Showing posts with label Life of Brian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life of Brian. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Banned in Baton Rouge

When I was a much younger man -- OK, not a man yet at all --  if you were really, really obsessed or pissed off about a local calamity, you always could write to ACTION, please! in the State-Times, right there in River City.

I'm talking a capital "AC" that rhymes with "WHACK" and ends with "SHUN."

Which, on Friday, April 20, 1973, is how we learned Paul McCartney was too filthy for Baton Rouge, and Chuck Berry missed suffering the same fate Fanny Hill did in Boston by this much.

Let's go to the microfiche:
OF COURSE, all those Baton Rougeans who thought the song "terrible" probably never get tired of hearing it today as part of the 200-song rotation on classic-rock radio. To be fair, though, the BBC banned it, too.

"Auntie" banned all the good songs.

But I've wandered a smidge. Anyway, the real significance of l'affaire Wings was that it meant that Baton Rouge was just getting warmed up.

JUST SIX years down the road, the motley metropolis sitting at the corner of coonass and redneck would face an existential cinematic threat that would require a full-bore Interfaith Inquisition to suppress.
The effort to save Baton Rouge from Monty Python's Life of Brian may have been one of the most complete examples of Catholic-Southern Baptist cooperation in the Deep South not involving fishing and the surreptitious consumption of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
And isn't that, when it comes right down to it, the genius of American civil society? Only under the authority of the state can Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists conspire completely enough to stick it to a bunch of heathen Limeys and their smutty, blaspheming moving picture. 

Damn straight, Cletus.

God bless, Boudreaux.

And always look on the bright side of life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The life of Ossie

Ossie Brown is dead.

Baton Rouge, you now may resume watching Monty Python's Life of Brian.

Brown -- a legendary defense attorney who launched a second career as East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney and religious police -- wasn't particularly noted for bold and stunning prosecutions of public wrongdoing. Actually, he was pretty good in finding reasons not to prosecute a long line of grafters and influence peddlers in Louisiana's state capital.

NO, WHAT Ossie Brown is remembered for is twofold -- being a fixture on Channel 33 as co-host of the annual Jerry Lewis telethon and for getting Life of Brian banned in Baton Rouge. Not that he legally could ban a movie under our constitutional form of government.

But we are talking about Louisiana. And when a movie theater is strong armed by a district attorney, it has been strong armed well and good.

I remember only one Baton Rouge showing of the film in the late summer and fall of 1979 . . . in the Cotillion Ballroom of the LSU Union. It was sold out, and I didn't get to the box office soon enough.

Ah, to be young and rebellious once again. . . .

SO, ALL THESE years later, I hope God rests Ossie's Southern Baptist soul. But I also hope, when he reaches the Pearly Gates, Ossie finds St. Peter -- who I'm sure he'll be chagrined to learn was the first pope -- whistling "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life."