David Attenborough Leads The Cool Brigade


Mumabulous is  always up for a blog challenge, particularly when it comes from a bona fide Blog buster and  involves crumpet. Recently Amanda from A Cooker & A Looker (http://www.cookerandalooker.com/) posted this dare on my Facebook timeline.

Mumabulous – I have a challenge for you and it involves octogenarian crumpet. After watching David Attenborough last night, I bet you can’t find a foxier bloke (who’s 80+) – you in?

I instantly returned fire with “Omar Sharif”. I saw Omar interviewed by a fellow spry silver fox Phil Donahue  and was all a swoon for a week afterwards. Omar is still  a commanding presence, all charm and charisma with a velvety voice that could lull you into blissful slumber every night.

Omar Sharif - then and now

Omar Sharif – then and now

That should have been the final word but the issue kept rattling around in my head. Omar Sharif doesn’t trump David Attenborough. The reason is that David Attenborough was, is and will forever be totally COOL and AWESOME. This led me to ponder octogenarian coolness as opposed to the original question of octogenarian crumpet. It was the perfect antidote to the malaise about aging I’ve been experiencing recently.  Here is a collection of dudes in their 80s who are still undeniably inspiring.

David Attenborough  Born: 1926 

Why he is cool: Sir David has been the quintessential natural documentary maker for over 60 years. He has made countless documentaries and written over 25 books. The Life series which began with Life On Earth is an amazing achievement. Its the closest thing the popular culture has to a survey of all life on the planet. We’ve all grown up with his stunning programs. Not only are they visually spectacular and technically dazzling, there’s a spiritual dimension to them. Forgive me for waxing lyrical but Attenborough’s work is uplifting. His shows coax us out of our ego-centric worlds and evoke a real sense of wonder.

At 87 he’s showing no signs of slowing down. As I write he is doing a  world speaking tour and recently announcing a brand new TV series David Attenborough’s Natural Curiosities.  Over the past decade he has become an ardent spokesman for environmental causes, an advocate for sustainable population growth and a respected voice in the climate change debate.

The young David Attenborough

The young David Attenborough

An amazing encounter with gorillas

An amazing encounter with gorillas

With a horny friend

With a horny friend

Buzz Aldrin Born: 1930

Why he is cool: Buzz Aldrin was the second human to set foot on the moon behind Neil Armstrong.

Only cool people get memes right?

Only cool people get memed right?

Buzz is arguably even cooler than Neil because he  piloted the lunar module and led pioneering work on space docking techniques and space walking. Much of the technology he helped develop is still in use today.  Upon retiring from NASA in the early 1970s he struggled with alcoholism and depression yet still managed to design a space craft system for missions to Mars. In recent years he has experienced a career renaissance as a passionate advocate for space exploration. Recently he outlined his vision for setting up a permanent base on Mars in a new book  –  Mission to Mars. Despite  the earnest campaigning and political lobbying, he appears to have a sense of humor having played himself in The Transformers movie and on Futurama. He reached the pinnacle of coolness by appearing on The Simpson.  Unfortunately there was  a rap single with Snoop Dog – the less said about that the better.

Nothing signifies cool like an appearance on The Simpsons.

Nothing signifies cool like an appearance on The Simpsons.

Except for maybe an appearance on Sesame St.

Except for maybe an appearance on Sesame St.

I was conceived a few months after this happened. Relevance?

I was conceived a few months after this happened. Relevance?

Warren Buffet Born: 1930

Why He Is Cool: As the the primary shareholder, CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet is regarded as the most successful investor of all time . He is  a demi- god in stockbroking circles. If Warren Buffet so much as sneezes the entire industry stops and listens.  His simple, common sense approach to investing makes him an icon with “Mum and Dad” investors too. Despite having an estimated worth of $50b,  his lifestyle is relatively frugal. He still lives in the same five bedroom house he purchased in 1958.  That in itself is not cool – what is cool is his philosophy about giving back to society.  In 2006 Warren  made a pledge to give away 99% of his fortune. The great bulk of this ($31b) went to The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation and he has been instrumental in persuading other billionaires like Richard Branson to do the same.  (So far he has had no luck with Gina Rinehart.) Here’s what he had to say about it.

I don’t have a problem with guilt about money. The way I see it is that my money represents an enormous number of claim checks on society. It’s like I have these little pieces of paper that I can turn into consumption. If I wanted to, I could hire 10,000 people to do nothing but paint my picture every day for the rest of my life. And the GDP would go up. But the utility of the product would be zilch, and I would be keeping those 10,000 people from doing AIDS research, or teaching, or nursing. I don’t do that though. I don’t use very many of those claim checks. There’s nothing material I want very much. And I’m going to give virtually all of those claim checks to charity when my wife and I die”.

I find it refreshing that his wife is around the same age

I find it refreshing that his wife is around the same age

Now there's a powerful team.

Now there’s a powerful team.

Rupert Murdoch Born 1931

Not cool – Rupert is evil.

The devil controls the the media.

The devil controls the the media.

