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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pythons and privilege

Finished The Python Years: Diaries 1969-1979 by Michael Palin. Really interesting. You get the impression Cleese was living beyond his means from early on and that Idle always saw himself as a member of the jet set, which probably helps explain this year's reunion. These people have lifestyles that have to be maintained.

But even modest Michael doesn't really appreciate how privileged he is; or if he does he doesn't let on. In 1979 he's asked to open a fete at the local boys secondary school. He does it in the hope that his own boys will be able to get in to the school when they're old enough. Don't think that was ever in doubt. If you're famous enough to open the fete, you're famous enough to open lots of other doors. It's the kind of power celebrities prefer to play down.