Tim Minchin isn’t in the Jonathon Ross Show. His Christmas song might offend someone. A friend of mine posted a link to timminchin.com so that those interested could hear the song. I did. I enjoyed the it but what caught my eye was an article Tim had written for the New Statesman which he’d framed around the conundrum of what to tell his daughter when she asked him directly if Father Christmas is real. His editor was Richard Dawkins and the article examines honesty and non-belief, among other things, but what caught my eye and made me want to mention his article here, is what he says about imagination and fiction.
He says he adores stories and that imagination is important. That’s a no-brainer Tim, because without your highly developed imagination, you’d be an accountant or a car park attendant. And if, as you say, fiction can educate, enlighten and free us then I’m thrilled to bits. I read fiction. I write fiction. I want to set people’s minds ‘soaring beyond reality.’ My mind escaped reality the moment I learned to read and I love joining up disparate ideas and making them into a magical whole.
Books, films, plays, music, etc, all work on the imagination. The reader/viewer/listener absorbs the images projected by the creator and then weaves them into something new. It’s an endless chain and I am a link in that chain.
Long live the makers of fiction and the miners of imagination – my niece is one, my nephew another – and let us all give thanks for people like Dr Seuss, Roald Dahl, Eddie Izzard and Tim Minchin because wouldn’t the world be dull without them?
PS. Of course Father Christmas is real.