RYAN DUNN’S DEATH: THE INEVITABLE GOAL OF JACKASS

June 24, 2011

(PLEASE NOTE: THE ACTUAL INTERESTING PART OF THIS ARTICLE ABOUT HALFWAY THROUGH. THE BEGINNING MORE SUMMARY SO BEAR WITH IT)

“RYAN DUNN, THE GUY FROM JACKASS, HE DIED IN CAR CRASH.”

THIS HOW HULK FIRST HEARD.

AND AT FIRST, EVERYONE SAD. HULK UNDERSTAND WHY. FOR ALL THEIR HOOLIGANISM, THE JACKASS CREW MAINTAINED ODD SENSE OF GENUINE LIKABILITY AS WELL AS STRIKING PENCHANT FOR TAPPING INTO THE UN-SANCTIMONIOUS TEEN ID. WHILE THEIR ENTERPRISE NOT SOMETHING HULK OUTRIGHT LOVE OR EVEN REALLY IDENTIFY WITH, HULK CERTAINLY FOUND ENJOYMENT IN THEIR OUT-OF-CONTROL THEATRICS. AND FOR WHAT LITTLE IT WORTH, HULK ACTUALLY MET DUNN ONE TIME AND HE SEEM LIKE GENUINELY NICE GUY.

FINE.

IT LATER CONFIRMED, AFTER SOME PREVIOUS SUSPICION, THAT RYAN DUNN DRIVING AT 140 MPH AND HAD WELL OVER TWICE THE LEGAL BLOOD ALCOHOL LIMIT. NATURALLY, THERE VARIOUS LEVELS OF MORAL INDIGNATION THAT FOLLOWED, INCLUDING ROGER EBERT’S NOW INFAMOUS TWEET: “Friends don’t let jackasses drink and drive.”

IF HULK BE HONEST, THE MORAL INDIGNATION AT DRUNK DRIVING = BOTH TOTALLY OBVIOUS AND YET STILL COMPLETELY JUSTIFIED. DRINKING AND DRIVING ONE OF THE MOST-BULLSHIT SOCIAL ALLOWANCES IN EXISTENCE. SURE, HULK RECOGNIZE THAT IT HAPPEN ALL TIME AND THAT BECAUSE IT VERY NATURAL RESULT OF HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY. HULK KNOW THAT DRUNK DRIVING WILL HAPPEN AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND HULK KNOW IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE AND IT NOT INDICATIVE OF SOMEONE BEING “BAD PERSON. IT JUST TOO EASY TO BE ANYTHING LIKE THAT.

BUT JUST BECAUSE IT FAIRLY COMMON INCLINATION, THAT NO MEAN IT SOMETHING THAT DESERVE THE DIGNITY OF BEING CALLED TRAGEDY.

NOPE. DRUNK DRIVING JUST GOOD OLD FASHIONED INSANELY-STUPID BEHAVIOR. IT DESERVE BE REGARDED AS NOTHING MORE THAN SHAMEFUL, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

ASK ANYONE WHO EVER LOST SOMEONE IMPORTANT TO THEM TO A DRUNK DRIVER… ASK HULK.

AND YET, EVEN UNDER THE SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES, EVEN WITH VAST AMOUNT OF EVIDENCE SHOWCASING THAT THIS NOT ONE-TIME BEHAVIOR FOR DUNN AS HE BEEN RECKLESS/DRUNK DRIVER BEFORE, A SURPRISING AMOUNT OF MODERN MEDIA OUTLETS (TMZ, GOSSIP SITES, MOVIE SITES, ETC) STILL SEEM WEIRDLY INCLINED TO MEMORIALIZE AND CANONIZE THIS SOMEONE WHO, QUITE FRANKLY, NOT DESERVE IT WHATSOEVER.

IT STRANGE REALLY.

