ONE OF MY favourite cinematic moments is the scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian when Reg, aka John Cleese, the leader of the People’s Front of Judea, is trying to whip up anti-Roman sentiment among his team of slightly hesitant commandos.
“What have the Romans ever done for us?” he asks.
“Well, there’s the aqueduct,” somebody says, thoughtfully. “The sanitation,” says another. “Public order,” offers a third. Reg reluctantly acknowledges that there may have been a couple of benefits. But then steadily, and with increasing enthusiasm, his men reel off a litany of the good things the Romans have wrought with their occupation of the Holy Land.
By the time they’re finished they’re not so sure about the whole insurgency idea after all and an exasperated Reg tries to rally them: “All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”
I can’t help but think of that scene as I watch the contortions of the anti-American hordes in Britain, Europe and even in the US itself in response to the remarkable events that are unfolding in the real Middle East today.
I love Monty Python and just about any Python reference. And Baker's use of a very funny scene and applying it to real life is just icing on the cake.
Also reminds me of a scene from The Simpsons
Krusty: Aw, heck: now where am I gonna get a danish?
Bart: Here's a danish, Krusty!
Krusty: Gimme, gimme, gimme! [devours it] Now that's danish! Where'd you get it?
Bart: I stole it from Kent Brockman.
Krusty: Great! [realizes] Uh, he didn't touch it, did he?
Krusty: Good job, kid! What's your name?
Bart: I'm Bart Simpson. I saved you from jail.
Krusty: [not remembering] Er, I...
Bart: I reunited you with your estranged father.
Krusty: Er, uh, I don't know...
Bart: I saved your career, man! Remember your comeback special?
Krusty: Yeah, well, what have you done for me lately?
Bart: I got you that danish.
Krusty: [grateful] And I'll never forget it.
That's the European elites in a nutshell. Ingrates.