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Terry Gilliam, shut your festering gob, you tit

By David Futrelle

Terry Gilliam is tired of talking about his movie The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Instead he’s decided to take advantage of the media attention surrounding the film’s late UK release to expound at length on his rather tiresome (and decidedly unoriginal) theories of gender and race and how white men like him are the most persecuted people on planet earth.

Yes, he’s turned into one of those guys. Or perhaps, given his reputation as kind of a dick, he’s always been one.

In an, er, wide-ranging interview with Alexandra Pollard  of The Independent, the 79-year-old director called #MeToo a “witch hunt,” whined that white men are “being blamed for everything wrong with the world,” and then, for funzies, declared that his manifestly white self was somehow really a “black lesbian” because lots of people with his last name are black.

Refusing to talk for more than a moment or two about his movie, Gilliam began the interview with a tirade about the alleged evils of #MeToo.

We’re living in a time where there’s always somebody responsible for your failures, and I don’t like this. I want people to take responsibility and not just constantly point a finger at somebody else, saying, ‘You’ve ruined my life.’ .

#MeToo is a witch hunt. I really feel there were a lot of people, decent people, or mildly irritating people, who were getting hammered.

After all this humorless bloviation, he then wondered aloud why people don’t think #MeToo jokes are funny. While admitting that a lot of #MeToo accusations are true, he added that “the idea that this is such an important subject you cannot find anything humorous about it” was just plain wrong.

Gilliam then brought race and gender identity into the mix, making the One Trans Joke that so many reactionary would-be comedians think is so hilarious.

When I announce that I’m a black lesbian in transition, people take offence at that. Why?

Pollard, who at this point must have been inwardly cringing at each new pronouncement from Gilliam, told him it’s because, er, he’s manifestly not that.

He explained that many people with his last name are indeed black so maybe he’s half black or something? (The exceedingly white looking Gilliam doesn’t seem to realize that it’s infinitely more likely that his similarly lily-white ancestors owned the ancestors of the black people who now have that last name.)

He then gave up the fatuous claim, only to insist that

I don’t like the term black or white. I’m now referring to myself as a melanin-light male. I can’t stand the simplistic, tribalistic behaviour that we’re going through at the moment.

But he quickly returned to the joke about being a black lesbian.

I’m talking about being a man accused of all the wrong in the world because I’m white-skinned. So I better not be a man. I better not be white. OK, since I don’t find men sexually attractive, I’ve got to be a lesbian. What else can I be? I like girls. These are just logical steps.

It’s not hard to see why Pollard says that it’s “deeply frustrating to argue with Gilliam. He is both the devil and his advocate.” And a pretty tedious devil at that.

Get some new material, dude.

NOTE: In case you’re wondering about the title of this post, it’s from an old Monty Python routine.

H/T — thanks to Twitter’s@WeaselFidget for alerting me to the interview.

Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@William Hooper

Shut Up,TROLL’S ANUS.

Well, I’m not the one who danced into this space and started throwing random ad hominem attacks rather than actually engaging with other commenters or the source.
?

Meteor
2 years ago

Conspiritoud

(William Hooper)

What the fuck is that?

Naglfar
Naglfar
2 years ago

@Meteor

What the fuck is that?

Haven’t a clue. Maybe it’s the WHTM version of “covfefe.”

fabe
fabe
2 years ago

I think Hooper means to say ‘Conspirtard’ like short for conspiracy retard . so he’s being ablative and trying to lump folks here together with conspiracy theorist

Paireon
Paireon
2 years ago

@William Hooper – NO U

See, I can do it too. (I’m also amused that for some reason you’re not answering me. I imagine some sort of fear?)

@Crip Dyke – Spot-on analysis there, I’d say. About the best I can hope for at this point (and it’s damn cold comfort) is that like so many others before him, Gilliam became that way because while he may have been progressive and anti-establishment before, society catched up to him and left him behind, so he became a grumpy reactionary ass in response. There’s a reason older people skew more conservative in general, even generations like the Baby Boomers who were considered progressive in their youth (the hippie movement, Vietnam protests, civil rights movement, second-wave feminism, et al.).

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

@Paireon:

There’s a reason older people skew more conservative in general, even generations like the Baby Boomers who were considered progressive in their youth

Yeah, and that reason is that some people “fossilize”. Once the ideals of their youth are more or less achieved, they can’t easily move on. They always were and still are “liberal” in some sense, but they’re not progressive, as being progressive means working towards a better future regardless of the present. Not all people fossilize, obviously. I very much plan to adapt to the times and call for more and better things even when I’m 80.

