“Naughty” is a song written by the anarchic comedian Tim Minchin for Dennis Kelly’s musical adaption of Roald Dahl’s children’s novel, “Matilda”. If you are unaware of the original story of “Matilda”, it is about a downtrodden yet very intelligent and bookish little girl who suffers at the hands of her family and her tyrannical headmistress, but gets her revenge when she discovers she has telekinesis. Yes, it’s “Carrie” for the pre-teens sans the bucket of blood on prom night. Like a lot of great fantasy, the fantasy elements are understated in favour of a strong narrative and character development allowing the incredible to seamlessly be interwoven with the rest of the action. This is honoured in the songs from the musical and, in particular, “Naughty”. A central message runs through the musical and is reflected in this song, which makes a defiant break with a stoic or passive acceptance of life.
Writer Stephen King reflected in his novel, "The Storm of the Century", on the apparently motiveless spite shown by God in the Old Testament in "The Book of Job". For those who are not aware, this book has God being challenged by his favourite archangel, Satan*, to test his pious subject Job, one of God's most dutiful and grateful subjects on Earth. Rather than dismissing the challenge, as "turn the other cheek" New Testament God might advise, the Great Creator tells Satan to do his worst. This might be due to this scripture's possible view that Satan was seen more as a type of prosecutor who sat on God's Divine Council than the demonic usurper that he becomes in The New Testament's "Book of Revelation" and should be seen more as a test for a pious man's ability to love his creator than as a direct challenge to God. Nevertheless, Job, much like Abraham before him in "The Book of Genesis", seems to have go through personal trauma for little good reason other than to appease the whim of the powers above:
“When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, 'Why god? Why me?' and the thundering voice of God answered, 'There's just something about you that pisses me off'”.
My current view on life is that it is governed by what is best categorized, for ease of understanding, as chaos. Whether that apparent chaos is revealed to have an actual meaning that we cannot currently comprehend is another debate altogether. We struggle to make sense of it all. Even in the huge apparent wastefulness of evolution by natural selection our desire to seek reason is present with scientists being challenged to seek out the evolutionary advantages of different mutations. Despite my reservations on his logotherapy and psychoanalysis in general,
*This assumed favouritism at the time of the chronology is depending on whether or not you go with the view that Satan's rebellion occurred before "The Fall of Man" and the "War in Heaven" described in "The Book of Revelation (12:7-13)" was a second rebellion. John Milton in his epic poem,"Paradise Lost", held that the war was before "The Fall of Man", but the description of a battle only occurs in the final book of "The New Testament" and is tied up the end of the world.
Material referenced in this article.
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