Thursday, September 07, 2006

Steve's Call of the Wild, and then wild words from Germaine.

from Wendy

Steve’s Call of the Wild, and then wild words from Germaine.

Everyone is saddened at the death of a young man with a wife and small children and Steve Irwin’s untimely death has led to a massive response because he was the famous ‘Crocodile Man’ with a boyish love of adventure with wild animals. He was not typical at all of Australians though, as most of us live in cities and don’t ever go near snakes, crocodiles or stingrays, but he was an icon of how we could be, - adventurous and up close to danger with a child-like wonder.

One response to his death that has caused outrage was from the expatriate Oz feminist Germaine Greer who lives in England mostly, but has a property also in Queensland. Her article first published in Britain’s Guardian was a barbed sting indeed, regarding Irwin as disrepectful to animals who needed space. ‘Every creature he brandished at a camera was in distres... The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin,’ she wrote.

I saw her interview on television and she seems like a demented woman, shouting out her accusations. The next day I read the written article, which has a little bit of substance, but what awful timing it was! You just don’t write like that immediately after a death! Have some respect Germaine! But hey, you’re never been good at that. You had a go at David Beckam, you had a go at the trilogy ‘Lord of the Rings’ and often had scathing things to say, often erroneously, about Australia!

Adapted rom the Herald Sun, September 6th.

Federal Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said, "This article, as well as being so offensive, very firmly plants her as a cultural elitist who is completely out of touch with the average Australian," Ms Bailey said. "This article is an absolute disgrace. I think Australians would be absolutely offended by such a vicious and ill-informed attack on such a genuine Australian who, in all of his work, constantly stressed care of the environment and care of the species."

Ms Bailey said Greer was little more than a bitter woman who said only negative things about Australia, while Irwin educated children on the need to respect animals and environments.

Victorian Principals Association President Fred Ackerman said anyone calling Irwin a bad influence on children had little idea of how they learn. "For someone to say that, they have an insufficient understanding of the sophisticated way in which even little kids can view the world around them," Mr Ackerman said. He said there was no doubt children learned by example but they understood Irwin was such a rarity, and his behaviour so extraordinary, that they linked him more to inimitable figures such as Santa Claus than a real person.
We even had an email from our nine-year-old grandson, telling us about Steven Irwin. He's a hero even to little kids in Fiji.


Blogger The Moody Minstrel said...

And to think I had a plan to visit the Australia Zoo while I was there and wound up canceling it...

Loss of a national icon is never easy, particularly to his own loved ones.

6:55 AM  

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