TIFF: Face time with Terry Jones

Andrew Tolson photographs comedic genius. Hilarity ensues


Terry Jones, one of the comedic geniuses behind the legendary Monty Python, was at TIFF to talk about his involvement in Liar’s Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python’s Graham Chapman. So, what do you do when you have one minute for a photo shoot?

When it’s Terry Jones, you ask him to act natural …

Photographs by Andrew Tolson




TIFF: Face time with Terry Jones

    • I’m surprised given that this work, and his documentary series on the middle ages, depicts the people as being far more intelligent and accomplished than they are commonly depicted by the protestant and secular black legend of the “dark ages”.

      Given you mouth off about “progress” and “being dragged back to the dark ages” on every other post, I’d think you would hate these documentaries, because it directly contradicts your worldview.

      • Perhaps you’re unaware the ‘Middle Ages’ ran from the 5th to the 15th centuries.

        ‘The last time the church ran the world we called it the Dark Ages.’

        But we progressed after the Arabs helped us out. We promptly paid them back by holding a crusade. Several in fact. We eventually got to the Renaissance….the Arab world got torn apart.

        I recommended this book because it supports my worldview….being, you know….actual history and all.

        • Oh wow. Haha. The Arabs indeed helped us out, by continuing and spreading into North Africa (and eventually Spain) works of Greek Intellectuals like Aristotle which they in turn had received from Syrian Christians. With Aristotle they gained a worldview that was almost scientific, and thus made many advances of their own.

          The Universities of Toledo were a mix of Jewish, Christian and Muslim intellectuals, which is why Gerbert D’Aurillac studied there. He is credited with popularizing Algebra throughout Europe due to his influence as Pope Sylvester II.

          Before that, Europe was a backwater for a few reasons.

          First, it was a backwater in Roman times as well, with the education and culture of the Roman Empire largely concentrated in the Greek East. Greek was the language of science and learning, with Latin not really becoming a language of intellectuals until the Church made it so.

          Second, the entirety of Europe was taken over by people who, while they made things slightly better for people to live than living under oppressive, totalitarian, and chaotic Rome (the average reign of a Roman emperor after Marcus Aurelius was about 1.5 years, and only a handful died of anything besides violence) they weren’t exactly tuned in to the philosophical and cultural currents of the Greek East. Outside of the Church, literacy pretty much died because the new rulers didn’t particularly need it as their governance was decentralized and based on personal oaths of loyalty rather than things like taxes, a professional military and a civil service.

          Third, the Muslims screwed us over before they “helped us out” (as you put it), by cutting off trade to North Africa and the Near East, and literacy was especially impacted by the loss of papyrus from Egypt. Instead Europeans had to make do with parchment, and if you have to kill a sheep every time you want to write something down it gets expensive in a hurry.

          These were the reasons the intellectual life only really continued within the Church, rather than being the cause of its downfall. If it wasn’t for the cross-national power and influence of the Church, there would have been no preservation of Roman culture and knowledge, and there would have been no spread of Muslim ideas to the corners of Europe.

          Oh and I don’t know if “repaying them with a crusade” is really fair either, given that the reason the West went to the East in the first place was a plea by the Byzantine Emperor because the Muslims were relentlessly conquering them for centuries. If the Muslims weren’t trying to conquer Byzantium, the Crusades would have never happened. For instance one of the first battles of the Crusade was the reconquest of Nicea, which you may recall is fairly important city for Christianity, as it was where we formulated our Creed of orthodoxy.

          I will not be replying again because you are just going to reiterate that the Church is evil and insult me in the bargain. But for all you Maclean’s browsers out there, this is what actually happened in history.

          • Ahhh, I forgot….. it’s Saturday night and you’re in a foul mood again. What’s your drink of choice this time?

            If you choose to believe the bilge your church promotes, it’s your loss.

            History however took place in reality, not your fantasies.