What’s the magic word?

WE are a species of contradictions.

You need to meet my wife to understand this.

Or go to a Harry Potter movie.

It’s like this… we live in the most technologically advanced age in the history of humans (And probably in the history of dolphins, newts and any other species).

We can turn the most basic building blocks of life into diagrams of spirals with little balls whizzing round them. We can take moving pictures of Aunt Ethel, hurl them into space (which is best place for them) and bounce them back down to the rest of our relatives in less time than it took for me to type the words.

We know where we come from, and it’s not from some all-powerful deity pottering around with a lump of Playdough for six days in January, 2000-and-something‑BC.

In fact we are so technological we don’t even marvel any more about fridges that defrost themselves automatically, or computers that let me pay my telephone bill from my armchair, or mobile phones that make the tea.

We are so scientific that the religious fraternity has had to reinvent our gods, or lose them.

Let’s face it, if you’d been made by a god in His (or Her) own image, you’d have expected them to get it right, wouldn’t you. I mean… they’d have very fine motor skills and they could fashion noses that looked a whole lot better than mine.

We are a species of techno heads, and young people are leading the way. I suspect my nephew can infiltrate Heaven on the internet (Actually there are more than 15 million entries for Heaven on Google and it takes only .12 of a second to find them).

But we believe in magic!

Harry Potter makes things happen with a magic wand! So do his teachers!

Yes, yes… it’s a children’s film and they have vivid imaginations. I know all that stuff. But I watched The Prisoner of Azkaban last night and most of the audience was adults.

And don’t tell me they were taking the children. Four adults per child?

You may think I’m being trivial, but take it from me… it’ll end in tears.

Why? Because it’s… primitive, that’s why.

Things happen for reasons. Cause and effect. A nut strips its thread and an aircraft plummets out of the sky. You cannot do that with a wand. Waving a magic wand is no different to sticking pins in effigies — and if that worked most of us would already be dead.

And don’t tell me that’s different.

My granddaughter demanded a biscuit. What do you think I said to her?

“What’s the magic word?”

Would have served me right if she’d said abracadabra.

And if magic worked then why are we having all this trouble in Iraq, and Israel, and with the neighbours? Why don’t we wave something and cure it all?

Because they’re waving frantically in the opposite direction, I suppose.

But that’s no different to science and technology. All this effort and the problems still don’t go away. The rates still go up and the wheelie bin still never has enough space in it!

We should have stayed with magic and saved the money.

Then I would have been in with a chance.

Meanwhile I just have to sit here and twiddle my thumbs until someone turns up who knows how to work the video.