Tuesday 17 February 2015

(They Long To Be) Close To You: A Rational Explanation

As a sceptical and pedantic old git, one thing that especially infuriates me is people who, when presented with a situation that is not immediately explainable to them, resort to the comforting pre-prepared paranormal or supernatural explanation that is prevalent in their culture. Indeed, if that instantly thought of supernatural or paranormal explanation also adheres to a previously subscribed to worldview or supports an ulterior agenda, then very little effort is often expended in identifying the natural, and frequently rather banal, actual explanation for the phenomenon.

As an example, let us consider these immortal words from the sadly demonstrably mortal, Karen Carpenter: 
 “Why do birds suddenly appear, every time, you are near?”

A curious portent indeed and one worthy of critical and unbiased examination rather than simply dismissing it as a mere justification of the allure of the recipient of Ms Carpenter’s affection. Leaving aside the fact that extensive scientific research carried out in the sexual selection preferences of female Homo sapiens has shown no measurable correlation with an increased avian presence let us consider more plausible explanations for the ubiquitous fowl. Indeed we need to look no further than the first 3 lines of the chorus:
“On the day that you were born the angels got together
And decided to create a dream come true               
So they sprinkled moon dust in your hair”

Clearly the reference to fictional spiritual beings is an extrapolation of the initial flawed supposition regarding the divinely bestowed attributes of the subject. It would not be unreasonable to assume that any interference with the person in question at the time of the birth would be from a member of the family or a trained medical professional, most likely, a midwife. Karen then alleges that the angels (or as we have already established, most probably midwife) sprinkled moon dust in the hair of the new-born. Although Karen’s claim was made in 1970, shortly after the first Apollo mission to land on the moon, and indeed bring back small samples of moon dust, it seems unlikely that the target of Karen’s affection would be so young. Furthermore, Karen’s claim is actually plagiarised and can be traced back to Burt Bacharach and Hal David in 1963, long before the plausible availability of moon dust on Earth.

We must therefore now consider what substitute for moon dust the offending midwife must have applied to the head the infant later to become the infatuation of Karen Carpenter. Perusing a supermarket for handy sized box of small granules that can be easily sprinkled from a perforated opening the obvious purchase would be a box of Trill.

Suddenly a rational and non-supernatural explanation becomes clear. Karen Carpenter simply had the hots for a scruffy chap with birdseed in his hair placed there many years before by a malevolent midwife.
Angels and moon dust my arse, you just need to think about these things for a while

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