There was something reassuringly primal about the scenes in last night’s astonishing opening episode of Planet Earth 2.

Aside from the fighting dragons and penguins doing back-flips from a volcano, there was the less-than-smooth first steps into the world taken by the oddly cute looking marine iguanas.

Hatching from their shells, buried a few inches into the sand of a seemingly empty landscape, a baby iguana blinked in its new and strange environment.

“Oh,” it (for this is a gender non-specific iguana) muttered, to nobody “What’s all this then?”

Taking a few tentative steps away from their shell lair, a little sniff and another glance around, nodding approvingly at what it saw.

“Well, this looks lovely,” it said, a strange compulsion within to make for the coast.

“I think I’m going to like it here,” it said, making its jaunty, if slightly awkward way along the sand “Nice soft surface, decent weather, a nice sea view. Yes, this all looks absolutely…WHAT THE FUCK!!”

At which point a new breed of sheer terror emerged from the rocks. A sinister gang of almost fictionally horrific racer snakes came slithering across the landscape at astonishing speed. Turbo-charged snakes, hell-bent on bringing to a sharp and horrific close, the brief life of the lizard who, not two minutes earlier was safely ensconced within its carefully buried egg shell.

I’m terrified of snakes as it is. But this was a whole new scale of bum-clenching dread.

In a sense, it brought to mind a scene from the Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where a potted petunia, hurtling through the air is suddenly transformed into a humpback whale. The whale has to rather quickly come to terms with its identity and its environment.

Before crashing to its death on the earth below.

It’s a silly scene, from a silly book.

But it’s a silliness born out of genius.

Silly, clever, achingly funny.

There’s a lot of it about

2016 might just be the year that silly got a bad name.

The Brexit issue has, on this side of the pond, been awash with silliness. Arguments born out of ignorance that populate the Facebook feeds of a divided nation.

Arguments in Government about what exactly Brexit means. This is the problem with made up words – definitions can be vague.

Hard Brexit

Soft Brexit

Brexit at Tiffanies

Brexit in America

Take a jumbo, across the water

Like to see America.

Just when we thought we had the upper hand in this year’s silly championships, the US have played their Trump card.

Damn, these guys are good.

It’s election year, of course, and this week sees the (one hopes, at least) culmination of it all, with one of Hillary Clinton or Donald ‘Where’s yer Troosers’ Trump becoming the POTUS. Numero Uno, Head Honcho, Top Dog, The Gaffer, Boss Man / Lady.

300 million people, and it’s boiled down to these.

Now, I love silly things. I’ve always liked silliness. It’s kind of a British thing to like, isn’t it? Silly is funny and irreverent. A bit like Mr Topsy-Turvey or, for that matter, Mr Silly.

It’s Monty Python and the Spanish Inquisition’s comfy chair. Or paying for an argument, watching a man with a tape recorder up his nose. It’s Brian being a naughty boy, it’s Camelot being such a silly place. It’s dead parrots, cross-dressing lumberjacks and the Ministry for Silly Walks.

It’s those moments when Graham Chapman would appear, dressed as a Military Officer, trying to get everything to stop at once – when things had become just a bit too silly.

Brexit debates, Trump v Clinton.

Silly, silly, silly.

It’s just not very funny.

And one feels that it’s high time for something completely different.


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