Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Monday, September 04, 2006

life's little ironies

So is it creepier that Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter, died by a stingray, or Timothy Treadwell, aka the Grizzly Man, died by a grizzly bear? I can't decide. On one hand, the Crocodile Hunter worked with a lot of dangerous animals. It makes sense that any of them could kill him. The Grizzly Man, worked solely with grizzlies. Not worked with them so much as lived among them. If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend it. It's very disturbing, among other things.

Is it ironic that a man known for wrestling angry crocs meets his doom at the barb of a stingray? Or is it nature's cruel way? Let's face it - they guy tempted fate. Many, many times. It seems fate stuck its dirty knife right in his heart.

I'm not being insensitive. I'm sure he didn't deserve to die young. I'm sure he was a fine, fine human being. But if you live a life chock full o' risk, it's gonna beat down your door eventually.

Back to the Grizzly Man. That was one creepy dude. I'm convinced he was gay, and in an effort to suppress this deep inside himself (he wasn't the most stable guy), he found 'acceptance' among the grizzlies. Of all creatures! Why not seals? Or some other prominent, yet more docile, Alaskan animal? Shit. He lived with the grizzlies for something like thirteen years. His time was well overdue. The nut even tried to change the course of nature once so the grizzlies wouldn't starve to death and eat their young - he tried to divert a shallower-than-normal river (due to a lack of rainfall) so the salmon could make their way upstream and the grizzlies would have enough to eat. Once he found out Mother Nature wasn't so easy to fool, he went back to his tent and did a little 'rain prayer' - though it was much more like a rain freak out - and it rained. What a fucking weirdo.

The best part of the whole movie (he taped himself a lot out there) was when he taped himself doing a little recap of one of the summers he spent out there. He did a couple of takes, then freaked the fuck out, calling out the park rangers, cursing them and the residents of the nearby town left and right. It went on for a good five minutes. He was only 'protecting' the bears. As if grizzlies need protecting. They will tear your ass up. Then he took a deep breath, and did another take of the recap. Hilarious. There was another time when he was SURE some local hunters were out to maim him (he was a bit of a celebrity in the neighboring towns - or a local nutjob). Someone left a rock with 'grizzly man' on it and a smiley face. He was convinced they were threatening him, and he freaked out (he did that a lot) and got all paranoid. If he wasn't in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness, I'd say he was high on PCP the entire time. I swear.

He actually had the camera running when a bear mauled and killed both himself and his 'girlfriend' (who, coincidentally, was afraid of grizzlies). The lens cap was on, but all the sound was captured. Can you imagine hearing that? The guy who made the documentary listened to it on camera...he couldn't finish it. It was that horrifying. It made my stomach turn just watching him listen to it. Completely gutwrenching.

Seriously, though, I felt totally sad for this guy. He was a sad, sad man. He just couldn't figure out what to do with his life, and found solace in the weirdest place ever, with the weirdest companions. I also felt horrible when they shot the bear that killed him. I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted that in a million years. As crazy as he was, he knew the entire time he was in danger. I think, anyway, until he got so delusional he thought he was a bear. It's true. He did.

Anyway, the moral of the story is to leave Mother Nature the fuck alone. It's wonderful to admire animals and plants and what not - but let them be. She will kick your ass in the end.

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