Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle
Hobbes was fond of his dram
And René Descartes was a drunken fart:
'I drink, therefore I am.'
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Woolloomooloo Bay in Sydney
We're going to try and raise the tone here by singing a nice intellectual song, for those two or three of you in the audience who understands these things...
And thus one of the fan's favorite Monty Python sketches leads into one of the fan's favorite Monty Python songs. While "The Philosopher's Song" didn't originally go with the Bruces Sketch
, the two were combined so frequently in live stage shows that fans forget that the song did not follow the Bruces Sketch
in episode 22 of Monty Python's Flying Circus
, How To Recognize Different Parts Of The Body
. But the Pythons like to confuse you that way.
Monty Python fandom is an extreme domain. Either you have no interest in them, in which case you're not here, or you're a raving, rabid fan who quotes the Parrot Sketch
at every opportunity, cannot resist occasionally asking "Is this the right room for an argument?" whenever entering a chat room, routinely insults people by telling them their mother was a hamster and their father smelt of elderberries, and are prone to express the fact that you and Monday mornings don't get along so well by uttering "My brain huuuuurts!" in a guttural moan as you shuffle in to work, with optional kerchief on the head.
And that's just getting started. There are some subcultures where Monty Python fans just mysteriously seem to congregate, so that you may be lost in a stew of in-jokes without context until it finally dawns on you that they're batting Python-isms around. For instance, if you're a programmer learning the Python programming language, you might be mystified reading the documentation, which is chock full of Flying Circus
references whenever it needs to show example code. In fact, the programming language (used in major popular programs such as Blender 3D and the original BitTorrent client) really is named after the comedy troupe, not the snake.
Beautiful Sydney Harbor Thanks, Erik Paulsen
So we'll just throw some trivia out there in the fevered hope that there's at least one fact you did not know, whether about Australia, Monty Python, or philosophers:
There really is a Woolloomooloo; it's a harbourside suburb of Sydney, Australia. It does not, however, have a university - that's in Sydney proper. It does have Finger Wharf, which is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records
as the largest wooden structure in the world.
Glossary: In Rule #2 of the Bruces Sketch
, "Abbos" is Australian slang for Aboriginal people, the true original inhabitants of the Australian continent. Meanwhile a "pommie" ("I'd like to welcome the pommie bastard to God's own earth...") is Australian slang for the British. "Poofter" means a homosexual. By the way, "bastard" has more of a neutral meaning in Australia than it does in the States; depending on context, it is even used as a favorable term.
The line "I drink therefore I am" is a reference to Descartes' quote "I think therefore I am." Reference to John Stuart Mill's "own free will" is referring to his work On Liberty
. Kant's stable universe theory is called out in his being "very rarely stable." Martin Heidegger was the only mentioned philosopher still living at the time of the song. And Friedrich Nietzsche, of all the list, was a teetotaler, which might explain why he was such a snot.
Like most of the songs in the Monty Python canon, this one was written by Eric Idle. Eric was the true geek intellectual of the troupe.
The Hollywood Bowl version included Michael Palin chucking cans of Foster's Lager out to the audience, a female in a skimpy outfit identified as "Bruce from the biology department," and a cut-out, life-size cartoon of three bushwhackers drawn in Terry Gilliam's style, whose mouths were animated to lip-synch along with the song.
And if nothing here is making sense to you, well, then, you're a typical Hollywood audience...
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