Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tim Minchin - The Other End

So a couple of posts ago I threw up a terribly offensive video of a Tim Minchin song about the pope. I've looked into him a bit more and he's a little bit brilliant.

I wanted to put up what I think is his best skeptical piece. It's a poem and it's sort of on the opposite end of the pope song. Have a listen.

Why do I think this is brilliant? Well it does a couple of things really well. It draws you into the story before you even know that you might be offended. As general Akbar might say, it's a trap. Next it's clear that Tim is the asshole in this story. He's explaining his internal struggle to be polite before the dam bursts. Finally, the arguments he puts forward are both funny and cogent. I think that those two things together will make people happy enough with them to consider them jovially.

What does it mean to consider something jovially? Well I just made it up. We know what it is to consider something seriously. It involves a furrowed brow, pacing and a lot of thought. In general most people try to avoid that sort of hard work and just go with their gut instead and justify it later.

Considering something jovially is what you do when someone throws something clever at you. It's a quick process where you try to come up with a clever retort to keep the witty repartee going. More often than not you'll think of the clever thing hours later but to me that means the happy thought has been rolling around in your head without making any enemies for a while. If I'm right, that means these sorts of thoughts have the capacity to make you question your beliefs and reorganize your thinking because they sneak in under the guise of being funny.

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