The BBC still make the best nature documentaries. But the most successful nature documentary of all time is actually the worst nature documentary of all time, and that is March of the Penguins. David Attenborough wouldn’t make a film like March of the Penguins. It was a French film and it was re-dubbed by the Americans and it was a massive hit with the religious right in America because in that film, the penguins pair off in a monogamous fashion and they raise their chicks in a kind of ethical, caring way. And so the American religious right decided that this meant that nature wanted us to be good, because the penguins were. Now, I know David Attenborough was suspicious of this logic. I was as well. ‘Cause I started reading about mallards, the mallard duck, which also occurs in nature, it’s from nature. I don’t know if you know, but the mallard, it’s the only animal which reproduces exclusively by gang rape. It’s also the only bird ever to have been caught on film indulging in the act of homosexual necrophilia. So. I’ve been trying to raise money to make a documentary film called March of the Mallards. Which will prove that nature wants us to be evil. And ideally I’ll have that with a voice-over from Morgan Freeman going… “There goes that little mallard, raping that dead mallard. In his dead ass. In a dance as old as time.
My editor won’t let any of the characters swear. Which is sometimes difficult because Ron is definitely a boy who would swear.
In describing a fairy-story which they think adults might possibly read for their own entertainment, reviewers frequently indulge in such waggeries as: “this book is for children from the ages of six to sixty.” But I have never yet seen the puff of a new motor-model that began thus: “this toy will amuse infants from seventeen to seventy”; though that to my mind would be much more appropriate. Is there any essential connexion between children and fairy-stories? Is there any call for comment, if an adult reads them for himself? Reads them as tales, that is, not studies them as curios. Adults are allowed to collect and study anything, even old theatre programmes or paper bags. … I think this is an error; at best an error of false sentiment, and one that is therefore most often made by those who, for whatever private reason (such as childlessness), tend to think of children as a special kind of creature, almost a different race, rather than as normal, if immature, members of a particular family, and of the human family at large.
J. R. R. Tolkien on fairy tales, the psychology of fantasy, and why there’s no such thing as writing “for children” (via explore-blog)
(Source: , via explore-blog)