Cousteau on Steve Irwin
You may recall that the day after the death of Steve Irwin, I wrote:
My experience as a viewer was that the terms "wildlife rehabilitation"
and "conservation" were thin veiling for "entertainment" and "sport,"
with a colossal dose of machismo. It was only a matter of time before
his behavior would prove fatal.
And you also may recall that for the following 24 hours, I received a torrent of e-mails from angered readers for what they thought were harsh words. I then clarified my position, in addition to commenting on a NYT Op-ed piece "appreciating" Irwin, which didn’t seem to help matters much.
For those of you who still find me unreasonable for thinking that Irwin’s behavior was inappropriate and dangerous, I present you Monsieur Jean-Michel Cousteau in Costeau: Irwin’s Tactics "Misleading" (AP, 09/19/06). The famous marine explorer said:
[Irwin would] interfere with nature, jump on animals, grab them, hold them, and have this very, very spectacular, dramatic way of presenting things. Of course, it goes very well on television. It sells, it appeals to a lot of people, but I think it’s very misleading. You don’t touch nature, you just look at it. And that’s why I’m still alive. I’ve been diving over 61 years–a lot many more years than he’s been alive–and I don’t mess with nature.
Jean-Michel Costeau is my new hero. Maybe Dave Marcel should check him out, too.