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100 Days of Love and Hate - Day 71 - Danny Danger Oz [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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100 Days of Love and Hate - Day 71 [Jan. 29th, 2009|01:14 am]
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[mood |happyhappy]

Only 15 months since the last post! Woohoo! Given that I found myself having a harder and harder time reading and writing over that period, I'm happy to forgive myself.

Most Love and Hate posts tended to take around four hours of pretty solid work to get to a point where, if I wasn't entirely happy with it's wording, I wasn't unhappy with it being seen. And I just don't generally have the mental energy to throw around like that. And if I do, well, I can be playing with my son, or trying to get back into writing fiction.

I wanted to try and get a few more under my belt before posting again, but what the hell.

Crazy People

There are people who are strange and odd, where their unusual outlook or way of doing things is so much a part of themselves that they are rarely aware of it, if at all. Then there are the 'crazy' people, the folks who regularly need to tell you that they are wacky, weird, strange, etc.

"But I'm mad, everyone knows that!" and similar phrases delivered again and again in a desperate attempt by the try-hards to make themselves feel special or unique. What they are is, at best, tiring, at worst, a pain in the arse.

It's their attempt to make one believe they are actually interesting, entertaining people and I hate it! I really hate it. You can take someone who is an otherwise reasonable mate, but the more they tell me how fucking amazingly strange they are, they more I want to beat them with burning rubber-tubing. Because I know people who are genuinely odd and interesting folks, and you know, not one of them ever feels the need to tell me again and again how bizarre they are.

Oh, once in a while the truly strange will acknowledge it, but usually only when it's directly relevant to something. Putting a bit of behaviour in context, or the sudden realisation that they really don't think in quite the same way. Their comments aren't about getting attention, they are about getting perspective.

The try-hards aren't just attempting to convince everyone else, they're trying to convince themselves. Real arists, geniuses, great lovers, tough people, humanitarians, famous folks, etc. know what they are, and are comfortable with that.

They don't feel the need to keep telling the rest of us.

Steve Irwin

There's a lot that can be said about Irwin and his attitude and perceptions of things. I don't know how many times I watched him handling some animal and telling it, "It's alright mate, it's okay," as it tried to bite him, and all I could think was "No, it's not okay Steve, it's just been pounced on and grabbed, as far as it's concerned, nothing good can come of this."

But you know, I really liked the guy.

Yep, he was a dill. I'm not entirely sure the sky he saw was blue and not orange with purple spots, but his heart was in the right place. For his many flaws, he cared about animals and the environment, really cared. You don't have to like the way he showed it, but don't say he didn't give a damn. A good portion of the money made from his TV career was poured back into animal conservation. He bought up huge areas of land in Australia and overseas so that they could be left undeveloped as informal 'National Parks.'

And most importantly, Irwin got people excited about conservation and the environment not by preaching to them, but by his sheer enthusiasm.

His death was a sad loss.

And love him or hate him, he did more in his forty-four years than most of us would manage in twice that.

[User Picture]From: stephbg
2009-01-28 02:47 pm (UTC)
It's the verbal equivalent of the writing rule show-don't-tell:

"Hi!!! I'm crrrrrazy!" (BAD)


"Hello. Did you know that artichokes have feelings for cockroaches?" (UM, WELL, INTERESTING AT LEAST)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-28 02:54 pm (UTC)

I've yet to meet anyone who told me they were crazy, or mad, who was even a patch on some of the more entertaining loonies I know. Even the ones who do outlandish shit mostly for the enjoyment of others don't tell people they are crazy, and God knows, some of them are pretty bloody weird!
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[User Picture]From: loic
2009-01-28 04:40 pm (UTC)
For me, as an ex-pat, Steve Erwin represented so much of the Australia I miss. I know a lot of Australians felt challenged by him as they try to prove what modern cosmopolitans they are, but he reminded me of the guys I grew up around in the bush who friendly and interested and really loved nature.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-28 10:53 pm (UTC)
The thing is, the ocker Steve Irwin type is our cultural heritage to some degree. Take away that archetype and what replaces it?
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-28 10:55 pm (UTC)
Funny thing is, I didn't think of that at the time I was writing this, but you're right. Irwin was a genuine crazy person, as opposed to the try-hard type.
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[User Picture]From: arcadiagt5
2009-01-28 08:31 pm (UTC)
Irwin did make me flinch, and the manipulation of his children still does, but I certainly agree with you on his commitment to conservation.

For that alone, yes, his death was a sad loss,
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2009-01-29 12:17 am (UTC)
My wild and angry opinion below - obviously you and everyone else completely free to like the guy! : )

Oh I loathed and destested Steve Irwin so much. A man who'd claim genuine interest for the environment on one hand and be one of John Howard's single-largest campaign donors on the other. A guy who'd hassle wild animals so much he ultimately died swimming on top of a stingray, yet claimed all the time he was terrifying and harrassing them that he loved them so much.

David Attenborough proved decades ago that you can get people excited about the animal world without grabbing the animals and swinging them around at the same time. And I'll take one of Attenborough's TV productions over Irwin's entire career.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-29 01:47 am (UTC)
I totally refuse to disagree with you on any of these points! :D

I don't think you can beat someone like Attenborough for class and quality. But since when did class and quality on TV get people's attention? I'm sure there were plenty of folks who tuned into Irwin hoping to see him get bit. Hell, his handling of animals irritated the fuck out of me!

As for the John Howard thing, well, I never said Irwin was bright, just passionate.

I keep looking at the Attenborough collections on Roadshow and thinking I should buy them.
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From: tommmo
2009-01-29 12:33 am (UTC)
You know what bugs me the most with "crazy people" like the ones you describe? It's when they respond to any kind of statements about their character/quirks/oddities with the phrase "This is me we're talking about!" (or similar)

I just hate it. It's one of the most grating, withering responses I can think of. Everytime I hear someone say it I wish I was 15 or 20 metres further away.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-29 01:49 am (UTC)
The one that makes me want to stab them in the face is when you're talking about something they've done, something only mildly humourous, and they come out with, "But I'm crazy, everyone knows that!"

Seriously, stab in the face, with a rabid ferret.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2009-01-29 12:34 am (UTC)
Perhaps I should change my username.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2009-01-29 01:32 am (UTC)
Sometimes a username is just a username.

And it's not like you run around wearing a t-shirt with a big StrangeDave (TM) logo on it, or ask people to call you Strange Dave. And I've certainly never heard you trying to convince people you're weird.
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From: tommmo
2009-01-29 02:16 am (UTC)
Yeah Dave, you big tryhard. Geez.
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