Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Katie Couric, Steve Irwin, and other topics of nonconsequence

I just finished watching Katie Couric's first broadcast and despite my skepticism, she was actually pretty good. The new format reflects Couric's perky, upbeat personality. It is much more optimistic and youth friendly. It will be interesting to see how she carries on when tragedy strikes when the perkiness will be a hindrance, rather than an asset. Of course, while I appreciate the optimistic nature of the broadcast, Americans typically enjoy hype and disaster (provided it is not happening to them) so the optimism may not go over. Of course, maybe it won't last. It was only the first show. Who knows? Only time will tell. In reality, who cares? I don't know why I care. Oh well, I'm not deleting this part now. Apologies...

I awoke yesterday to read the news of Steve Irwin's tragic death. I was actually deeply saddened to hear of his death, although not terribly surprised till I found out that he died from a stingray barb. Of course, the cynical side of me tried to take over as I read that 4 U.S. servicepeople had died in Iraq. "Why should his life be more important than the lives of the young people who died?" I wondered. Their deaths barely made the news, even though their families are grieving just as much as the family of Steve Irwin. I guess it is because the war in Iraq is negative and not something we want to think about, whereas Steve Irwin was someone that pretty much always introduced happiness into our lives. It is as simple as that. People loved to watch him because he was passionate in his love for animals. I've never met the man and I don't know anything about him as a person. However, it is clear that his love for animals was genuine and not an act. People like Jeff Corwin are there to make a television show. I am convinced that Steve Irwin would have kept doing what he has always done regardless of whether the tv cameras were there or not. Anymore, so few people are passionate about anything except themselves. He actually made a difference in the world by allowing people to look at formerly undesirable creatures such as snakes, scorpions, crocodiles, and spiders (to name a few) and make people look at them with wonder and beauty, rather than fear and disgust. When people finally look at all organisms as invaluable and inseparable , instead of only caring about the cute, macroscopic, furry animals, we will truly be able to talk about serious conservation. This is truly Steve Irwin's gift to the world. Thank you Dr. Irwin, and may your memory be eternal.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your comments on the State of the Union. I notice you also posted comments on Steve Iriwn. Sure he was a bit crazy, but he did have an inspiring sense of wonder of nature. When you teach kids about nature, it's the kind of infectious joy that you hope to spread to your students. Hope you're well. E-mail sometime.
The Mayor