Opinions (1984) Movie Script

Graham Chapman is a doctor and writer.
His parents hoped for a serious
jewish heterosexual son.
They were disappointed.
Tonight on Opinions he argues
that we should all stop worrying
about what the
neighbours will say.
A chat about what will the
neighbours say could become
a dissertation, a pompous
word, on peer pressure,
which is both glib, and pompous.
To help me stop this, a little box
in the bottom left of your screen
will show the number of times
the phrase peer pressure is used.
An important ethical, or sociological
statement of global significance
will be indicated by a
letter of the alphabet
in the bottom right hand
corner of the screen.
Now that we've established
these guidelines,
I hope you'll all sit back and
really enjoy this stunning chat.
Incidentally, towards the end, there
will be quite a lot of filthy talk.
Stories about sex, smutty
revelations about big names,
and what they get up to
between the sheets.
Yes, the low down on the high
life of the high fliers,
rock, superstars, film,
mega, and giga stars.
And not just towards the end either.
Then there will be some quite
lavatorial bits in a few minutes.
There. Well, what will
the neighbours say?
Now, as the son of a country copper,
a parish PC, an urban district dickhead,
I was made aware of this
phrase at a very early age.
If any of my family were
the subject of gossip
that would put the mockers on
dad's promotional prospects.
Perhaps it was being so aware of
this that made me ignore it totally.
I looked at my neighbours, and didn't
care what they thought, if they did.
Scandalising and mocking
nice decent ordinary folk
became the mission
of a lifetime.
Now, one thing that neighbours
say almost universally,
is that everyone should settle down,
and get married, and have a family.
What a load of donkey do's!
Why in grantham should
anyone commit themself
to a path of such
mindstunting mediocrity?
It's not as if the one thing the world
really needs is more children.
There's nothing clever or difficult
about the act of procreation.
There are four and a half
thousand million of us
on this crowded blue
planet already.
And this will rise to twelve thousand
million in forty years time,
if people continue to settle down,
get married, and have families.
Think of that. Three times
more people then there are now.
Try and find a job then,
you family lovers.
Think of that you in the rush hour, or
while you're on a crowded beach in Ibiza.
Now I know my voice gets louder and
rises in pitch as I warm to my theme,
but I'll try and change that.
Of course, the population of this
country will not rise as quickly
as that of the less
educated part of the world.
But then, we're overpopulated
already, you dumb clucks!
I'm sorry.
Halve the population of Britain,
and there might be hope of
it being self sufficient.
With those who want to work
in interesting jobs working,
and those who don't, just reading
books and playing snooker.
Recreating, but not
reproducing ourselves,
while robots, quite rightly, do all
the messy, boring, and dangerous jobs
we would have such fun
creating them to do,
like mucking out the anaconda.
I mean, swell me, two thirds
of the world is starving now,
Our limited natural resources
are rapidly being used up.
Oil, minerals, forestry, entire
species of animals wiped out
by humanity's unthinking expansion.
Think of this.
And think how, in the name of god,
if there is such an entity,
can people adopt an
attitude of high morality
when advising you to get
married and have a family.
They are of course
using an outdated morality,
one of an age of primitive tribalism.
This is perpetuated by many modern
religions and political beliefs.
In a tribal era, if you were going to
survive primitive hand to hand combat
with other tribes, you
needed more tribespersons.
Tribespersons, through
ignorance, were malnourished,
ate lumps of dirt, swapped
plagues with each other,
and were generally
infected and infested,
living short lives in
verminous clutches.
In those days, if they were
going to survive at all,
they had to reproduce like
rabbits to make up the deficit.
It is precisely against such a
background that many religions began.
The trouble is, they haven't
changed their act since.
Silly people, silly pope.
And for those of you
in Northern Ireland:
You have noticed how I fell
of my chair just then?
Of course you did.
I commend your attention spans.
And for those of you who
have short attention spans,
and maybe are already staring
blankly at the screens,
going back to your knitting
or just chasing crabs,
wake up and pay attention!
I don't intend to go
over all this again.
If you are that stupid, or
have just come into the room,
I am talking about what
will the neighbours say,
a little chat about peer pressure.
The way the weak and feeble amongst us
allow others to determine
the course of our lives.
Now, where was I?
You know, even before a child is born,
parents begin to worry about what
the neighbours will say about it.
Do you want a boy or a girl?
Now if it happens to be a boy,
there's often extra celebration,
presumably because of
the tender thought
that a boy may well earn
more money later on,
and not shame his family by not
getting married and or getting pregnant.
Also it's thought boys are more likely
to become sport stars, pop singers,
union leaders, airline pilots,
Harley Street proctologists etcetera.
