Monday, June 07, 2010

Here come the Chaps! (ba-ba-bap-a-ba-ba! ba ba-ba ba ba bah! etc.)

Ma-ha! A blog post! Now you weren't expecting THAT, were you, Meeester Bond?

Let's get thematic. Seems as if GQ magazine have published some kind of list of The Coolest Men.

Hmm. Well. Let's sweep straight over the fact that there are least three people on that list I'm totally unfamiliar with, and head straight into the territory marked "surely I can do this better".

I mean. Prince Harry. Really?

So I'm doing my own list. In stages. Bite-sized-blog-chunks, or 'Blunks' if you will.

Boz's List of Ice-Cold Chaps

In at Ten, it's Alexander von Humboldt.

Once at a party, long ago, a delightful woman turned to me on the topic of en-famed baby names, and queried "Do you know of any great Alexanders?". Being the smart-arsed little oik I am, I was quick to point out the obvious one she had omitted.

But if I had waited a few more years, then upon reading Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel, I would have had a better answer.

Namely, that one of the greatest of Alex's is Mister Von Humboldt.


1. He got everywhere. The man must have had enough passport stamps to warrant their own museum.

2. He has a type of penguin, lily, squid, skunk and various tress and shrubs named after him. In fact, he gets his own wikipedia page of things named after him.

3. He called the last decade of his life his "improbable years", which is delightful.

4. The man was a bit ahead of his time on the whole holistic approach to nature business. If alive today, one suspects he'd be the kind of bloke amiable talking around people like BP into cheerfully reorganising themselves into Butterfly Protection plc.

5. Explorer, diplomat, artist, scientist... A bit of a polymath, he had a truly global outlook on life and acquired a vast mass of knowledge that he carefully wrote down to leave to the rest of us.

Finally, and I do not have anything on hand to prove it, but I strongly suspect he was a humanist. IE, not one of those terribly British pricks who went about the world conquering and raping "Johnny Foreigner". I mean, he couldn't have been anyway, because he was German, but you catch my drift. Less gung-ho, more gung-hello-nice-to-meet-you.

Fab. Just fab.

Surely it's time to celebrate the man's life in a graphic novel, or some kind of Dan Brown book using the various statues of him littered around the known world, no?

Men nine through one to follow at my leisure. Any suggestions..?

PS: Look! Quinquireme has blogged too! *SCREAM!* and then *runs off to read*


Tim Footman said...

Yeah, that's right, 'cos Germans only go where they're invited.

Cool dude, though. I first heard of him when Desmond Wilcox did a TV series on explorers, back in the olden days.

LaLa said...

Sometimes you bedazzle me with your big words Bozworth..

Oli said...

I nominate William Seabrook. Pioneered S&M and gave the English language the word "zombie". Got to be worth a couple of points.

Boz said...

Tim - these olden days, how far back are we talking?

LaLa - it's because I have to write everything as simply as possible at work. So when I'm not at work, I get a bit wordalicious. Plus I'm a cock.

Oli - Ooooh! That sounds like a gooood nomination. I shall research him (for this, read 'look him up on wikipedia').

Hedgie said...

Educational! I've heard of Humboldt's Penguins but have never come across him personally. Nice to meet you sir.

Nice portrait, too.

Stephen said...

Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlman is half about Humboldt tho it makes him seem pretty insane..