Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crowd-sourcing plea (with a reflective update)

I am entirely convinced that I once (or more than once) saw a Monty Python sketch that I think of as having the title, "What if Queen Victoria could fly?" I remember it as a mock-pompous alternative history exploration, in pseudo-BBC documentary style, of how this would have affected European history.  E.g., it suggests that she would have raised British morale by flying overhead, and also could have scouted German military positions.

The problem is that I absolutely cannot find any reference to it on-line.  Or at least, I can't find a reference to its actual existence. It is easy enough to find proof that I have previously referred to it in writing, indeed twice.

Does anyone out there remember such a sketch (be it from Monty Python or something else), or have suggestions as to where one might find it?

UPDATE: As per the comments below, the mystery has been resolved for me - it was Saturday Night Live and Eleanor Roosevelt, not Monty Python and Queen Victoria. Odd how clear my contrary memory seemed to be.

False (or at least altered) memories are an established scientific fact, but I don't recall such a clear prior example from my own memories. But of course that's circular - it concerns possibly false memories about possibly false memories.

My very first or oldest memory in life is undoubtedly altered or at least composite. I recall standing up against the side of a playpen with tan wooden slats - the color of which I accurately remembered (according to my parents, when I asked them some decades ago) - having just, out of whimsy as it seems, tossed all my toys out of it onto the floor. In the memory I am too young to be able to stand unsupported, or to walk. I'm alone in the room, and am probably wondering, pre-verbally: What exactly did I do that for? What am I going to do now? But it feels reflective, rather than cathartic. Then, in the memory, I let myself fall back again onto the soft mattress-like surface of the playpen.

In what's coded as a memory of the same moment, I have also, for the first time ever, come to grasp - and been stunned by - the irreversibility of time. A second of clock time passes - it's infinitely short, I inaccurately believed at the time, and without understanding how multiple seconds would then also have to be infinitely short - and then it's gone, never to return. The phrase that encapsulated for me this startling realization was: "Now is now, and then is then." I reflected on this for a bit, appreciating how important it was.

I suppose that both the playpen memory and that of my becoming aware of time's arrow could have a real historical basis. But my memory of them as simultaneous presumably can't be true, given that at the playpen stage I was probably too young either to understand time or to articulate my understanding.

3 comments:

Greg Arzoomanian said...

It was SNL & Eleanor Roosevelt.

Daniel Shaviro said...

Thanks, Greg - that's obviously it. But it's odd (and telling about how memory works) that my memory, shared by my brother, has so clearly transposed it.

Stuart Feuer said...

I have a clear memory of a line from Repo Man, and I have repeated this line many times, as I think it borders on comic genius. Harry Dean Stanton is giving the repo man philosophy to his acolyte, Emilio Estevez (sp?), and he says,
"Repo men don't avoid intensity. They seek it out."
However, I found out recently that this line is not in the movie? WTF?