It's a bit strange when celebrities die, isn't it? To me, the shock is somewhat tempered by the very fact that the person was a celebrity, yet the shock does ring in rather varied volumes. For example, had I awoke the other day to find out it was Britney Spears rather than Heath Ledger found dead, I can't say I'd be shocked insofar as I'd be disappointed. After all, her collapse has been public and more maddeningly annoying than anything.
As for Heath Ledger, I don't know how he died, and I'm not even going to speculate on it. I just know he was a good actor who took on challenging roles and through the sheer force of his talent, he made the role he was playing and the film he was acting in better.
However, to see him as an actor is one thing. And, to see these celebrities as simply public figures lacking any and all humanity is also one thing. But, it's important to remember that regardless of his celebrity or the roles he played, Heath Ledger was a father, a son, a brother, and a human being. And, to the few who truly feel his loss, not as an artist, but as a human being, this has got to be a horrible time.
A source close to [Michelle] Williams told PEOPLE the actress was "devastated" upon hearing the news. She and Ledger split in September, but they both agreed that parenting their daughter came first.That's perhaps the most troubling thing, I think. His daughter will not only grow up without a father, but there will also be a very public record of her father's passing for her perusal any time she wants. And, sadly, she will find people judging her father not as a person, but based simply upon the roles he's played. To them, he doesn't dwell within this sphere we call humanity. In their minds, Heath Ledger was nothing more than a piece of movie equipment.
"I can't believe Matilda is going to grow up without a dad, without knowing her father," another source told PEOPLE. "And that Michelle will have to deal with having a daughter who's lost her father. She's a survivor. She'll make it, but it's going to be hard. Her first concern is going to be Matilda."
And, this is what brings me to John Gibson of Fox News (courtesy of the good folks at Think Progress --who also have an audio copy of Gibson's remarks up at their site):
Throughout the course of the show, Gibson continued to bring up Ledgerâs death while discussing current events, jokingly claiming that current events may have caused him to commit suicide.
On yesterdayâs drop in the stock market:
GIBSON: Maybe he had a serious position in the market.
TOM SULLIVAN: And possibly today, he looked at the window and saidâ¦
GIBSON: âOh my God.â
SULLIVAN: His nameâs not Keith Bledger, right?
GIBSON: He was depressed about yesterdayâs downturn in the world stock markets.
On the Democratic debate in South Carolina:
GIBSON: Apparently Heath Ledger was suicidal and his friends saw it coming. I think he watched the Clinton-Obama debate last night. I think he was an Edwards guy, cause he saw his Edwards guy was just completely irrelevant.
I don't know if what I feel is disgust, embarrassment or what have you over Gibson's odious comments. To know that I share a planet with this troll is disappointing. To know that a media outlet encourages this man's lunacy would be comical if he wasn't such an irrelevant, inhuman slug.
It's clear I don't have the acumen to understand why Fox would support such brainless, childish, behavior. However, the folks at News Hounds are encouraging people to write to Fox News to voice their complaints, and I do agree that it's a good idea. Unfortunately, I doubt anything will come of it since, let's face facts, this is Fox News we're talking about here, and they don't make a point of hiring clear-headed, competent, or even sane human beings. And, it's clear the people at Fox obviously care little to nothing about family since they would openly mock the death of a little girl's father for their own twisted amusement.
As I said, I just don't know how to feel about sharing a planet with people such as John Gibson. It's one thing to joke amongst your friends and have a giggle at this unfortunate incident. But to go out of your way to concoct a story and fabricate the causes of this man's death for no other reason than to broadcast your own inhumanity and lack of compassion is just not worth listening to.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/24/2008 09:16:00 AM