QUOTE (metamorphosis @ Sep 13 2006, 06:21 AM)
I remember watching Steve Irwin a few times on TV and was kind of turned off by his macho frat boy mentality when working with animals. It was all about man being the controller over the animal kingdom, though he did try to teach respect about their habitat. He was a charismatic character, had this rough out of control but lovable Aussie air about him, came across as a regular guy whose passion was wild animals, so I can see why he was popular, especially among kids. But there was also this exploitive quality about it all, poking sticks into snake nests, getting one to attach itself to the stick, then twirling it around to agitate the snake, make it want to bite him, yee-haaa, good ole boy stuff that can also send a message to kids that it was ok to go out and mess around with wild animals. He was a risk taker and it made pretty thrilling television, having large crocís coming after him as he went splashing around the fake pond they lived by in the zoo.
Itís probably not cool to disrespect him now that he is tragically dead, and I am sure he did good work in terms of raising awareness about endangered species, but his MTV-JackAss Reality TV mode of working with animals may have sent a message to kids that it was ok to harass and tease animals in the wild in order to get a hip response like Steve did. Is it any coincidence that a week after his death, dead stingrays have been washing up on Australian beaches with their stingers cut off?
I do feel for his family and friends though, loosing a husband, dad, son or brother at a somewhat young age is a tough thing to deal with.