In Defence of the Liberal Arse,​ I mean Arts! Arts! In defense​ of the Liberal Arts


I think anyone involved in the Humanities is haunted by that suspicion that the Liberal Arts need defending and sometimes the case seems hard to make.  Did the Liberal Arts cure disease? No.  Did the Liberal Arts build suspension bridges and get us to the moon?  No.  Did they help defeat Hitler?  Kinda but I expect the application of science contributed as well.

The point is that sometimes you are faced with some rich man in a pub who asks you what you do and when you say, “I am a historian” he replies “How do you make money?” Well, I believe in the value of the liberal arts and you can make money out of it.

A prime example is Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail.  The animation is one of the strongest elements of the film and as you can see there is a direct inspiration for the classic “bottom trumpet” in marginalia.  From this and other films, the Pythons created a career and a lasting cultural phenomenon.

So if you have a gift for history or any other of the liberal arts go for it.  Get good at it and maybe you can be inspired by the past to create something for the funny.  And there is not much funnier than “bottom trumpets”. Maybe the catsnail?



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Hello, I am the author of HistoryTalker, Jack Russell and a couple of others. I hope you enjoy my work.

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