“Mount Everest: Forbidding, Aloof, Terrifying…”

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By Neal Comment

How do you get American media outlets to run an AP dispatch about British education reform? Toss some government money Michael Palin’s way—indirectly, I mean, because what’s really happening is that as part of the £2 million mandate to drill geography into Britain’s young minds, every secondary school in the country is getting a copy of Palin’s travelogue Himalaya. The Guardian describes Palin as saying “he couldn’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools,” without noting the tone with which said statement was made. Well, actually, when you see the full quote in the AP piece, his sentiment comes through much more clearly:

“You can travel the seas, poles and deserts and see nothing… To really understand the world, you need to get under the skin of the people and places. In other words, learn about geography. I can’t imagine a subject more relevant in schools.”

I just want to know if the book has Graham Chapman’s description of Mount Everest from the Python sketch: “the mountain with the biggest tits in the world.”

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