I would never tire of watching TV series from Sir David Frederick Attenborough. Each time I end up thinking why wait for this strange animal to disappear from the surface of Earth before paying hommage to such an utterly exotic and brilliant naturalist from the BBC ?
Because the David Attenborough is an endangered specie ; a dodo exhibiting improbable feathers, carrying a surprisingly melodious breathless tune, and with a unique way of shaking all over while delivering incredibly valuable messages in an otherwise vanished language. Maybe the missing link between Darwin and Monty Python... actually, a discreet hello was sent by none other than the unforgettable agent of the Ministry of Silly Walks during John Cleese's cult documentary in Madagascar.
But Sir David would never dare compare the tarsier with a microwaved cat. His sense of humor is full of love for life in all sorts and shapes, life starring in breathtaking and voluminous tales matching the greatest of XIXth Century novels. This naturalist probably produced the most ambitious works to date on the ephemeral story of life on our ephemeral piece of cosmos, and "The Living Planet" may perfectly sum up both his achievements and those of life on Earth. Actually, "life" / "living" and "planet" appear in all titles, like trademarks. Non for profit trademarks : just marks of respect traded every day for any kind of emotion on any kind of place and under any kind of weather.
The younger brother of director Richard Attenborough (whose rather classical "Ghandi" shall be better remembered than a rather classical role of scientist in Spielberg's Jurassic Park), this Londoner works essentially for the Beeb, in audiovisual formats, and never balking at the most surprising images. Yet, I do believe his main talent lies in his writing : everything seems so simple and natural, like water running down the mountain... but imagine what it takes to start a sentence in Antarctica and complete it six months EARLIER in Kalimantan ! Even under the charm of his tale, one cannot but admire the clarity, the relevance, and the synthetic mind of this splendid achievement of evolution.
Naturally (indeed), years tend to go by, hills to draw more sighs, and winds to agitate a whiter shade of hair, but even at 81, Sir David remains this curious kid dreaming his naïve environmental dreams, and radiating eternal love for life.
Some sad day, England will cry for the loss of this beautiful life on Earth. That day, let us not keep his brain in formalin on some dusty shelf of a museum, but disseminate his ashes and works around to keep our planet and minds fertile.
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