I’ve had some interesting (to say the least) comments and emails on my posts in relation to Steve Irwins death, indeed a number of people have expressed a desire to see me stabbed through the heart by a stingray, others have stated that they hope that people spit on my grave when I’m dead as well. The common theme was criticism that I dared to suggest that people found Steve Irwin an annoying, walking, talking clich?É?í?Ç¬©, and that as such I was being disrespectful to not only his family, but to the man himself, dead as he now is.
Are you trolls also attacking the mainstream media who in their numerous reports have also noted the same thing? Probably not. You’re too busy attacking me and the team over at The Spin Starts Here.
The fact is that many of us did find Steve Irwin annoying, but it didn’t mean we didn’t love him as one of our own, nor have a great level of respect or admiration for him for both his success as an entertainer, and for the many good things he did for conservation.
Most people love Paul Hogan, but the clich?É?í?Ç¬©d version of Australia he presented to others did make many cringe. For many years in my days before blogging and the internet, when my interaction with Americans was limited to occasionally meeting some of them out and about in Sydney, I, along with my friends, really wanted to smash the next American in the face (metaphorically of course) that asked us whether we could throw a shrimp of the barbie for them. Aside from the fact that we don’t have shrimp (they’re prawns for god sake!), American’s were shaped in their views of Australia by Paul Hogan. These days this view was shaped by Steve Irwin, and not always for the better. In assessing a man it serves in nobodys interest only to look at his life past through rose coloured glasses, particularly those who have obtained such a cultural prominence. I did nothing more than give a reasoned assessment on the life of the man. Like many Australians I was deeply shocked at his passing, and indeed I support the calls for him to have a State Funeral.
But just in case I die tomorrow, I’ll write my own eulogy now.
Vale Duncan Riley
Loved by as many as whom disliked him
He was never afraid to call a spade a f*cking shovel
and he enjoyed a good and fair debate.
He made a difference, maybe not to many, but to some,
and in achieving something, be it small, he was proud to have achieved it at all.
He leaves behind him a beautiful son who is already addicted to the internet.
There may be less vile and rubbish in the world now that he is no longer with us, but the colours left behind are none the slightly diminished now he has gone.
Tags: Steve Irwin