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Thursday, September 07, 2006

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This is just amazing comment from a premier:

"Mr Beattie said he wished he could triple the tax on Ms Greer's Queensland rainforest property in retaliation to the comments.

"We should double the taxation," he said.

"If I could do it I would double it or triple the taxation on it."

I liked the piece by Marx. I agree that celebrity death has become rather outrageous. Not a bad word can be said of these personalities when they die. I am really astonished at the amount of coverage here in Australia, considering how negative the local press have been over the years.

I was certainly critical enough of him over the Baby Bob meets croc incident, although I actually believed him that the baby was quite safe from the reptile that Irwin did the same routine with day after day. I was far more worried that Irwin wasn't supporting Bob's head properly.

A lot of the coverage has been extended because of the reaction of the public, which is I think driven mostly by families with kids who thought he was fabulous, and who are really shocked and sad and want to go and leave flowers and drawings at Australia Zoo. The media simply can't resist the pictures of all those tributes.

Then there's the cultural cringe - possible the most world-recognised Aussie dies a bizarre death and gets in every major paper of record around the world, and all the top news bulletins. Half the reportage here has been about how the story has been reported overseas (Ma, we made the papers!).

I heard the news of his death from another mother whose four year old has been obsessed with Irwin for the past year. Today another mother (at school) was saying that her seven year old daughter has been very upset about his death - but get this, she hadn't known who he was until this week! So her distress is an entirely media-fuelled response. On the other hand, Olle hasn't mentioned it or shown any interest. I don't think he knew who Irwin was but we certainly have the tv news on and newspapers spread around the house and he has shown no interest at all.

To go in the opposite direction, N didn't know who he was either and decided he didn't like the guy after I told him a little bit about Irwin. N doesn't pay too attention to the media all that much, unless there is something about one of his obsessions.

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I've been wondering about the need to heroise which seems so prevalent in Australia. I don't really understand it, except in so far as it's a media-driven anaesthetic, designed to prevent any real analysis and therefore to prevent change. I guess that must be it.

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