THE MEDIA USUALLY CAN NO WAIT TEAR DOWN CELEBRITIES FOR DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR. SO WHY TMZ CAMERA MEN SUDDENLY SHOWING RESPECT TO JACKASS GANG AND RYAN DUNN? HECK, DUNN NOT EVEN REALLY ONE OF PROMINENT MEMBERS. HULK KNOW THE INESCAPABLE TRUTH THAT OTHERS TEND BE MORE FORGIVING WHEN SOMEONE ACTUALLY DIE, BUT THERE SOMETHING MORE TO THIS. HULK WAGER IT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH JACKASSES A-TRADITIONAL CELEBRITY ROLE. UNLIKE SELF-SERIOUS MOVIE STARS, THE JACKASS GANG = OUTSIDERS. THEY SORT OF INDICATIVE OF WHERE PUNK ROCK ANTI-ESTABLISHMENT ATTITUDE WENT ONCE IT LEFT THE ACTUAL MUSIC. AND HULK GUESS THERE SOME SORT OF STRANGE KINSHIP CREATED WITH THESE A-TRADITIONAL MEDIA FOLKS. BOTH SEEM TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR NON-SELF-SERIOUS ATTITUDES TOWARD LIFE AND THEIR ABHORRENCE OF TRADITIONAL CELEBRITY CULTURE. MAYBE IT MORE ETHEREAL THAN THAT… A PAPARAZZI WALKING UP TO GEORGE CLOONEY TO BE APOLOGETIC OVER A FRIEND’S DEATH SEEMS INVASIVE AND INAPPROPRIATE. THE SAME PAPARAZZI GOING UP TO JOHNNY KNOXVILLE SOMEHOW SEEMS “RIGHT.”

BUT THIS UNDESERVING CANONIZING OF RYAN DUNN MAKE HULK RATHER ANGRY + SMASHY… AT ONE POINT, HULK EVEN DEBATED PUTTING UP THE FOLLOWING MEAN-AS-HELL JOKE ON TWITTER:

GUESS WHAT? RYAN DUNN DIED AS HE LIVED: WITH A CAR SHOVED UP HIS ASS #FORANYONEWHOLOSTSOMEONETODRUNKDRIVINGASSHOLE

… HULK REALLY DEBATED IT. HULK WOULD PROBABLY GET PASS DUE TO PERSONAL NATURE OF TOPIC. BUT THAT NOT REASON DO SOMETHING. BETTER YET, IT ULTIMATELY JUST NOT SOMETHING HULK WANT SAY.  IT BANAL. IT MEAN. IT NOT MEASURED.  PLUS IT SORT OF HAVE THIS WEIRD GAY PANIC ELEMENT TO IT THAT SO NOT HULK.

BASICALLY, IT JUST NOT SOMETHING AN ADULT SAY.

HULK ALREADY MENTIONED THAT IT JUST SO FUCKING EASY TO DO DRINK AND DRIVE, BUT THE TRUTH THAT IT JUST AS EASY BE PATRONIZING ABOUT SOMETHING SO OBVIOUSLY WRONG. SO HULK NOT GOING TO PRETEND THAT BECAUSE HULK SO TERRIFIED OF DRUNK DRIVING THAT THIS BEHAVIOR MAKE HULK ANY BETTER.(1) BASICALLY, THERE NOTHING INTERESTING ABOUT THE ARGUMENT SO WHY WRITE ABOUT IT OTHER THAN TO SING THE PRAISES OF AN UNDESERVING DRUNK DRIVER, OR TO BASICALLY GO OTHER WAY AND PROVIDE NOTHING OTHER THAN A PSA?(2)

NO, THE REASON TO WRITE ABOUT RYAN DUNN BECAUSE THERE FAR MORE INTERESTING THING GOING ON:

AS TMZ SWARMED ALL OVER THE JACKASS CREW, THEIR REACTIONS WERE FASCINATING TO HULK. ONLY THE BODY LANGUAGE OF JOHNNY KNOXVILLE (WHO 40 YEARS OLD BY THE WAY) SEEMED HAVE APPROXIMATE SENSE OF PERSPECTIVE ABOUT THE WHOLE ISSUE AND THIS BASED ON LITTLE EVIDENCE, QUITE FRANKLY. AS FOR THE REST OF THE GANG?

WELL, THEY EXTREMELY DISTRAUGHT TO SAY LEAST. WEE MAN MEMORIALIZED DUNN WITH A “RANDOM HERO!” TATTOO. AND BAM SEEM BE TAKING THE POSITION OF FOCAL POINT AFTER HAVING COUPLE OF ON-CAMERA BREAKDOWNS. AND THEN THERE HIS TWO TWITTER RESPONSES TO EBERT’S COMMENT ABOUT DRUNK DRIVING:

“I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of shit roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents”

“About a jackass drunk driving and his is one, fuck you! Millions of people are crying right now, shut your fat fucking mouth!”

