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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Michael Palin Calls Retreat

Scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


Yes, in his misspent youth, Uncle Cephas used to watch Monty Python's Flying Circus.  Yes, and I'm aware how a lot of it could get downright blasphemous.  However, as a lover of documentaries, I couldn't help myself with the minor theme in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with the "Noted Historian" commenting in best documentary manner on the Arthurian legends, only to be cut down in mid-sentence by one of the subjects of his talk, and then having snippets of police questioning his widow, hunting clues, and, in the end, in the midst of a great battle scene, swooping onto the battel field to arrest several of King Arthur's stalwarts. 
Now, Michael Palin, one of the Pythons, has come out to state that his old crew would never mock Islam.  Why?  There are a lot of humorless people out there and they're well-armed.  Apparently, Sir Michael is a good disciple of Bertrand Russell who'd rather live on his knees than die on his knees, and is now living on his knees.  Brave,brave, brave Sir Michael!

So, how do you address a bold iconoclast of yesteryear?
Stick your thumbs in your armpits, flap your arms, and say, "Buck-buck-cluck-AAAAH! Buck-buck-cluck-AAAAH!"



  1. Too bad, but in a way not a surprise. In the words of Howard Cosell " DOWN GOES PALIN!".

  2. I might be missing the obvious, but why do you spell your name with a K at times and a C at others?

    1. Nom de guerre, my friend. "Cephas" is how it appears in the English New Testament; Kepha is closer to the Armaic original.

  3. Cepha,
    I have read tons of western history books and though I love the subject I have found that no matter how many times I reread them the Greeks still win at Marathon (what they and the Persians were doing in west Texas I'm still not sure) and Salamis, Caesar still crossed the Rubicon, and Constantinople didn't hold out after 1453 after all. This is a long winded way of saying "time to read Chinese history" my grasp of the subject is better than most, in other words superficial. Got any recommendations?

  4. Don't mean to be a pest, but I would like some book recommendations.

    1. Sorry for not replying earlier, James.

      Jonathan Spence's _The Search for Modern China_ is a good one. If you want an overview of the whole history of the country, the Cambridge History of China may be good. There's also Kenneth Scott Latourette's _The Chinese, their history and Culture_, which is, however, an early 20th century work, dated, and uses Wade-Giles romanization (although I admit that Pinyin isn't any more helpful to the English-speaking student).

    2. Thanks, will give some a try. The last thing I read was Madame Mao: The White Bone Demon. At least I think that was the title, It was a while ago.

  5. Kepha?

    Noticed you leaving the comment over on Malcolm's site - then ... back on Diplomad's wondering about "the upside down exclamation point" ... while I couldn't discern where precisely that punctuation mark was, I'm figuring it was likely what's known as an alt-code which can be accomplished this way ... depending how the particular browser depicts it.

    The method requires depressing and keeping held down the 'alt' key - normally on US keyboards just left of the 'space bar' ... tapping a sequence of numerical keys then, releasing the 'alt' hence to present a

    î, ì, í (other than a simpler "copy & paste") generally Kepha, the easiest way to figure out how to do that is, grab the youngest kid available admitting you're "an old fogey" is, as I've learned myself, the easiest way to go about it.

    Lacking a Grandkid handy

    í is, alt → 161

    ì is, alt → 141

    You'll have noticed me Kepha (James) italicizing/bolding on Diplomad?

    Italicizing will require you going back into what you've entered which, to begin an italics begins thus ... <, I, > insert whatever your intended text is then close the italicized text thusly <, /, I,> --- I'm tapping commas in simply to separate, do not use commas at all.

    But on Dip's site - indeed on any Google/BlogSpot site - after you've typed in the & the ending you'll notice the "I" remains capitalized - gotta go back between the < & the > and uncapitalize the "I" ensuring it renders as "i" - to bold doesn't regularly require going back.

    <, strong, > that within will be bolded, <, /, strong, > that without will not be bolded ...

    Thanks Kepha for visiting Malcolm's place - should you wish to get a better grip on what Arkie does elsewhere just enter "JK" (without the quotes) then click Search.


    1. You know you've made my head hurt Arkie, but I know it was with good intentions. You've also peaked my interest, what's Malcom's place.

  6. My brain was damaged more than I thought. That's piqued not peaked.


      Just James, enter "JK" into search - without the quotes - go from there.

      Uhmmm ... there was a post some time ago suggesting "evolution" --- I questioned that,

      Mind. I'm not saying 'evolution' isn't - heck Led Zep II when I was growing to Driver's License was my favorite album - who knew my kids 30 years later would enjoy the same stuff?

      James the main thing is ... the world is far more complicated than a single blogger would make it out to be - Kepha as you've noted -

      ... anyway, Kepha & myself worry/are mindful of the Christians in Syria. I know what Antioch suggests - what I don't know James is, what you'd be suggesting as a strategy?

      I'm perfectly willing indeed eager to go, toe-to-toe on the merits (and the available assets/will) of strategic thinking over here on Kepha's site - providing he'll allow it - but, I think, ...

      Eh. It's hard to explain. Across the Pond & enter JK:


    2. Oh I'll weigh in shortly, but for this I've got to wear my pointy smart guy hat for awhile. First my ideas for what strategy? The Christian persecution in Syria, mid east, world wide, or just how to deal with the whole foreign shebang that's going south in a hurry? Anyway give me a start point and I'll blather something about it.

  7. The temporal out look for Christians in Muslim oriented countries and societies is decidedly dark. Much of this can be attributed to liberal ideology in the West. For a long time "oppressed underdog muslim's " theme was used against Western governmental policies, cultural norms, etc. Since militant Islam seemed historically dead this seemed to be an effective and safe tool for the left. Seemed to be anyway, for militant Islam is back and back in a big way. The Left which is coincidentally in political power in the US and western Europe has been caught in it's own propaganda. To help militarily now would put paid everything they've ever said as lies and they can't do it. That leaves Israel as the only ones who could help, but they are faced now with the possibility of a fight for their own existence. As I said things don't look good.
    However, on the spiritual side there is reason for optimism for Christians. In South and Central America, Asia, and Africa Christianity seems to on the rise (Kepha would be much more knowledgeable about this than I). But this of a spiritual and passive nature put into world context.
    The US is at a moment decision about it's form of government, society, etc that is very reminiscent of the 1850's. Until this is worked out I don't see any hope of coherent foreign strategy. Europe has made that decision and is faced with changing and trying to recover or die.
    To strategy of the now: The best I can see for the moment is to help these people leave and relocate.
    On a purely military observation, Israel is the last secure foot hold east of Greece in that area and we better make sure it stays that way. I hope that was sufficiently disorganized and confusing, my smart guy hat needs re blocking.