Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I spit on your grave

It didn't occur to me to blog about the death of the Aussie wildlife populist (and conservationist) Steve Miller until I realised I was going to have to say something to get the foul taste out of my mouth after reading comments, ranging from mean to outright malevolent and even celebratory, that brought it home with renewed force that the blogosphere sometimes reveals some of the darkest depths of people who would never dream of uttering such thoughts in "real life", where there are consequences. Such as other people thinking you are a repulsive human being.

It seems to me that blogging is encouraging the birth of a misshapen kind of consciousness. I have never seen one of Steve Irwin's shows, but no matter how irritating they might have been, nothing he said or did could justify the poison pen scratchings (what's left of Germaine Greer is a spiteful, dried-up, self-publicising creep, and a raging colonial snob). Right now I want to close the door on the whole cacophony. And go and do something worthwhile, like writing some more poems.


Blogger surly girl said...

i actually started to compose a response to this post then realised it would take me too many words to articulate. plus, flaming isn't my style.

so we'll leave it there, shall we?

8:22 PM  
Blogger hendrix said...

There's a fine line isn't there? One of the great things about blogging is that it does give you the freedom to express opinions and feelings without worrying that someone's going to punch you or think that you're completely crazy.

The downside to that is; as you point out, when there seems to be an outpouring of mass vitriol over some incident that doesn't merit such a reaction. I've noticed it happening a few times and abhor it.

It seems that nowadays the death of someone famous generates this frenzy. On one side you have the "poison pen scratchings" which are unpleasant, unjustified and insulting in the extreme. On the other side there's the "weren't they wonderful, let's make them a saint" frenzy of the media which is equally disrespectful because it's not about the person or their achievements, its about milking a situation for ratings.

With a few exceptions (hitler, mass murders etc)my personal view is that you don't speak ill of the dead. As far as blogging goes then you don't say anything that you wouldn't be prepared to say to someone's face - or in the case of someone who's died - to their family.

12:24 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

Thank you Hendrix. I've said all I want to about Irwin. I lost my rag because I had been reading Guardian Comment is Free and other political and news blogs and found most of the comments pretty terrible and terrifying in some cases (mostly about politics). I don't want to dive into that shitfest any more.

5:57 PM  
Blogger surly girl said...

i stand by my post tho, and would say it to anyone's face. i always think long and hard before posting anything because i am, by nature, a complete wuss and live in fear of offending anyone. i started off by stating that i appreciated the tragedy of a family losing a husband and father.

that said, the media circus was shameful. germaine greer simply pointed out that a lot of what steve irwin was famous for (as opposed to the undoubted good work he did privately) was basically bothering wildlife.

okay. i'm rambling now. i just wanted to state my position for the record.

i stand by my words. there's no point writing them otherwise.

8:54 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

SG, I accept that you said what you meant to say. But I felt bad for his family, even though he knew the risks and accepted them. My problem is: why do middle-class journalists with no interest in wildlife have to find something bad to say (as they do about every other topic on, for example,the Guardian website)? I can't comment on his showmanship except to say that animals aren't easy to break or humiliate and that what may look rough to the viewer is not of much consequence to a mean scaly croc or a boa constrictor.

Germaine has gone a lot further in subsequent interviews, by the way. I just think it's a kind of Australian class thing. I doubt she knows anything about wildlife, judging by her latest remarks. Surely she never watched his shows, given her view? And how genuine is that anyway? Germaine has been seeking to provoke and generate headlines since the Sixties. She changes her position on things often. I find her quite silly in consequence.

Your blog happened to be the last one I read on the subject, and the lava finally overflowed ...

9:54 PM  
Blogger dh said...

It's a gender issue obviously. Everything comes down to that for Germaine and her grumpy gang. Dick.

10:39 PM  
Blogger hendrix said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:53 PM  
Blogger hendrix said...

SG. As I am also a complete wuss and live in fear of offending anybody as well, I just wanted to make it clear that I wasn't actually referring to your post which in any case concentrated on the media frenzy surrounding his death rather than about his death itself. It was the needlessly vindictive writing and opinions I was reading elsewhere that I had a problem with.

As far as Germaine Greer goes I must admit that nowadays she disappoints me. Yes, she could always be counted on to provoke and generate headlines but there was usually some thought behind them. That doesn't seem to be the case so much nowadays.

10:57 PM  
Blogger DavetheF said...

This is more comments than I usually get. Controversy, I suppose. I feel rather queasy about it though. I might start blogging poems again ...

11:24 PM  

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