NOT EXACTLY A DIGNIFIED RESPONSE. HECK, THE FIRST THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT EBERT CAN NO SHUT HIS FAT FUCKING MOUTH BECAUSE HE NO LONGER HAS A JAW BONE. IT WAS TAKEN FROM HIM BY CANCER AND HE CAN NO EVEN TALK. THE SECOND THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT EBERT JUST SPEAKING OUT ON DANGERS OF DRUNK DRIVING AND NOT CALLING FOR MOCKERY OF DUNN. THE THIRD THING BAM MAY REALIZE THAT IT DOUBTFUL THAT “MILLIONS” PEOPLE CRIED. NOT BE A DICK, BUT COME ON, HAVE SOME SENSE OF AWARENESS.

THE FOURTH AND MOST IMPORTANT THING THAT BAM MAY REALIZE THAT THESE ALL THE EMOTIONAL REACTION OF A POORLY-ADJUSTED HIGH SCHOOL KID. SURE, HULK NOT REALLY SURE ANYONE PRETENDING THAT BAM’S REACTION THE PINNACLE OF REASON OR ANYTHING, BUT IT WEIRD TO HULK THAT HE SEEM BE GETTING PASS AS JUST BEING “EMOTIONAL.” IT NOT JUST EMOTIONAL, IT ALSO IRRESPONSIBLE. THE SAME KIND OF IRRESPONSIBLE THAT LEAD TO PEOPLE THINKING THAT THEY CAN BEHAVE LIKE THIS, READ: CONSEQUENCE-FREE, IN THE FIRST PLACE.(3)

WHICH IN TURN SPEAK TO SOMETHING VERY, VERY INTERESTING…

WHY THE JACKASS CREW SO DISTRAUGHT AND SURPRISED BY DEATH, WHEN IT WHAT THEY BEEN CHASING FOR WELL OVER A DECADE?

MAKE NO MISTAKE. THAT WHAT JACKASS ABOUT. CHASING AND CHEATING DEATH.

YES, IT A VIOLENT + ENTERTAINING MIX OF BRAVADO, FRATTY ANTICS, AMPLIFIED JUVENILE TENDENCIES, AND SCATOLOGICAL NIGHTMARES. BUT DURING VAST MAJORITY OF ALL THEIR CRAZY/STUPID STUNTS, ANY OF THEM COULD HAVE BROKEN THEIR NECK AT ANY POINT. AND, YOU KNOW, DIED.

HOW COULD THEY SERIOUSLY DO ANY OF THEIR WORK AND LIVE THAT LIFESTYLE WITHOUT EMBRACING THIS VERY SIMPLE REALITY? NOT DOING SO SEEM VERY, VERY STRANGE TO HULK. REALLY, HOW COULD THEY DO THAT?

TURNS OUT RATHER EASILY.

THAT BECAUSE JACKASS PERFECTLY ENCAPSULATE THE “I’M INVINCIBLE!” PSYCHOLOGICAL DYNAMIC OF THE HIGH-SCHOOLER/YOUNG ADULT. HECK ALL THE SCATOLOGICAL STUFF AND PRANKS GO JUST AS MUCH ALONG WITH IT TOO. THE HIGH-SCHOOLER LOOKS AT THEIR OWN MORTALITY AS INCONCEIVABLE NOTION. THE ONLY WAY TO PROCESS IT, IS TO ACT AS IF IT NOT A REALITY. IN OTHER WORDS, TO BE RECKLESS.

MAYBE JACKASS NEEDED THAT AIR OF INVINCIBILITY TO BE HONEST. MAYBE IT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE WHAT THEY DOING “OKAY” FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. MAYBE THE WHOLE “FUN AND GAMES” TREATMENT AND LAUGH RIOT ASPECT THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE SEEM NOT LIKE WHAT IT WAS: DOWNRIGHT SCARY.

BUT AS THE JACKASS CREW GOT OLDER, AND THE STUNTS GOT MORE INSANE, THE RETARDED(4) NATURE OF THEIR ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT BECAME EVEN MORE PROMINENT:

THEY CHALLENGED DEATH BECAUSE IT WHAT KEPT THEM YOUNG.