Dalillama
Dalillama
2 years ago

Yeah, and that reason is that some people “fossilize”. Once the ideals of their youth are more or less achieved, they can’t easily move on. They always were and still are “liberal” in some sense, but they’re not progressive,

“It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative, without changing a single idea” as the late Robert Anton Wilson noted.

Skiriki
Skiriki
2 years ago

FYI, Cleese is also in canceled bin. At the moment it seems that only Jones and Palin are OK 🙁

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

@Skiriki: What, really? Cleese? Darn.

Terry Jones hasn’t said much of anything for a very long time because he has progressive aphasia. He’s barely been able to communicate at all since 2016. I wouldn’t call that “okay”, though that’s in a very different sense.

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
2 years ago

Cleese has been a Brexiteer of late. I don’t know anything about anything else he might have done that we here would generally agree was morally/ethically wrong, but a lot of folks feel that Brexit advocacy is just such a thing. I don’t really know enough about the UK or about economics or health care policy to understand all the ramifications, but from my distant perspective, Brexit still does seem quite bad. Cleese, with a rather more educated perspective, knows these things better than I. Thus if it really is as bad as I think (and as bad as the news reports I’ve been reading portray) then, yeah, Cleese has been engaging in fucked up stuff. It’s not something that could reasonably portrayed as a whoopsie.

Dreamer
Dreamer
2 years ago

I hope I’m not fossilizing despite growing old. Sad about Gilliam and that some Hooper git is here. I first saw Monty Python and the Holy Grail at 12 with my dad on vacation while my mom attended a conference. I didn’t want to grow up because adults had no fun, lol! That movie convinced me adulthood wouldn’t be so bad and that silliness matters. The silliness I loved had nothing to do with punching down. “She turned me into a newt!” “A newt?” “I got better.” It also taught me a little about bad logic.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

…I would also like to add that most of the hippies-turned-yuppies were at best only ever superficially hippies. They were against war not because they were pacifists, but because they didn’t want themselves or their future children to be drafted. They were for free love not out of any high-minded polyamory ideals, but because they wanted to get laid. They were for community sharing not because they were altruistic but so they could get stuff at other people’s expense. They were for the drug counterculture not to open their minds, but to get stoned. Once they were in charge they changed society so that they could get any or all that without any “weirdo” philosophy attached *and* largely shut out their former hippie associates and anyone else they didn’t like from partaking of the same. That generation’s reputation for youthful liberalness is somewhat overblown.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

@Crip Dyke:

I don’t know anything about anything else he might have done that we here would generally agree was morally/ethically wrong, but a lot of folks feel that Brexit advocacy is just such a thing. I don’t really know enough about the UK or about economics or health care policy to understand all the ramifications, but from my distant perspective, Brexit still does seem quite bad.

You can judge Brexit by the company it keeps: troglodytes like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson. If it’s strongly the preferred position of racists and cypro-fascists that alone justifies extreme skepticism of it.

Re: troll

Hmm. This one’s fractal wrongness extends all the way down to their grammar and spelling.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

I have never heard of this guy but I don’t think I miss much. He seems to have the personality of a rotted pumpkin.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

IF,Crip De you read and were capable o comprehending my oiginal comment

Yeah, Crip Dyke, how dare you not put in the labor of wading through the troll’s garbled blender-vomit syntax to intuit his meaning? Clearly he’s a genius and shouldn’t have to stoop to clarity.

Re: Gilliam, I always thought his animations were the weak link in the Python show. Sure, the style was cutting edge and distinctive, but there was a sort of “tee hee, naked boobies, aren’t we subversive” sensibility to them.

As a director he’s undeniably talented, but he also has a reputation for troubled projects that go way over budget. He’s the epitome of white male privilege, fucking up again and again without harm to his career, while insisting that accountability is only for the victims of #MeToo and not its perpetrators. Makes me wonder what he’s hiding in his past that he’s afraid might be exposed.

At least Michael Palin hasn’t turned out to be a milkshake duck (that we know of).

Crip Dyke
Crip Dyke
2 years ago

@snowberry:

I hadn’t heard the term “googlewhack” before, so I looked it up. i guess it’s supposed to be an actual word, not misspelling, so we’re out of luck.

OTOH, I was curious about how long it might take me to find one myself, and it took less than 5 minutes to come up with

lipoapoptosis disinterred

The process is complicated by the fact that google now considers “hits” things that don’t actually include the words you’re searching for (for instance the results that append Missing: x; Must Include: x) and/or that include closely related substitutes.