Some honorable mentions

Stan Lee Born 1922 : The co creator of Spider Man, The Hulk, the X Men, Thor, Iron Man and tonnes more. Stan Lee made Marvel Comics the global behemoth it is today. But I just want to thank him for Loki.  At age 90 he is still creating new characters.

Stan Lee - Comic book king

Stan Lee – Comic book king

James Dewey Watson Born 1928: JDW is the co-discoverer of the double helix structure of DNA.  He was involved in the Human Genome project and in 2007 became the second person to publish his fully sequenced genome on line. His autobiography is called “Avoid Boring People” and he is consistently getting into strife for his politically incorrect comments.

Father of modern genetics

Father of modern genetics

Michael Caine Born 1933: He’s an indefatigable actor and my Mum loves him.

My name is Michael Caine - so cool madness wrote a song about him.

My name is Michael Caine – so cool madness wrote a song about him.

Oh lookie here - its Michael Caine and Sean Connery.

Oh lookie here – its Michael Caine and Sean Connery.

So who have I left out?



17 thoughts on “David Attenborough Leads The Cool Brigade

  1. How I loved that movie, the Sean Connery and Michael Caine one. Wasn’t it The Man Who Would Be King? So sad, and so wonderful. I actually remember when the gorillas thing came out with DA, was really young at the time, but remember watching it, enraptured. I’m not admitting to my OAP crush for fear of undoing all the good work I have done pretending to be cool.

  2. I have to agree Brenda, David Attenborough is king of the Octopods. He’s an octopod, right? An octogenarian, with legs. You can see I’ve been paying close attention during his Life series. I do LOVE them though. I sit there, slack-jawed with awe, like a child. There aren’t many people that can inspire wonder like that in an adult. Well – this adult, in any case.

  3. I love David Attenborough, he is inspirational. He is certainly cool, but getting back to crumpet, Sir Sean Connery is an absolute octogenarian silver fox. He still has that sparkle in his eyes and that voice!

    The photo of Connery and Caine would also make a funny meme competition!

  4. I wish David Attenborough would do voice over for children’s books! Can you imagine him reading Roald Dahl classics? Great alternative to switching on the tv! Ha! I would have to say Sidney Portier, Kirk Douglas? and Roger Moore 🙂 I think they’re in their eighties. 🙂

  5. Ooh, all great selections. I adore Michael Caine and David Attenborough. But what about Clint Eastwood? He’s as cool as cucumber and a recent member of the Octoclub. Though I was never a fan of the whole Dirty Harry thang, that man has directed the bejesus out of some amazing films! 🙂

  6. I think that was nearly an episode of the Big Bang Theory and I don’t understand(just call me Penny). I was subjected to Madness in the car(double cabin old arse ute), thanks to the olds, but what song?!

  7. I have in mind a post on David Attenborough, prompted by his 60 years in film doco. I am truly jealous of all that he has seen. Can you even imagine?
    As for Stan Lee – I love that he was treated like a pariah for following his dreams, and has lived long enough to see the rest of the world catch up (he tells a story how he’d go to parties and when he told people what he did they’d say “Aren’t you a little old for that? When are you getting a real job?” He is the king of ‘in your face’ revenge. I also loved that he saved all his limited life super heros from the comic book scrap heap and talked Marvel into giving them another chance all rolled into one new series, called The Avengers.
    I’d have Jackie Chan on the list. He does amazingly worthwhile things with his time – he builds schools, flys around the world for a dinner with Starlight Kids, give coats and blankets to the elderly and is with Buffett on the give half your wealth campaign (though he does it in China so we don’t hear about it).
    And Paul Newman – but we discussed that on your previous post…

  8. Outstanding work Mumabulous – you are the ultimate crumpet collator!
    My heart skipped a beat this week when I learned that Sir David’s cardiologist had ordered the immediate insertion of a pacemaker. There were sighs of relief from octogenarian crumpet lovers like myself, when he emerged from surgery & was well enough to send a shout out to Australia. It’s the wonder – still audible in his voice after all these years – that makes me swoon.
    I’m particularly thrilled by your inclusion of James Watson – a man who had his historic eureka moment after a few pints at his local, will always be tres elegant in my book. xx

    • It was a major bummer that Sir David was forced to cancel his Australian tour but I have a feeling he will get out here again in the not too distant future. I am glad I thrilled someone with JDW (normally I’m thrilling people with RDJ). I’ve seen him interviewed a few times and he is a cheeky monkey and although I dont agree with everything he says I am inspired to see that he is still very much in the debate about genetics.

  9. Such a list! I’ve always been a big Clint Eastwood fan, but he kind of lost me when he did that crazy talking to an empty chair thing, against Obama. Sir David is one amazing old dude, my 10 year-old is always telling me how cool he is lately.
    Loved Stan Lee on Big Bang, he just gets it 🙂

  10. I enjoy this wee history lesson – David is such a legend, Sean, my favourite and Stan Lee – wow such a creative mind. And I agree with Amanda – you are a super crumpet collector!

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