Friday, 12 June 2009

Springwatch for Larkin

I remember some time last century Jonny Morris being forcibly retired as his brand of anthropomorphism - giving animals funny voices and pretending they were doing comical human-like things - was considered old hat. But watching BBC's Springwatch demonstrates that anthropomorphism is alive and well and still raising wry smiles. I suppose this is only to be expected on prime time, and anyway we all do it some time or another.

But what is a bit objectionable is that the animals, when they're made out to be human-like are always doing lovely things. This is a form of species self-flattery and obviously doesn't do justice to the full spectrum of human behaviour.

What if it was a lot more realistic? How about:

'Oh, look there's a fox. Ooh, he appears to be acting like some sort of bloodthirsty psychopath in senselessly massacring those chicks even though he can't eat them all. Oh dear, he's dismembered one or two. I wonder if he's going to hide the body parts all over the countryside like in that recent murder?'.

Perhaps not.

Mind you, while we're talking about human behaviour mimicked by animals, why doesn't Springwatch show us some real human behaviour out in those woods and fields? As everyone knows Spring brings the opportunity for humans to indulge in some highly pleasurable outdoor activities - no, not just picnicking.

In the immortal lines of Philip Larkin:

'Hurray, hurray it's the first of May,
Outdoor fucking begins today!'

Set up near a handy lay-by and let the cameras roll. But again, probably too much of the wrong sort of nature.

1 comment:

Kevin Musgrove said...

There's too much Larkin about in the spring