Dispatches From the Moderate Left

Saturday, September 09, 2006

(Moving) Picture of the Week

Irwin's career in a parodic nutshell:

(Note, you might need the latest version of Flash player plugin if you don't see the above).

"Irwin": As we steer our boat down, looking for these dangerous predators... boy, there's a king croc right here. He must be four meters; 12, 13 feet long at least. This croc has enough power in its jaws to rip my head right off.

Kenny: (Oh, no!)

"Irwin": I've got to be careful. So, what I'm gonna do is sneak up on it and jam my thumb in its butthole.


"Irwin": Well! That was quite an angry croc! But I managed to escape with only a few bruises and a shattered left testicle. Next week we'll look for more of these beautiful creatures, so we can learn more about them by pissing them off immensely.

It's never surprised me that someone so blissfully unaware of concepts like irony and understatement found a more natural home in the US than in Australia. I do of course feel sadness at his passing, sympathy for his family, respect for his position on the world stage and appreciation for what he did to shine light on Australia's natural world. But in the end, he was more of an oddity than a "hero" from where I'm sitting.

As an aside, it's interesting that a number of commentors at Landeryou's blog agreed with Germaine Greer's general sentiments in this interview:

I'd encourage you to hear what she's saying, rather than what other people are saying about what she's saying cause what she's saying isn't that crazy (except for on two occasions when she got called out on some minor hyperbole and let herself get frustrated with the interviewer). Also interesting that Landeryou didn't actually try and rebut any of her substantive points in his accompanying commentary (calling her "owned" by the interviewer doesn't count). He instead chose to attack a random straw man ("Perhaps she'll have something bitchy to say about the fossil fuel use of the late Peter Brock") and some comments made by someone writing about Greer. Strange.

PS. Yes, I have just figured out how to steal youtube imbeds... I'll try to keep their use to a minimum.


  • is that a youtube hotlink or something? it isn't coming up.

    perhaps Irwin understood irony perfectly well, but chose to ignore it - because he realised his cheerful directness and complete lack of self-consciousness is what Americans like to think Australians are like. What might have been called the 'rustic colonial', in another context.

    He was certainly a warmer/fuzzier character than Paul Hogan...

    By Blogger John Lee, at 10:20 PM  

  • It's a flash imbed, it should work if you've got flash installed. I updated the post with another, they're working on my computer in both of my browsers hope they're working for most ppl, else I've probably grabbed them wrong.

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 10:26 PM  

  • Ah, found a computer where it didn't work. Installing Flash 9.0 will make it work. Thanks for pointing that out, I've updated the post with a note. It's silly that IE doesn't automatically recognise you don't have the right plugin, unlike Firefox.

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 10:33 PM  

  • Without being any sort of fan of Steve Irwin at all, I read Germaine Greer's article in the Guardian, and honestly I think opening her mouth (or keyboard) in this instance has been the stupidest thing she's done since Celebrity Big Brother. Whether or not she has a point, she chose the wrong time and a particularly crass way to try to get it across. And it's not often that I find myself agreeing with both Peter Beattie and Kevin Rudd on an issue...

    By Blogger John Provis, at 10:37 PM  

  • Did you listen to the interview here? She got her point off much better in it (with, like I said, two moments where she let herself get knocked off guard). And I read that article and with the exception of some unnecessary snark (the sort of thing you need to use to get attention in newsprint) it's not so silly either. Just because it isn't prefaced by the obligatory "i'm sorry for the family etc." - which is definitely a good piece of courtesy, but she addresses the issue in the interview - doesn't mean she didn't have a valid point. A valid point she takes a bit far at times to be sure (eg the headline "The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin"), but nothing to get too riled up about imo. Insensitve, yes, but a "feral attack"??

    By Blogger Jeremy, at 10:53 PM  

  • Hi y'all

    Her "point" was that he had it coming because he intruded on animal's space.

    Hardly worth rebutting, a contemptible and moronic attack on a good Aussie bloke who turned his love of wildlife into a bloody good business.

    Someone who admires her work answered the question about why she did such a thing as follows:

    The only obvious answer must lie in Greer’s cultural vanity. She thinks of herself as a naturalist and an environmentalist, as she often talks of her bit of Queensland rainforest, and, of course, as an Australian intellectual. The fact that Irwin was perceived by children as Australia’s most famous environmentalist, and by the rest of the world as the hilarious, life-affirming, unashamedly non-intellectual Australian stereotype that it’s impossible not to adore, has obviously rankled deep with her. It’s truly ghastly when someone you admire – and I have long admired Germaine Greer – displays such spiteful behaviour, but all the more horrid that she chose such an unlikely subject for her target.

    Game on.

    By Blogger Andrew Landeryou, at 6:33 PM  

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