The new Monty Python song is the latest thing I feel like over-analysing.
The Silly Walks Song - which might be better called Money is the Root of Evil - has a crowd-pleasing message and it's something we should all think about, but how much truth is there in it?
In the Pythons' case, it feels a bit fake simply because it's coming from five privileged, wealthy white men, but I don't think they're cynical schemers, so that's not the interesting point. That instead regards the message as directed to people who really do work and work at things they have no love for, without ever questioning and without ever benefiting except to keep the reaper at bay another day.
On one hand, with the general public sentiment that we live in economies rather than societies and that it should be the purpose of governments to improve each individual's financial circumstances (ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you), I feel a great drive to condemn the centring of public life on our relationship with money. But, however evil it may be, it's necessary, and it's more necessary for some than others. In that sense, for those who have a lot of it - or even just those who are above the poverty line - the message seems to really be that money is fine for us, but it's evil for the poor. Destitution has character and you shouldn't aspire above it.
This is obviously self-serving and it is, I think, very middle class. It's a grim-faced moan from the semi-advantaged who are comfortable enough but take the comfort for granted (myself very often), but who recognise that they're doing badly on the inequality scale and so react piously as though they wouldn't miss their houses, property, possessions or savings. It's like having something you really want snatched away from you only to say, "Yeah, well, I didn't want it anyway!"
Money is corruptive and we need to understand our psychological relationship with it so that we can use it healthily and minimise its abuse, but while this message feels as though it's becoming less and less radical, actual anti-materialists are still wild eccentrics in today's world. It's not so much the philosophy that's striking a chord as it is the unspoken, implicit hatred of the rich.
So long as we're fixated on the question of money, it would be better to strive first for equality so that when we finally have it, then we can have a conversation about materialism and abandon whatever we like as equals. But while inequality exists, the middle classes complaining about the evil of money borders on the same kind of offense as an imagined right-wing white comedian trying to deliver a Richard Pryor race routine.