Monday, September 04, 2006

Crocodiles Rocked

I was awake when the news broke: The Croc Hunter is dead. It was a stingray barb--entirely fittingly--directly into his heart.

This sucks. I'm honestly upset here. In my tech writing class, when I lecture on job-hunting skills, I single him out as someone who truly made his passion his work.

Moral of the story? If flinging yourself on top of sharp-teethed, angry reptiles is what makes you happy in life, go and God bless. You just might make a difference while doing so.

crikey at: mb@blondechampagne.com

26 comments:

Shetland Pony said...

I know!!!!! It does suck. Such a wierd accident. My family loves him. He will be missed.

Cathy said...

Once again, I feel the need to come out of my hole to speak as the token Australian.

I am deeply saddened by this news. I think either peopel loved him or hated him, but either way, you couldn't ever deny the greatness of the work he did as a conservationist.

I was a lover. I remember the time I finally got to the Gold Coast to visit the Australia Zoon with fond memories and am honestly in shock. He seemed to be invisible.

At least we have the knowledge that he died doing what he loves the most in this world and my thoughts are with his family.

MB said...

Thanks for chiming in, Cathy. I'm very glad to hear from an Australian today.

Monica said...

I just found out about this. I feel so badly for his family. The thing about Steve Irwin was that he was just as (if not more) enthusiastic about the scary icky animals as he was about the cute and cuddly ones. He taught us to respect and admire these creatures rather than fear and loath them.

Once again, Irwin teaches us, even in death. I was swimming last week and a fisherman caught a stingray right off of the beach. However, I was more afraid of the jellyfish that were starting to come in with the tide than I was of the stingray. Now I will be more respectful of ALL of the creatures that may be swimming close to the shore.

Ruby Rose said...

Australia is in shock. Hell, I'M in shock and I've seen about 20 minutes of his shows, total.

Love him or hate him, you had to admire Steve Irwin because he was passionate about animals and about Australia.

He also accepted that animals were animals and acted the way they did because of what they were. The one program I did see was about the sidewinder snake and he was in complete rapture as it did its level best to kill him.

Sadly, he must not have been as good at dodging the animals these days - we all slow down as we get older - for him it was fatal.

I feel very sad about his family, they obviously all adored him and each other.

Alexandra from Melbourne, Australia

amy lou the reader said...

This is very shocking. Not what I expected to wake up to this morning.

I'm very sorry for Steve's wife, his children, his family, and the people of Australia.

He was a very cool guy.

red pill junkie said...

I just found out 20 min ago. I'm apalled!

I was in the loving side too. A truly great man, what a loss for the world. After Costeau, Irwin was the most famous conservasionist in the world. May he rest in peace (although, given his taste for danger and adventure, maybe that's not the appropiate thing to wish for, either way God bless him).

Danica said...

I'm heartbroken. I loved Steve Irwin. I'm more devastated for Bindi, Bob and Terri though. They need our prayers. I think I shall light a candle for them when I go to ND this month. Thanks for saying something about this, I'm glad I'm not the only one who will miss him.

HelloBettyLou said...

I was in shock when I saw the news last night. It's too shocking and sad. My heart goes out to his family.

AnnaPink said...

I LOVED Steve-O. The first few times I saw his show I thought, "the guy is COMPLETELY bonkers." But then you listen to him and see how amazed and enhusiastic he was, how respectful. I hope his kids grow up to follow their dreams, just as he did. Let's find inspiration in his life, as well as sadness at his death.

Anonymous said...

Its a real shame.....he was an awesome guy...but, to the author of the article on Steve (the same person who is blogging), there are NO SUCH THINGS as poisonous snakes....they are venomous snakes. There is a huge difference.

tamar said...

The venom poisons you. Get a life, and try not to be quite so technical, when it doesn't even really matter. Thank you.

Joe G. said...

There is no easy explanation why a fifty-five year old from south of Seattle came to admire an animal extrovert like Steve Irwin. At one level it might have been his boyish unabashed passion for all things living. At another level, however, it might have been his sense of civic duty to educate mankind about those living creatures so we could all be better armed to protect them...our planet...and ourselves. As an educator I will freely admit to shedding tears when hearing the news and passing it along to my wife at the dinner table. I put Mr. Irwin in the same pantheon as Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Dame Valerie Jane Goodall, world-class educators and naturalists. For very selfish reasons, I hope the Irwin family accepts the Australian PM's offer of a state funeral. It would be good for the nation and the world as well. Oh, and Crocs Rule.

MB said...

Agreed, Joe, and thanks for the lovely sentiments.

mike, hoisting a foster's said...

When I heard that Steve Irwin had died, I was thinking "please don't let it have been a snakebite." When he first got famous, he did a commercial for FedEx in which he was bitten and "died" because they used a different delivery service to deliver the antivenom.

