Sunday, 4 October 2009
Lumberjacks and mounties
And now for something completely different. Not really, it's the same old topic!
No, this isn't a typical scene of Canadian life (at least I hope not).
It is of course from the famous Monty Python film. This sketch ('I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK...') may be just a send-up of Canadian manly outdoor pursuits, but to modern eyes the cross-gender content shrieks at you. After all, it's about a man wanting to be a girl, including hanging around in bars. Gosh, I do that.
At the time (1971) it was generally thought pretty amusing. Should we take offence? Well, it clearly wasn't performed with any modern transsexual in mind. Nor was the tone cruel or vicious. And it was fully in keeping with the Python team's propensity to lampoon everything (especially army officers, senior policemen, and upper class types).
Still, it isn't exactly something you'd use for a 'Let's understand transsexuality' social education programme.
What do you think? Is it still a (fairly) harmless chuckle? Or is it painful and embarrassing? Or even outrageous? Or even down in the same pit as the modern tabloid press?