Tim Minchin's Advice for Students (And Everybody Else)


So weird Dan! Someone mentioned Minchin in the comments earlier. If you ever want to write up your book literate thoughts on Nairobi, I've been dropping hints about the terror in the comments since Saturday.
Minchin rules ~ in your praise of those you admire:

"Life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can, taking pride in whatever you’re doing, having compassion, sharing ideas, running(!), being enthusiastic. And then there’s love, and travel, and wine, and sex, and art, and kids, and giving, and mountain climbing … but you know all that stuff already."
Homo erectus, a superior hominid in my view, were content for 6 million years before homo sapiens bashed all their skulls in 30,000 years ago. Since then we've destroyed the place with our psychopathy.

Running, love, travel..yeah, that's how I make my life unique...by designing it for a Match.com summary.
Thanks so much for sharing this Dan. What a fine and wonderful person Minchin is, doing good with his powers, loving life, striving for the real.
@5... and amusing us all.
I love this man in every way, including the dirty way.
Ina Garten recent talked about her marriage and why it has been good. "Jeffrey wants me to be happy, and I want him to be happy. People talk about how you have to work at it, but really, it's as simple as that."

Now it probably doesn't hurt that they've both had financial success, but focusing on someone else's well-being while doing what you need to do sounds like a delightful way to keep the blues away.
I sometimes think comedy is the opposite of ignorance. Thanks, Dan.
@4, and what makes you think homo erectus was either superior or content? Did you poll them to find out? More likely they spent most of their time running from wild animals starving and dying of minor infections.
I chuckled to see him submit to being introduced as a "divinely inspired" musician. Also, wow! What a resume! That dude doesn't let the grass grow under his feet.
@4 Your knowledge of the ascent of Man is woefully lacking, just woeful, possibly even worse than your other areas of ignorance.

Would it kill you to at least test the basis for your opinions with a peek at Wikipedia before you say stupid things?
For a consummately entertaining chap when he's behind a piano, Tim's a lousy speaker. First rule of public speaking: don't read your speech -- deliver it like you're telling a story.
@4 Man, your timelines aren't even correct. It would take you about 2 minutes to fact check your shit on wikipedia. Get the fuck out.
I love Tim so much, but the FFK blind spot really bugs. How does someone so smart and empathetic not realize there's an inherent contradiction between taking cheap shots at overweight students in one breath and advocating checking privilege in the next?

Have loved and championed this guy for years, and was lucky enough to see him live three times (even once at teeny Second City in Toronto). He's hot. He's crazy-smart. Another brilliant atheist. Fucking love the hair, and the coloring, overall. *And* I can almost forgive him for no longer doing Ten Foot Cock and a Few Hundred Virgins.

Favorite bits, which for once with these commencement things was actually fantastic, wise, and usable in an every day way, even (especially?) for us jaded grownups:

Respect people with less power than you.

Here's my idea of romance: you'll soon be dead.

They're not even your shoelaces.

Be hard on your opinions.

Please don't make the mistake of thinking the arts and sciences are at odds with one another. This is a recent, stupid and damaging idea.

Science is awesome.

Teachers are the most admirable and important people in the world.

If you're in doubt about what to do, be an amaaaaaazing teacher.

Be a primary school teacher - especially if you're a bloke.

Even if you're not a teacher, be a teacher.

We have a tendency to define ourself in opposition to stuff. Try also to expression your passion for things you love. Be pro-stuff not just anti-stuff.

Leave it to humans to think the universe has a purpose for them.

Life is best filled by learning as much as you can about as much as you can.

It's an incredibly exciting thing, this one meaningless life of yours.


Thanks for posting, Dan. The friend who originally turned me on to Tim, and I, had only heard the audio - didn't know video had popped up. Appreciated.

PS: When are you going to do some sort of public on-stage interview of the man? Along with umm ... Stephen Fry, maybe?

Never heard of the guy until today and I think he is exactly as Dan said - Brilliant.
Someone needs to send the first two minutes of this speech to Michael Dell and other CEOs who think those ridiculous team retreats are worth two cents.
@16 Lovely.

Gosh, if I ever meet M. Minchin, and if he's not in a monogamous relationship, I'll tell him I'm a teacher :-)
I love Tim Minchin about 70% of the time. The other 30%, he makes me massively eyeroll. This stuff about happiness fits into that 30%. I stopped being miserable and started down a path to something resembling mental health the day I started doing pretty much the opposite of everything he's advocating.