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Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Steve-O

I intended to make today's entry a Random Shelf Review but this weekend has produced multiple death stories that are all shocking. First, not that I subscribed to his Satanic beliefs, but I respected his songwriting abilities, and I found it confusing that Jon Nodtveidt of Dissection recently took his life. In the same year after finishing his prison sentence and reforming Dissection, he goes on a world tour with an excellent new album Reinkaos then announces the end of Dissection. Shortly thereafter he snuffs it. Then Jesse Pintado of Terrorizer mysteriously dies a couple of days after the band's prophetic album Darker Days Ahead comes out.

Very sad stuff, but when I woke up this morning, I was shaken to pieces to read the headline that the Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray.

Perhaps one might say Steve-O has cheated death more times than any human being should have the right to, that constantly submitting yourself to the most dangerous of God's creatures will eventually catch up to you. Perhaps that is correct, but besides his daredevil spirit, the number one fact about Steve Irwin is that he was this world's number one naturalist and his documentaries were less about showing off his fearless interactions with snakes, crocodiles, Komodo dragons and an extraordinarily diverse amount of wildlife and more so to reduce mankind's fear of these creatures, to make them aware of certain risks but also to point out that these animals, amphibians and repitles have a right to co-exist without blind scrutiny killing them off one species at a time.

Photo courtesy of Reuters

While I'll admit I've watched less of Steve Irwin in the past year or so as my television viewing has been grossly limited overall, I still have about three tapes filled with Steve's adventures because I always appreciated his youthful exuberance and his trademark witticisms such as "Crikey," "Ain't she a beaut?" or "What a ripper!" that my wife and I occasionally yell out loud for fun. Even the Croc Hunter's Collision Course movie, while it may be looked as commercialism, was harmless fun and whether you look at it a cash-in or not, it made children happy, and that's the biggest loss here.

Steve Irwin is a hero, a hero for nature and humanity and so seldom has contemporary society seen a genuine buck like Steve-O who can inspire in the face of danger, but also bring the globe together as he did. Steve belonged to the world, not just Australia, and that sort of celebrity is something Steve seemingly didn't let go to his head. I was furious when the press were trying to mar his good name by making him seem like a bad father during the croc feeding incident while holding his son Bob, and also for accusing Steve of getting too close to the penguins, seals and humpback whales for his Antarctica documentary. Rubbish, I say, and I also say that when someone tries to make a positive statement in a world that embraces its ugliness out of convenience sake, that individual becomes a target and the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head...

I haven't taken a celebrity's death this hard since Joey Ramone and Piggy of Voivod. John Ritter was pretty tough to absorb, especially since my wife and I are Three's Company junkies, but losing Steve Irwin is a low blow and the world just got much darker because of it. On a personal note, Steve Irwin was in the top five of non-musicians I wanted to meet and hopefully interview in this life. I hope Terri Irwin and Steve-O's lineage Bindi and Bob pick up where their courageous dad left off...


fred charles said...

I feel bad for Steve. You always kind of felt that he was invunerable but I guess, in the end, he was human after all. I feel bad for his family and all of his fans.

I could care less about Jon from Dissection. The guy was a murderer. He should have probably should have spent some more time in jail. They're not letting Varg out anytime soon.

Jesse Pintado's death came as a bit of a shock. I just read an interview with him where he said that he was doing well. Very sad. The circumstances were similar to Doc from Vader. Doc was let go from Vader and failed to get his life together. Sounds like the same happened to Jesse.

I don't know. Too many metal musicians are dying these days. I'm still getting over Piggy and Quorthon.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

For sure. I was a real big fan of Steve's so I really took it bad.

I'm not sorry for Jon, just really intrigued over the events of his life in 2006. Yes, he's a murderer and it was very hard to separate that fact when having to review his music and DVD. Objectivity unfortunately dictates in this matter. My opinions about Jon I will keep to myself.

Yeah, I know nothing about Jesse's death, but that would really suck if that was the case. The new Terrorizer album is ball-out!

David Amulet said...

Better him getting it than his kid when he was playing around in front of that croc. He had hell to pay as it was, but that could've been just the same freak accident that this was.

-- david

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I defend Steve for the croc "incident" if you will. It's how he was trained by his own father and moreover, Terri defended Steve for it. She had the best comments about it when saying she'd rather Bob be introduced this way than a cpi[;e of years later without the experience and be traumatized later when his mind is developed enough to process the horror of it. I know people were shocked by it and I personally would say the only mistake Steve made was doing that in public. It should've been done in private where people wouldn't misconstrue his actions. It wasn't like Michael Jackson and his baby out the window!