Well, the death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has generated hysterical mourning at a level not seen since Princess Diana had her last car drive. This idea of getting really worked up over the death of someone you don’t actually know has always made me a bit queasy. Irwin was a very interesting bloke who did some amazing work both in entertainment and conservation, and his death was unfortunate and undeserved. It was arguably only a matter of time until his rather dangerous lifestyle caught up with him but it’s still a bummer that it happened.
Then Germaine Greer decided to lob a hand grenade into the worldwide crowd of mourners with a newspaper column where she said among other things: “The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin.” She honestly didn’t say anything too outrageous in the piece but her timing sucked – to me it smacked of someone who is either utterly insensitive to the moods of others or someone who is so desperate for attention they do something that they know will generate a tsunami of negative attention for them (negative attention is better than no attention for some people). Germaine being Germaine, she gladly went on a high-rating tabloid “current affairs” TV show defending her view which guaranteed her nationwide vilification.
A day or so later, Jack Marx put an insightful piece on his blog completely skewering the hypocrisy of the situation. Longer term readers may remember Marx as the writer who Russel Crowe attempted to recruit as his “inside man” – his mole in the world of journalism who would write positive stories about Rusty, particularly about his (shudder) music. A job which I’m still open for, by the way Rusty. Call me! The relationship did not work out well for either of them although Marx got an interesting, if self-serving, article out of it. One thing Mr Marx is not scared of is pissing people off.
And I’d just like to round this off with the one piece of this whole circus that made me really angry. Irwin’s producer held a press conference to give the details of what had happened. In his statement he uttered one of the most egregious misuses of the term “ironically” it has been my misfortune to hear (another topic regular readers will know is important to me). He said (I’m paraphrasing because I can’t find a transcript) that Irwin was filming for a show that would have been called something like “Ocean’s Deadliest Creatures” when he was killed, “ironically”.
NO!!! Being killed while filming World’s Deadliest Anything is not ironic! The title is bloody accurate! It’s apt! The one thing it isn’t is ironic! It would be ironic if he was filming a show called “World’s Cuddliest and Friendliest Animals” and some cute fluffy bunny tore his throat out. This is the real smear on Steve Irwin’s legacy, not anything Germaine Greer said. I swear, anyone who says to me “isn’t it ironic how Steve Irwin died” is headed straight for intensive care.
23 responses to “Steve Irwin, Germain Greer and Jack Marx”
Taking revenge on someone implies that they have wronged you in the first place. The guy did not harm the animals in any shows that I saw – pestered them a bit maybe – but nothing really harmful. To me Germaine’s comment suggests the woman has some sort of emotional immaturity as in she lacks the ability to empathize – still stuck at the level of a five year old.
ironically right this time 😆
Mick: I agree, she seems to have lost her grip. Very self-serving at best.
keith: I’m always right and that’s never ironic
I came across your site so I wanted to share this with you.
I’ve always been a fan of Steve Irwin, and so I was pretty upset to hear about his death on Monday. I thought about writing something, or maybe making a video.
Then I found a out I wasnt the only one with this idea, so I put everyones together and made a video Channel.
Check it out, post your own too.
You can also make your own site as well it takes no time at all, I think you might like that from the looks of your blog. Here is that link as well.
Ironically this media hoopla is really depressing. (i know i just butchered it again).
The man deserves to die in peace. He was happy I am sure to die doing something he loved. I don’t know that germaine woman but she does sound a bit dense.
I do feel sad for his death; i liked him; i especially loved his accent 🙂
Germaine’s comments made the news here in the US as well. I can’t think of anything so inhumane to Terri, Bindi, and Bob. His death was a crushing blow to his wife and kids.
The Jack Marx piece certainly has plenty of validity to it. The media blows everything out of proportion. Unfortunately, that will never change and it was that very nature of the media that Germaine exploited.
