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tribute to a passionate being …..


I did not care much for Steve's political views, especially his singing of the praise of our Grocer-in-residence of Kirribilli, but apart from that Irwin was a passionate observer of the interaction between "beasts" and humans without passing a judgement on the "beasts". If we didn't before, he made us accept their existence beyond our own reactivity and fears.


His enthusiasm for toying with danger reminded me of me and my mates, when we played in numerous German bunkers, full of disused ammo... One of them went off and one of my mates got blown up ... not killed but badly maimed for life.  Steve Irwin knew what he was doing and the risks he was taking, we did not.


My sincere sympathy to his family. If the cartoon above is out of order, please accept my apologies as no offence is intended ... just presented as a reminder of the strange and deadly quirkiness of life - in which we advertise with fantasies...


Some of us leave earlier than we should, and unfortunately Steve was one of those...


May he rest in peace.



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What the Doctor ordered

Doc: "Germungous is tipping a monster raving looney bucket of expensive fun at the expense of all of us..."

I could actually raise a laugh at Steve's antics. But Germ's about as funny as a dead kid's doll most days.

Just how the good Dr Parsons ordered it

(A-rab kid presumably, murdered by US or Israeli GPS-guided JDAM...)

Glass jaw

Trevor Kerr: "Leaving aside the fact the old girl has a hide tougher than a big saltie..."

Actually, I've heard she can dish it out alright but cannot much take it.

Her dreary outbursts about being "tricked" by journalists, "betrayed" by Big Brother housemates and ceaseless, self-important ranting about how badly everyone treats her don't exactly suggest a tough hide.

Igbor Parson's Viking Funeral Serrvice

For God’s sake, Seep. Germungous is tipping a monster raving looney bucket of expensive fun at the expense of all of us, just like Steve Irwin usually did. Don’t neglect his views on Iraq. So are buckets-of-fun New Guard veteran “Honest” John Winston Kirribilli, Sir Barry Humphreys (Dame Edna in particular), Peter Beattie and the entire Kingaroy Bjeti-Goosecreature Klan, Sol “Walt Disney™ steps out of the cryogenic frig” Trujillo™, The Chaser™ Boys, Piers Akerman, Alan Jones and Bob Katter Jnr. And that porky transvestite bloke who does the foreign minister impersonations. All deranged as a drunken cat on census night, and all just as expensive. Each eventually will get state funerals at about $10 million a throw (coffin, CofE chaplain with crazy hat, drinks, eats, tips, transp. incl. – taxpayers’ treat) at a fully integrated non-mosque close to Kirribilli or near an aerodrome suitable for VIP jets. Downer’s exit circus will probably be closer to $15 million because of the need to pack an entire all-male burlesque academy cast into the service, tastefully. Howard’s will possibly top $500 million (incl. drinks) because of the need to have King Charles, Queen Camilla with Diana’s crazy boys in full Waffen SS togs, Airfarce One’s chief ballast Jeb and Dubya Bush with General Augusto Pinochet in the front pew. And Condoleezza Rump on the organ. Hopefully Margaret Thatcher will turn up, and with luck go on one of her insane screaming jags, mottling drunkenly and sobbing “If only, if only, IF K’N ONLY…!”. Her massive gilt Rococo Sedan chair will take up an inordinate amount of space, as will her special medical team, all experienced Whipsnade Zoo veterinarians armed with tranquilliser-dart rifles. Queensland vacquero Bill Hayden may seek a role, possibly to further the animal husbandry side. Any bets he’ll wear the tasteful suit he picked up in Ulan Bator. That’s Stingraglia for ya. nb silent second “g” – first one is “semi-soft” and the second silent, as in “Anthony LaPaglia.”

Nine eleven

Looking forward to the ninth of November, when we can all give a collective shout "The bastards haven't won yet!".

I bear witness to the fundamentals of the fight back against the evils threatening to tear our nation apart.

