There are way too many little things to mention that have happened since I last dropped in, but some of these merit mention. First and foremost, of course, was the remainder of our weekend. We putzed around, hung out with friends, ordered in, visited the Met, did a lot of walking, enjoyed being together without work looming over our heads, and, essentially, appreciated the fact that we had all kinds of time to spend together. The weather, for the most part, cooperated, so we basically could come and go as we pleased without worrying about extreme heat, rain or anything else that might warrant us to stay home and just hang out. We did find time between runs to Soho or to restaurants to spend some quiet time together, and while we had a little sleep hangover from Friday night, we really had a wonderful time with our friends and each other.
The news, of course, was the untimely passing of Steve "The Croc Hunter" Irwin, a father of two, killed by a stingray at the age of 44. There's not much for me to say on that beyond the vast amount that's already been said, but it certainly blew us both away. My friend Dave, perhaps, summed it up best when he observed, "Wow, who would have thought that Steve Irwin would have been killed by a wild animal." All kidding aside, it's terrible that Mr. Irwin died so young and in such a bizarre, odd manner; I feel badly for his kids and his wife, but at the same time he died doing something he truly loved and his legacy, aside from a multimillion dollar empire of television shows and theme parks, will make kids around the world happy for years.
It didn't take long, by the way, for someone to complain. Germaine Greer, a feminist writer who is known for social "commentary," in an article on MSNBC.com, expressed her dissatisfaction with Mr. Irwin's "exploitative" treatment of animals and, during an interview on an Australian news channel, actually said "It’s no surprise that he came to grief." Ms. Greer, who as a print journalist has made a career of complaining and, essentially, being a whiny bitch much like Andy Rooney has as a TV journalist on 60 Minutes, has criticized The Lord of The Rings trilogy, David Beckham and reality TV as well. But when I read her comments and more about her, she explained that she deemed his treatment of animals as exploitive rather than educational, and his physical handling of animals -- wrestling with alligators, manipulating snakes, etc. -- as a negative rather than a productive, positive thing. With all due respect to Ms. Greer, I disagree. Mr. Irwin's antics were not always easy to watch, but I think his exuberance and enchantment with animals was a positive influence on children, who instead of being frightened by these animals, learned to respect their existence. Ms. Greer lamented Mr. Irwin's characterization of Australia as a bunch of wild, simple people and lots of dangerous animals. Unfortunately, Ms. Greer couldn't or didn't appreciate Mr. Irwin for what he did and instead revealed her own bitter, critical personality. I'd much prefer visiting an Australia populated by dangerous, wild animals and people who respect and appreciate them than an Australia populated by angry, critical, negative people. And frankly, based on the worldwide response to Mr. Irwin's death, I think most people would agree.
Rest in peace.