Also, I hate snakes.


Like Paul Hogan before him, who rose to international stardom as "Crocodile Dundee," Irwin represented a stereotype of the rough-and-tumble Aussie bloke which, according to some things I'm reading, ticked off a great deal of Australians. It's perhaps the reason why his widow, Terri, received the Order Of Australia and he did not (though I'm sure he will posthumously) even though she's American-born.

But unlike Crocodile Dundee, Irwin wrestled gators and crocs not to kill them and wear them as boots, but to instill a greater understanding and appreciation of them for his customers at the Australia Zoo and later for worldwide television audiences. By showing how a croc could toss him around, he showed their danger; but by wrestling them and walking away he showed that they weren't always lethal.

This isn't to say that part of him wasn't stark raving insane; taking his month-old son into the croc pit with him was just nuts. But like all good showmen, he cultivated his image, and the safari gear and the haircut and the madman's eyes and the "Aww, CRIKEY!" were all part of that. But like a showman who's "good" in a more ethical sense, he took every single eye, be it human or a camera lens, and focused it right back on the animals he worked with. Unlike other celebrities with pet causes who may wear a ribbon at the Oscars or make a couple of appearances at fundraisers, Steve Irwin never got sidetracked away from the purpose of his celebrity status because of his celebrity status.

(I also have a soft spot for him as a conservationist who didn't overstep the line into nutty animal-rights kookball territory. He decried cheetah-fur coats but wasn't outraged at someone having a steak dinner. I appreciate that.)

The most stunning thing about his death was that it DIDN'T come while filming a death-defying stunt for his TV show, but for setup shots in his daughter's program. After telling the world for years to be aware of the amazing creatures around us, he very likely never saw the animal that killed him (one which, also sadly ironically, isn't normally considered lethal) until it had stuck a barb straight into his heart.

His death is sad, but we all have to go sometime, and there are far worse ways than being felled by a stingray while snorkelling in a sunny southern-hemisphere paradise. If it were possible to script it, that probably would have been the way Steve Irwin would have liked to exit.

But then again, Steve Irwin's life was never scripted.

mike, the anti-nitpicker said...

Also, to anonymous, while you're correct that poisons are ingested while venom must usually enter the bloodstream to have an effect, the difference is semantics. Even one of the Aussie newswire stories on his death used the word "poisoned" to describe the stingray attack.

thebuxomwench said...

Heya MB :( ... I was on the 'phone with a friend the day it happened when she suddenly went deathly quiet, then told me how, in the background, she'd just heard them announce on TV that he had just been killed. I'm still just so staggered and so saddened ... his poor family.

I went to Aussie Zoo with my hubby last year, as it is not too far from where we live, and spent the whole day enraptured with the place (felt like we'd stumbled into a natural reserve, not a zoo) ... I kept walking around, looking at Irwin's passion made tangible for all, and saying, "Oh, wow ... imagine being one of Steve's children, imagine having this as your childhood backyard".

I'm just so sad for them all :(.

thebuxomwench said...

PS: Naaah, Mike, we liked to take the pee out of him a little for Ocker-ing it up so much (because most Aussies simply don't sound quite that exaggerated) but mostly he was very much loved across the Aussie board ... the tributes here are testament to it :).

PPS: No REAL Aussie drinks Fosters, blech. There's a reason why we send that swill as far away from our shores as possible ;) :) :).

MB said...

"Ocker-ing it up"-- my new favorite phrase. I've been looking for you and I'm glad you stopped by, TBW!

Jenib said...

Oh man, he did make such a difference, didn't he? He was such a larger than life character that made the world sit up and want to take part in conservation efforts. He poured his entire life into what he loved and now it is our turn to keep his message alive.

Going For Greatness said...

I have blogged about this too. I keep wanting to wake up and have it all be a nasty dream.
The world has been enlightened because of his work and I hope that his legacy continues as his children grow to 'fill his shoes'.
~Gealbhain

mike, beer expert said...

buxom: I realize that nobody in Oz drinks Foster's, but it's really tough to find a Toohey's or Vic Bitter around here. Australian wine is becoming more popular in the U.S. since the French have fallen out of favor, but for most of us, if we want an Australian beer it's either Foster's or a 20-hour flight.

thebuxomwench said...

:::Smiles at Mike:::
It'd be worth the flight, by Crikey! ;) :)

mike, grounded said...

Only if I were very heavily sedated. I'm claustrophobic, prone to motion sickness, and require fresh air, all of which are not conducive to air travel.

The last time I was in a plane, it was coming home on the redeye from Las Vegas. It was just over a three-hour flight and I spent about two hours and forty-five minutes in the lav.

So . . . just send me a postcard, 'kay? :)

thebuxomwench said...

lol, 'kay :)

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