Yesterday, on journey to the north, the first freshly mangled grey roo was lying on the shoulder of the Plenty Road overpass on the Western Ring. Further up the Hume, the odd roo and wallaby, then a group of three greys, clearly run down by a rampaging B-double. What was happening? Bad driving, or some sort of demonstration for the departed Wildlife Warrior? Starve the lizards - what must the Newell have looked like? Carnage! Whatever, the perfect demonstration of the need for huge gas-guzzlers to cart couples across the wide brown.

But there was a glimmer of resistance (or terra-ism) amongst the hysteria. A lone echidna shuffling off into the dirt, having negotiated the blood-soaked bitumen of no-man's land. A few sturdy gums, still green despite the de-barking attacks of errant rattletraps. Count your days, evil ones, our Mel is being recalled from perdition to lead the final blitz against national emblems. Welcome back, Road Warrior! And our Nic is in tip-top form, she knows a faux charity when she sees one knobbing it in a star-studded cast. Come home, Chic Warrior. A warm seat on the North Shore awaits you.

Peter Brock was associated with a Corvette .... Stingray! ... at some stage. And both media darlings had been considered for pre-selection. Harold Holt was in a wet-suit, too. We must fight in the shallows! There is a dark sinew running deep into the Oz psyche, and our team at the top are just the mob to rip it out by the roots, with a bit of help from true believers.

Just as well a hundred thousand grey four-wheel driving caravanners are staked out on Oz beaches, from Noosa to the Ningaloo, collectively praising Steve and Peter, and waiting for the call. We are the boomers, the all-whites! Bugger the cost of petrol, our grandkids may have to put up with less prestigious private schools, to support our right to hole up in faraway places. It's the obligation of newly settled Vietnamese to grow our fruit and vegies, its a perfect right for a billion Chinese to knock out our cheap TVs. We are where we belong, and we are staying until called back into the fray.

Watch out, come nine-eleven. Bush, beach and Blair will join up to acknowledge the King of Kirribilli. And God Bless the United States of America.

Woof woof

A couple of the weedy-wet, latte-sipping, pinot-quaffing, hand-wringing, Usama-loving, elitist Left have come out in support of Germaine's rip at our Steve.

Leaving aside the fact the old girl has a hide tougher than a big saltie, she did Powerpoint Pete a big favour.

Peter Beattie was out on her case, quick as a flash, telling her to shut up. A mild bitch-slap from the Premier will ease the pain of a million Hansonites having to choose between a bloke after Joh's heart, and a gaggle of incompetent losers.

When Germaine sits back tonight, and takes her pleasure at Pete's re-election, she will know she has made a small contribution. Another splash of red-hot cocky cack in the eye for the Lib-Nats.  

By the way, when Peter Beattie said he may "lose some bark", what did he mean, Ockers? I bet John Howard, champion of the King's English, knows.

DACY wha?

Now that we’ve all settled down, can somebody demonstrate in a costive little Quadrant essay that it was an inner-urban elite, lefty, greenie, latte-sipping, chardonnay-drinking, Muslim terrorist stingray? Owned, trained and raced by Colin Thiele?

Cartoon capers

Hey kids!

"Ronald says eat more fruit and vegies, and get a beaut toy."
"Mickey says obey the laws and yield to authority figures."
"Joe says make the criminals do hard yakka, and get rid of the ones who are too weak to work."
"Benny says to burn a candle for saint wotzizname every day."
"Mikey says drug mules deserve to be shot."
"Donald says condoms don't prevent AIDS."
"Benny says business would work better without so much red tape."
"Krusty says we must be prepared to die for the fatherland."

Josh asks,  "Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?"

It's a good thing the kiddies have their choice of heroes, labelled for easier digestion. Left, Right, left, right, ....

Too chewy? Feed them more pap from fantasyland.

All mini-series Photoshop the facts. “The Path to 9/11” is not a documentary, or even a docu-drama; it is a fictionalized account of what took place. It relies on the report of the Sept. 11 commission, the King James version of all Sept. 11 accounts, as well as other material and memoirs. Some scenes come straight from the writers’ imaginations. Yet any depiction of those times would have to focus on those who were in charge, and by their own accounts mistakes were made.

