March 11, 2015

In defense of the The Fence (Tim Minchin)

In my last post  about talking to my kids about life's big questions, I mentioned how I've never been very comfortable with the simple answers.

It's because, I, like most of my generation, am suspicious of any narrative or explanation that seems to nicely categorize or compartmentalize life into easily digestible bites.  It's part of a wide spread reaction against binaries.  My generation and the one after me likes to challenge efforts to neatly organize the world into one group or another, and we're particularly fond of culture that examines the stuff that falls in between two categories or neither or both.  It's why you'll see so much art dedicated to the stories of people, ideas, or events that challenge binaries like:  truth vs fiction, memory vs. history, high art vs. low art, gay vs. straight, good vs. evil, etc...  

I don't say it nearly as well as this comedian/musician named Tim Minchin.  He's an eccentric, extremely intelligent, and clever guy. His lyrics can be inappropriate for younger ears, but this song is pretty mild in the language department.  You should give it a listen.  Here are the lyrics to the chorus:  
This is a song in defense of the fence
A little sing along, an anthem to ambivalence
The more you know, the harder you will find it
To make up your mind, it, doesn't really matter if you find
You can't see which grass is greener
Chances are it's neither, and either way it's easier
To see the difference, when you're sitting on the fence

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