Photo Credit: Flanders DC
John Cleese

John Cleese, 82, our favorite Python, last week blacklisted himself in protest of the Cambridge Union students paper banning British art historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon for impersonating Adolf Hitler.

Cleese tweeted: “I was looking forward to talking to students at the Cambridge Union this Friday, but I hear that someone there has been blacklisted for doing an impersonation of Hitler. I regret that I did the same on a Monty Python show, so I am blacklisting myself before someone else does.”


Cleese was of course referring to his immortal performance in the Fawlty Towers “Don’t mention the War!” episode, in which he goose-steps around a table where a German family is seated, trying his best not to mention the war (he fails).

Cleese, who attended Cambridge back in the mid-20th century, was referring to a decision by the Cambridge Union debating society to blacklist Graham-Dixon over a mock impression of Hitler’s ranting during at the Union a week ago week on art and good taste. Union president Keir Bradwell later announced that Graham-Dixon would never again speak at the Cambridge venue.

In a later tweet, Cleese added: “I apologize to anyone at Cambridge who was hoping to talk with me, but perhaps some of you can find a venue where woke rules do not apply.”

That’s when a user replied: “Serious question. What do you think ‘woke’ means? It’s obvious you don’t like it, but what is it, exactly, you find fault with?”

To which Melissa Jean Swenson (from Portland, OR), responded: “It means I’m easily offended, unforgiving, vengeful, incapable of civil discourse, and will threaten to attack and destroy the career and psychological well-being of anyone who doesn’t align themselves with the rules I’ve made up in my head for how the world should function.”

And that last tweet, folks, was worth reading through this whole report. Copy it, paste it, spread it around, maybe carve it next to Emma Lazarus’ famous “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Melissa Jean Swenson, you nailed it.


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