IT THE ONLY WAY TO MAINTAIN THE AIR OF INVINCIBILITY. THEY DEFINED THEMSELVES BY THE HIGH SCHOOL AESTHETIC. BUT AS REALITY OF THEIR AGES SET IN… THEY HAD TO CHALLENGE DEATH AS FREQUENTLY AS THEY COULD. IT PURE INSTINCT TO THEM AT THIS POINT.

PUT IT THIS WAY: THERE NO OTHER REASON TO GET TRASHED AND DRIVE 140 MPH ON THE HIGHWAY, KILLING YOUR FRIEND IN PROCESS… ABSOLUTELY FUCKING NONE.

DEATH = WHAT THE JACKASS CREW WANTED WHETHER THEY EVEN KNEW IT OR NOT. FOR ONE, HULK WOULD ARGUE THEY CERTAINLY NOT AWARE OF IT. THEY ALL SEEM INCREDIBLY BROKEN UP ABOUT DUNN’S DEATH FOR ONE.(5) WHICH AGAIN SURPRISING GIVEN THEIR LIFESTYLE, BUT MORE TELLING = HOW QUICK THEY ARE TO MEMORIALIZE HIS BEHAVIOR.  WHY SO QUICK?

CAUSE NOW DUNN GET TO BE YOUNG FOREVER AND THEY GET TO CELEBRATE/REVEL IN IT.

TMZ CAPTURING THE MOMENT OF ENSHRINEMENT

CHEATING DEATH AND BECOMING FAMOUS REALLY THE SAME GOAL WITH THE SAME MOTIVATION. OH TO MAINTAIN THAT YOUTHFUL, EVERLASTING GLOW! TO LIVE IN THAT REALITY WHERE NOTHING CAN EVER TOUCH YOU. AND THE BEST WAY TO DO THAT BY DYING YOUNG. SUBCONSCIOUSLY THEY ALL KNEW IT.

THE GREATEST JACKASS STUNT OF ALL WOULD BE THE ONE WHERE ONE OF THEM DIED. RIGHT? THAT THE SUBCONSCIOUS LOGIC TO THE WHOLE THING. WELL, UNFORTUNATELY, NO ONE THERE TO FILM RYAN DUNN’S DEADLY PRANK OF DRINKING A SHITLOAD THEN DRIVING HIS PORSCHE AT 140 MPH.

HULK NOT FEELING LIKE HULK GOING OUT ON LIMB WITH ANY OF THIS CRAP EITHER. IT FAIRLY STANDARD STUFF. IT THE SAME REASON EVERY CELEBRITY WHO OBSESSES WITH THEIR “OUTSIDER-NESS” COME TO THE SAME INEVITABLE END OF DYING YOUNG: KURT COBAIN, MORRISON, HENDRIX, JOPLIN, ALL OF THEM. THEY SO DEFINED BY THEIR YOUTHFULNESS THAT HULK BELIEVE IN SOME PART THEY JUST NO CONTAINED THE ABILITY TO GET OLD.(6)

AND IT SEEMS THAT NEITHER CAN SOME MEMBERS OF THE JACKASS CREW…

THERE PART OF HULK THAT HAVE APOLOGIZE FOR THIS ESSAY.. PERHAPS THIS CHEATING DEATH THEORY AND YOUTH CULTURE’S EMBRACING OF THE “TRAGEDY” NARRATIVE GETTING TO HULK…

YOU SEE, WHILE WRITING THIS PIECE, HULK’S STEPMOTHER DIED SUDDENLY TODAY OF HEALTH COMPLICATION. HULK KNEW HER WHOLE LIFE AND SHE VERY CLOSE WITH HULK. HULK STILL SORT OF IN SHOCK AND DEALING WITH IT. HULK FEEL INCREDIBLY CHEAP EVEN BRINGING IT UP, BUT IT JUST BRING UP IMPORTANT MATTER THAT STRIKING CHORD WITH WHAT HULK WAS ALREADY TALKING ABOUT.

THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE HARD TO COME GRIPS WITH BECAUSE BY EVEN ACKNOWLEDGING IT POSSIBLE, THAT WE ALL HUMAN, IT INSTANTANEOUSLY MAKE YOU “OLD.”  THAT CAUSE THE SECOND YOU TRULY ACCEPT THE REALITY THAT AT ANY MOMENT YOU CAN DIE, THAT IT ALSO MEAN YOU COULD HAVE ALREADY LIVED YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.

