Monday, October 30, 2006

Steve Irwin - Aren't you just a little bit sick of him yet?

Because I know I am. I wrote about the guy like maybe four days ago and he's already back in the headlines which is quite an achievement considering that he has been all dead and stuff for several months.

When normal people die, they're dumped in a hole in the ground, some people cry and then everyone gets on with their lives. However, when a celebrity dies it's often quite hard to tell if they're actually dead mainly because they seem to continue to do what they did when they were still alive. Take Princess Diana for example: as far as I can tell she existed solely to appear on the front cover of women's magazines. And she has continued to do just that ever since she died ten years ago. Or take Kurt Cobain; his whole schtick seemed to revolve around being miserable and making lots of money for his money-grubbing wife. Well, I'm assuming that Kurt Cobain is still miserable because he's all dead and stuff and Courtney Love made 50 million dollars this year by selling off Kurt's music.

Now I'm not suggesting that all celebrities are horrible undead zombies, roaming the earth using their horrifying brain eating powers to force you to become an African baby adopting, fur hating scientologist. That would just be silly (although it would finally account for Micheal Jackson, Liza Minelli and Cher). It is odd, though, how Steve Irwin can continue to appear on the front page of newspapers long after his body began to be digested by worms.

This time Steve Irwin is in the papers because a recent episode of South Park made a brief joke in which a dead Steve Irwin appears at a halloween party in hell and is mistakenly believed to be a person in a costume. According to the Salt Lake Tribune the Irwin appearance lasted for maybe half a minute:

"Dude, you know the whole 'Crocodile Hunter' thing, it's just a little soon, you know?" Satan tells Irwin in the scene, which shows a stingray sticking out of Irwin's bloody chest. "I mean, he just died a few weeks ago, and it's just not super cool."

Yes. It's a joke about how it's not cool to make jokes about dead celebrities shortly after their death. But determined to prove their reputation for being a culture bereft of satire and irony, roughly 5 million Americans have complained about the Irwin cameo for the exact same reason. However, Americans aren't alone in their condemnation of these foul, offensive 25 seconds of vile gutter trash. John Beyer, the director of the UK version of Media Watch is quoted as saying, "This is such bad taste, and the makers of 'South Park' should review their decision to show it. Steve's family are still grieving."

Which raises the question, how does Steve's family feel about all this? Probably they're thinking "good, all these fake controversies are doing a great job keeping Steve Irwin in the spotlight helping us shill all these crappy tribute DVDs we've quickly hobbled together in time for Christmas" but I don't have any references to back that up.

No comments: