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September 06, 2006

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Rix

It's why millions of Americans get juiced up & watch NASCAR, which is at least broadcast live on TV so one can witness the flaming wreck, pieces of car (& driver?) flying every which way. Did Irwin cheat his fans by not letting them watch him die?

vanjulio

Doesn't explain why Grizzly Man was denounced by most colleagues as a maniac who lacked the complete respect for the animals themselves and their natural environment (at least as the film portrays). I'd say Timothy Treadwell is just a little more extreme degree of the same impulses that were appreciated by Steve Irwin's audience. I guess with Grizzly Man you could tell he was crossing the line, but our own ignorance as an audience led us to believe that Irwin was on the proper side of that same line. Apparently not! That was what was so engaging was that it defied our natural instincts. It seemed like with enough specialized knowledge and experience of animal handling, anything was possible for Crocadile Hunter. NASCAR possesses the same potential for devastation (fatality), but I think there is more to the appeal of Crocodile Hunter and Grizzly Man. If we're talking about stupid American tastes, I'd look at those World Series of Poker shows. Everyone can play a million hands of cards and one time they will be a winner - even by just dumb luck - you can get a royal flush. Well, same with Steve Irwin. You know that no matter how smart he is, or how gentle and guided his actions with the animals are, there is an element of uncertainty there lurking with wild animals and humans and everything. And after a million encounters with a deadly creature, it finally happened! It happened because of some bad luck, but also because of some line that was crossed the same line that Timothy Treadwell forsook when he died!

carlos

I couldnt agree more with The Iowa Firecracker. In fact I had written with almost the same perspective some time ago.
I am quite satisfied that nature has revenged years of paid and celebrated wildlife bullying. Irwing always reminded me of the zoocryptologist depicted in the mockumentary Incident at Loch Ness about Werner Herzog trying to make a serious documentary.

norelpref

He may have been the Jim Carrey (or Curry) of the Animal Planet world, but he did give a shit about animal rights and conservation, and was an strong activist in this regard. He may have employed such bombastic efforts as an "entertainer" to get the attention of an essentially brain dead and ethically numb public.

But hey, I don't want to ruin the mock train. Let's make fun o' the crock guy and play armchair (or cubicle) sociologists. As you were.

Brian Turner

I wouldn't liken Treadwell to Irwin; they both certainly had a certain strange approach to nature, but Treadwell anthropromorphized to an extreme degree and saw the animals as he wanted them to *be*, whereas Irwin understood their behavior, but unfortunately had something inherent in his own that just fucked with the animals to a heavy degree for the sake of TV. While I admired his desire to break down barriers with nature to educate, and recognized his respect for wild things, I think there was just something arrested in his development that made him behave a bit strongly and unwisely for the sake of bravado. He explained ro Larry King the whole holding-his-baby-near-the-croc episode, and it did little to alleviate the fact that one slip with that kid on the ground and it would have been gobbled up like a ham. And that, I believe, is not a responsible way to behave with someone's life in your hands. That said, the stingray thing was just an extreme freak accident that might have happened to anyone. When a ray is camouflaged in the sand bottom, it is TRULY invisible. And I think when Irwin was above it he just was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but who knows; if he reached to mess with it, he probably was over the line. I've been in the Caymans where people hang out in 20' water while rays literally swarm over 'em, eating food off their heads etc., and no one gets hurt, even accidentally.

poesboes

Mr. Irwin was foremost a passionate man. It's hard to explain, understand or rationalize a passion; it's just best shared. The way he did.

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