MOST PEOPLE RUN FROM THIS ASPECT OF ACCEPTANCE.

IT WHY JACKASS CREW SHOCKED BY DUNN’S DEATH. IT WHY MANY YOUNGISH PEOPLE ONLINE RALLYING BEHIND THEM . IT WHY SO MANY THRILL-SEEKER JUSTIFY THEIR ACTIONS BY SAYING “LIFE IS TOO SHORT.” THIS SAYING ALWAYS IRONIC TO HULK BECAUSE THEY ACTUALLY JUST RUNNING FROM LIFE. THERE NO RATIONAL WAY TO PROCESS THE “LIFE IS TOO SHORT” REALIZATION OTHER THAN NOT JUMPING OFF A CLIFF AND GOING TO HUG YOUR LOVED ONES. IF LIFE SO PRECIOUS, IT SHOULD BE TREATED AS PRECIOUS.(7) THE JACKASS GANG AND THRILL-SEEKERS ONLY WAY OF DEALING WITH “LIFE TOO SHORT” TO TRY AND WALK UP TO REALITY AND PROVE IT NOT TRUE.

AGAIN, THIS NOT TO BE MORALLY SUPERIOR. HULK NOT TRYING SAY THRILL-SEEKERS AND JACKASS GANG = IDIOTS OR ANYTHING. NOTHING OF SORT. THEIR BEHAVIOR FAIRLY TYPICAL OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR.

IT JUST THAT HULK STILL FIND THE MANTRA OF THESE GROUPS TO BE DISHONEST.

IT NOT LIFE AFFIRMING. THEY TRYING TO CHEAT DEATH.

AND IT JUST MAKE HULK SAD.

BECAUSE RIGHT NOW HALF OUR CULTURE NOW FAWNING OVER AN EMOTIONALLY STUNTED PRACTITIONER OF RECKLESS ABANDON, WHILE THE OTHER HALF BEHAVES MORALLY SUPERIOR TO HIM.

MEANWHILE, THE DEATH OF AN ACTUAL BRILLIANT, FORWARD-THINKING, KIND, CONSCIENTIOUS, AND COMMUNITY-DRIVEN, ADULT WILL GO LARGELY UNNOTICED.

AND SHE THE ONE WHO SAW DEATH AS A FACT OF LIFE…

… NOT A SUBCONSCIOUS GOAL.

ENDNOTES:
(1) BESIDES, THE BEST WAY NOT TO SUCCUMB TO DRUNK DRIVING TO SIMPLY REALIZE JUST HOW EASY IT IS TO DO IT. IT NOT EXACTLY HEROISM, BUT SIMPLY MAINTAINING AWARENESS.

(2) THOUGH IF IT BETWEEN THE TWO, HULK OPT FOR THE CHEESY PSA EVERY TIME

(3) HULK THINK OF COURSE THEY CAN BEHAVE LIKE THIS. IT WITHIN THEIR RIGHTS AND THEY MAKE LIVING AT IT. BUT IT THE CONSEQUENCE FREE PART THAT SEEM OBVIOUS.

(4) PROPER USE OF WORD, SLOWED/STUNTED.

(5) AGAIN, SAVE FOR KNOXVILLE, WHO ALWAYS THE MORE INTERESTED IN NORMAL HOLLYWOOD STUFF, SEEMED THE MOST MATURE, MELLOWED OUT WHEN HE HAD KIDS, AND GENERALLY JUST SEEMS TIRED OF THE WHOLE THING AT THIS POINT. MOST OF HIS STUNTS SEEM BORN FROM SENSE OF RESPONSIBILITY TO THE GROUP.

(6) IT NOT SIMPLY A ROCK/ROLL LIFESTYLE THING, BUT VERY PARTICULAR PERSONALITY TRAIT. THE ROLLING STONES NEVER REALLY CHASED. MICK JAGGER WAS PURE VANITY AND OBSESSED WITH FAME, BUT IT THE KIND OF NARCISSISM THAT CAN’T LET GO OF LIFE. THE YOUTHFUL DEAD MEANWHILE, HAD NO SUCH VALUE ON LIFE, JUST THE ATTITUDE.

