I just heard on the radio that Peter Brock has been killed in a racing crash.
All the boys I went to a country town high school with drove V8s, and all of them looked up to Brockie. He stood above the perennial Ford-Holden wars in terms of his racing hero status, partly because of his cool, calm demeanour – Brock was the Bjorn Borg of Australian motor racing. Or course, some of the most partisan supporters will never forgive him for switching teams (and some others who will never care about racing will not forget his controversial marriage break-up).
Irwin’s death was so bizarre at a relatively young age that it was by far the most shocking. Thiele was elderly and had long been in bad health, so no shock there, which may explain why his death has been so eclipsed by Irwin’s. I’m not shocked by Brock’s death: racing is inherently dangerous and Brock had had a long career so that it’s almost as though he’s finally succumbed to the odds. In fact, once I’d absorbed the news, my first reaction was that at least this will take some of the media blowtorch off the Irwin family (the Australian media, anyway).
A mailing list I belong to has a macabre habit of announcing celebrity deaths with a [grim(listname)] tag, and then performing a weird sort of Kevin Bacon connections game to find three celebrity deaths that fit together as a set within a brief time frame. Australia found it way too easy to collect its set of three this week.
(crossposted at Larvatus Prodeo)
Categories: arts & entertainment