But then aren't they also more likely
to become second hand car salesmen,
football hooligans, and or
psychopathic mass murderers?
As soon as a new infant
arrives in the world,
it is entered for a competition
with the neighbours.
Will she be called Sarah Maude,
or Charlene Chirrel?
Will he be called Simon Bend,
or Dwayne, or Darrell?
How painful of painless
was the delivery?
How heavy was the baby?
How long was it?
Did it have hair, and
were all its bits there?
Does it even remotely resemble its father?
Was its name put down for private school,
and if so, how long before birth?
Or is it so special that it
should have no special privileges
and be sent to one of the best
local educational authority schools
that the parents could
just happen to live near?
Fortunately, the neighbours
have at long last admitted
that they boobed over bottle feeding
and now sensibly recommend the breast.
Look, we've run out of letters
for the right hand corner already,
and it's a bit confusing with
that peer pressure thing
going on in the other corner,
I think it'd be better
if you'd just assumed
that everything I say
is stageringly important.
You won't go far wrong.
The next neighbourly competition
is called milestones.
How much more quickly did
your child learn to grin,
walk, crawl, take that
up, and deduct, teeth?
All useful signs for the paediatrician
looking for abnormalities,
but even better for gossip.
Neighbours love to count their blessings
as they label others as weirdos.
Simply being left handed
once evoked prejudice.
How many left handed corkscrews
or pianos have you seen,
I mean, real left handed pianos
with notes the other way round,
as a left handed person should
have the right to expect.
Not fair, is it?
Having decided the child's
gender identity for it,
the parents, motivated by
fear of the neighbours,
set about instilling in the creature
how essentially all male
or all female it must be.
Little boys don't cry.
And little girls don't play
with piston engines.
What mindboggingly pathetic
and emotionally stunting
little rules they make up.
Dressed totally in pink, little
girls are forced to play
with cerebrum shatteringly tedious
dolls and little model houses,
so that later on, they'll not only
merge in with their dull neighbours,
but also play an important role
in promotimg conservatism,
without even knowing where
they got their ideas from.
Similarly, little boys,
kitted out in blue,
are given tiny motor cars, cricket bats,
toy handgrenades, and excer sets.
And most importantly, even
three and four year old lads
are given frequent coy
propaganda about girlfriends
and plentiful reminders
along the lines of,
when you're all grown up and have
children of your own, you'll understand.
What, what, what, what will
that make anyone understand
that they couldn't safely have read about
with no risk to their personal freedom?
What are they all so wound up about?
Because of the family name?
Because they need someone to look after
them in their old age, selfish gits?
Or is it because it would be a
bad thing before one's neighbours
if one's nice little girl
turned into a bull dyke?
Or such a tough little boy
became a raving queen?
Is homosexuality the common cause of
parental death, as parents imagine,
or is it really fear of what
the neighbours will say?
If someone has the sense
to do what they want,
and go to bed with
someone of their own sex
and not force replicas of themselves
on the rest of this overcrowded world,
good luck to them!
They should be given medals, not
demoted or importuned and locked up.
In this dreadful world of
enforced sexual conformity,
little girls are tutored to
pure aspartame sweetness,
and to raise their voices an
octave, sounding more innocent
and plaintive when asking for
something, in a shop for instance.
The cute little mite lisps, Mummy, could
I have some of those nice sweeties,
when what she really needs is a smack
in the teeth. Welcome to the real world.
Little boys on the other
hands are indulged to be
conservatively naughty, cheecky,
and non-effeminately grimy.
What they actually need
for their education,
is one day a month compulsory
clad in a pink skirt.
Would Boy George be as he
is, if he had been made
to wear a pink skirt once a
month from the age of six?
You may have noticed just now
a gentleman walk behind me,
carrying a cardboard penguin.
If you didn't, then you're
not paying attention.
I'm not saying all this
for my own benefit you know.
I've gone to great lengths
to research this talk
so that the whole of
mankind might benefit.
It's inattention to education
that causes wars you know.
If the Germans had been
wiser and cared less.
about what the neighbours had said,
there would have been no world war two.
But no, you don't want to know,
and all peace protesters are
weirdoes, so the neighbours say,
and the Americans have got no
history and therefore can't think,
and the Russians are all very very very
very evil though I'm not quite sure how
except that it involves the KGB
and red something other...
Oh, you globe full of ninnies,
pull yourselves together!
Don't you realise we're
all the same underneath?
At first, a baby is a
greedy, selfish creature.
All it knows about are its own needs.