(7) THIS NOT MEAN ONE SHOULD LIVE IN PERPETUAL FEAR OR ANYTHING. NOTHING OF THE SORT. JUST THAT THE END NOT SOMETHING TO BE “SOUGHT OUT” PREMATURELY.

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24 Responses to “RYAN DUNN’S DEATH: THE INEVITABLE GOAL OF JACKASS”

  1. JasonM said

    Excellent points made here, Hulk. Great insight as always. Sorry to hear of your loss. Regarding endpoint 3, jackasses have a right to behave stupidly in some instances, but nobody ever has the right to drive drunk or drive 140-mph (even sober) on public roads.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK THANK. IF ANOTHER CAR WAS INVOLVED IN CRASH (AND THAT HAD PRETTY GOOD CHANCES) IT WOULD PAINTED THINGS SO DIFFERENTLY HULK THINK. AND NOT BE CRASS, BUT IF IT YOUNG WHITE GIRL (OR SOMEONE REPRESENTATIVE OF SIMILAR MEDIA OBSESSIONS) WITH, THEN THE HORRIBLENESS OF DUNN’S ACTION WOULD HAD EVEN MORE “RESONANCE.”

  2. It’s an unfortunatte coincidence that in addition to the fact that i was going to write pretty much the same article, i too lost someone this week. My best friend died from a stroke. He was a very heavy drinker and smoker and personally I feel that contributed to his death at 32. Unlike Dunn, however, he leaves behind a wife and children, one who is so young he will have much difficulty remembering his father with any clarity. I’ve thought a lot about the “live fast, die young” attitude we so revere in this country. We are rather unique in that regard. I’ve been to other countries where dying young for unsubstantial glory is considered the epitome of stupidity. When i was in college, “chug, chug, chug” was the mantra for social success. Ive never seen so many kids come so close to death from alcohol poisioning, and I was confused as to why they would pay 50K dollars for the opportunity to drink and fuck when they could just do that at home for free. Im not confused anymore, i just feel bad for them, and not the Ryan Dunns of the world, but the men with families and a good quality of life who will never realize just how rare that is in a world full of poverty and suffering. It may boring, but id rather be boring than the guy who died from shotgunning too many Miller Lites or gargling with a scorpion in my mouth.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK SAD TO HEAR THAT AND WISH YOU BEST. THE THING THAT ODD ABOUT EXCESSIVE LIFESTYLES THAT SO MANY PEOPLE NOT ADDRESSING REASONS WHY DO IT. THERE VERY FEW WHO LIKE THAT REALLY, TRULY UNDERSTAND THEIR MOTIVATIONS. AND MOTIVATION REALLY EVERYTHING WHEN COME TO THIS STUFF. TO PUT IT ROUGH TERMS IT SEEM LIKE THE ONES WHO CHALLENGING IT = THRILLSEEKERS/HARD LIVING-ERS. THE ONES WHO EMBRACE MORE “ADVENTURERS” … HULK DUNNO.

  3. Rachel said

    PLUS IT SORT OF HAVE THIS WEIRD GAY PANIC ELEMENT TO IT THAT SO NOT HULK.

    This line is the best line.

    I’m sorry for your loss, and I hope that you’ve got some avengers assembled to support you.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      YEAH HULK ALWAYS TRY BE AWARE OF ANYTHING THAT LEAN TOWARD GAY PANIC.

      AND HULK THANK. CAP AND THOR ALREADY HERE. TONY ONLY SENT FLOWERS… JERK…. AND LET BE HONEST, IT PROBABLY PEPPER.

  4. Bevin said

    I’m so sorry for your personal loss. I also agree with and appreciate the perspective you bring to this topic. Where I live, two teenagers were killed and another one seriously injured in the last week because of drunk driving, so it was odd to see so many people call for greater education about its consequences locally, but then read friends’ Facebook statuses canonizing this celebrity incident. I never watched the show, so I didn’t feel too strongly about it other than I thought it was an incredible waste of human life for no reason. The talk of “tragedy” brought to mind someone a prof said recently about the misuse of that word, that something is only tragic if it isn’t easily preventable. There was no real reason he had to drink to excess and then drive as fast as he did. It’s not that it isn’t sad for the people who knew him, loved him, or who were moved by him in some way, or inappropriate for people to mourn his loss, but to call it tragic seems inappropriate. It was his own choice to do what he did, in the face of what has been common knowledge for decades. I find it incredibly sad that anyone still dies this way.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK THANK. WHAT PERHAPS INTERESTING THAT IF HE SECRETLY BATTLING SOME KIND OF ALCOHOLISM IT MIGHT BE CLOSER TO FITTING ARISTOTLE’S CLASSICAL DEFINITION OF TRAGEDY. HULK MEAN, HE DEFINITELY BROUGHT ON OWN DOWNFALL.

