Life of Python

John Cleese has been planning a stage production of “Life of Brian,” and in a reading of the latest script, several American actors advised him to cut the “Loretta scene,” in which a man expresses a desire to be a woman. 

“So here you have something there’s never been a complaint about in 40 years, that I’ve heard of,” the Monty Python veteran told reporters, “and now all of a sudden we can’t do it because it’ll offend people. What is one supposed to make of that?

Contrary to fake news reports, Cleese said he had “no intention” of cutting the scene, which involves the Grumpy People’s Front of Judea: 

Judith (Sue Jones-Davies): “I do feel, Reg, that any anti-imperialist group like ours must reflect such a divergence of interests within its power-base.” 

Reg (John Cleese): Agreed. Francis? 

Francis (Michael Palin): Yeah. I think Judith’s point of view is very valid, Reg, provided the movement never forgets that it is the inalienable right of every man . . . 

Stan (Eric Idle): Or woman. . . 

Francise: Or woman . . . to rid himself . . .

Stan: Or herself. 

Francis: Or herself. 

Reg: Agreed. 

Francis: Thank you, brother. 

Stan: Or sister.

Francis: Or sister. Where was I?

Reg: I think you’d finished. 

Francis: Oh, right. 

Reg: Furthermore, it is the birthright of every man . . .

Stan: Or woman. 

Reg: Why don’t you shut up about women, Stan. You’re putting us off. 

Stan: Women have a perfect right to play a part in our movement, Reg. 

Francis: Why are you always on about women, Stan? 

Stan: I want to be one. 

Reg: What?

Stan: I want to be a woman. From now on, I want you all to call me “Loretta.”

Reg: What?

Stan: It’s my right as a man. 

Judith: Well, why do you want to be Loretta, Stan? 

Stan: I want to have babies. 

Reg: You want to have babies?! 

Stan: It’s every man’s right to have babies if he wants them. 

Reg: But . . . you can’t have babies. 

Stan: Don’t you oppress me. 

Reg: I’m not oppressing you, Stan. You haven’t got a womb! Where’s the fetus going to gestate?! You going to keep it in a box?!

Judith: Here! I’ve got an idea. Suppose you agree that he can’t actually have babies, not having a womb, which is nobody’s fault, not even the Romans, but that he can have the right to have babies. 

Francis: Good idea, Judith. We shall fight the oppressors for your right to have babies, brother. Sister. Sorry. 

Reg: What’s the point? 

Francis: What? 

Reg: What’s the point of fighting for his right to have babies when he can’t have babies?! 

Francis: It is symbolic of our struggle against oppression.

Reg: Symbolic of his struggle against reality.

That exchange touched off no complaints for 40 years, but things are different now. As Bruce Bawer writes, the current trans movement is a “revolution against reality itself,” the dictatorship of the subjunctive mood (DSM) on full display. 

Mental patients often claim to be Napoleon, Elvis, Queen Victoria and such. In similar style, if Stan now thinks he’s a woman, that is enough to make it so. This unreality is now enforced by government, the medical profession, the educational system, and the courts. 

For example, convicted murderer Rodney Quine claimed that he was really a woman and federal judge, John Tigar, ordered his “sexual reassignment surgery” at taxpayer expense. The rebranded Shiloh Heavenly Quine duly gained transfer to a women’s prison. 

By DSM standards, Judith, Reg, Francis and all members of the Grumpy People’s Front would have to accept Stan’s claim that he is a woman. To think otherwise and in any way adhere to reality would be to “oppress” Stan, and make them guilty of “transphobia.” 

Pontius Pilate (Michael Palin) would issue a decree that all Romans must accept Stan’s claim to be a woman and must call him Loretta. Failing to do so would involve loss of job, or possibly a trip to the Coliseum. 

Roman taxpayers would have to spring for Stan’s tuck-and-roll job, but he would still be unable to bear children. That doesn’t matter because it’s all symbolic of the struggle against oppression. 

Reg said it was about the struggle against reality, and Reg was ahead of his time. 

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About Lloyd Billingsley

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and other books including Bill of Writes and Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation. His journalism has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Spectator (London) and many other publications. Billingsley serves as a policy fellow with the Independent Institute.

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