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Photo courtesy of UWA (photographer – Ron D’Raine)

Photo courtesy of UWA (photographer – Ron D’Raine)

You’re probably already familiar with the speech Tim gave to his old Uni, The University of Western Australia, last month, when he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters for his contribution to the arts.

Today it featured on ABC’s Life Matters. You can listen to it or better still download it as an audio file here, if you wish.

If you did miss Tim’s Occasional Address (where have you been?!) you’ll find a full transcript here and the video which has now gone viral, at over a million views, can be found on YouTube here.

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11 Comments

Morgana on 13th of October 2014

Please come up with a hardcopy simplified version of the 9 life lessons and post here. I think it will be very well received :)

StephanieV on 4th of January 2014

I agree with the request to see you and your piano again. I love that all your dreams have come true, Tim. It’s wonderful and I realize that theater is your true mistress. But you are an amazing live performer. When my husband and I saw you in NY in that tiny theater, from the front row, it was so amazing. Then when you hung out after and took the time to talk with everyone who stayed individually it was beyond amazing. I forgot all the things I wanted to say if I ever had the chance because I was actually star-struck. I mentioned that we’d come all the way from FL and you asked, “What’s that, a couple of hours? I came from England.” Which was funny. But you were surprised when I said most of the people there were from other states and this was not a local artist. We traveled. A long way. We had to get a babysitter and a hotel in NY! Your tickets were only $25 ea. and we actually bought two sets so we could choose which were the better seats and then invited a couple we know who live in NY and you gained two new fans that night. But for a few $25 seats, we spent about $1200 just to travel to NY to see you. You are amazing and you deserve this honor, Dr. Minchin. Can’t wait to see what you do next. But, please, keep doing little shows in little venues with just you and your piano. xxx

Debbie on 18th of October 2013

I have nothing profound to say ( think you have cornered the market!) just thank you for a wonderful, inspiring speech, a friend of mine who just knew your name because she knows I am a big fan of yours shared it to me on Facebook and now is a fan. Oh! it so corny but you just appear to be one lovely ,brilliant man who hasn’t let his huge success go to his head. Long may it continue and PLEASE before we lose you completely to theatre land or acting or both or anything else that takes you away from your own live shows ,can we have another tour here with just you and your piano and wit .thank you xxxxxx

