Posted by: NotAScientist | February 2, 2009

Tim Minchin brings a STORM…

I promise that my blog won’t just turn into me posting YouTube videos that strike my fancy.

That being said, here’s another one. But Australian musician/comedian Tim Minchin, do yourself a favor and check out his 9-minute beat poem entitled “Storm”.

If you’re an atheist, a skeptic, a freethinker, or just annoyed by hippies, you’ll love it. And look below the fold for lyrics.

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.

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Responses

  1. […] ycefimyjyqeqinym8823 wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt“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 … […]

  2. […] Tim Minchin brings a STORM… « Suddenly Atheist […]

  3. […] Tim Minchin brings a STORM… « Suddenly Atheist […]

  4. Amazing- is there anything more of this! I Am so impressed. It’s like Flight of the Concords, with 100% more intelligence 😉

    “To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
    To throw perfume on the violet… is just fucking silly”- spot on! Isn’t this what Observing reality is? Why have so many stupid christians failed to understand that thier predecessors were enamored with the natural world, and that was why they had a cumpulsion to understand it!

    These current So-called Christian Scientists aren’t even going to Give god the Benifit of the doubt that He might have done it better than thier stupid folklore imply He “Actually did do it”!

    Can you say “God-in-the-box”? I think it’s fan-fucking-tastic that people in the Arts are putting energy into expressing the utter shit that stands for the world to see as religion and spiritualism. That includes you Morse. 🙂

  5. Total brilliance! Love it! Especially having had such encounters many many times….;P

  6. Edit: “…He “Actually did do it”! Can you say “God-in-the-box”?

    I think it’s fan-fucking-tastic that…”

    I’ll try to stick with Firefox Morse. That way, my icon should be fairly consistent. But you know Me is me, right? sorry to annoy you with that- i’m certain that it does.

  7. ok no, the purple looks better 😛 Don’t worry, they aren’t faux emails like before- i’m not needing to be as wary as before on the net.

  8. Ugh, if only i could be consistent.

    But as active as i am right now, maybe i ought to be more on the safe end of the chatter. I don’t want hate mail to answer all the time lol 😉

    Eventually i’ll just have to write down all the places i visit in one spot- that way i can quickly go to them. There’s too many to put in my bookmarks tab lol.

  9. Hey Morse, brilliant you posted the lyrics, thanks! I posted the same clip on my blog the other day, think it’s truly fantastic. Could not originally make out a couple of phrases in the monologue though, but all sorted now with the lyrics printed

  10. Morse,
    I appologize for the random barging.
    I understand you live close to philly. Have you ever heard of Shane Claibourne and/or the Simple Way?
    Irresistible Revolution, a book by Shane, I am about to finish. He lives around the philly area. Just thought of you while reading about philly, and thought you may have heard of him.

  11. Pretty funny, fairly well-written, but a bit offensive, don’t you think?

  12. No. Honest and passionate.

  13. Very informative, Thanks.

  14. Thanks for the post…I think Celine said it best opinions are like arseholes everyones got one..I like this kind of thing cause its gets evreyone thinking but mostly about their preconceived prejudices….as somebody said Christianity is a brilliant idea just a shame its never been tried..as for the stuff on water…hydrogen bonding isohedral/vortex formation and its 63 diff anomolous properties if understood via prjective geometry…(you have to rethink all preconceptions and you won’t cause we are the smartest humans so far) means that Storm’s niave point aint gonna be heard…and we carry on regardless…


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