I remember watching Monty Python's Flying Circus way back. As a skit was going along and running out of gas (or petrol I suppose, since it was very English) an army officer, played by Graham Chapman, would interrupt saying, "Stop that! It's getting silly!" I feel that way quite often and wish some groups could have a do-over. Sadly, more often than not, things just keep getting more and more silly.
Around the same time, a political party evolved from a discussion over dinner at our lawyer's house. We were all concerned about overspending in the Canadian government of the day. The conservative ideas we proposed were very pro-business, and yet they included ideas about making sure that the average person would make a decent wage, too. After all, how can businesses thrive when people haven't enough money to purchase their products?
We decided it was time to expand the party membership by having an open meeting. That is where things went very wrong. A few highly vocal and persuasive extremists and bigots exercised their democratic rights and the original platform was replaced by something quite hideous. Those of us who had started the party simply walked away, depriving the group of our organizational skills. Thankfully, the party died.
I sometimes think of that adventure into politics, and subsequent adventures in church-going, and wonder how often that sort of thing has happened; when a wonderful idea has been germinated, but gets twisted and changed into something else as it becomes organized into a religion or a political party.
Ideas and beliefs are good. Institutions with members and rules become extreme. They tend to polarize a population into we and they, good and evil.
Perhaps, we all need a do-over. I know it has done me a world of good personally!
And now, for something completely different:
The Galaxy Song
Monty Python: John Du Prez / Eric Idle
Whenever life gets you down, Mrs. Brown,
And things seem hard or tough,
And people are stupid, obnoxious or daft,
And you feel that you've had quite eno-o-o-o-o-ough,
Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at 900 miles an hour.
It's orbiting at 19 miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
Now the sun, and you and me, and all the stars that we can see,
Are moving at a million miles a day,
In an outer spiral arm, at 40, 000 miles an hour,
Of a galaxy we call the Milky Way.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars;
It's a hundred thousand light-years side to side;
It bulges in the middle sixteen thousand light-years thick,
But out by us it's just three thousand light-years wide.
We're thirty thousand light-years from Galactic Central Point,
We go 'round every two hundred million years;
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding,
In all of the directions it can whiz;
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!