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Monty Python’s truth seeker’s football match: The Epic Showdown between the Greeks & Germans

Last year, we witnessed a very nerve-racking, unpleasant showdown among Germany and Greece as the topmost country inside the ecu Union drove its maximum indebted USA to make painful, perhaps punishing compromises. in a single evaluation of this difficult-to-watch economic humiliation—for Greece, this is The Washington put up made use of a miles more lighthearted contest among the 2 countries, one in which Greece emerged the victor after scoring the only purpose of the match.
The soccer healthy, this is in case you need to, football—performed between German and Greek philosophers in 1972 and staged by using Monty Python. On one aspect, Hegel, Leibniz, Kant, Marx, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, and extra (along with actual footballer Franz Beckenbauer, a “marvel inclusion”)… on the other hand, Socrates, Archimedes, Heraclitus, Plato, Democritus, Epictetus, and many others…. at the sidelines of this showdown among Western schools of notion, Confucius served as the referee. Even after that single purpose, scored after complete halves of meandering, the 2 groups came into conflict—in heated arguments approximately the nature of lifestyles….
I received’t maintain to bore you by means of explaining the gags—watch the sketch above.
Filmed on the Grünwalder Stadion in Munich (presumably giving the Germans domestic area gain), the caricature, Terry Jones recalled many years later, is set the “clash of opposites.” No, now not the two international locations, however the opposites of sports activities and intellectual exercise. “You may not consider football too much,” said Jones, “You just need to do it.” This proves challenging for our deep thinkers.
Why soccer? as it’s “a crew hobby,” Jones spoke back, “which philosophy, as a standard rule, is not.” The Pythons weren’t the first to make the “incongruous” connection. Albert Camus performed the sport, as a goalkeeper, and performed it quite nicely through all money owed. He as soon as wrote, “All I realize most simply approximately morality and obligations, I owe to football.”


The injunction to “Just do it” wouldn’t gift an excessive amount of of a challenge for an existentialist, one could assume. Logician Julian Baggini places the Pythons firmly in that faculty of thought, their take on it a “coherent, Anglo-Saxon” one. Indeed, like Camus, the British comedians recognized the absurdity of existence, and confirmed us that “the right response is to chortle at it.” They also confirmed us that philosophy might be hilarious, and made a traditional caricature academics may want to use to refute expenses they’re a dour.
It have to come as no marvel that the Python “maximum inquisitive about the challenge” of philosophy and comedy become John Cleese—whom we’ve featured right here regularly for his abilties in combining the 2. Cleese, writes Baggini, is “on report as saying that comedy and deep idea can cross hand in hand. ‘You and I may want to talk approximately the meaning of life, or training, or marriage,’ Cleese once instructed a journalist, ‘and we can be laughing a lot, and it doesn’t mean that what we’re speaking about isn’t serious.’”
Stimulated via the Pythons’ serio-comedian love of learning, Baggini, and other philosophers like A.C. Grayling and Nigel Warburton, at the side of comedians, historians, and reporters, determined to restage the Germany-Greek fit in 2010. Where the Pythons indirectly boosted intellectual pastimes inside the course of mocking them, the individuals in this “recreation”—such as it become—explicitly sought to promote “Reasoning,” the “fourth R” in “reading, W(r)iting, and A(r)ithmetic.”
See them bumble round on the pitch right here and usually have an awesome time making philosophical fools of themselves to the lines of Monty Python’s rowdy anthem “The logician’s song.”

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