In defence of the fence | Day 191

I knew this day would come when I simply cannot spare enough time to write a decent blog story. I have an overdue feature that had to be handed in a few hours ago, but today was also the night when I had tickets to see the wonderful musician and comedian Tim Minchin live on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. On top of that, there have been some not-so-great news from my family back in Latvia.

All this means I’m swamped, sleep-deprived, and have to get up early for work tomorrow. So I’ll have to let Tim Minchin help me out tonight.

You see, Tim Minchin is also a skeptic, widely known for his excellent ten-minute beat poem takedown of alternative medicine and the vacuous perception of a world devoid of an understanding of the scientific method. It was so good that someone decided it needed to be an animated short, too. Do watch it, if you haven’t already.

A few years ago Minchin wrote a song called The Fence. It’s about “maintaining a manner of skeptical ambiguity” – to not make rash judgements, and to recognise that most of the time things are not black and white, and there may be a flip side even to our most cherished beliefs. On top of that, it’s also a really entertaining piece.

One of my favourites is the little throw-away line in the intro, about carcinogenic yoga mats. I wonder if anyone has told him yet.

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