's teaching on contraception. For this, they were unrepentant which means that they also were not prepared to listen to anyone else. David Lindsay's piece contains some other good snippets of information about others who might regret some things from the past, including Harriet Harman and her friends.

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