Thursday, December 1, 2016

Finding Douglas Adams in Mesquite Huggery TV

For those of you who love dolphins, want to save the world, and know exactly where your towel is. 
Don't panic, anyone.
About 25 years ago I found myself perusing the shelf of a junior high library and I ran across what would become one of my favorite non-fiction books, and it definitely planted an early mesquite seed in my view of the world. The book was called Last Chance to See. It made me laugh. It made me very sad. It made me very angry. I have read it several times since then and I react the same way every time.
The book is the result of putting a quirky and brilliant sci-fi writer (Douglas Adams) with an accomplished zoologist and conservationist (Mark Carwardine) together to go out and visit a handful of species on the verge of extinction. It was published in 1990. It is a heartbreaker. You should read it.
So, imagine my surprise when I was thumbing through Netflix this week and learned that there exists a follow-up TV series of the same name. The series was filmed after Adams' death, so his good friend Stephen Fry stepped in and traveled the world with Carwardine to see how those almost extinct creatures were faring twenty years later. There are six episodes. I got to watch Episode 1 last night, and it is great. And it made me miss Adams all the more. (If you have no Netflix, I ran across some very inexpensive DVDs of the series on Amazon.)
The next Douglas Adams spotting happened on Hulu - and it is much smaller but filled me with a lot of mirth.
Yes, I can readily admit it - I saw a film titled Bicycle and knew that I had to watch it. And it's not bad for bike dorks like me. Okay, it's actually pretty cool and it's worth watching just to see Gary Fisher's facial hair.
About 2/3 of the way through the film, a guy makes a Douglas Adams reference while talking about biking infrastructure in the UK. Good, good stuff! (No spoiler here!)
May we find inspiration to save what we have and may we find many more reasons to scratch our heads and laugh.
So long, and thank you for reading!