Survivor Island and the Female Eunuch

Phil Moffat: "But I suspect sensitivity is a term that our Germaine (and others) relate to only in the subjective."

Germaine Greer was a contestant on Big Brother, so she probably knows a thing or two about gratuitous, moronic vulgarity in the service of corporate show business.

That such a frump would feel qualified to sneer at Steve Irwin's baggy shorts is also indicative.

Perhaps if Steve wore one of Germaine's great, flapping ponchos instead? Would that be alright?

If Germaine and Steve appeared together on Survivor, say, and there was an SMS text audience poll to decide who got stung to death by the ray, I'd wager that Germaine would have been manta meat by the end of the first episode.

Jeffrey Smart in his autobiography Not Quite Straight recounts how Germaine used to come to stay at his house in Tuscany for extended periods.

Just turn up. Stay.

Jeffrey and his boyfriend used to play a game where by gentle and discreet manoeuvring they would manage to gull Germaine into doing the washing up after dinner each night.

Night after night after night.

Subtle prompting, little excuses and well-timed tactical evasions would find the boys sitting on the balcony each evening enjoying both the Tuscan breeze and a glass of port - as Germaine always wound up to her elbows in suds at the kitchen sink.

Night after night after night.

Finally the penny dropped, and Germaine stormed out of the house and their lives in a fit of pique.

She's given years of amusement to so many people, hasn't she?

Fear of anarchy

We like things in their place, with Man the supreme being. A bloke wrestling a croc into submission is an archetypal image in that setting. A fitting replacement for the big game hunters of two generations back.

Shunt the blacks and roos off, replace them with sheep and cattle - the Australian way. Make mine a meat pie.

But what about our history of overgrazing, salinity, erosion?

The Wildlife Warrior waves this aside. "Cows have been on our land for so long that Australia has evolved to handle those big animals," he says vaguely. It's a confusing perspective, but the message seems to be that eating roos and crocs is bad for tourism, and more cruel than eating other animals.

So when a shrill voice evokes resentment of zoos and cages, it's only natural the 'green nazi' bogey is gestured back in defiance. And the narks are probably eco-feminists and un-Australian, as well.

But what about the kiddies? Is Mickey Mouse real? Did anyone cry when Lassie 'died'?

Is anyone prepared to state with absolute conviction that the final video could never, ever have any commercial value, and no piece of it will ever be broadcast on a pay-for-view channel?

Did the iconic Aussie Wildlife Warrior spare a thought for the original Australians? For the suffering of food animals?

Would there be a similar breach of the media levees if Nicole karked after an overdose of botox? And would the public wailing for someone known only in the digital abstract be any more meaningful?

That could be the answer to all our woes. Reduce everyone to their essential avatars. Then we wouldn't have to make excuses for the bad breath, smelly feet, flatulence and narrowminded opinions of real people.

Charity? Oh, Charity! Is there any public persona that does not have a fair-dinkum charity as part of the PR portfolio?

Personality cults have one great weakness, unless the Enterprise can invest an heir and successor. Not that there is anything dynastic about the current case. That would be most un-saintly.

It's just as well that expressions of negativity are forbidden, and should be stamped out with gusto in a national tabloid.

This episode in the national fable has as much fuel for division as the Danish cartoons fiasco. But we are all on the correct side here. Relaxed, comfortable, unquestioning and in our boxes. Steve would have liked that.

Irwin developments and Discoveries

I'm still amazed at the level of publicity being given to the next Irwin series, to be presented by Steve's daughter. Have a scan of this Google News Search and you'll see what I mean. That Irwin was filming footage for his daughter's show when he died is touching, and no doubt that footage will ensure that the show is Discovery Channel's ratings winner of the decade, or at least a close second to this Saturday's 911 feature. Right now the station is planning a Steve Irwin marathon.

