Monday, September 04, 2006

crocodile tears

The crocodile hunter is dead, long live the crocodile hunter. And all that. Premature death is generally sad, but I won’t say anything more about the event itself. I knew very little about him and never watched one of his shows. It’s for his family, friends and, I guess, his fans to mourn him, not me. One thing I will comment on: the way Australia continues to seem so obsessed with what the rest of the world thinks about us (especially when it comes to celebrity and sport). Maybe all countries are the similar in that regard – but I don’t think all countries would have features like this one in the Sydney Morning Herald: i.e., screen captures of websites from around the world featuring Steve Irwin’s untimely demise on their homepages.

Maybe it’s an objective look at the international phenomenon that was Irwin – the cult of the croc hunter (which is pretty amazing, it seems). But maybe not.

We’re down here! Look! See, he was one of ours! Thankyou for noticing us!


Blogger Lone Gopher said...

From one poorly inhabitated country to another - Yes It's the same. We're like that too.

Unfortunately we don't have any crocodiles, only elks and deer. Even though they can be majestic it's not really the same deal saying. "Crikey, Look at the horns on this one! See the speed he has running away from me in terror! I'm not only an expert but also very brave."

But when Peter Forsberg scores the most points or Niklas Lidström wins the Norris Trophy we're convinced that all the world just loves hockey. When Göran Kropp dies we're convinced that everybody knows he was the first to ride a bike from Europe, climb Everest without "extra" help or "extra" oxygen and then bike home again. When Lasse Hallström gets an Oscar nomination he's the talk of the town in Hollywood.

Imagine that big arena were everybody watches the game to which you're merely a spectator and then the jumbotron camera lands on you for a couple of seconds. Of course you're going to scream and wave. What news stories coming out of Sweden/involving Swedes the last 20 years that didn't involve sports or celebrities can you remember? 2? 3? (Prime minister Palme getting shot, Estonia going down and maybe Foreign minister Anna Lindh getting stabbed to death?)
(With the sports included it's gotta be at least 6)

P.S. I did see some shows and he's totally nuts, but conservationwise I think he did a lot of good.

1:37 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...


Good to know that we and the Swedes are one in the same when it comes to these things. The answer to your question is 2. I knew about the PM and the foreign minister, but I had to google the Estonia.

Re: conservation etc, I'll paste in an email I sent to a Canadian friend yesterday:

"It was amazing how huge he was. He was famous in North America way before he was famous in Oz. I think he became famous in Oz BECAUSE of his fame in the US more than for what he actually did. He made a lot of Aussies cringe (including me, but, of course, I’m a chardonnay-socialist left-wing pseudo-“elite” wanker who sneers down my nose at the masses), but he had (obviously) become very famous/popular there as well. And I always had the feeling he was a genuine guy, that it wasn’t an act (not that I have any way of actually knowing that). And, as you say (and probably most important for those of us who weren’t family or friends) he was sdoing some genuinely good stuff in terms of raising awareness (and money) for conservation issues etc."

6:55 pm  
Blogger Lone Gopher said...

I looked at the pics by the way. You never told me you've met him.


5:25 pm  
Blogger secret wombat said...

Bastard snuck up from behind and took me down with a half-nelson / pile-driver combo

9:20 am  
Blogger Lone Gopher said...

Is that what they call it these days...


9:43 am  

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