If monsieur Pasteur, mister Lister,
doctor Fleming and miss Nightingale
had been miss Dimm, most of us
would have curled up our toes
and died of infection long before reaching
the ripe old age of twenty seven.
This is where education comes in.
But there are two types.
One is purely educational,
in which society passes on
its accumulated knowledge,
artistic, historic, and scientific.
And is very very veryvery
veryveryvery good.
The other is indoctrination,
which poses as education,
but is excrementally treacherous,
deceitful, and prone to mythomania.
Who in the world would stoop
so low as to indoctrinate?
All religious leaders and politicians.
It's what their job's all about.
They say, here's a code
of behaviour for you,
now you won't have to do
any of that difficult thinking.
Put these blinkers on and follow us.
Believe in god, and all
that we say he says,
or believe in the party,
and all that we say you say.
Oh say can you see, rule Brittania,
to keep the red flag flying here...
I have seen the light!
Ours is the true way!
Yes, millions of people can be wrong.
They betray their ignorance and prejudice
by their intolerance of other moralities,
and their insistance that
theirs is the only way.
I remember an ad, for volkswagen cars,
which said that twenty five
million people could not be wrong.
Remember world war two?
Need I say more?
So think, and don't blindly follow.
Choose the best bits of all philosophies
you can find and build your own.
You don't have to be a christian,
a muslim, a buddhist,
a communist, a logical positivist
or a vegan to use your brain.
In fact, to be committed to such a club
is to sentence millions of brain
cells to shameful inactivity.
Religion, nationalism, and political
fervour are enemies of rational thought.
At best, dearest viewer,
we should stroll a careful course,
retaining our individualism
and freedom and thought,
while conforming only to
social behaviour patterns
which benefit and enlighten,
rather than harm others.
Of course, the neighbours can be right.
Ultimately, it is the corporate
consciousness of humanity
against which our personal
moralities are compared.
Thankfully, this corporate
consciousness is not fixed.
It is growing and developing as
it absorbs and accepts new ideas,
ideas pioneered by individuals
who it may once have persecuted,
and who eventually become the
heroes of man's search for truth.
Well, that's the end of a very long
but well intentioned
and important bit of chat.
Now, obviously, some of you may
have allowed your minds to wander.
I know mine did. So, here's a summary.
So, back to peer pressure.
During early childhood when - I think
I've just said peer pressure. Oh dear.
During early childhood when
selfishness predominates,
fear of being the odd one out,
ridiculed, jeered at, or thumped,
creates a dangerous need to belong
to the gang, the club, the social set.
Those excluded are punished
by exclusion itself,
not being talked to, or
by not being played with,
through various types of psychological
torment to actual physical abuse.
Few of us leave this cruel, early
phase of our lives unbruised.
Chapman's too thin. Skinny! Long
streak appears! G.C.'s a poof! Etcetera.
Gradually, we unlearn these unwise
ways, and turn next to competition.
We must compete against
each other, academically,
and in sport, if we're not
to be regarded as weird.
Competition can spur
you on to great efforts,
and seems to be essential to most otherwise
innately lazy human beings,
but you must beware of placing
too much importance in competition,
leading as it may to frustrations
and feelings of failure,
or, just as bad, false
impressions of superiority.
You remember Wilkinson, who was
so brilliant in the sixth form,
went straight on to
get a first at Oxford,
and then was never heard of again.
Although there was some talk
of men in white coats.
Now of course, no-one would tolerate
a brave new world mentality,
where people are conditioned
to accept permanent labels
of superiority, or inferiority.
So isn't it surprising that's
precisely what we do accept?
The ignorants, the ignorant,
convince themselves
that their superiors
are in fact inferior
because they can't see that lounging
around and being a selfish lout
is a lot less effort and much more butch?
Those who are educationally spoonfed
believe it is only their own efforts
that have brought about
their superior status
and others simply didn't work hard enough
or are genetically inferior.
Everyone should be encouraged to progress
to the full extent of their potential,
not put in their place and
forbidden further growth.
Later in life, fear of not
belonging may even tempt us
to be less than true
to our inner convictions,
leading us to denounce them
and even paradoxically
actively campaign against them,
so convincingly hiding
one's real thoughts.
What a pathetic way to live.
Whether you believe
in an afterlife or not,
I think it's wiser to assume
that there is none,
and at least be true to yourself in life,
as most likely this is
your only shot at it.
So we pass through the
selfishness of toddlerhood,
the braggart cliqueishness of childhood,
to come up against the obscenity
of suddenly having a larger
set of genitals clamped onto us.
Now, some view this prospect with pride,
and yet another valid area for competition.