You have to think for yourself. You can’t read the news like a brainless boob and expect to be told the truth in a concise and fair manner. It’s not going to happen. Take it for what it is. And, determining exactly what it is will be entirely up to you.
Emma: nice idea, I’ll check it out
Salamaat Maliha, Germaine Greer actually did so much good in the past (including a pioneering feminist book “The Female Eunech”) it’s really sad that she seems to have lost the plot
Jennifer: good summary, think for yourself
When I die…..I want equal time. 😀
Hi, first time visit from Central Snark. I appreciate your posts and your writing style and I suspect I’ll be visiting more often. I was saddened by Irwin’s death, although I didn’t know him, because he was a father and a husband and had friends, not because he was Steve Irvin. Yes, there is too much deal made for someone that you didn’t know, and Germaine Greer, whom I didn’t know about until now, sounds like the most insensitive and self serving person! Irwin’s friends and family will read her comment and be hurt by it.
Thanks for your post!
Yeah, Mr Angry. You have just gone onto my blogroll – I totally agree with just about everything, especially the Irony part!
Sandra: equal time where? with who? in my blog? You already get more time here than these mere “celebrities” 🙂
Pavel: glad you liked it. Yes, her insensitivity is hard for me to understand, it’s not something I could do.
sonael: thanks! I hope you followed my link back to my previous irony post, you’ll see how obsessed I am
I was thinking in the media – but hell, by then you will be much more popular than news channels….probably already are!
Jack–a slight correction : Mr. Irwin’s producer’s comment was referencing the fact that he (Steve) was killed not while shooting ‘The World’s Deadliest’, but rather when he was out shooting a soft segment for his daughter Bindi’s programme for children.
Oops, apologies. The note above should have been addressed to you Mr. Angry, rather than Mr. Marx.
Just reiterating what Andrew said. The ‘ironic’ statement referred to the fact that stingrays weren’t even part of the show. They’re not considered part of ‘The Ocean’s Deadliest’. Oven toasters have probably killed more people worldwide than stingrays. In that sense, to be killed while doing that show, filming what are normally considered placid creatures, is VERY ironic indeed.
Now I really really wish I could find a transcript because how I heard it was he went directly from “wordl’s deadliest” to “ironically” but I can’t find one. Besides which, I’m hardly likely to let a little thing like the truth get in the way of getting all psycho of the misuse of “ironic”
In the movie, “Bridget Jones” Germaine Greer is mentioned in reference to “having no life”. (when Bridget’s mother was telling her that she has “no life,just like Germaine Sodding Greer”).Even in the movies she is unpopular. I see why, picking on a dead man for attention is as low as a person can get.
Germaine Greer wasn’t entirely wrong! Her timing may have sucked but to all of a sudden turn Steve Irwin into a saint – that’s not right either. The man was a freaking pest of overeager ‘annoyingness’. Granted he probably didn’t deserve to die, but he sure as hell made sure that he would jeopardize his life at least three times a day. I’m not at all surprised that his luck ran out.
Carolyn: she certainly reduced her fan base with her recent comments
Safira: pretty much my point in the post – she didn’t say anything too outrageous in and of itself but her timing reeks of insensitivity and grandstanding
‘De mortuis, nihil nisi bonum’ – of the dead say nothing unless good.
Take heed Miss Greer.
Nice! Thanks for raising the intellectual tone Sam
Steve Irwin was twit really I couldnt stand thge guy I think his show was great for parents as it saved them money fort baby siters and took care of their kidds while they goofed off doin something else. Any one who teases animals as much as he did desreves to be poiled in dingoe fat, but really teasing sting rays is not smart. Until we get to see the entire unedited version of the encounter with the stingray i believe and so do most inteligent people that steve irwin was messing round with this placid creature. Maybe we we see in steven spielbergs new movie “” THe Return of the KIller Stingray”
I think it was inevitable he’d get killed doing his stuff one day. It was just weird he got killed by a million to one shot rather than by an even money bet.