A Double Drabble* of Bugger All: On Monty Python’s Galaxy Song

Curator's Note

And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space, ’Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.

A fan is 'a person who’s into something that requires an operational brain and some creativity.' I’m not a fan of Eric Idle, but we were at the Royal Wolverhampton Orphanage Asylum together. His Galaxy Song expresses the ludicrousness of self-loathing that comes from years at an English boarding school. Like Dylan Thomas, Idle wastes no sentiment on that; his ‘bugger all’ is also a carrier, replicating scientific, musical and comedic intelligence across the universe of knowledge. You can enjoy the original movie clip here and here ; the script here, lyrics here. If music is your quest you can get the chords for playing it here. If you love science, you can check the accuracy of Eric’s galactic calculations here and here. If you’re a vidder you can enjoy remixes here and here. If you’re a fan, go for it here and here. Get a ringtone here. I like the H2G2 site best: a user-created encyclopaedia, hosted by the BBC, of ‘life, the universe, and everything,’ quoting the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As I said once before, Idle ‘has caught my mood exactly, and I know just where he caught it.’

So: Can we have your liver then?

*In fannish, a drabble is a story of 100 words – a double drabble is 200. This entry is a double drabble, if you don’t count (a) the links; (b) the quoted couplet; and (c) that it’s non-fiction.

Thanks to Jean Burgess and Eli Koger for their help uploading this!


Hee, first of all, I appreciate the accuracy of your terms; these kids today think everything short's a drabble. *g* What I found myself thinking while watching this is the way that a particular scientific and technological mindset threads through so much of fannish work, indicating our shared roots in that glorious late 19th century moment when magic, film, and the science of optics were all pretty much the same thing. There's a particular, geeky, cataloging of knowledge that runs through Python (probably from their Oxbridge roots, don't you think, Mrs. Hegel? Absolutely, Mrs. Sartre) and I think that's late 19th century too: fandom comes out of the people who were amateur scientists before "amateur" was a bad word; the kind of folks who labeled rocks and kept them in tiny drawers, thus founding the entire science of geology almost by accident. Now the drawers are virtual, the thumb's electronic, and the roundabout's at Barnard's Star, but other than that...

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