Review: Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha

Rating: 5 out of 5

Sex. What a loaded concept in this modern world… And, no matter where one looks, one is made to think it has ever been so divisive. Or, at least, that is what would be termed the “standard narrative”. I use this here not in the sense of the authors (who do like that terminology), but rather as the generic cultural framework in which we exist — and in which our existence, in many a way, has been made very difficult (though primarily for half of the population only). Continue reading “Review: Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha”

David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’

The BBC recently finished broadcasting David Attenborough’s new nature series, ‘Africa’. I had the great chance to watch all of it near-immediately (and I got to the last episode far faster than I did with the ‘Frozen Planet’). Now, I get the chance to tell you all what I think.

Firstly, I think that the technological advancements we see in filming are amazing. The starlight camera we see in use with the rhinos is spectacular! I think one really needs to see the scenes to understand what I mean, but if this now proves that it is possible to film in starlight without a noticeable loss in quality… that is good news all round!

Secondly, my favourite episode must have been ‘The Cape’. To begin with, the Cape is a very interesting place in my mind and to see it come to life between the two oceans as it did here was quite breathtaking. I wanted to go there. I still do. The views of the Drakensberg Mountains were good, and I had nothing bad to say to the scenes of those marine birds feeding either. As lances from the sky…

Now, however, all is not brilliant. For some reason it seems to me that Mr Attenborough wishes to be more dazzling than he thinks he is — how else can we explain that he now decided to improve upon the facts in the last episode regarding climate change. Fortunately, the good army of climate scientists was on it and noted that Attenborough’s suggested numbers were not proven by science, but are in fact a bit lower.

Aside from this episode, I can feel sorry for the poor cameraman whose tree where he was perched got battered by that herd of forest elephants. Although he surely must think back to that now, and go: “I think it amazing!”

Maybe there is a sadness in me that the BBC team decided to bypass the Okavango Delta although we made it into the Sudd swamps which are the second major waterland area. It might be that the prehistoric bird there was the item that caused only one of these areas to be featured, but I would have hoped Okavango to be in there.

I was pleasantly surprised by the footage from the Atlas Mountains — I would genuinely not have believe that it could be that… Nordic… in Africa. Maybe it is a very small area, but even so, I can imagine a brown bear feeling very happy in those forests. And if that can be, well, what can’t?

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