  5. Vivisector said

    Sorry for your loss, Hulk. As always, this was an entertaining read but – more than your other reviews – I found myself taking a line with me and recalling it a few times over the course of the day. “THAT CAUSE THE SECOND YOU TRULY ACCEPT THE REALITY THAT AT ANY MOMENT YOU CAN DIE, THAT IT ALSO MEAN YOU COULD HAVE ALREADY LIVED YOUR ENTIRE LIFE.” That was really something. Hope you’re alright, mate. Looking forward to your next post.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK THANK. IT JUST ONE OF THOSE WEIRD LITTLE REALIZATIONS. “RIGHT NOW I COULD HAVE LIVED MY ENTIRE LIFE” AND PEOPLE TEND HAVE WEIRD REACTIONS TO IT THAT RUN THE GAMUT.

  6. Jilliterate said

    Beautifully written. I can connect with a lot in this piece. Last year, my mother passed away from cancer. We knew it was terminal, and the funeral was small (or at least, seemed small to me). Not long after, a local teen crashed his car, killing himself and the two passengers inside. It was revealed that the driver and passengers were impaired, and had led a police office in a chase as they sped 180 km/h through the city streets. After the accident, the crash site was covered in flowers memorializing the deceased, and their funerals were flooded with mourners. Somehow, it was considered a tragedy that two teens had died just weeks before their high school graduation. I wondered if the reaction would be the same if their car had hit another vehicle instead of a tree.

    That excessively long anecdote doesn’t serve much purpose, other than to offer a parallel, but thank you for writing this. You’ve expressed a lot of the same feelings I had following the situation I described above, much more eloquently than I ever could, and without articles to boot.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK THANK AND HULK SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. PEOPLE OFTEN ATTRIBUTE THIS “LOSS OF YOUTH” THING TO BEING THE GREATEST TRAGEDY OF ALL. BUT THAT ALWAYS SEEM WRONG-MINDED TO HULK. IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE LOSS OF “GOOD” NOT NECESSARILY THE LOSS OF “YOUNG”… NOT TO SAY THE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE EITHER.

  7. Mike said

    Dear FILMCRITHULK,

    I can’t say I know from personal experience what the loss of a loved one is like. The only two people i’ve seen in a casket were my grandfather when I was like five, and then a distant friend whom I never really had an attachment to. But you see, the friend who died had a son who was in attendance at the funeral. Open casket no less. His pain was quite palpable, but I still couldn’t feel any sense of loss or pity. To perceive a death from a third party standpoint is truly an out of mind experience. It’s numb, but not because you don’t feel anything, but because you don’t feel anything strong. Death in itself is a subjectional topic, and the death of others rarely affects other people outside of a family or friend circle. It’s why it’s so easy to be critical of a person who died being completely reckless. Had it been someone close to you who died in a reckless, preventable accident, i’d imagine it’d be a mixed bag of emotions. Hatred for such terrible irresponsibility, yet sorrow for losing someone so close. but without that insulating layer of attachment, all you are left with is the hatred and scorn. It’s so easy to be hateful towards a dead person.

    That is why I admire your restraint. you could’ve summoned up all your smash and tore Ryan Dunn a new one (right next to the other new one made by a piece of oak) but you didn’t. Instead, you chose the objective outlook, treating his death as an example of why people should’ve seen it coming, and questioning exactly why people live that sort of reckless lifestyle.

    You’re like a laser guided wrecking ball when blogging. Instead of smash everything, you just smash a little bit at a time.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      HULK THANK. HULK GUESS BEING SUPER-OBJECTIVE-AIMING SORT OF THE SUB-JOKE AT THIS POINT (ASIDE FROM THE ONE THAT HULK JUST SPEND ALL HULK’S TIME WATCHING MOVIES) SO EVERYONE THINK HULK JUST GONNA BE SMASHY, BUT THEN HULK JUST BE MEASURED INSTEAD. IT NOT REALLY ON PURPOSE, IT JUST THAT HULK ALWAYS TRY BE TRUE TO HULK-SELF. IT ABOUT HONESTY ABOVE ALL ELSE. AND JUST CRITICIZING DUNN NO FEEL RIGHT.

