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chimpanzees… watched that dynasties, david attenborough headed doc last night… it’s bollocks. literally, and not in a good way
appreciate i sound like ‘disgusted of tonbridge wells’ but seriously a waste of licence fee payers money
it’s one where a film crew follow a gaggle of chimpanzees for a year and offer up beautiful, intimate and profound footage of our closest relative…
so far all so good, but what lazy and reductive story telling!
it focuses solely on the grapples and struggles to be alpha male, absurd, whats that test whereby female characters aren’t represented in films?
here we have at least 4 named male chimps, and the only time female chimps are noted its because they’re fertile… gobsmacking
yes of course it’s a fascinating story, and should be a strong strand in the film, but seriously, the only one?
wheres all the mucking about fun, the kindness and tenderness? the humour? i have no issue with anthromorphosising their behaviour, but for a slither of dna they are us
I don’t think for a second that Chimpanzees are soft, fluffy and cuddly creatures, clearly they are powerfully fratricidal and, yes, often engaged in a tussle for dominance
but after filming them for a year… that is all you want to say? some tawdry Machiavellian game of thrones tale?
as with all these things, tells us more about ourselves than these beautiful profoundly complex creatures
patriarchy? gawd i dislike that word and find it mildly offensive (it’s root is from the word for father), but yeah seems a pretty accurate representation of how this was offered
…and merely to note and hopefully stop any needless gender finger pointing, because these things are usually more intricate than we acknowledge, both the authors: the director and the chimp expert were women
I would suggest that when two chimps are grooming each other, lets face it there’s not much else for them to do than chuck rotten fruit at intrusive camera crews
that rather than giving it a dismissive voice over ‘here they are cementing an alliance’, yes that might be the case, but also, as they’ve known each other since they were born
and share a long, interwoven and colourful history… it might just be possible… that they like each other?

rant over! enjoyed pontificating! apologies if anything in my postulation lacked nimbleness… i’m just a lummox like you


The Bechdel test (BEK-dəl) is a measure of the representation of women in fiction. It asks whether a work features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. The requirement that the two women must be named is sometimes added.

Sarah: That’s interesting…and a good point…I admit I did enjoy the programme….but actually now I’ve read your review, totally see what you’re saying, and it’s true!..rather pissed off that I didn’t view it more critically!…classic evening coma letting TV wash over me….but that’s the trouble…that’s how many would have watched it, and then the ideas shown seep in, and then before you know it, you believe it’s accurate.

RB: thanks, i actually enjoyed it too, and in fairness the main character was clearly a compelling individual
think we’re all a bit weary of the ‘great man’ view of history, empathetically easily accessible, a la greek tragedy, just foolish to pretend that that is all
just stating the blooming obvious, i know, but every story we tell about ourselves or the world, is a choice and excluding many of the other equally viable stories that could be heard
not saying we should necessarily be telling those stories… do what feels truest… but at least acknowledge that all is not as rigid and monolithic as we might pretend… a plea for plurality!
oops feel like i’m on some Radio 4 panel, ha, have a lush day xx

Gabrielle: Did you see last night’s episode on the painted dogs? All about the ladies last night… 😉

RB: ha! no, i’m perpetually about a month behind anything on the box, i’m a living in da past xx

Hannah: Watch the next episodes which follow Matricachs, rather than Patriarchs – Lions and Painted Wolves – and the penguins which is a more equal struggle for survival/dominance for both male and female. I understand what you’re saying, but for me, in the Chimp world anyway, the males are in charge – like it or not! Unless I’ve missed something… which is a possibility 😉


ooh i did see the penguin one out of order with my daughter, beautifully filmed but so dauntingly desperately cold!
colder than pedaling along seaford promenade in a january gale… i had to put the heating on afterwards
hmm take your point, i haven’t seen the others, possibly my umbrage is more to do with that chimps are so so close to us, feel like i’ve worked in offices with some?
and as a fellow primate our subtle and profound experience of this beautiful world surely isn’t only about dominance… but should include nurture and humour… and tiddlywinks, but what do i know xx

RB: mostly bored and do so enjoy the occasional rant… being old school faux anarchist, part of the fun is having a bash at establishment figures
and the cult of st attenborough is mighty powerful indeed,
obviously an, in truth, benign nature doc isn’t the culprit… almost all the creatures are gone… it’s just us, historically the arrival of man is swiftly followed by the extinction of all mega fauna
goodness whats with me sermonising today! hug right back at ya! xx

Sarah: yeah…I seriously do not want to return to this world as a penguin!… Looks a very daunting…and cold existence!

RB: too right! i’d get cold feet about that, reckon i’d be a hummingbird, or a swallow, or a dodo even x

Laura: Love your poetic ramblings Richard! Very agrreable and enjoyable to read 👌😆

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