Patrick Kearns on 18th of October 2013

Hi Tim,
For a groupie, I’m a brand newbie. Regrettably, you finished Rosencrantz … before I could catch you on the last day in Sydney as there were no cancellations. Such a bummer.
Firstly thankyou for capturing the twin escapees of genius and unique, who since flying the coop, have infected with their own rare avian virus, the questionable talents of so many undeserveds. It is reassuring to see this pidgeon pair restored to their rightful rarefied atmosphere, perched right at the top of the roost.
Tim Minchin, it would seem to me, is consistent with his assertion that all conclusions must be evidenced based and follow a logical path which can be explained, proved and understood. An adherence to a scientific approach to things.
As a believer in a supernatural explanation of the cosmos, I am forced through the compelling strength of his arguments, to reassess my position.
His own existence however, is proof enough for me, to at least maintain my position.
For example; I can perhaps understand how there maybe a scientific and evidenced based explanation for the existence of a poet or a lyricist or a musician/composer or a multiple instrumentalist or a playwright or a singer or an actor or a performer or a philosopher or a recording artist or a comedian etc.etc.etc, yet for the life of me, I just cannot mentally conceive of a scientific or evolutionary explanation that would satisfy belief, when all these attributes can so completely and competently inhabit and possess the one single, irrepressible and impossibly gifted homo erectus called Tim, who, when viewed through a particular prism, is purportedly descendent from a fish called Tony – all feet and no fins.
There is one question Tim, I wish to ask and that is the question of why? That is to say, why do we and the cosmos exist in the first place?
This is not my original question. It comes however, from our own human demand to have this question answered in every circumstance. If this is true and in order to maintain consistency of interrogation rather than selectivity, then we should be equally as rigorous with ourselves when it comes to the question of why we and the cosmos exist in the first place.
Einstein had stated that it was his belief, that science would never offer an answer as to why the cosmos exists.
If my memory has any credibility left, Einstein’s equation E=mc2 was developed in 1905 but I believe it wasn’t until around 1925 that it was eventually proved to be correct. Can we say therefore, that in 1905, this was a theory, held on faith to be true until it was established as fact in 1925, so that since then, neither faith nor theory should be applied to this equation. In much the same way, gravity is a proven fact and should never be considered as theory or simply taken on faith that it exists. I believe It does exist, has been proven to exist and is therefore a fact.
In a similar vein therefore, is it not possible to believe on faith in the theory of a supernatural creation of the cosmos, until it can be either proved or disproved as fact? After all isn’t that what many, including atheists do anyway, to satisfy themselves with an explanation that is not supernatural. Any belief in a scientific or evolutionary explanation of the cosmos continues to remain a theory.
I am not saying that such explanation is not fact but that it simply not been proved to be so. If such explanation were indeed fact, then surely it would be as universally accepted and embraced as the fact of gravity and that Christians like myself, might have a hard time adhering to our beliefs in the absence of proof.
In your own words, if someone were to prove these explanations to me as fact, then I would alter my stance, spin on a dime and ‘carve fancy that on the side of my cock’.
Yes I have all the usual misgivings and disappointments as yourself with all religions. Their corrupt ways and dictatorial nature. Their repeated and continuing incidents of crime. Their denial and obfuscation. Their brainwashing and intolerance and all this of course, whilst claiming they are divinely ordained as the custodians of the tabernacle of high moral ground.
Quite frankly, it is reprehensible. (Briefly, I went to a private school myself and if they want to maintain their privacy, then let them do it without public money. The wealth chasm between privately and public funded schools is truly breathtaking.)
So for me presently, I just don’t wish to throw out my beliefs (as the baby) with the bath water, until either they or some alternate theory can be either proved or disproved as fact.
It still remains for me a far greater leap of faith, to believe that science, evolution or other, can provide an explanation for the existence of the cosmos, than it is to believe the cosmos was created by some supernatural force – or God, if you will.
Call me demented, disillusioned, misled or just plain mad – possibly – but I still really like Christmas and I’ll be drinking white wine in the sun to you, Sarah and family, for every other Christmas in this ‘one meaningless life of mine’.
It is fortunate that neither logic nor scientific endeavour require meaning, because if they did, then we all will have wasted so much time and recourses in the pursuit of meaning in myriad answers to meaningless infinite topics in meaningless lives.
Perhaps there is no such word as ‘meaning’ but only it’s opposite – ‘meaningless’, so I’ll finish now with this meaningless dribble and see you in the mosh pit.

Kind Regards,
Pat Kearns
(Rock Nerd/God Groupie)

Jack D on 14th of October 2013

Tim, I am ashamed to say that I have only just seen the video of your address, but have been moved to make a comment (dear god how bold of him….).

What a wonderfully concise, insightful, witty and cutting speech. Very well done on receiving your honours, from this speech alone it is easy to see that it is well deserved.

Good luck to you in all that you do, I’m sure that philosophy will come in helpful, even if forgotten after a week or two!

Hannah on 12th of October 2013

Tim you are awe inspiring.

Love Hannah

Leon Bruce - Self-Loathing Narcissist on 11th of October 2013

Had never heard of Mr. (Dr. heh) Minchin before this made its sweet over facebook. It is so rare to find such real truth, just honest, unabashed, truth; raw and unfiltered.

This man, is amazing, his words are more so.

Thank you for enriching my lives and those around the world.

Lilly on 10th of October 2013

I don’t even know the way I finished up here, but I believed this put up was once great.
I don’t recognise who you might be however definitely you
are going to a well-known blogger if you are not already.
Cheers!

Danny on 10th of October 2013

Nice work!

Danny on 10th of October 2013

Nice work!

Dorotha Thurner on 9th of October 2013

this is one of the best things I have ever heard… loved it…making my grandchildren watch it…

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