I should've learned better from mouthing off over Kovco, (but wasn't far off) and so must state that I don't think for a second that the Irwin household would be motivated to act like this. A network however might be a different matter. Death is the advertiser's best friend, and Irwin's will be worked in the US for all it's worth.

Germaine not so germane

The original Greer piece in the Guardian is much more informative than the edited version published by the SMH and linked to by CP. Both articles end with the statement: “The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn.”


A deconstructive analysis of the Guardian piece reveals, as far as can possibly be established, how Greer might have reconstructed Irwin so as to improve him, by which I mean move him more towards becoming the sort of iconic Aussie male that her own dwindling band of reader-followers might approve of. For example, the above quote reveals that such a Steve Irwin would not have been of such behaviour as to make himself a target for ‘animal revenge’; been neither millionaire nor animal-loving zoo owner. (While Greer is in the millionaire class herself well and truly, and probably loved her (sadly departed, in that last snake confrontation not quite quick enough?) cat, she speaks condescendingly of Irwin’s knowledge of dangerous reptiles, and of his zoo ownership.)


He would wear shorts seven times larger, say like those ‘Bombay bloomers’ worn by Britain’s General Perceval in 1942, when he surrendered Singapore to the Japanese.


He would have distanced himself from John Howard, but whether or not that would involve him in reconciliation with Bob Brown (who he thought "should have been given a belting" for interjecting on Bush in Federal Parliament) is an open question.


“What Irwin never seemed to understand was that animals need space. The one lesson any conservationist must labour to drive home is that habitat loss is the principal cause of species loss. There was no habitat, no matter how fragile or finely balanced, that Irwin hesitated to barge into, trumpeting his wonder and amazement to the skies. There was not an animal he was not prepared to manhandle. Every creature he brandished at the camera was in distress. Every snake badgered by Irwin was at a huge disadvantage, with only a single possible reaction to its terrifying situation, which was to strike. Easy enough to avoid, if you know what's coming. Even my cat knew that much. Those of us who live with snakes, as I do with no fewer than 12 front-fanged venomous snake species in my bit of Queensland rainforest, know that they will get out of our way if we leave them a choice. Some snakes are described as aggressive, but, if you're a snake, unprovoked aggression doesn't make sense. Snakes on a plane only want to get off. But Irwin was an entertainer, a 21st-century version of a lion-tamer, with crocodiles instead of lions.”


He would have refrained from stepping into any habitat in anything more than the most cautious and timid manner, with a voice perhaps more like a dulcet flageolet (tin whistle) than a trumpet, and more to the mice in their holes than to the skies.


I cannot imagine Greer doing anything other than dismiss lion tamers with a grumpy old snort, or believe that she intends that comparison to be other than at Irwin’s expense. So he would not have been an entertainer, provoking aggressive responses from snakes, crocodiles and the stingray. He would instead have shown his viewers what Greer knows: that no snakes are aggressive, because “if you’re a snake, unprovoked aggression doesn’t make sense.”


(Well, we might say, is that so? It depends on what makes provocation. In the case of a territorial animal, just entering its territory is enough, which is why kids on the way to school right now are carrying sticks to ward off magpies. And I know from personal experience that tiger snakes will come for you like stretched out featherless magpies, particularly in the mating season. I have heard it is true of taipans too. But not to worry, the strikes of snakes are easy to avoid if you know what’s coming. I can’t speak for Germaine-of-the-rainforest, but I’m dodging them every other day.)


Now of stingrays, Germaine gives us the following classic observation:


"You can just imagine Irwin yelling: 'Just look at these beauties! Crikey! With those barbs a stingray can kill a horse!' (Yes, Steve, but a stingray doesn't want to kill a horse. It eats crustaceans, for God's sake.)"


