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Steve Irwin (again)

21 Sep 2006

I watched Steve Irwin's memorial service yesterday. Cried my eyes out. How could you not, it was such an emotional extravaganza.

The way they used the back of the ute instead of a stage. His simple, modest father fighting back tears. His wife Terry, tears streaming down her face from behind her sunglasses as she hugged her children. The staff of Australia Zoo standing there in line with the animals wrapped around them in a line. Packing up the ute that final time. John Williamson singing "true blue'. Even Russell Crowe shed a tear (but I'm still glad you didn't date him Jussi). David Weinham (be still my beating heart) and his poetry reading - 'the crocodiles are crying'.

You'd have to have no heart not to find that moving.

But the blue wiggle in costume? WTF was that all about?

Oh, and Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz were his best friends. Sure they were. Had a lot in common, those three.

And then out trots his daughter Bindi and mechanically delivers a fully rehearsed, professionally written eulogy in a sing-song voice - like a trained monkey - in full make-up I might add. I swear she didn't even understand what she was saying. It was weird and fake and smacked of exploitation.

And although they went on and on about how genuine he was, the theatrical performance circus-Disney style spoke otherwise.

I wonder if it was printed on the handout at the ticket booth that day?

'Follow the crocodile paws painted on the pathways for a great fun-filled day. Catch the lion show at 11am. Don't forget to stop at our delicious aussie style cantina for a barbie lunch before heading off to farewell the famous philanthropic nature loving family man conservationist Steve Irwin at our centre stage at 2pm. Have a nice day!)

The saccharine tributes from famous strangers, the Bindi thing - they all seemed to me just wrong, wrong, wrong.

They looked right on the surface but they felt wrong, like there was some dodgy carnival sideshow operator was behind he scenes, counting his money and smoking a cigar.

And, that I guess is how I always felt about the man himself. He looked okay on the surface, but I wasn't sure if it was genuine.

But we'll never know now will we?

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