February 1, 2016


In a video for Big Think, Cleese speaks specifically about college campuses, where he says he’s been warned not to perform because “any kind of criticism or any individual or group could be labeled cruel.”

Cleese also recalled something said to him about the issue by London psychiatrist Robin Skynner, with whom he’s worked on two books about psychology and psychiatry.

“[Skynner] said, ‘If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.’ And when you’re around super-sensitive people, you cannot relax and be spontaneous because you have no idea what’s going to upset them next,” says Cleese.

I love the original Monty Python series and have seen every episode countless times (though I’m not as crazy about the last season, when Cleese had left the show), but it was a full-on BBC-endorsed assault on traditional English values. Funny how when your goal is fundamental transformation, sometimes what you rue what you end up with. But then, as I’ve written before, John Cleese morphed into Theodore Dalrymple so slowly, I hardly even noticed.

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