Two takes on one-upmanship

13 Apr

Pete ‘n Dud bemoan the beautiful and famous women they’ve had, who just won’t accept it’s over and time to move on …

… while four self made Yorkshiremen sipping Chateau de Chassellat compete over who had it t’ardest when they were lads.

2 Replies to “Two takes on one-upmanship

  1. Still funny after all these years (though probably only to a generation which is passing). Especially the facial expressions and other non verbal communications evident between Cooke and Moore.

    Arguably, one of the reasons these sketches are and remain funny is that they reflect a caricature of what during that era everyone instinctively recognised as characters divorced from reality.

    A lot of Monty Python relied on this type of approach. As with the ‘I want to be a woman’ scene from the ‘Life of Brian’.

    Chosen as an example here simply because it resonates with one example of the present day Zeitgeist in which the caricatures displayed in the two one-upmanship videos of this piece are no longer caricatures but the ‘new normal’ of what passes for a Western Culture which, as Alistair Crooke notes here….

    ….”the non-West now sees only too clearly that the post-modern West is not a civilisation per se, but rather something akin to a mechanical ‘operating system’ (managerial technocracy). It does not fit the Multipolar blueprint, as it is no longer a civilisational state.”

    sidenote: If Monty Python were starting out today it would have to take the opposite approach and caricature what back in the day was considered normal to get any resonance at all. Like the sketch – it might have been ‘The Fast Show’ but I’m not confident on that point – about British Asians going for a night out at an English Restaurant to eat bland food.

    The argument Crooke advances in this piece seems relevant here in that what he is drawing attention to is the way in which;

    “the American (and by extension the rest of the Collective West) upper class had essentially seceded from the American nation and emigrated into a separate reality (much like Cook and Moore and the Python team in those two clips only here its not comedy its an imposed unreality) in which they envisaged the disassembly of the existing western Order, in the name of justice and retribution…..”


    “….America (and again the rest of the Collective West) is no longer a nation-state, but a nihilist empire, in constant revolt against its own past and with a ruling élite determined to break the preponderant hold of the white, blue collar and middle classes over American society…..”


    “….secession (which) has given birth to “a breath-taking dogmatism across the spectrum of Western élites, a kind of ideological solipsism preventing them from seeing the world – as it actually is”.”

    What Crooke misses out here is a more explicit detail of the fact that the Western elites – its Oligarch class and its paid political and media Class sycophants – are not content to impose their own unreality onto their own ‘societies’. Having created a “mechanical operating system’ – which cannot be classed even as a ‘society’ never mind a ‘civilisation’ – on their own populations they are clearly intent on imposing their unreality on the rest of the planet and are prepared to destroy all life, including their own, if necessary if they cannot get their own way.

    The West has become a death cult. And this is where it seems necessary to part company with Crooke on the notion that any co-existence is possible between the two models.

    Orwell’s 1984 novel put forward the notion that the future was something akin to a boot stamping on a human head forever. It seems that the dead end (in a literal sense) that we have ended up with is a future in which we all have to live and operate inside a Monty Python caricature of unreality for ever.

    • Back at the more superficial level, I love the way Pete ‘n Dud break the rules of comedy. It’s supposed to be delivered with a straight face but as the sketch progresses they struggle visibly to wipe the grins off their faces. And it makes it funnier still.

      As for the Four Yorkshiremen – I’d forgotten btw that one of them was Marty Feldman – that sketch served a useful social function. When a bar room bore was overplaying the working class hero card, it made for a gentle but effective way of getting them to dial it down.

      “You had a cardboard box to live in? Luxury!”

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