So, like, anyone have boundaries?

January 24, 2008 by barbara

barbara writes

Did you know that Heath Ledger died? Front page news. For two days. So far.

Now, wait! Before you come after me with torches burning and pitchforks brandished, let me say that far as I know, Heath Ledger was a swell guy. "Far as I know" because: (a) I’m one of the three Americans who didn’t see “Brokeback Mountain.” I live with one of the others, and he doesn’t much care for movies. (b) I don’t watch television. (c) I don’t read People. Don't miss the rest!

I’m sorry that this young man is dead. I’ll be even more sorry if it is ultimately revealed that he took his own life. I’ll even be sorry if it was an accident. Sorry, sorry, sorry. But c’mon. This repetitive pattern really needs to stop. We have become a nation of hyper-vigilant, insatiable voyeurs.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the sidebar from Huffington Post that provides links related to today’s most recent Heath Ledger story:

Diana Wolozin
Gemma Ward
Heath Ledger
Heath Ledger Autopsy
Heath Ledger Dead
Heath Ledger Death
Heath Ledger Died
Heath Ledger Dies
Heath Ledger Heroin
Heath Ledger Overdose
Heath Ledger Photos
Heath Ledger Pictures
Heath Ledger Pills
Heath Ledger Pneumonia
Heath Ledger Suicide
Heath Ledger The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus
Heath Ledger's Parents
Heath Matilda Ledger Pictures
Keith Ledger Dead
Mary-Kate Heath Ledger
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen Heath Ledger
Matilda Ledger
Matilda Ledger Photos
Matilda Ledger Pictures
Michelle Williams
Sophie Ward
Teresa Solomon
The Dark Knight

You know, it’s a terrible commentary that our national obsession with Grim Reaper stories (the more bizarre the better) is one of our few diversions from pissy politics and cantankerous candidates. Well, come to think of it, maybe that makes sense. No, it doesn’t! I made that up.

Full disclosure: I read the HuffPost article. I honestly don’t know why. Prurient interest, I guess. So yeah, the black-calling pot caved. But it was instructive. I'm so naïve, I believed that twenty-dollar bills are used for financial transactions. I’m so out of touch, I thought the Olsen twins were still adolescents. I’m so old-fashioned that I thought tragic endings were more or less private matters. Hoo-ha! Missed that one by a furlong!

Well, Heath Ledger, I hardly knew ye. I’m sorry things turned out so badly for you. Rest in peace. Truly.

Link: Peace, rest in (Ledger, Heath)

Posted in

Comments

NeoLotus (not verified) | January 25, 2008 - 4:21pm

This is my comment about Heath Ledger.

I suppose it's a good thing I don't read HuffPost anymore, but given the list of related links at HuffPost you posted it is obvious he had a lot of fans. In some cases perhaps not hanging out at the water cooler when there's a hot topic one is not interested in is a good idea.

I don't mean to be persnickity as I understand where you are coming from. At the same time tho, I understand where they are coming from too and it will be over in a few days.

In the meantime, as John Donne said: "Do not ask for whom the bells tolls, it tolls for thee."

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barbara says (not verified) | January 26, 2008 - 3:27pm

See, I'm not so sure the links equal fan support. I think it equals the relentless and intrusive nature of the press. We've come to expect it. Are more or less conditioned to it. Salivate in anticipation of it. I'm guessing that real Heath Ledger fans are saying/thinking some variation of, "Leave him alone. Leave his daughter alone. Leave the whole thing alone. It's a private and heartbreaking matter. Avert your eyes."

This is the same press that went orgasmic over Hillary's tear. Over Howard Dean's scream. Over John Edwards' haircut. This is the same press that is supposedly a reflection of mainstream desire for information. Chicken/egg thingie.

This is the same press that early on decided there were but two candidates running on the Dem side for president. The same press that vilified Valerie Plame. That gave us in-depth coverage (so to speak) of an astronaut's Depends caper. That did what it was told to do in support of George's war.

The same press that is long on glitz and short on substance. The same press that has some serious boundary problems. The same press that defends itself saying, "Hey! We're just giving the people what they want." Frankly, I doubt it.

Ding dong ding dong . . . . .

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