[RAIN AND THUNDER]
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, Bright bloke,
has his own practice, His girlfriend's an actress
An old mate of ours from home
And they're always great fun so to dinner we've come.
The fifth guest is an unknown,
The hosts have just thrown us together as a favour
Cos this girl's just arrived from Australia
And she's 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 irrefutabley fair with dark eyes and dark hair,
But as she sits I admit I'm a little bit wary
Cos I notice the tip of the wing of a fairy
tatooed on that popular area just above the derriere
And when she says "I'm Sagittarian"
I confess a pigeonhole starts to form
And is immediately filled with pigeon
when she says her name is Storm.
Conversation 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 made 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 the window on the second floor.
The food is delicious and Storm
whilst avoiding all meat happily sits and eats
as the good doctor - slightly pissedly -
Holds court on some anachronistic aspect of medical history
When Storm suddenly insists,
"But the human body is a mystery!
"Science just falls in a hole
"When it tries to explain the nature of the soul."
My hostess throws me a glance -
she, like my wife, knows there's a chance
I'll be off on one of my rare but fun rants,
But I shan't. 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?
I think it's time we all returned
to live with natural medical alternatives."
And try 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.
"Do you know what they call alternative medicine
"that's been proved to work?
"So you don't believe in any natural remedies?"
"On the contrary, Storm, actually
before I came to tea I took a 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?
Oh yes, Aspirin!
Which I paid about a buck for
Down at the 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 doesn'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 sixth 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 ya
But there's no such thing as an aura.
Reading auras is like reading minds
Or tea leaves or star signs or meridian lines
These people aren't plying a skill,
They're either lying or mentally ill.
Same goes for those who claim to hear God's demands
or 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?
I think that's fundamentally sick.
Do we need to clarify here
That there's no such thing as a psychic?
What, are we fucking two?
Do we actually think that Horton Heard a Who?
Do we still think that Santa brings us gifts?
That Michael Jackson didn't have facelifts?
Are we still so stunned by circus tricks
That we think that the dead would wanna talk to pricks
like John Edward?"
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 that your faith in science and tests
is just as blind as the faith of any fundamentalist"
"Wow, that's a good point, let me think for a bit;
Oh wait, my mistake, That's absolute bullshit.
Science adjusts its views 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 its memory
of a long lost drop of onion juice seems 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."
Everyone's just staring 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 telly,
you should watch Scooby Doo. That show was so cool,
because every time there was 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!
Because throughout history every mystery ever solved
has turned out to be Not Magic.
Does the idea that there might be knowledge
Does the idea that one afternoon
on Wiki-fucking-pedia might enlighten 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 natural 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,
Then whatever, that's ok.
But here's what gives me a hard-on:
I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant bit 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 uncleses 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 at
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."