Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Monty Python explains everything.

Rarely reshown: 'Monty Python's Flying Circus'
Independent UK
Growing up on a farm, I enjoyed the years of living just outside my hometown of 427 people.  Most of the residents, their ancestors, and their descendants had lived in this area since 1820s. 

When my own small family moved to Ireland in 1985, our adventures took us through small villages with their own populations, much like those of my hometown, only theirs dated back to 15th century, or further.

These villages and my own hometown had many similarities, including a church, store, farmers market, and pub (no pub at my old town). 

Another striking similarity was the presence of locals who were referred to as the “village idiots”.  My parents explained this was not an insult, but was the only way to describe this part of the population.

Their role in rural societies was seen in a variety of ways. Some were viewed with disdain, some with kindness, and some even with help in their lives.  Whatever and however, the community accepted their own roles in the flow of the residents.  Farmer, shopkeeper, housewife, teacher....and "village idiot" were all part of the population. 


I have to admit that I could see this and how it worked. While it deeply offended me to see a section of our society earmarked in this way, there was no breaking the chain. 

After watching this episode of “Monty Python”, I was impressed by their explanations.  

                                     


Thinking back to people I observed in my old town, every resident had a place in the flow of the community. I am not sure where I stood in that flow, but then,  I moved away long ago. 

P. S.  I love Monty Python episodes, their unique sense of humor, and satire of the English society.  I found this video, and decided to write around it. "Oliver Cromwell" song is very entertaining as is "Flying Sheep."  The list is long and their humor unique. They are not for everyone. 

28 comments:

  1. Monty Python rocks!
    I guess every small town has their village idiot or two. large cities must have hundreds...

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    1. OVer the years, I am certain that some sat in my class. I wonder where they are now.

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  2. Ahhh, I love the way you describe the small town. Driving thru France and it's small towns I suggested to my wife.
    We should come back to one of these small towns and rent a house for a month and get to know some folk
    And yes, the villager idiot has been around always. Our once small town has had it's own. Always spoke of with love and given friendship by everyone. YES, we all have our place. ;-)

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    1. Now that we live in such large communities, those are not so evident.

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  3. I wonder if nowadays we'd diagnose the "village idiot" as having a learning disorder or being autistic or something. I find Monty Python references coming out at the oddest times. Students like to throw out dance moves at the weirdest times, so I accuse them of auditioning for the Ministry of Silly Walks. (I have to be careful not to throw that one out for disabled students as that would be rude.)

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    1. Now, the "idiots" would be viewed with different eyes. Learning disabilities or having a developmental disorders would be the words.

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  4. Our local town has been rejuvenated with too many craft beer establishments in the past few years. According to the police blotter, which is published weekly in our newspaper, the number of village idiots has skyrocketed.

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    1. Beer + village idiots is not a good combination.

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  5. I don't recall a village idiot in my childhood town, but we had a transgender before that was popular. Ran the gas station (along with 'his' wife) where we filled up. Full service back then, of course.

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    1. What a challenge he/she must have faced at that time period, or any time period for that matter.

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  6. Even though many of us are not in small towns, i think we form similar communities within our church group, our neighborhood, our workplace, or among our group of friends. We all have a roll to play in these, and occasionally you will find the not-quite-as-bright person there, being either mocked or well cared for.

    Interesting train of thought!

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    1. Our community 'stepped up to the plate' and helped them.

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  7. I love the Monty Python movies and I think the village idiot segment is wonderful.

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    1. Monty Python was and still is brilliant and timeless.

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  8. I am so content to have moved back to a small town. I understand the social orders of a small town.

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    1. Glad you are back in a small town community.

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  9. Sounds like a small gene pool if you think about it. The Amish know what I'm talking about.

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  10. Hi Susan - yes there were 'backward people' around ... but none as good as John Cleese able to go from posh to stupid so quickly! I agree Monty Python is brilliant - cheers Hilary

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  11. Although I love and adore Monty Python and his interpretation of the Village Idiot, I somehow find this rather offensive. To me it demeans a person. Loved Monty's take on it, though.

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    1. I understand that point completely. When my parents talked about those people in our town, I was aghast. How could these dear souls be put in this slot?

      Even so, while other words could be used to describe their position in the town, most of them were very unkind. In the 1950s, this was a common label, not meant demeaning, (at least at that time). It was part of the decades community history.

      No offense was meant, I am sorry.

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  12. I know a few such people. Never ever heard them actually called the village idiot though.

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    1. How this term came to be is unknown (at least to me).

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  13. Monty Python. Oh, I dearly love Monty Python. They nail it every single time. Thanks for sharing this -- and for your observations on the village idiots. A wonderful post, Susan.

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    1. Monty Python comedians came at the right time in TV history. Caught our generation.

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  14. Wonderful post. I never knew that the term “Village Idiot” could be used as a term on endearment. Thanks for elaborating on that.

    I grew up in a rural environment that had some characteristics of the small town culture that you describe so I appreciate your comments on that topic.

    I also love Monty Python. I agree, it really is not for everyone.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!