Anorak News | Steve Irwin Is Princess Diana

Steve Irwin Is Princess Diana

by | 6th, September 2006

“AUSTRALIA’S DIANA,” says the Sun’s headline, and we sit up and take notice.

Can it be that the land Down Under no longer wants to be a republic and has turned its thought to creating a monarchy of its own?

Forget being different, perky and excitable. Does Australia recognise that past attempts to create some kind of identity for itself have gone badly wrong?

Australian Rules football is a game for men in hot pants and boob tubes, no serious rival to the mother country’s football.

Australian beer is served as a mixer to British drinkers who want something softer.

Rolf Harris is not the only Australian to look at the land Down Under and ask: “Do you know what it is yet?”

Better to abandon the project and just try and join the rest of civilisation. And if that means creating your own Diana, then so be it.

And Australia’s Diana is not some former soap star in a paste tiara, but recently deceased Steve Irwin.

Like Diana, Steve has golden hair. Like Di, he has perished in a tragic and confusing accident. And like Diana, Steve’s passing has triggered “an outpouring of grief reminiscent of the Princess Diana tragedy”.

The Dianafication of Steve sees a “mountain of flowers” and teddies pile up outside his Beerwah zoo, north of Brisbane. Newspaper produce special editions feature “wraparound” pictures of “the global cult hero”.

Celebrities pay tribute. This from Russell Crowe: “He touched my heart. I believed in him. I miss him. I loved him and I’ll be there for his family.”

And a country emotes. Fans are weeping. Australians have given up trying to look tough and talking of wrestling spiders for breakfast and three hundred miles walks to the dunny. They are now just like the rest of us. They cry. They weep. They sob.

And the more public the show of intense grief the better. Just like with Diana, it’s woe betide the man or women who dares not to grieve in the accepted fashion.

In backstreet bars and between friends in sealed rooms, jokes will be told. There are now jokes about Steve. Of course there are. But tell one and risk the incurring wrath of a nation.

Just like in the aftermath of Diana, people told jokes about the tragedy. Only they were whispered. Hush hush. The grief groupies might be listening. Emote or pay the price.

You talk with your grief counsellor, trying to make sense of it all, stoically vowing to carry on (as if you have a choice not to), the weeping stopping only long enough for the minute’s silence to pass.

And the State Funeral to end. And there might be one. The Sun says Queenland’s government is discussing with Steve’s widow Terri the possibly of such an event.

Then there’s the permanent memorial to rival Hyde Park’s Circle of Tears Diana water feature. And the national park named after him.

And among it all, a family tries to grieve in private. And the memorabilia business gets underway. What odds the Steve cuddly crocodile, lifelike porcelain figurine and doll.

And an inquiry…

Posted: 6th, September 2006 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink