As has been said elsewhere in this forum, not all celebrities do podcasts for their fans. Admittedly, some do, but I don't believe it's all that common. It seems then, as so often is the case, that this great cuddle of a bear has his finger very much on the pulse.
Having only recently discovered this forum, I've only just listened to the five podcasts which have been broadcasted so far. I have to say I'm very pleased with myself for having stumbled this way. They are a delight. To be brutally honest, I didn't always agree with what Stephen had to say. At times, I even responded as though he were actually there (*dur*).
For example, I scoffed a little when Stephen mocked dancing. I love dancing, even though I'm also earnestly crap at it. I love to watch others who do it well and I love to do it badly. Unabashed and on the way from the ironing board to the kettle or more often than not, on the balcony. It has to be said that my exclusive performances are much ignored by the local wildlife. Red squirrels continue to schnupp schnupp their way from tree to tree and the crows squawk on regardless. Sometimes it sounds like they're laughing, but that doesn't stop me from taking great pleasure in wiggling my arse to the music in my head.
As for nature creating beauty and mankind spawning all things ugly... well, where do I start? As much as I adore nature, I do think beauty can be found in mankind's creations and yes, sometimes nature does create something which is butt ugly.
I mean, there are several species of fish (admittedly they're often the ones that have to survive at incredible pressure in the depths of the ocean) which are breathtakingly ugly. Nature, I believe, created those. Okay, so their ugliness is just a different kind of beauty which perhaps is not appreciated by those who prefer things fluffy and twee. Perhaps a marine biologist would view such creatures as inherently beautiful, each species with it's unique evolutionary tale of overcoming the odds. However, to me, they're just not as pretty as a puddy tat or a horse.
On the other hand, mankind has created some beautiful things. The towers and dome of Theatinerkirche (a church in Munich). Every time I walk past it, I cannot help but look up and marvel at it for a minute or two. Sometimes I'm stuck there for a while. I like the curvy bits. They please me, aesthetically. For Munich's 850th birthday this year (Herzlichen Glückwünsche zum Geburtstag München!), the city put on an amazing display for its folk. I remember that at one point, a dancer was suspended from one of the Theatinerkirche towers. She wore a flowing red outfit, which billowed as she ran and spun her way up and down the side of the tower. I couldn't take my eyes away. The tower was built by man. The dress was designed and made by man. The dancing was choreographed, practised and performed by man (okay, 'woman' to be exact). The event came together to be an uplifting, inspiring and yes, you've got it, a beautiful sight to behold. It was lovely.
Then there's music. Yes, nature gave us soundwaves and the cochlea, but it was mankind who created and performed Nessun Dorma. It was Carl Orff who made manifest 'O Fortuna' and it was Puccini who birthed 'Madame Butterfly'. It's just my personal opinion, but I think mankind has created a vast array of intense beauty, of ways to orchestrate emotions and moments which touch your very soul.
It is true that we can be an ugly, nasty, destructive bunch. It's not an absolute rule though and even if it were, I'm happy to say there are many delightful exceptions. There's one thing I totally agree with though. Nature does beauty exceptionally well.
Okay, I digress. My point is, that although I don't always agree with Stephen's personal opinions, I have enjoyed hearing them so very much. It has been like having a friend in the room, chattering away while I knit. Of course, we don't always agree with our friends and sometimes they air opinions which cause much hidden raising of eyebrows (this goes both ways, naturally). Most of the time though, I do find myself agreeing and grinning enthusiastically in Pooter's direction. Especially with the whole shooting people in the face thing. That was hilarious. There was much agreement on that one, but then I have a bee in my bonnet about that already. (Muncheners love zee rules and zey must be obeyed. Phlurp.) It really was like having a demented friend in need of a rant. I had to stop myself from offering Pooter a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Fantastic. It's great to hear Stephen's thoughts as they fall off the conveyor belt in his head and it's great to hear the bits we sometimes don't agree with. It makes him seem all the more real.
Oh and may I say, it was lovely to hear Stephen getting a bit riled about something. He swears with fervour and flair. Why does the F word always sound so much better when said by posh people? I say it with just as much fervour but I end up sounding like Kathy Burke. God I love that woman. Now that would be a tea time to savour, Stephen Fry and Kathy Burke with PG tips and a really gooey victoria sponge. I fear the joy factor would be too intense to survive.
So it is with much glee, that I have listened to Stephen pootle around his head and spill forth a few things. It's a lovely thing to do for his fans and a real treat. Like saving up your half pennies and buying a Curly Wurly (yes I am that old). Perhaps with slightly less drooling involved, of course. Infact, it feels so much like having a friend around for tea, that sometimes I say something back to Pooter, as it airs Stephen's thoughts. Of course, Pooter doesn't personally reply. It just gives me another glimpse of Stephen's world. And what a delightful world it seems to be.
So, thankyou for sharing a few moments of unadulterated Stephen with us, Mr. Fry. It's bloody lovely!
Oh and I still whistle. After all, my father was once a milkman.