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The Seeker

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btw, maybe I'm painting the wrong picture here, I'm not talking about dozens of people coming in an hour after the start, but on and of again one or two people who quietly come into the room or leave early just as carefully not to disturb the others :)

No. Bad. Death stares. I got here on time, I am sitting through the entire two hours, YOU DO IT TOO, slackers.

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For anyone who might be interested in the history of the Chicago "L" system (that's our trains), you can go here --> http://chicago-l.org/index.html

You can read about stations, the history of the signage that's been used, look at great pictures of our rapid transit system over the years (from the late 1800s to the present)....it's a lot of fun. I can spend hours there, even if I know all of that already after having grown up there.

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strange :crazy:

just an article I found quite interesting:

"Cleverness is no more. This is a dumb Britain" by Jeremy Clarkson

and related: Novel Writing

[big]Cleverness is no more. This is a dumb Britain[/big]

[smaller]Jeremy Clarkson | From The Sunday Times | October 11, 2009 | Jeremy Clarkson | Link[/smaller]

Forty years ago, my dad came into my bedroom and made me get up.

I was nine and sleepy. I was snuggly and warm. I wanted to stay under the covers. But he was insistent. “There is something on television you need to see,†he said. And I remember the next bit vividly: “It’s going to be important.â€

So downstairs I went and there, in black and white, were some men talking, while nearby, various sheep fell out of trees. I laughed so much, my teddy bear’s arm came off. And so it was that at the age of nine, I became Monty Python’s first and youngest fan.

Aged 13, I was taken to the Grand in Leeds to see the Pythons perform in what they called their “first farewell tourâ€, and afterwards, we all went out for supper together. John Cleese, whom my father had befriended, Eric Idle, Graham Chapman, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and me. They all signed a copy of my Big Red Book and it remains the one possession I would save should my house choose to explode.

I would spend hours listening to their records, and reliving their television programmes in my head. And eventually — my dad said it would be important — this fanaticism caused me to pass my English O-level. I was sitting there, in my study at school, listening to Snow Goose, with the dreary Merchant of Venice swimming around on the page, none of it making any sense at all.

And then I thought: “Hang on a minute, if it is possible to learn off by heart Eric Idle’s travel agent sketch, then how hard can it be to memorise this twaddle?†So that’s what I did. Learnt it.

I knew all the Python sketches off by heart. And the books. And the films. I still do. And I still fly off the handle when someone misquotes. It was Norwegian Jarlsberger, you imbecile. I know it’s really called Jarlsberg but that’s not what Cleese said. How can you not know that??!!?

Only last week, I was asked by a keen young reporter to recite my favourite Python sketch into her camera for a feature she was making. I did Novel Writing.

Novel Writing is another reason Python turned out to be important. It’s the reason I’m married. My wife is a huge fan of Thomas Hardy and was deeply impressed that I knew the opening page of The Return of the Native. She never realised that I was simply reciting a Python sketch. In the same way that she never knew when I hummed Nessun Dorma that I was singing what I thought was the music from a commercial for Pirelli.

Novel Writing is at the very heart of what makes Monty Python so brilliant. The notion of Thomas Hardy writing his books, in front of a good-natured bank holiday crowd in Dorset, while cricket-style commentators and pundits assess every word he commits to paper is a juxtaposition you don’t find in comedy very much any more.

To get the point you need to know that while Hardy may be seen as a literary colossus, there’s no escaping the fact his novels are dirge. We see these attacks on intellectualism throughout Python. To understand the joke, you need to know that René Descartes did not say, I “drink†therefore I am. You need to know that if you cure a man of leprosy, you are taking away his trade. And that really Archimedes did not invent football.

Today my encyclopedic knowledge of everything Python is seen as a bit sad. Former fans point out that Cleese has lost it, that Jones is married to an eight-year-old and that Spamalot was a travesty. Worse. Liking Python apparently marks me out as a “public-school toffâ€.

There’s a very good reason for this. Nowadays people wear their stupidity like a badge of honour. Knowing how to play chess will get your head kicked off. Reading a book with no pictures in it will cause there to be no friend requests on your Facebook page. Little Britain is funny because people vomit a lot. Monty Python is not because they delight in all manifestations of the terpsichorean muse.

When you go on a chat show, it is important you tell the audience straight away that you were brought up in a cardboard box and that your dad would thrash you to sleep every night. If you want to get on and to be popular you have to demonstrate that you know nothing. It’s why Stephen Fry makes so many bottom jokes.

And then you have my colleague James May, who says that, occasionally on Top Gear, he would like to present a germane and thought-provoking piece on engineering. But I won’t let him unless his trousers fall down at some point. I’m ashamed to say that’s true.

It’s also true that today no one ever gets rich by overestimating the intelligence of their audience. Today you make a show assuming the viewers know how to breathe and that’s about it. It’s therefore an inescapable fact that in 2009 Monty Python would not be commissioned.

The only example of intelligent sketch-show comedy in Britain today is Harry & Paul. And what’s happened to that? Well, it’s been shunted from BBC1 to BBC2. And you get the impression it’ll be gone completely unless they stop using Jonathan Miller as a butt for their wit. Today you are not allowed to know about Jonathan Miller because if you do, you are a snob.

That’s why my Monty Python appreciation society is so small and secret. Members speak every morning, each giving one another a word or phrase that has to be placed in context by six that evening. Last month I was given one word: “becauseâ€. And I got it. It’s from the Four Yorkshiremen. “We were happy ... Because we were poor.â€

The Pythons were laughing at that idea then. We’re not laughing any more.

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When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.

There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of creatures Chuck Norris has allowed to live.

Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

Chuck Norris is currently suing NBC, claiming Law and Order are trademarked names for his left and right legs.

Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Chuck Norris counted to infinity - twice.

There is no chin behind Chuck Norris’ beard. There is only another fist.

When Chuck Norris does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.

Chuck Norris is so fast, he can run around the world and punch himself in the back of the head.

Chuck Norris Facts

:grin: :grin:

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