Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Friends don't let Jackasses drink and drive"

Ryan Dunn, of Jackass fame, and actor Zac Hartwell, died the other night when Dunn's Porche went off the road and crashed into a forest. They had just left a bar, after 2 a.m., where witnesses report Dunn had consumed "3 Miller Lites and 3 girly shots". The bar manager says Dunn "didn't seem drunk".

But he is dead. And so is his passenger. How do you feel about that?

Roger Ebert expressed a range of feelings in two consecutive Tweets yesterday:

And that brought on a shitstorm of controversy...

The comment really hit a nerve, and it's a raw one. Death by misadventure is like suicide, in that it provokes a mixed bag of feelings including grief and anger.  Add to that the fact that Dunn took someone else along for the ride, and it gets even more complicated.

We won't know how intoxicated Dunn really was until after his autopsy. He was also known for his love of driving fast. If he had lived, and his passenger had died, he'd be facing some pretty serious charges now.
Yes, Ebert was harsh. This was a harsh death — for two people — and it was probably preventable. But will the moral of the story be lost on Jackass fans?



  1. I'm with Ebert on this one. I have a lot of sympathy for the families of Dunn and Hartwell, but as far as respect for Dunn? Hell no. You're right, he'd be facing heavy charges and rightfully so.

    People shouldn't be martyring a guy who ended his own life and that of another out of sheer stupidity.

  2. I'm making up the numbers, but let's say that no matter what happens, 30% of young males will consider Dunn a hero and 30% will consider him a moron -- that leaves 40% in middle that we have a hope of influencing. Perhaps Ebert's harsh-but-necessary words will help push them in the right direction.