THIS PYTHON IS NO MORE: VALE TERRY JONES 1942-2020

We here at New Australian Bulletin are especially sad to hear of the passing of comic genius Terry Jones.

To those who don’t have a bolt through their frontal lobes, it should be apparent that we like a joke ourselves. Humour plays a rich part in the NAB presentation of stories and we very much push the envelope.

Indeed, sometimes when we have a go at a group or persons, it isn’t so much directed at them, but at the dogmatic hypocrites who elect themselves as their apologists. And we think that it’s important. For, in this way, we keep the dogmatists of the Woke brigade on their toes, fired up, and displaying their fanaticism for all to see.

Terry Jones and the rest of the Monty Python crew pushed the envelope until it became an overnight satchel. They may have had their own madcap influences, such as the late great Spike Milligan of The Goon Show fame, but Pythonesque is a term that is so readily understood to mean surreal comedy that it is listed in the English dictionary. Nothing could be more of a testament to inspired genius.

Bear in mind, too, that the word ‘spam’ as it relates to Internet junk mail is derived from the Monty Python sketch Spam, where a man ordering from a café is presented with a menu in which nearly every item is spam.

But their work was not just innovative in raising the bar in how comedy sketches were executed, they had a wonderful habit of causing offence, by poking their comedic finger through the sturdy crust of Britain’s class-based society. However, almost nothing was sacred to the Pythons.

For instance, how many comedy films have generated as much uproar as did Life of Brian, their poke at the myth of Christ, upon its release? The Catholic Church actively forbade their flock from seeing the film, perhaps the greatest satire of all time. Likewise, the movie was banned in Ireland, and parts of England. Terry jones had the honour of directing that film, and he had co-directed their other hit Monty Python and The Holy Grail, along with fellow Python Terry Gilliam.

Jones continued writing classic comedy along with co-Python Michael Palin, together creating for television the fabulously absurd Ripping Yarns. Jones producing other films too, such as the not-so-great Eric The Viking (1989) and The Wind in the Willows (1996).

Jones was far more than just an offbeat wit, however, and had a fantastic knowledge of history which he shared in subsequent work for both television and books; the period most conspicuously intriguing him being the middle ages. Jones wrote children books and contributed to the theatre, but he rarely if ever appeared in work outside of his own. One instance where he did was in an episode of The Young Ones in which played a drunken vicar.

Towards the end, Jones lost his speech, and his memory was shot, after being diagnosed with a form of dementia. He died on January 21 at his home in Highgate with his second wife.

We can always look back on him now in the Monty Python’s Flying Circus series, their movies, and his other work. We can remember him dressed up alongside the late Graham Chapman as one of those shrill-voiced old bags the Pythons called ‘the pepper pots’, or squalling hideously as Brian’s mother in Life of Brian.

Who could forget the enormous gastronome Mr Creosote (“fuck off, I’m stuffed”) who explodes in a grotesque chaos of vomit and internal organs in The Meaning of Life (1983)?

We are grateful for Mr Jones’ legacy and his body of work. We would despair of white man’s comedy ever reaching those heights again were it not for that legacy. For thanks to him and his fellow Pythons, at least, there are others in English comedy to take up the chalice, such as Ricky Gervais, and Matt Berry, whose series Toast of London is clearly a lineal successor to the Pythons.

As for us, we will speak our minds, as always, and poke fun where we feel it needs poking irrespective of what ludicrous laws or mind-control they try to inflict; whether or not the banks shut our accounts, or the police continue to harass our members. We are nationalists, but we’re also wags. Just like Mr Jones.

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