RYAN DUNN’S DEATH: THE INEVITABLE GOAL OF JACKASS

(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.

Advertisements