Friday, January 20, 2017

Women's March--Let's Start Making Fun Of It Early, Before Everyone Else Chimes In

It was blasted 38 years ago--by Monty Python:
The Women’s March on Washington—ostensibly about feminism, but not-so-subtextually intended as a demonstration against the Trump presidency—has run into issues, if not problems.
Black feminists have turned off white women with calls to check their privilege. The march’s inclusion of a pro-life group as a partner in a march that cites abortion rights as one of its “unity principles” was proven controversial and “horrified” the usual suspects. The march has now disowned the pro-life group. Given the march’s problems with alienating women, it is not surprising that the enterprise has had some difficulty attracting men.

The New York Times helpfully explains that “[t]his brand of feminism — frequently referred to as ‘intersectionality’ — asks white women [and presumably everyone else] to acknowledge that they have had it easier.” Moreover: “[T]hese debates over race also reflect deeper questions about the future of progressivism in the age of Trump. Should the march highlight what divides women, or what unites them? Is there room for women who have never heard of ‘white privilege’?”

In the wake of these stories, Heather Wilhelm and Noah C. Rothman have written about the self-devouring ouroboros of intersectionality. However, it may be up to a British comedy troupe to demonstrate the more basic political problem. In “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” a man born next door to Jesus Christ endures mistaken identity problems. Along the way, for personal and political reasons, Brian attempts to join the People’s Front of Judea, a group rebelling against the Roman occupation of Judea...

This sketch-within-a-movie did not come out of nowhere. In the video commentary for the film, John Cleese (Reg) explains that the scene was a satire on the proliferation of left-wing revolutionary parties in the United Kingdom during the period when the movie was written and shot.

Incidentally, no one will mistake Cleese for a Tory, let alone an American conservative. He has, for example, cited Fox News as an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect, which is the theory that the incompetent fail to realize their own incompetence or accurately estimate the skills of others. Yet Cleese and his fellow white, male comics (now old and some dead, not just resting) understood that splinter parties of any ideology generally start off as counter-productive and usually end as just plain silly.
Here's the clip:

1 comment:

Ellen K said...

Nice catch. It's ironic that Cleese has abandoned his UK heritage to live on a sunny beach in California. My youngest son bought tickets for my husband and him to see Cleese with Eric Idle here in Dallas as a Christmas present. While the whole group are largely European leftists, unlike our lot, they see the irony of having too many fringe political groups at work. I give you this-enjoy.