On Planet Earth

I can’t help about the shape I’m in
I can’t sing, I ain’t pretty and my legs are thin
But don’t ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to

Oh well

After seeing the following video, posted last week at The Earth | Gay carboys, my first thought was of just how unworthy of such a beautiful planet humanity has proven itself to be. I even went so far as to imagine a point in some distant future where our descendants are watching it in wonder over what they’ve been denied, while heaving a huge collective sigh over the monumental stupidity of their ancestors…

“Planet Earth” is a 2006 television series produced by the BBC Natural History Unit. After I have watched all eleven episodes, I tried to compress all the beautiful images in one video. That’s how I come up with this marvelous 13 minutes. If you really like this I suggest you to watch the [w]hole documentary because at the end of each fifty-minute episode, a ten-minute featurette takes a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges of filming the series.

~ Robert Revol

I did have a couple of other thoughts inspired by that video. The first is that it reminded me of the part of Arthur C. Clarke’s The Songs of Distant Earth where the people on board the last “escape” ship – the quantum-drive Magellan – recounted what they saw in the final ground-based broadcasts from just before the Earth was destroyed. My eyes still tear up when I think of it, all these years after reading the book. And apparently I’m not the only one with strong feelings about that book. Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells) was actually inspired to record The Songs of Distant Earth (the album), which you can listen to, in its entirety, at The Songs Of Distant Earth on YouTube.

But my final, and most powerful “Planet Earth” inspired thought, is one of profound disgust towards my fellow man – a disgust intimately linked to my long held suspicion that most of us are, though they’d never admit it, hell bent on committing suicide. Which is fine by me, as long as I don’t have to die too. Because I have a deeply rooted longing as well – to which I’ll readily admit – for empty streets I can stroll down in peace, at last…

Oh well, oh well, oh well, well, well…

Now, when I talked to God I knew he’d understand
He said, “Stick by me and I’ll be your guiding hand
But don’t ask me what I think of you
I might not give the answer that you want me to”

Oh well

~ Fleetwood Mac

I want ice water.

More from the Visual Treats volume

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8 thoughts on “On Planet Earth

  1. I waited for the right time — quiet and unhurried — to watch this video.

    Were this planet any less spectacular than it is, we probably wouldn’t be here at all. And yet we are doing our damnedest to destroy it, the only home we have.

    Your comments reminded me of one of my favorite movies, “Silent Running.”


    • I knew it would be hard for people to sit through not one, but two videos – especially with one of them being 13 and a half minutes long. Thanks for that PT. Isn’t it ironic that it takes such an incredible environment to produce a species capable of destroying it?

      The name “Silent Running” seemed so familiar to me, but my search produced only this trailer for a movie I haven’t seen (but would like to)…

      and this song, which I’m sure you didn’t mean but is still one of my favorites…

      Awesome! 😀


      • Yes, that’s the movie. It’s the overall idea in it that always gets me — one man trying to save the last of earth’s forests, all of which were destroyed except for a few specimens preserved on some space transports. Overall the movie isn’t that good, but the idea of one man fighting to save those trees is compelling.


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