You Stupid Fuck

Heath Ledger is dead of a drug overdose. Naked and dead (according to Warren) in Mary-Kate Olsen’s apartment. (Apparently this wasn’t true, at least the Mary-Kate Olsen part.)

This is appalling. Not only did Ledger always strike me as a bright, honest guy, but he was also one of the very few actors of his generation who struck me as having infinite potential. Even in lighthearted stuff like A Knight’s Tale, he showed an incredible amount of charisma and intelligence. I was genuinely pleased to hear about his casting in Dark Knight as the Joker — he had the smarts to pull the role off, and by all accounts he’s excellent in it. He was one of those actors you look forward to seeing in ten, twenty, thirty years, doing good work.

And the stupid little shit left a two year old daughter. Fucking bastard. A year younger than me.

[Edit: I want to point out, as I did in the comments, that even if his death was accidental, he was still a fucking idiot for messing around with pills in the first place. Anybody who’s popping sleeping pills in the early afternoon to maintain is probably in a fairly weird state to begin with. Don’t get me wrong — I’m really sad he’s dead. I think it’s a genuine tragedy. But he was being either incredibly careless or self-destructive, and I still think that’s a shitty way to act if you’ve got a small child.]

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  1. I’m a little disappointed, Josh.

    1. The Mary-Kate Olsen thing was bullshit, debunked five minutes after it appeared on TMZ.

    2. Police have not ruled out suicide (though the lack of a note and the fact that he’d made a massage appointment earlier in the day makes it unlikely), but the medical examiner thinks it could just as easily have been an accidental overdose or an allergic reaction to prescription meds. Point is: too early to tell. To early to judge and damn, in other words.

    3. If it was suicide, the idea that people suffering from clinical depression can simply turn it off because they have kids is ludicrous. You cannot talk yourself out of organic depression. Plenty of good people have died trying. All you can do is seek counseling, take your SSRIs, and hope for the best. (Of course, that last part is often made more difficult due to the individual being FUCKING DEPRESSED.)

    4. What’s “appalling” is the self-righteous contempt and complete lack of sympathy currently spreading over the Web with regard to this man’s death. I realize snark is a virtue here in Cyberspace, but fucking GOD. How about showing a little humanity?

    I hope the Internet burns to the fucking ground. I really do.

    1. Point taken. I got the news from Warren, and I didn’t see anything debunking it in the AP article I read, so I assumed Warren knew something I didn’t.

    2. If it was accidental, it was still fucking stupid. He was fucking around with pills that he shouldn’t have been fucking with. And from all accounts I’ve heard, he was depressed and acting weird his last few weeks/months. If he was just taking pills that he didn’t have a prescription for or experience with, he wasn’t thinking about the consequences…which, again, for someone with a small child, is a goddamn dumb thing to do.

    3. I’m not giving him a pass on depression, if such was the case. He was in a position to get help — not big dramatic rehab help, but simple medication and psychiatric counseling. And as someone who’s suffered from severe soul-crushing suicidal depression my entire life, I know there are ways to deal with it and manage it. You think he was short of people who, even from a purely financial standpoint, wanted to keep him around and would have gotten him any help he needed?

    4. I’m actually fairly heartbroken over the cat’s death. I liked him a lot as an actor, and it sucks when anybody dies young. But it looks like he checked himself out, and I’m as contemptuous of that impulse in him as I am of that impulse in myself. I do believe people who actually commit suicide out of depression are just idiotic. You find ways to deal, every minute, every day. You tell yourself it gets better, and even if it doesn’t, you keep telling yourself that. Because life MIGHT get better. And it’s better to take that chance, and deal with the pain, than to simply erase yourself out of the equation.

    Whatever his reasons, and whatever the circumstances, it was a stupid and pointless death, and one that could have been easily prevented. I’m more angry at the people around him, who didn’t seem to be paying attention to Ledger’s mental/emotional state. Because somebody’s who’s popping sleeping pills in the middle of the day just to relax — as would be the case if he wasn’t actually trying to die — is still pretty goddamn messed up, no?

  2. I don’t think the verdict is in on whether or not it was suicide – could have been an accidental overdose. Careful with the pills, everybody… 🙁

  3. “I hope the Internet burns to the fucking ground. I really do.”

    But then where would you post your comments? On a flier stapled to a telephone pole?

  4. Latest reports (who knows if these are true, either) indicate that Ledger had pneumonia and was taking ambien to help him sleep through the coughing fits. The new theory is that the combination of reduced pulmonary activity due to infection and a heart-rate slowed by barbiturates put him into cardiac arrest.

  5. I don’t know much at all about Heath Ledger, but he strikes me as a shallow, narcissistic type who couldn’t handle life, much less fame. I’m sad that he died, but thousands are dying hideous deaths in Iraq, Darfur, etc., every week, so why I should care about Ledger’s death is beyond me.

  6. Joe, I more-or-less agree that you shouldn’t care more about Ledger’s death than any other random one.

    But, you may care about how it has affected Josh (given that you post comments here). I do.

  7. “I’m sad that he died, but thousands are dying hideous deaths in Iraq, Darfur, etc., every week, so why I should care about Ledger’s death is beyond me.”

    When an artist dies, the people who enjoyed his or her work are affected.

    That’s why.

    Caring about art means caring about artists. Name-dropping Darfur doesn’t make you any less shallow. It might actually make you more so.

    It’s called the More Important Things fallacy, and it’s just that — a fallacy. Try it in a high school debate class and see what kind of grade you get.

  8. Hmmm… I wonder if you told some of the people in the camps in Darfur that someone who tried to call attention to their plight, in whatever modest way, was branded as “shallow”. Wonder what that means.

    I see your point about the logical fallacy, and it’s a valid one, but I don’t think it applies in this case. In fact, there’s a countervailing logical fallacy in the point you’re making.

    I can “care about art” while disdaining, disliking, or disapproving of a particular artist. Caring about art doesn’t mean refraining from criticizing all artists.

  9. I’m not questioning the importance of Darfur. I’m questioning your motivation in invoking it during a discussion about Heath Ledger. If there’s a connection between Mr. Ledger and the policies of the Sudanese government, I must confess I’m unaware of it. I thought he just made movies. Therefore, my suspicion is that you brought it up for no reason other than to express your contempt for the current discussion and its participants.

    In my experience, whenever people barge into pop culture discussions yelling “Homelessness!” or “Iraq!”, it’s not because they actually want to discuss those issues. It’s because they want to present themselves as being morally above the current topic. They feel an uncontrollable need to shame anyone who enjoys discussing “frivolous” things. It’s an unpleasant mixture of projected guilt and judgmentalism that absolutely no one finds cute. It’s placing yourself in an ivory tower and declaring those around you to be Philostines.

    I don’t understand. Are we supposed to thank you for that sobering reminder that our world sucks? We’re aware, thanks. And we feel appropriately bad about it. Now excuse us for a moment while we talk about movie stars.

  10. Here is the REAL STORY you won’t find in the drug-corporate sponsored American press: Just google the side-effects of Ambien. It is so scary!

  11. PS: Brokeback mountain was a white-washed bore! I highly suggest going out and renting a copy of Todd Hayne’s Velvet Goldmine.

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