Whisper whisper whisper.
Because the one thing the neighbours cannot
talk about to each other openly is sex.
Even though privately it's their
favourite topic of conversation.
Didn't you know that,
one pubescent taunts another.
The would-be grown-up is afraid
to ask through fear of ridicule.
Parents should tell their
children more about sex.
Parents should be told more about sex.
Teachers should teach more about sex
and friends and lavatory walls
be more sexually literate.
There are fewer dark areas now,
but it's not long since
neighbours thought
that the female orgasm
was unnecessary, and rare.
Masturbation was thought to stunt
growth and lead to blindness,
and marriage was the only cure.
What bladderschitic bunk!
It's a common misconception
of the sexually literate,
that sex consists of a male
putting his penis into a vagina,
and pumping away until
orgasm and that is all.
There is no other valid form of sex.
Now this used to be regarded as
the British missionary position,
a form of sexual gratification indulged in
by those weary of other
entertaining possibilities.
I'm not just talking of a number
of different sexual positions,
which despite the acrobatics are
still in essence penis up the vagina,
fun though they may be.
Full sexual orgasm as everyone
should really know
can be achieved in mutual
masturbation for instance.
Which is not only
unwanted pregnancy free,
but minimizes the risk of venerial disease
and teaches us a great deal about
how to truly arouse our partners
to heights of pleasure and gratification.
If there is one single area
in which you can rely
on your neighbours ignorance
and intolerance, it is sex.
It may be a good way of meeting friends
and forming deep relationships,
but unfortunately it can arouse
very destructive feelings
of guilt, envy, and jealousy,
and it's for this reason
that sensible discretion on sexual
matters is still a necessity.
I think you can expect people to object
if you thrust sex under their nostrils.
Peer pre... Fear of being himself and
what his immediate neighbours say
pushes the young adult to conform
by smoking carcinogetic cigarettes
drinking poisonous quantities of alcohol,
sniffing glue, smoking dope,
snorting coke, shooting heroine,
to demonstrate his or her independence.
Friends won't easily let you say no.
Sheeplike you follow others.
You attempt, your attempt to dress
differently sadly becomes a uniform
as desperately you try to avoid
the rut you will inevitably fall into.
Pathetic aren't we.
Old age, our neighbours say,
will make you less active,
less attractive, more stupid
and asexual. And it will.
Far sooner than it might,
if you make the mistake
of believing stupid neighbours yet again.
Take care of your body.
Eat and drink sensibly,
excercise your body and mind,
and old age will not be
the trial it is for many.
Grow old gracefully, say those
bleeding neighbours, damn them.
Well don't give up without a
huge struggle, yes even with time.
At last scientists are
learning how to turn back
some of our body clocks,
good luck to them.
It's theoretically possible
for a human being
to live to a hundred
and fifty years of age,
let's push ourselves beyond their limits.
Limits are set to be broken.
Let us begin to treat
the ageing process
as a group of diseases
that can be treated
and not as some inevitable
doom to be whispered about.
People who think they've
gracefully accepted the inevitable
are fond of saying, oh I
wouldn't want to live forever.
Oh yes they would if they
thought they had a chance.
The alternative is after all,
death, which is a bit final.
Even if you think you're
going to casually ooze off
into some eternal nirvana,
you've got the whole of
eternity to do that in.
Why are we in such a rush to find out?
It could be a dreadful disappointment.
And there are no return tickets.
I strongly suspect that death is
the dullest state we could fall into,
and should never be looked
upon favourably by the sane.
It's nothing to be afraid of,
just something to avoid.
Well, that's enough about death,
now some smutty revelations
about big names. Right.
I happen to know that
John Travolta, Neil Diamond...
...with Marlon Brando
and every commissioner
of the metropolitan
police except one.
Now, Arabs.
You may not want to know what an
Arab thinks, but maybe you should.
Arabs, it seems, do care
about what we think.
While the rulers in Iran were
happy to bring back dismemberment
as fit punishment for certain crimes,
because of education
and perceived world opinion
these anachronistic leaders
had to really scrape the barrel
to find enough unaware idiots
to carry out the sentences.
Nobody wanted to cut anyone's
arms or even hands off.
Now there's progress.
Fortunately, communications
are breaking down political
and national barriers,
and we're able to see round,
over, and through them
to glimpse people everywhere
as they really are,
and not as world leaders
would like them to be seen.
We don't have to be judged by
our local neighbours anymore,
there is a bigger, global neighbour,
who is more tolerant and understanding.
It is you, as you
struggle to understand,
tolerate, or disapprove,
the ways of others.
I think I haven't said
peer pressure six times?