Depressed: Steve Irwin is dead

I came to know about his death yesterday and was so shocked and disturbed by the news. No public figure’s death, other than Steve’s, has made me cry before. The reason is that Steve has inspired me in so many levels, directly and indirectly. It’s not like I’ve become a renown biologist or an environmentalist, but the person he was in TV has taught me so many things.

He was passionate about crocs and wildlife in general; he pushed himself to the edge to learn and tell us what he learnt. If it weren’t for him I would have never touched a snake in my life. I touching/catching snakes is not that big a deal, it’s how he deconstructed my “instinctive feeling” that all reptiles are disgusting. It shook one of my fundamental beliefs that all humans are born with certain instincts and loathing reptiles is one of them. You only have to weaken one of the structures that hold your belief system, before you know, the whole thing is collapsing. It’s not as bad as it sounds because you start constructing another one, this time however, more critically. Of course, I didn’t exactly have the maturity to extrapolate it so coherently back then, but I believe it had deep and subconscious impact.

The way he “risked” his life also pointed to another lesson: if we have concrete information about something, we can push the limits rationally and the risk is a lot more calculated. A lot of feelings, awe, fear, respect, admiration etc., all come from what we know about someone/something. Recently I was in Niagara, and I couldn’t appreciate its height or volume or whatever it’s popular for. I think knowing the probability of surviving a fall, the currents’ pace and the fact that I can swim pretty well, all ruined it for me. Yeah, it’s supposed to be “beautiful”, it is beautiful indeed, but the people and the big casinos around it take away the “nature” part of the beauty. Put simply, it changes your perspective on things. That’s what Steve did, he changed my perspective on a few things that eventually changed my perspective on more things (sort of like a fission reaction).

Steve is dead now, but I’m sure he enjoyed each minute of his life that always close to death. I wish I have his life, at least for a few years, before I have his death.

PS. I did a podcast on his death too, I didn't want my expressions left cold in text.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the podcast, pretty good

Known Stranger said...

no big deal - he is dead - thatz it. i am finding so many in world repenting on his death on one day. let me see how many remember his death day after one year. human mind is such a contradiction.

Suresh said...

Well, Vaishnav, it's a sense of loss more than anything else. They don't have to remember the day he died. I don't remember on what date I had a major accident that ripped my elbow. The scar is right there, reminding me about that incident. But I can't recollect when it happened. I know it happened 4 years ago, I know it was 9.40 in the night, I know the road was wet and I know it was really painful.

Besides, that's why we have the media. The media told us that he died and next year it will tell us that it's his death anniversary as well.

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