A search for

lipoapoptosis exegetical

for example, seems to include only “exegesis” and not “exegetical” – though the previews are not entirely reliable, so I’d have to go through all 24 documents carefully to guarantee that there are or aren’t any combinations of those two words. Maybe there are none? Maybe one? It’s just not clear with modern, adaptive google.

I can, however, say that “extremophilic banjo” has plenty of results – 35,900 to be exact. And “extremophilic luthier” will get you not only a large number of hits, but also one very interesting hit: the bio of this artist, who must be pretty cool and she’s involved with the group “antigravitational luthiers”.

Lucrece
Lucrece
2 years ago

Well! That’s all rather disappointing. I’ve always rather liked Gilliam’s work for its quirkinesses and lateral logic. Which all goes to show that talent isn’t a predictor of decency and morality, and should never be taken as such. I guess, coming from the opera world, I’m well familiar with this debate. One of the most phenomenally talented humans ever to live was, it turns out, an evil anti-Semitic misogynist called Richard Wagner. His horribleness was well known during his life and continues to be so, yet his operas are performed with almost monotonous regularity around the world. I say “almost monotonous” because they are some of the most glorious music ever written. The fact of their creator being one of the biggest jerks ever alive does not put a don’t in their popularity. I’ve performed his operas myself – always with some serious moral qualms, I have to say. But opera isn’t a world where morals are always a major consideration. White men continue to be cast as Otello and play it in blackface. White choruses continue to black up for Pearlfishers. Despite major (though quietly voices) protests, opera directors continue to stage operas in a way that glorifies violence against women.

It’s a wonderful art form and I love being part of it, but it’s an art that is quite familiar with the moral conundrum of whether to love the art when the artist turns out to be a jerk. I don’t have any solid answers on that front however, despite my experience. We all have to find our own paths through that quagmire.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
2 years ago

@Lucrece I want to see the Queen of the Night enjoy the glorious triumph she deserves, rout her adversaries and leave them in the dust. I’m guessing there’s a production sometime somewhere that has done this 🙂

Lucrece
Lucrece
2 years ago

@opposablethumbs

I want to see the Queen of the Night enjoy the glorious triumph she deserves, rout her adversaries and leave them in the dust. I’m guessing there’s a production sometime somewhere that has done this ?

Sadly, I doubt it has. There’s an awful lot of traditionalists in opera and someone would have vetoed it because “it’s not faithful to the text”, or “that’s not what Mozart intended”, or the even more yawn-worthy “I don’t see how we could work that into the existing music”. No, the Königin is going to have to wait for a Wide Sargasso Sea modern rewrite to get a fair hearing. And I DO hope someone is working on that!

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
2 years ago

@Lucrece, huh. I would have thought somebody (probably in the form of a radically cut-down production, because money) might have ‘done a Marowitz Shrew’ on it maybe in the ’70s … :-s It’s so emphatically straight-up-and-down all-patriarchy-all-the-time it’s positively crying out for a re-interpretation from the Queen of the Night’s pov!

the Königin is going to have to wait for a Wide Sargasso Sea modern rewrite to get a fair hearing. And I DO hope someone is working on that!

I bet it would be fabulous. Disclaimer, I know nothing about opera and I’ve only ever watched the DVD of one production (2003 with Diana Damrau as the Queen of the Night), but there’s no way such a thing with a good QotN would not be absolutely godsdamned fabulous.

Mogwitch
Mogwitch
2 years ago

I always thought Gilliam’s visual style looked absolutely amazing, but there didn’t really seem to be much substance behind the aesthetics. Still, I didn’t get the realisation of anything more unpleasant than not being as good with words at pictures, until I saw the Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. That film is incredibly beautiful to look at but seems to judge women really hard for having erotic or romantic fantasies that don’t conform to stereotypes of what good woman should want, while most of the middle-aged male characters lusting over a teenaged Lily Cole is absolutely fine.

Simon
Simon
2 years ago

Cleese moved to somewhere in the West Indies after moaning that London was not really an English city any more. The whiny hypocrite.

Steampunked
Steampunked
2 years ago

Snowberry, I’ve read some pretty harsh critiques of both the punk and the anarchist scenes on a similar basis. Mostly that it was often apparently a pretty big thing to be a hardcore punk or anarchist as long as the girlfriend’s version of punk or anarchy still included her doing all the housework or cooking. Because the guy certainly wasn’t going to do that boring shit, he had real anti-system work to do…the systems that affected him, of course.

(Also, hi, I probably haven’t commented for two years, life has been bonkers).

Specialffrog
Specialffrog
2 years ago

John Cleese has also devoted a lot of time to railing against “PC culture”. You can even find a
YouTube video of John Hodgman interviewing Cleese and see him losing respect for Cleese in real time.

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