"If I'm going to die," Steve Irwin said in a 2002 interview, according to the Associated Press, "at least I want it filmed."
Of course he did. He was a Generation Xer. That's what we do: wild, crazy, dangerous shit, and if possible, we get a friend of ours to videotape it. Irwin was lucky enough to make a career of it -- his only true Xer peer may have been crazy skateboarder Tony Hawk (the more ordinary crossgenerational craziness of NASCAR racing and pro football don't count), or maybe that professional jackass Johnny Knoxville -- which only means he was at the far end of the risk-taking, entrepreneurial bell curve of Xer behavior.
Geeks of all generations are getting in on the video action now, throwing up video tributes to Irwin that are proliferating at an astonishing rate -- and getting in on the entrepreneurial action, too -- but of course it would come down to an Xer, Chicago Tribune Internet and TV critic Steve Johnson, to be the first to question the instant deification of Irwin. We Xers are nothing if not our own harshest critics. Not that there's anything wrong with that.