Yesterday we linked to the Web site Strange Women Lying in Ponds for its proprietor’s account of his encounter with Madeleine Albright. Several readers have written to identify the source of the Web site’s name in a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
The scene seems “strangely” relevant to the news of the day. In the scene, a peasant denies that Arthur deserves to be king because the lady of the lake rose from the waters and gave him Excalibur. Reader Daydd ab Hugh has kindly supplied the relevant dialogue:
Arthur: I am your king!
Woman: Well I didn’t vote for you!
Arthur: You don’t vote for kings!
Woman: Well ‘ow’d you become king then?
(holy music up)
Arthur: The Lady of the Lake — her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king!
Man: (laughingly) Listen: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some… farcical aquatic ceremony!
Arthur: (yelling) BE QUIET!
Man: You can’t expect to wield supreme executive power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!!
Arthur: (coming forward and grabbing the man) Shut *UP*!
Man: I mean, if I went ’round, saying I was an emperor, just because some moistened bink had lobbed a scimitar at me, they’d put me away!
Arthur: (throwing the man around) Shut up, will you, SHUT UP!
Man: Aha! Now we see the violence inherent in the system!
Arthur: SHUT UP!
Man: (yelling to all the other workers) Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP, HELP, I’M BEING REPRESSED!
Arthur: (letting go and walking away) Bloody PEASANT!
Man: Oh, what a giveaway! Did’j’hear that, did’j’hear that, eh? That’s what I’m all about! Did you see ‘im repressing me? You saw it, didn’t you?!
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill
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