Oh, England. You’re No Fun Anymore!

monty-python-copIf you are a heterosexual guy and you reached puberty when I did, in the 1970s, and you were lucky enough, as I was, to have a public television station that, late at night, would play reruns of Monty Python’s Flying Circus , not only were you introduced to some of the best comedy ever produced, but you could also catch precious, hormone-stirring glimpses of female … um … as the Pythons would say, naughty bits, such as the image here, taken from one of Terry Gilliam‘s amazing and hilarious cutout animations.

If you were extra lucky, as I was, you had another channel available to you, like WOR TV 9, that, also late at night, played reruns of a second British comedy program, The Benny Hill Show, which contained rarer bits of nudity, but plentiful moments of scantily clad women.

Consequently, my impression of England and British culture was that it was more liberal and open-minded than it was here in the U.S., and I loved them for it!

Disappointing then, to come across this item in today’s New York Times:

Ad for Rolling Stones Exhibition Banned from London Underground

A poster for the coming Rolling Stones exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London — showing a bright pink tongue on the front of a pair of women’s underwear — has been banned from the London Underground until adjustments can be made to make it less explicit.

Here’s the image from the poster:

rolling-stones-exhibit

Really, England?!

The Rolling Stones have been raunchy for decades, while becoming one of the greatest bands in the world, and you’d be hard-pressed to prove that they are in any way to blame for any perceived decline of the United Kingdom.

Let’s face it, you’re no fun anymore!

Tweet of the Day: @RainnWilson

meditation-flipboardI’ve mentioned numerous times here at Fish & Bicycles that I dabble in Buddhism (one example), and I’ve tried to sustain a regular meditation practice off and on for many years, so it’s fair to assume that I think very highly of the process.

And yet, Buddhism and meditation are highly susceptible to suffering at the hands of New Age pretension, and meditation has notoriously been stripped of its religious and spiritual origins as of late, and co-opted as a productivity tools for businesses.

I use and mostly enjoy the iOS app Flipboard on my iPhone, and like other news aggregators, when you first setup the app you enter general topics you are interested in so that Flipboard knows what kind of content to push to you. Sadly, however, the vast majority of articles I see on Buddhism, meditation, or spirituality look like the one in the screenshot provided here.

Well, all that’s to say, as much as I continue to aspire to living a more spiritual life and to sustaining a daily meditation practice, there are days when the spirituality industry gets to me, it’s been getting to me quite a bit lately, and so when I came across today’s Tweet of the Day installment, posted by one of the funniest guys around, Rainn Wilson, it just totally hit the spot.

Rainn tweeted the following video titled F*ck That: A Guided Meditation by Jason Headly, whose short film titled It’s Not About The Nail is one of the funniest-whilst-insightful comedy bits on couples I’ve ever seen.

(Disclaimer: F*ck That: A Guided Meditation is laced with profanity, and may therefore be offensive to some and/or NSFW for others.)

Headline of the Day: Threats To Male Genitalia, Part II

pacuA few weeks ago I posted a Headline of the Day installment, featuring an article in British newspaper/website The Guardian, with the cringe-inducing headline: Penis transplant patient to become a father

Well, I don’t know what it is with British newspapers, but they seem to have a very specialized interest in threats to male genitalia, evident by this latest cringe-inducing headline from another UK newspaper/website:

Testicle-munching fish species found in US lake

The Telegraph

OWIE!!!!!!!!!

You gotta love the drama they’re reaching for here:

A species of fish best-known for attacking human testicles has apparently invaded America.

It’s an invasion!!! Protect your reproductive organs! Run!!!

LOL!

And could they have picked a better photo to accompany the article? I think not! Coupled with the following bit of information, it makes for a very effective argument that men should avoid these fish at all cost!

I know I will!

“The pacu is not normally dangerous to people but it has quite a serious bite, there have been incidents in other countries, such as Papua New Guinea where some men have had their testicles bitten off…”

Tweet of the Day: @TheOnion

Given my recent post waxing nostalgic and all sentimental on the subject of fatherhood, including references to the common fears that seem to come with the job…

…this TOTALLY cracked me up!

