January 22nd, 2020

rain window

Going beyond the jokes.

Terry Jones, comedian, actor, writer, director, historian and Python, has died of progressive aphasic dementia.  Jones was the more Celtic element of the Monty Python movement and, in a dress, reminded me of my mother.  He added a surreal depth to the writing and direction of Python TV and movie productions, creating a style which went beyond jokes and punchlines, adding sublimations of perplexity.  His career did not end with the Python troupe, but expanded in many directions, including non-fiction works reinterpreting aspects of Medieval history, children's books, documentaries, poetry and music, and appeals to stop the Orwellian, so-called wars on terror and Iraq.

I have seen him in a number of Monty Python movies and specials, via the local library.  The last thing I saw him in was, "Monty Python Live (Mostly)", 2014, produced by George Harrison friend, Eric Idle.  (Harrison also personally bankrolled the milestone, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," which Jones co-directed with Terry Gilliam).  He worked on in 2015, despite encroaching dementia and loss of speech.  He was, through this time, supported by his great friend, Michael Palin.  Both has begun doing comedy together in the mid-1960's at Oxford University, and both had, in addition to similar comedic philosophies, frolicking and innocent spirits.  Terry Jones was a quiet but profound influencer in Monty Python; and beyond, through his prolific works in history, etc.  He was possibly the most important thinker of the group, and will be seen to have the greatest influence, in the long run.  And, I'd like to note, despite, or because of, his daring, creative Celtic nature, Jones was banned, when it came to his movies, etc., in the Catholic Republic of Ireland.  Note: Jones also advocated for Scotland remaining in the UK.

It is now known that reading, thinking, learning, can all have defensive or delaying effects against dementia.  So, it is ironic and sad that this thinker should nevertheless be killed by it.  The subject interests me for a few reasons, including the fact that I am pushing back some dementia even as I write this.  When I was outside, earlier today with dog, the crazy man downstairs was peering out his window, to catch me being drunk.  In fact, I tilt and swoon from dementia, not drinking.  The pain, the fatigue, the social alienation, the dark future, these are why I may sometimes add insult to injury.  After all, I'm crazy.  My brain hurts.  Just giving a little personal insight into the ravages of dementia, which is a wide-ranging condition.  We all leave, through different doors, but it never hurts the less to see it happen.  Goodbye, Terry Jones.

Terry Jones: 'I've got dementia. My frontal lobe has absconded.

'Monty Python' star Terry Jones' dementia so bad he can no longer speak

Monty Python celebrate 'Life of Brian,' honor ailing Jones

Michael Palin on Terry Jones dementia battle: 'It's only a matter of time..."

Monty Python's Terry Jones still laughs at his 30-year-old jokes

Terry Jones | Speaker, Author, Innovator, Entrepreneur

Terry Jones, a Python and a Scholar, Is Dead at 77 - The New York Times

* - galaxy

Dog tails - part 2

My dog remembers his dreams!  As we lay on my futon a few hours ago, I felt his legs 'running' in their sleep.  I whispered, "run!'  And he ran harder.  He is so suggestible when he dreams.  Since we have been having the latest round of neighbour troubles, I figured I should do a little dog-programming.  So, I whispered, "help!", etc., and, "bark!"  Immediately, he gave out a very loud edgy yowl, twice!  that woke him up and he lay there thinking.  So, a little later, we were in the kitchen, and I said, "Thank you for helping me."  And he just stops, standing there thinking.  And I continue, "Thank you for barking."  He totally knew what I was talkign about, because he gave that big forward 'jump' and wagging tail.  Normally, he would either just have stood there, like, "whatever," or he would have obliged me mildly just so he could get a cookie.  But I know this big waggy jump, it is always a signal that he knows exactly what I mean, as it has been proved itself so many other times.  So, madman has basically proved that dogs remember their dreams - or at least they can, or some of them can, if they are in a loving environment.  A dog scrapping for food, survival, dominance, etc., has no business remembering dreams.  Dogs are not usually known to be patient, musing, contemplative animals.  Actually, getting my Akita to this point, over the years, is a great accomplishment.  But at least he had no real background of torment or anything.  He just spent his puppy days out doors on a leash, sometimes playing with children.

PS - search "Subway Dog"