      THE TRUTH ALWAYS MORE INTERESTING THAN DIDACTIC.

  8. Look: everyday, Hulk makes some choices that endanger and hurt others. Those choices are hidden behind a wall of respectability built by Hulk’s society. The existence of this wall is necessary for the ongoing functioning of that society, as well as for the mental well being– the privilege of sanctimony– of Hulk. But the fact remains: Hulk engages in behaviors that hurts people, even endangers their lives. Ritual flagellation of behaviors like drunk driving exist to perpetuate the system that Hulk operates in, and allows all the Hulks out there the pretense of moral superiority.

    All true moral writing concerns the moral failures of the writer, not of some outside target. So what are you up to here, really?

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      … NO. THERE’S RITUAL FLAGELLATION OF BEHAVIORS LIKE DRIVING DRIVING BECAUSE IT IS LEGITIMATELY ONE OF THE LEAST SENSIBLE THINGS A HUMAN BEING CAN DO. IT’S ACTUALLY ONE OF THE FEW THINGS OUTSIDE THE GRAY AREA OF MORALITY. THE CHOICES YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT, CHOICES THAT ENDANGER AND HURT OTHERS, ARE BUILT ON SOME IDEA THAT THE CHOICES ARE ALSO PROVIDING A FORM OF GOOD AS WELL. MEANWHILE, THERE IS NO LOGICAL ARGUMENT THAT DRUNK DIVING IS FINE.

      PLEASE STOP TRYING TO MAKE EVERYTHING RELATIVE.

      BECAUSE QUITE FRANKLY IT’S A JUVENILE BEHAVIOR.

  9. [...] RYAN DUNN’S DEATH: THE INEVITABLE GOAL OF JACKASS [...]

  10. Is it weird that I’ve revisited this essay without fail every couple of months? Soothing somehow HULK, I find it soothing.

  11. Lisa said

    This is an epic read!

  12. M said

    wow… someone has an opinion everytime a celebrity dies. unless it was a natural cause, it must be the fault of fame. get a life

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      GIVEN THE CONTEXT OF EVERYTHING EXPLAINED, THIS ISN’T SOME “EVERYONE HAS AN OPINION” SPOUT OFF. AND YOUR QUICK DISMISSAL AND FAILURE TO REALIZE THAT DOESN’T REFLECT POORLY ON HULK, IT REFLECTS POORLY ON YOU. HULK DEMANDS A GREAT DEAL OF THOUGHT IN THE COMMENTS SECTIONS AND THAT’S BECAUSE HULK PUTS A GREAT DEAL OF THOUGHT INTO THE ARTICLES. BE BETTER THAN THAT.

  13. atomicraven said

    You are an asshole.

    • FILMCRITHULK said

      THIS IS A LARGER CONVERSATION ABOUT THE LIONIZATION OF SOMEONE DOING AN INCREDIBLY RECKLESS AND DANGEROUS THING. CALLING HULK THE ASSHOLE IS TO COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY BOTH MISS AND PROVE HULK’S POINT. IT’S NOT THE SADNESS AT THE LOSS OF LIFE. HULK OF COURSE SAD THAT RYAN DIED. WHAT HULK IS MORE SAD ABOUT IS THAT EVERYONE GAVE THE WAY HE DIED A COMPLETE AND TOTAL PASS AND CHALKED IT UP TO SOMETHING OTHER THAN WHAT IT WAS. DOES THAT AT LEAST MAKE SENSE? IT’S A CONVERSATION REALLY BEYOND CALLING SOMEONE AN ASSHOLE.

  14. ShesMyMexican said

    The point about Johnny Knoxville doing his stunts out of loyalty to the group you make in the footnotes seems interesting to me as he always seemed the most eager to put himself in harms way for the group. There’s footage of him from the end of one the shoots for Jackass 2 (I think, it could be the first one) of him just running into street signs repeatedly because he was so desperate to keep filming. The rest of the cast was really quite worried about his state of mind. Of course, things could have changed for him since then.

    Fantastic article.

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