Obscure Box

Thoughts from inside the obscure box


May 16, 2008

Hillary Clinton and the Holy Grail

Posted by : Michael Lund
Filed under : Media, Movies, Online, Print, Radio

Who first mentioned the link between Hillary Clinton's ailing campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination and the scene with the Black Knight from the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail?

This Monday the ABC's Tony Eastley introduced a piece "Clinton's hopes of nomination grim" (Monday 12 May 2008) on the AM program with reference to the classic 1975 comedy.

Like Monty Python's mutilated knight who fights on claiming the loss of his legs and arms as merely a flesh wound, Hillary Clinton, doesn't appear to see the true nature of her predicament.

Monty Python's the Black Knight

Monty Python's the Black Knight.

It was an amusing turn from the normally staid public broadcaster. There was no further Python reference in the piece from Washington correspondent Michael Rowland.

But maybe he read the story "Clinton Touts White Support" (Thursday 8 May 2008) in the New York Times website the Thursday before.

Some wag had made the comment:

Senator Clinton is starting to sound like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Huge losses, "just a flesh wound", and now as he walks off into the future, she's lying dismembered on the ground saying "come back, you patsy, I'll bite your legs off!"

— Posted by boomer

But then maybe "boomer" has been reading Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper which back in April carried the story "Hillary Clinton can't see that it's over" (Thursday 24 April 2008) (echoed in the Sydney Morning Herald in "Scripts keep changing in nomination battle time forgot" (Friday 25 April 2008)).

Toby Harnden's article was looking at possible movie comparisons to the Clinton campaign.

But after the former First Lady's nine-point win in Pennsylvania, I'm convinced the "epic movie now on final reel", as yesterday's Chicago Tribune put it, without plumping for a particular title, is in fact Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Or, more precisely, the scene in which Arthur - the Obama character - confronts the Black Knight (Hillary), lops off his arm and declares: "Now stand aside, worthy adversary."

But the Black Knight, like Hillary, refuses to succumb, declaring "'tis but a scratch" and it's "just a flesh wound" as Arthur dismembers him. "I'm invincible!" the Black Knight, by this point just a torso, declares finally. "The Black Knight always triumphs… I'll bite your legs off!"

Harnden follows up his own article in his blog for the newspaper in "Which movie is Hillary Clinton?".

Regardless of whoever was first, references to the link between Clinton and Python's Black Knight continue to crop up as this endless campaign continues.

The Mountain Home News said this week in "It's time for Hillary to quit" (Wednesday 14 May 2008):

...Hillary has got to quit. She's starting to remind me of the black knight from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," who refused to quit even after both arms and both legs had been hacked off by King Arthur.

The Blogging Stocks piece "Will Obama push Clinton out by helping pay her $20 million campaign debt?" (Thursday 15 May 2008) said:

Every time I hear Clinton give a speech about how she's not giving up, I am reminded of a scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In this scene, the Black Knight continues to threaten King Arthur despite getting both his arms and one of his legs cut off. In my mind, I imagine that the Black Knight is Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is King Arthur.

How long before Clinton will be parroting (sorry) that other Python classic? Always look on the bright side of life.


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All thoughts and comments here are the honestly held personal opinion of Michael Lund and are based on the information available at the time of publication.

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