Trans* in culture: Inalienable rights, sardonically glimpsed. (Monty Python's Life of Brian)

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Seannery
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Trans* in culture: Inalienable rights, sardonically glimpsed. (Monty Python's Life of Brian)

Post by Seannery » Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:11 am

Monty Python sneer at everything---transgender is no exception. The `inalienable rights' scene from Life of Brian sneers at Loretta's interruptions to correct gendered language, which derail the train of thought. As a recovering pedant I know this urge: errors add up multiply, so even small corrections now save loads of future trouble---¿maybe they can wait? They also sneer at Reg's blatant nonunderstanding and Francis' extemporaneous misappropriate support. (Or was that to quickly convince Reg? But superficial reasons like that are easily dropped for `more important' goals.) Of course these shortcomings enhance the satire. Contrast Judith's levelheaded compassion and acceptance: neither salient nor catchy---which is nobody's fault, not even the Romans'. A subtle difference I think is between burning a strawman or sneering at it: satire pokes the flaws, maybe tearing some holes---so we might better see and mend same foibles in us. Monty Python provoke and stay neutral even seemingly agreeing with mutually incompatible thoughts about a controversial topic---in a story about something completely different.
postscript---a few hours later: I just rewatched Life of Brian---it's not that they sneer at transgender---if they do, it's only in the referenced scene---but that it's made subordinate to an effete rebellion, emphasizing how deeply they really care about having proper bureaucracy.
liberté, égalité, muliebrité

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