Anorak News | Something Fishy

Something Fishy

by | 12th, September 2006

“IRWIN was the real Crocodile Dundee, a great Australian, an ambassador for wildlife, a global phenomenon, a superhuman generator of merchandise, books, interactive video-games and action figures.”

Germaine Greer wrote that as part of her look at the life and times of her countryman Steve Irwin, the man “the animal world has finally taken its revenge on”.

And now Irwin has spawned a new product. We are still waiting for the Irwin memorabilia business to get into full swing. The Steve cuddly croc, the lifelike porcelain figurine and the commemorative plates have yet to arrive in the shops.

And books about the larrikin – works like: The Final Hours; Steve: Portrait Of An Outback Prince; and Steve: In Pursuit of Crocs – The Princess Diana I Knew – are awaiting final edits.

No the new product is a film of Irwin being harpooned by a stingray. As the Star’s front-page headline says: “CROC HUNTER DEATH FILM ON WEB.”

Branded an “EXCLUSIVE”, the paper says that thousands of sickos and weirdos – and some intrepid hacks in the pursuit of a chilling story – have scoured the web for footage of Steve’s last moments.

This is grim. “Steve is a national hero, he deserves better,” says Wayne Pointing, of Sydney. “These people are sick. The guy’s only been dead a few days. Show some respect,” chimes Joe, also from Sydney.

Indeed. There is a protocol with such things. The Dianafication of Steve means that while jokes will be made they must be whispered in dark corners. Sensationalism must be passed off as investigative journalism. We must hear his name and emote.

But then we read that this is not the real footage. The Star’s shock-horror story is based on spoof videos of Steve swimming with a stingray.

There’s a film of puppets re-enacting Steve’s last moments. The sick and twisted movie is backed by the theme tune to the 1960s TV show Stingray.

Another video turns out to be a game in which Steve’s widow Terri gets the opportunity to shoot murderous stingrays.

This is no joke. Really it is not. As Josh Tuttle, creator of the Steve Irwin shoot-em-up game, explains: “This is intended to be a memorial and NOT a funny parody.”

Indeed. And it will have to do until the statue can be built, a minute’s silence observed and the rest of the memorabilia business catches up…

Posted: 12th, September 2006 | In: Tabloids Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink