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The words to “Storm” by Tim Minchin

“Storm” (not energy related but that’s the joy of having my own blog, I get to digress from time to time)

Inner North London, top floor flat All white walls, white carpet, white cat, Rice Paper partitions Modern art and ambition The host’s a physician, Lovely bloke, has his own practice His girlfriend’s an actress An old mate from home And they’re always great fun. So to dinner we’ve come.

_ The 5th guest is an unknown, The hosts have just thrown Us together for a favour because this girl’s just arrived from Australia And has moved to North London And she’s the sister of someone Or has some connection._

As we make introductions I’m struck by her beauty She’s irrefutably fair With dark eyes and dark hair But as she sits I admit I’m a little bit wary because I notice the tip of the wing of a fairy Tattooed on that popular area Just above the derrière And when she says “I’m Sagittarien” I confess a pigeonhole starts to form And is immediately filled with pigeon When she says her name is Storm.

Chatter is initially bright and light hearted But it’s not long before Storm gets started: “You can’t know anything, Knowledge is merely opinion” She opines, over her Cabernet Sauvignon Vis a vis Some unhippily Empirical comment by me

“Not a good start” I think We’re only on pre-dinner drinks And across the room, my wife Widens her eyes Silently begs me, Be Nice A matrimonial warning Not worth ignoring So I resist the urge to ask Storm Whether knowledge is so loose-weave Of a morning When deciding whether to leave Her apartment by the front door Or a window on the second floor.

The food is delicious and Storm, Whilst avoiding all meat Happily sits and eats While the good doctor, slightly pissedly Holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history When Storm suddenly she insists “But the human body is a mystery! Science just falls in a hole When it tries to explain the the nature of the soul.”

My hostess throws me a glance She, like my wife, knows there’s a chance That I’ll be off on one of my rants But my lips are sealed. I just want to enjoy my meal And although Storm is starting to get my goat I have no intention of rocking the boat, Although it’s becoming a bit of a wrestle Because — like her meteorological namesake – Storm has no such concerns for our vessel:

“Pharmaceutical companies are the enemy They promote drug dependency At the cost of the natural remedies That are all our bodies need They are immoral and driven by greed. Why take drugs When herbs can solve it? Why use chemicals When homeopathic solvents Can resolve it? It’s time we all return-to-live With natural medical alternatives.”

And try as hard as I like, A small crack appears In my diplomacy-dike. “By definition”, I begin “Alternative Medicine”, I continue “Has either not been proved to work, Or been proved not to work. You know what they call “alternative medicine” That’s been proved to work? Medicine.”

“So you don’t believe In ANY Natural remedies?”

“On the contrary actually: Before we came to tea, I took a natural remedy Derived from the bark of a willow tree A painkiller that’s virtually side-effect free It’s got a weird name, Darling, what was it again? Masprin? Basprin? Asprin! Which I paid about a buck for Down at my local drugstore.

The debate briefly abates As our hosts collects plates but as they return with desserts Storm pertly asserts,

“Shakespeare said it first: There are more things in heaven and earth Than exist in your philosophy… Science is just how we’re trained to look at reality, It can’t explain love or spirituality. How does science explain psychics? Auras; the afterlife; the power of prayer?”

I’m becoming aware That I’m staring, I’m like a rabbit suddenly trapped In the blinding headlights of vacuous crap. Maybe it’s the Hamlet she just misquothed Or the eighth glass of wine I just quaffed But my diplomacy dike groans And the arsehole held back by its stones Can be held back no more:

“Look , Storm, I don’t mean to bore you But there’s no such thing as an aura! Reading Auras is like reading minds Or star-signs or tea-leaves or meridian lines These people aren’t plying a skill, They are either lying or mentally ill. Same goes for those who claim to hear God’s demands And Spiritual healers who think they have magic hands.

By the way, Why is it OK For people to pretend they can talk to the dead? Is it not totally fucked in the head Lying to some crying woman whose child has died And telling her you’re in touch with the other side? That’s just fundamentally sick Do we need to clarify that there’s no such thing as a psychic? What, are we fucking 2? Do we actually think that Horton Heard a Who? Do we still think that Santa brings us gifts? That Michael Jackson hasn’t had facelifts? Are we still so stunned by circus tricks That we think that the dead would Wanna talk to pricks Like John Edwards?

Storm to her credit despite my derision Keeps firing off clichés with startling precision Like a sniper using bollocks for ammunition

“You’re so sure of your position But you’re just closed-minded I think you’ll find Your faith in Science and Tests Is just as blind As the faith of any fundamentalist”

“Hm that’s a good point, let me think for a bit Oh wait, my mistake, it’s absolute bullshit. Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved. If you show me That, say, homeopathy works, Then I will change my mind I’ll spin on a fucking dime I’ll be embarrassed as hell, But I will run through the streets yelling It’s a miracle! Take physics and bin it! Water has memory! And while it’s memory of a long lost drop of onion juice is Infinite It somehow forgets all the poo it’s had in it!

You show me that it works and how it works And when I’ve recovered from the shock I will take a compass and carve Fancy That on the side of my cock.”

Everyones just staring at me now, But I’m pretty pissed and I’ve dug this far down, So I figure, in for penny, in for a pound:

“Life is full of mysteries, yeah But there are answers out there And they won’t be found By people sitting around Looking serious And saying isn’t life mysterious? Let’s sit here and hope Let’s call up the fucking Pope Let’s go watch Oprah Interview Deepak Chopra

If you’re going to watch tele, you should watch Scooby Doo. That show was so cool because every time there’s a church with a ghoul Or a ghost in a school They looked beneath the mask and what was inside? The fucking janitor or the dude who runs the waterslide. Throughout history Every mystery EVER solved has turned out to be Not Magic.

Does the idea that there might be truth Frighten you? Does the idea that one afternoon On Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten you Frighten you? Does the notion that there may not be a supernatural So blow your hippy noodle That you would rather just stand in the fog Of your inability to Google?

Isn’t this enough? Just this world? Just this beautiful, complex Wonderfully unfathomable world? How does it so fail to hold our attention That we have to diminish it with the invention Of cheap, man-made Myths and Monsters? If you’re so into Shakespeare Lend me your ear: “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, To throw perfume on the violet… is just fucking silly” Or something like that. Or what about Satchmo?! I see trees of Green, Red roses too, And fine, if you wish to Glorify Krishna and Vishnu In a post-colonial, condescending Bottled-up and labeled kind of way That’s ok. But here’s what gives me a hard-on: I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant lump of carbon. I have one life, and it is short And unimportant… But thanks to recent scientific advances I get to live twice as long as my great great great great uncles and auntses. Twice as long to live this life of mine Twice as long to love this wife of mine Twice as many years of friends and wine Of sharing curries and getting shitty With good-looking hippies With fairies on their spines And butterflies on their titties.

And if perchance I have offended Think but this and all is mended: We’d as well be 10 minutes back in time, For all the chance you’ll change your mind.