As most of you know, Ryan Dunn, star of Jackass, died this week after driving drunk, hitting a tree at around 110-130mph, and killing his passenger. But whatever you do, don’t tell it like that.
So, the news appeared on Tuesday that Ryan Dunn, who most people will know from the people-who-do-crazy-but-funny-things MTV series Jackass, and the recent Jackass 3D, died in a car accident. He’d also posted a photograph of himself with booze only hours earlier.
Now, most people would conclude that perhaps, given that he flew off the road, he wasn’t going slowly, and that it may have been related to the earlier photograph. Of course, we can’t be sure. However, film critic Roger Ebert made a statement that was painted in a variety of different lights.
Bam Margera responded, making his feelings clear, which he is wont to do very often, unfortunately. But for once, we can be sure that he was simply grieving and lashing out at anyone who was putting his friend down. Doesn’t matter how someone dies, really – he’d lost his best friend, and couldn’t even hold a TV interview without breaking down. But Ebert wasn’t going to take the backlash lying down, and wrote a response.
Worse, people reported his Facebook page, which was completely unconnected with his Twitter account (no, really?), and he attempted to log on the following morning to find that Facebook had, in fact, taken his page offline, possibly for containing what people considered photographs of an ignorant, hateful person. Oh, the irony.
It then later emerged that not only had Dunn hit a tree at 132mph, he was more than twice over the state alcohol limit. Perez Hilton’s attempt to turn Ebert into the public bogeyman somewhat backfired, leading to him changing the title of the article without the professional approach of an apology and a clarification of the reason for the change – that Ebert “refuses to apologise” for his tweet, and “clarifies” his tweet, aren’t the same thing. The message is clear: being a celebrated idiot who drives drunk doesn’t actually stop people thinking you’re an idiot.
The sad fact is that two people were silly enough to get into a car, drunk, and one of them drove the car into a tree, costing the world not only themselves, and in Zachary Hartwell’s case (the oddly often-ignored other person in the car) costing him a marriage that had only just begun.
It’s a sad day for Jackass fans, though it does beg the question – we celebrated them doing risky, stupid things for so long, but it has come as such a shock that one day their antics went too far. The only positive thing we can take away from this is that it’s a lesson to all those who drink and then drive, and thankfully their car didn’t strike another vehicle.