Friday, September 22, 2006

Death Holds Everyone In Its Everlasting Grip

"There is, apparently, videotape of beloved Aussie TV star and naturalist Steve Irwin getting stabbed by the nasty bayonet-like tail of a giant stingray. The video shows Irwin removing the lethal blade from his chest, where it had pierced his heart, just before he loses consciousness and dies almost instantly.

We will, most likely, never see this film. This is not because Irwin had, so far as we know, no chance to utter "Crikey!" one last time before leaping into the Great Crocodile Pit in the Sky.

No, we'll never see it because it is, quite simply, too much. It is more than we can readily handle. It is the Line.

There exists an audio track from the remarkable and wonderfully bizarre documentary film "Grizzly Man," where the hero, Timothy Treadwell, and his girlfriend, Amie Huguenard, are gruesomely mauled to death by a giant, furious brown bear.

The audio (Treadwell had left the lens cap on the camera when the attack occurred and hence there's no video of the death scene) is rumored to be unspeakably, nightmarishly disturbing. There is footage near the end of the documentary of director Werner Herzog listening to the track on headphones. His face is all ash and quiet horror. He hands the headphones back to Treadwell's friend and tells her to consider destroying the tape. No one should ever hear this, he says. It is just that disturbing. It is over the Line."

You can read the rest of it here.

This is another great column by one of my favorite writers Mark Morford, who seems to be one of those writers you either love or hate and there doesn't seem to be any middle ground judging by the letters to the editor he generates to the paper.

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