So, having posted my maiden post, I suppose I shouldn’t drop off immediately into my usual bloggy torpor, and I should fulfill my given “contrarian” mandate. Consequently, I would like to address a theme that is somewhat related to DrDawg’s deconstruction of the hapless Blatchford in a distant way.
The video I am embedding above is a favorite among various bloggy circles I travel, particularly among the sort of hard-headed lefties who have (partly, I suppose, justifiably) claimed to transcend the bounds of certain sort of irrational thinking. Very often, people I like and have had a lot of online interaction with.
But to me this video and its popularity increasingly has come to represent for me a sort of intellectual tunnel-vision. Oh, not because I don’t sympathize with many of the sentiments therein. I mean, in particular, I have no truck with most forms of medical quackery, like homeopathy.
But Tim Minchin loses me finally, when he makes his plaintive cri de coeur, “Isn’t this enough?” It and what follows completely misses what I believe to be the underlying motivation of Storm’s concern, Storm presumably being a stand-in for an entire class of people being addressed by this video. (Though I don’t doubt that she’s a real person.)
The answer is, for many people, a resounding “No.” For many people, for a variety of reasons, do not look at the world and see a beautiful natural orrery of stars and planets wheeling about an infinite, starry cosmos. Instead, they see a world of disappointment and limit. This world is old and grey, and they crave a time in which the Bent World falls away beneath them and the path to a Blessed Realm is once again illuminated. And there are just so many reasons and paths through which they may have come to this conclusion.
What Tim Minchin is telling Storm, passionately and poetically, is not much more than when my parents told me that I should eat my vegetables because starving children in Ethiopia. He didn’t change any minds, because he never addressed the actual concern: that for some people, the food actually does taste inedible.