Thursday, September 07, 2006

Further thoughts on Steve Irwin

Further thoughts have occurred to me as more on the tragic death of Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin comes to light.

American TV has been broadcasting interviews with Irwin after his controversial feeding of an alligator while holding his then 1 month old son, Bob. Irwin, was of course, upset at all the negative feedback he was getting regarding the incident and insisted, "I was in complete control."

I was a bit taken aback by that statement. How could *anyone*, even Steve Irwin, be "in complete control" of a wild alligator?

I wonder if this wasn't a bit of hubris on Irwin's part. Mankind likes to think that he is "in complete control" when in reality, we are *never* completely in control of any situation. Nature, Fate, God, whatever you want to call it, can step in at any time, as is evident in the disastrous events of Monday resulting in his death.

Another thing I read that shocked me, was a statement by Billy Campbell, the president of Discovery Networks, which owns the Animal Planet cable TV channel. When asked whether they would ultimately air the footage of Irwin's untimely death, he stated, "It's still too early. We'll have to take a look at it." I realize that legally, the footage is probably in the hands of Discovery Networks, but given the horrific nature of what happened, I think the compassionate thing to do would have been to leave it completely in the hands of Terri Irwin to decide.

What *is* Campbell going to let Terri have a say in? Whether or not daughter Bindi's show will continue without her father. Campbell said, "I want to give her (Terri) a few days to mourn and think through things. "We'll talk about that in due time."

A few DAYS!?! How utterly callous of him! Campbell apparently is so wrapped up in the Irwins as a commodity, that he is unable to see them as a grieving family and treat them accordingly. But then again, the whole family *was* in the business of conservation through self-promotion.

Plenty of hubris to go around here.

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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