Not only does she set up an imaginary burst of enthusiasm from Irwin, then take issue with him over it, she has not dismissed his virtual error well at all. No matter what they eat, creatures of the sea have to defend what they have eaten, digested, absorbed and metabolised into their own bodies against other (usually larger) animals who would do the same to them, like say, sharks. (And I refuse to believe that I am the only sea-going animal which finds the wings of a stingray delicious to eat.) So if a (normally grass-eating) Clydesdale stallion romping in the briny trod on a stingray, he would cop it for sure. That the stingray had just dined on the odd seahorse (not strictly speaking a crustacean) or prawn would make not the slightest difference to the situation. Never mind. Irwin remodelled on Greerist lines would softly declaim: "Just look at these beauties! Crikey, as it were! With those barbs, were it so inclined, a stingray could kill a horse. Except that they don’t eat horses, so they don’t have to sting them. Instead, they go around sticking their barbs into crustasceans like those blokes with a sharp stick do to the litter on the ground in Hyde Park!"


She does give Irwin his due: “the real Crocodile Dundee, a great Australian, an ambassador for wildlife, a global phenomenon, a superhuman generator of merchandise, books, interactive video-games and action figures.”  But then, great Aussie knocker that she is, she lays in with the sickle and cuts him down to size: “The only creatures he couldn't dominate were parrots. A parrot once did its best to rip his nose off his face. Parrots are a lot smarter than crocodiles.”


Actually, a lot of Irwin’s footage shows crocodiles doing their damnedest to rip more off him than his nose. But anyone who has ever owned so much as a pet budgie will have a similar story to tell. I had a pet galah once which was very affectionate to me, but would go for anyone else like a demon. I’m not sure if it was smarter than a crocodile, but it flew through the air a hell of a lot better, and faster.


(My latest contribution to zoology: a parrot is a flying crocodile.)


To sum up: Germaine would have had Irwin dress in loose rather than tight khaki: more like say, David Attenborough. Talk more softly, in better modulated tones, like say, David Attenborough. Be more an adult rather than an enthusiastic overgrown kid. Like say, David Attenborough. Stay out of ‘delicate environments’ (maybe film them through long lenses) while softly muttering antagonistic epithets concerning John Howard. Like herself, at least in theory. Get his naturalism more in line with biological theory. Not like herself. Shed money, zoo and property, becoming more like say, St Francis of Assisi or Buddha.


Trouble with that is, we’ve already got David Attenborough and herself. And we’ve had the others. But Steve Irwin was one of a kind.





Germaine Greer the professional asshole

Germaine Greer has made a profitable career by simply being an asshole in public. I recall her claims to the effect that clitoridectomies are liberating for women (OK, then why not have one yourself Germaine?). Her stupid crap is merely designed to gain her notoriety so she can be in the public eye as much as possible. Paying her any attention at all only feeds her ravenous little ego.

Speaking of insensitivity,,,

I've been staying at a house that has cable telly for a couple of days, and have watched Sky News' coverage of the event from when the talking heads broke into House Of Reps Question time (to reread what had been printed on the screen for a quarter of an hour) to their continued repetition of how Irwin's daughter is following in her father's footsteps by making a series.  As far as this service is concerned there appears to be very little other news at the moment.

Happily home in my fuzzy-tellied garret, I wonder how the ratings on Discovery Channel are going.

The Fox wouldn't have thought of milking Irwin's death for profit, would he ?

Ill timed and insentitive.

CP, read you’re here and here links and tend to agree that there is a bit of (unnecessary) gloating. Although I felt their comments regarding wildlife were somewhat valid, I also feel their comments were ill timed and insensitive. But I suspect sensitivity is a term that our Germaine (and others) relate to only in the subjective.

boring nobodies gloat over Steve's death

"The animal world has finally taken its revenge on Irwin, but probably not before a whole generation of kids in shorts seven sizes too small has learned to shout in the ears of animals with hearing 10 times more acute than theirs, determined to become millionaire animal-loving zoo-owners in their turn." - Germaine Greer, has-been author.

And they've been gloating about Steve's death for days at Indymedia here and here.

The thing that probably upsets Germaine is that Steve, despite being an Australian, was generally well liked overseas.

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