Reflections of The Hierophant: Our Fallen (Random) Hero...
A tragedy born of a tragic mistake... Find out my feelings on the 1-Year Anniversary of the death of Ryan "Random Hero" Dunn...
So, today marks the 1 year anniversary of Ryan “Random Hero” Dunn’s death. A lot of you might be thinking to yourselves, “Why is The Hierophant writing an editorial for a comic book website about something that is clearly NOT comic book related?” Well, my sweethearts, let me tell you. My basis for writing this is simple, “Random Hero” was the moniker given to Ryan Dunn by the others in the CKY Crew, which (as illustrated above) clearly makes him a superhero…
…Not buying it?
… Let’s go with this:
I enjoy writing, and the death of Ryan Dunn is something that actually had an impact on me. So, for the next couple paragraphs, I will be explaining why the death of this particular “Jackass” impacted me, as well as my feelings on the controversy that surrounded his death…
The summer before entering high school, my uncle had turned me on to this show called “Jackass,” a show that featured a group of apparent randoms performing silly and dangerous pranks/stunts. Something that sounds terrible on paper, but hooked me instantly. I became so attached to this show that these “randoms” quickly became as familiar to me as my family (with the exception being Chris Pontius, who remained “Party Boy” due to my inability to properly pronounce his surname until later in life).
Making friends has never been my greatest strength, and going into my Freshman year, I had managed to retain only 2 friends. But, my love for “Jackass” was shared by a group of classmates from the Sophomore class. I remember finding out that this little band of misfits had taken to performing stupid stunts, and recording them under the name “Dumbass.” Quickly, this group became my best friends in high school. Without these people, I would’ve been lost in my darkest hours. I know most of you will dismiss “CKY,” “Jackass,” or “Viva La Bam” as stupid-entertainment, but to my friends and myself, they were a way for us to bond. So, the cast of said shows became more than just a bunch of randoms doing stupid stunts, they became like friends to us. I think that came down to the fact that the CKY/Jackass Crew were just regular guys who you could relate to easily. People you could see yourself hanging out with.
It might sound silly to you, but when I got the text from my sister that Ryan Dunn had died in a car crash, I was taken aback. I was immensely saddened by it. Not the same type of sad most people got when Heath Ledger died, or an other celebrity. Not the kind where your sad because it’s popular. It didn’t feel like “just another celebrity” died, it felt like I lost a close friend. Which, again, might sound silly, but it’s true.
After the news broke of his death, I knew it was only a matter of time before his name was dragged through the mud by vultures. Well, other than the ever-psychotic Westboro Baptist Church, no name-dragging took place… until the cause of his crash came to light.
It came to be known that he had spent the night drinking with Zachery Hartwell, and after they finished, they got into Dunn’s Porsche 911 GT3 to head home for the night. Hitting a reported speed of 132-140 mph, Dunn’s car veered off and hit a tree at full-speed, killing Dunn and his passenger, Zachery Hartwell, on impact. It was after all of this that I started hearing/reading remarks from people, calling Dunn a murderer and going as far as saying he deserved it.
Now, was it a dumbass move to drink and drive? Absolutely. Is Ryan Dunn to blame for his death, and Zachery Hartwell’s? Sadly, yes. But, all of the blame can’t be placed onto Dunn. Zachery Hartwell was a big boy. He knew, as well as Dunn, that they were both drinking and would need to get home eventually. To say Dunn was a murderer is completely ignorant. It was a tragic mistake made by two people. But, regardless of the cause we have to remember something: Every death is tragic to someone. The deaths of Ryan Dunn and Zachery Hartwell is no exception to that rule.
Ryan Dunn touched the lives of millions of people all around the world. He was a funny person, willing to do anything to get a laugh. He was known by his friends for being willing to do anything for a friend (which is the root of his nickname, “Random Hero). I refuse to let this mistake (albeit a tragic one) muddy this man’s legacy of laughter.
PS. I would like to request that if you have anything negative to say about Ryan Dunn, Zachery Hartwell, or anything I’ve written, either word it respectfully or don’t write anything at all. If you write a tasteless and disrespectful comment, I will delete it…
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