Katie is a bit too old to be a Steve Irwin fan, so we were spared most of that craze. Not all of it, of course, since we don’t live in a media blackout and we are exposed to the current kid culture via other friends’ kids.
Still, I always found the guy more than a few fries short on his Happy Meal. And what the hell did those critters do to him? I mean, they’re nasty, yes, but does he need to brandish them on television repeatedly? What was he teaching his viewers? Bullying? Have there been any cases of children being hurt by trying to replicate his stunts? (I don’t care how many times anyone says “don’t try this!” We all know that somebody, somewhere, will.)
And that crocodile/baby thing. Why wasn’t there as much media coverage about that as about Michael Jackson dangling his kid over a balcony? Was the man absolutely crackers? (I’m not talking about Michael Jackson, as I don’t have any doubts regarding his lack of sanity.)
Germaine Greer said all of this better than I have, but she’s the first person I’ve ever heard criticize Irwin in any significant way in a major publication. Granted, I wasn’t following him closely — but did the man have to die for critics to be heard?
Would he still be alive if he’d been darted with Risperdal on a regular basis? Maybe a little less of a celebrity, but sanity is worth some sacrifices. I think he would have been a better role model had he been less of an extreme risk taker.
I do feel sorry for his family, certainly. I know from experience that you can never truly be prepared for the loss of someone you love. Still, if I were his wife I would have been on edge all the time fearing that I’d get the call telling me that his luck had run out.