Reason #258 Why I Love Bellingham: Elf Karate

Little known fact: J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, was a martial arts practitioner, and in 1967, still obsessed with the world of Middle Earth he’d created for his books, he traveled to Bellingham, Washington, where he’d heard his books had a cult following, and there he founded his own, very specialized school of Karate.

elf-karate

The Jurassic World-Jaws Connection

jurassic_worldSo, I went with friends to see Jurassic World this past Saturday, helping it smash the opening weekend box office record, despite my declaration back in December 2012 that I’m not a fan of the AmusementParkRideIfication of movies.

What can I say? I was in the mood for some unapologetic eye candy.

Anyway, while I knew going in that Steven Spielberg — Director of the first two Jurassic Park movies and Executive Producer of the third — was the Executive Director of Jurassic World, what I never expected was such an explicit thread connecting 2015’s Jurassic World and Spielberg’s second film and breakout blockbuster hit from exactly 40 years ago, 1975’s Jaws.

There are two references to Jaws in Jurassic World (spoiler alert!):

  1. In a fairly early scene in the movie, we see a Sea World-esque exhibit at the Jurassic World amusement park, where a Great White shark is lowered over the water to lure a gigantic Mosasaurus to burst through the surface, into the air, and swallow the shark whole.
  2. At the climax of the movie, our heroes are trapped, and the youngest among them, the middle school dinosaur savant, recites the line, “We need more teeth.”

The first reference is obvious enough. They could have used any number of very large animals as bait for the Mosasaurus, but they chose a shark.

The second reference, however, may not be as obvious, but I recognized it immediately, because it refers to one of the most oft-quoted lines from the heavily quoted Jaws.

As seen in the clip below, Roy Scheider‘s Martin Brody, upon seeing the shark up close and personal for the first time, reports to Robert Shaw‘s Quint, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

Both “We need more teeth.” and “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” suggest that more of something is needed for the characters’ survival, and they both foreshadow the climaxes of their respective movies.

In the case of the former, the line gives Bryce Dallas Howard‘s Claire the idea to let the Tyrannosaurus Rex out of its paddock to fight the Indominus Rex, allowing them to escape. In the case of the latter, the boat does indeed prove to be too small, rammed and torn apart by the Great White, killing Quint, and nearly killing Brody and Richard Dreyfuss‘s Matt Hooper.

Coming full circle, back to my declaration about the AmusementParkRideIfication of movies, I’m inclined to stand by that characterization, but I feel like, in the two and a half years since I made that declaration, I no longer feel like condemning such movies outright.

Thoughtful, more cerebral films continue to be made, and as long as the amusement park ride is fun, which Jurassic World decidedly is, why should I complain?

Video Fridays: Monty Python & The Holy Grail

monty-python-grailIn the early days of my Video Fridays series, I was apologetic about posting Monty Python clips so often.

But then, a funny thing happened, not ha-ha funny, but odd-that funny: I haven’t posted a Python clip since September 2012.

What the what?! That’s crazy! This must be rectal … I mean … um … rectified!

And so it shall be.

Back in April, a longtime friend from our days growing up in New Jersey emailed me and the rest of our Jersey gang, he’s a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Guild is compiling a list of the 101 Funniest Screenplays, and he asked us to name our suggestions, hoping we might trigger some memories of movies that he had overlooked, and, without hesitation, the very first movie that I named was Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

Comedy is an amalgam of various elements, chief amongst them are physical gestures, writing and/or improvisation, and the timing of the delivery of written or improvised lines, and it seems to me that the measure of a great screenplay is how quotable the writing is, and I while I can certainly think of other quotable comedies, I have personally quoted Monty Python & The Holy Grail FAR more often, by magnitudes, than any other movie, comedy or otherwise.

From the following scene alone, the famous Killer Bunny scene, the number of lines that I have committed to memory and have recited in social interactions are too numerous to estimate accurately.

And so, presented now for your enjoyment, the Killer Bunny scene in all its glory … um … any moment now … on a count of three, no more, no less, three shalt be the number I shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt I not count, neither shalt I count two, excepting that I then proceed to three. Five is right out! Once the number three, being the third number, be reached then shalt thou click the Holy Play Button, so that thou canst view the video presentation.

Here we go … ready? … one, two, five … no, three!!!

Happy Weekend, everyone!