Ian Willmore ianw at
Fri May 30 04:18:29 MDT 2003

In m-d no 5921 Tom O Lincoln wrote: "In genuine art, there will always be something for
revolutionaries to value."

Is this true? I have a personal weakness for Italian futurism, even though many leading futurists
ended up backing Mussolini. Were they genuine artists, and if so what was there for revolutionaries
(or even soggy social dems like me) to value in their work?

Incidentally, John Cleese is a Liberal Democrat in British political terms - and was an early backer
of the right winf Social Democratic Party that split from Labour in the early 1980s. Other Monty
Python alumni were more left-wing. Terry Jones, for example, wrote some very sharp and funny stuff
about the official lies told in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Cleese is also interested in
psychoanalysis, and I think Basil Fawlty in particular was a brilliant study in frustrated rage - he
would sometimes almost literally melt down in his frustration. I agree that this could be quite
painful to watch, but good comedy often is - as those who have seen Ricky Gervais' magnificent "The
Office" will agree.

By the way - to move to US pop culture - is Buffy the Vampire Slayer genuine art? If so what do
revolutionaries value in it? I love it, but I can't help feeling guilty about it ...

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