Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Kein Ayin Hora

Tim Minchin (the funniest and most intelligent atheist since Douglas Adams - with the possible exception of Terry Pratchett) spoke at the Hay Festival, and mocked superstition! He said that he hoped his daughter would die, but only to demonstrate that words have no effect on reality. He also said:
Superstition is something that one should divest oneself of. It’s not helpful, and often it’s harmful.
I always say to people when they get on a plane, ‘Don’t have a plane crash!’ There’s a sense that the odds might be higher, or if I do a joke about my baby dying the odds might be greater. But there’s no way that can be the case.
It’s incredibly empowering to get rid of superstition. It’s deep within us because we’re megalomaniacs – we think we can make a plane crash with our words.

I really hope that his daughter doesn't die, and that nobody ever dies ever again, but I think it is very dangerous for him to play with ayin hora like that. I have clear proof that words can kill. It is a very simple proof, and it goes like this:

Gregg Allman wrote and sang "Whipping Post" with the Allman Brothers Band. The chorus goes:
Sometimes I feel ... sometimes I FEEL
Like I been tied to the whipping post!
TIED to the whipping post!
TIED to the whipping post!
Good Lord, I feel like I'm dyin'...

The song was first written in 1969, and they must have performed it hundreds of times, including the classic performance at Fillmore East. And then, as a result, Gregg's older brother, Duane, died! Only 2 years later! In a motorcycle crash!
The story doesn't end there. Oh no. Almost exactly ONE year later, Berry Oakley, bass player for the Allman Brothers, died after crashing his motorcycle in almost exactly the same place as Duane had died!

And all because they sang a song about dying!

But the ayin hora didn't stop with the Allman Brothers Band. Frank Zappa recorded a version of it on 'Them or Us' (well he would do, wouldn't he - it is in 11/4 time). This was released in 1984 (and has Steve Vai on 'impossible guitar parts' in case you were wondering). And barely 9 years later Frank was dead too!

This clearly shows the power of words, and the importance of saying 'kein ayin hora' after every sentence. Tim Minchin - please be careful!

In case you are not completely convinced, at least listen to the song, for it is a fantastic song.

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