Wednesday, January 23, 2008

People and Their Stupid Attitudes

Ok, I didn't know Heath Ledger at all. Only saw him in a few movies, so I have no real personal connection to him. He was, however, a great actor and a unique screen presence. Since his untimely death yesterday it has obviously been a topic of conversation. The autopsy has been inconclusive and they need to do more tests. Whatever the outcome (which, I believe will be an accidental overdose of mixing the wrong medications together), some people's reactions have really begun to piss me off.

Two reactions from people I work with -

"Who cares, he's dead. People die everyday. If I was in that Brokeback Mountain movie I probably would have too."

"Are you guys still talking about Heath Ledger? It's over, he's dead."

and from a friend of my aunt's -

"I don't care about that, he was in that Brokeback Mountain movie."

You people sicken me. What a horrible attitude to have. Whether you knew Heath Ledger or not, liked him or hated him, or never even saw a movie he was in, he was still a human being and by all accounts a good one. Just because he may have been in movies that you didn't like or made decisions that were contrary to your beliefs that doesn't give you the right to be so cold, or to tell me that in some way my caring about it is wrong somehow. If he was someone you knew personally that had lived the same life he had, that might have been in some way against your beliefs , etc. would you be so callous then? I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain and for obvious reasons I hadn't wanted to see it, but in the last year or so, I have wanted to. If, for no other reason to understand someone I know who has had a similar life struggle. Admittedly, I have been a little prejudiced about the movie's subject matter. So, I rented it today. I haven't watched it yet, but I will.

(EDIT - 4/10/08 - I did watch it then and it was an amazing piece of film. Whether you agree with the subject matter of two men being in love, is really irrelevant if you want to understand and come to understand another human beings existence. Granted, it's a work of fiction, but undoubtedly, it conveys a struggle that many people, man or woman have dealt with in their lives for generations. It's not my struggle, but despite that, I need to understand. And now, to a better degree, I do.)

Whether it's something you agree with or not, I don't really care. Are we not all children of the same God? Are we not all taught tolerance and forgiveness? I am so sick and tired of people judging people and causing hatred among the human race. If it helps me to understand my fellow man that is different than I happen to be, then I will consider it a positive experience. And I can skip some parts if I need to.

While I admired Heath for his talents, I didn't see him as a walking God. But, he was a child of God. And yes, maybe people do die everyday. Just because of that, we should stop caring when someone dies suddenly? Especially when every sign points to it being an accident.

Sadly, it seems that his dedication to acting is what might have led to his death. For The Dark Knight, he devoted himself 110% to create The Joker. He started losing sleep and became exhausted. So, finding sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medicine isn't entirely a surprise. My friend that has done some acting told me in creating a performance, you don't leave it all at work, part of it is in you. In that sense, it's a real tragedy. He loved what he did and it seems that it was his downfall.

So to all the people that think those thoughts about Heath Ledger or anyone that passes away, and forget the tragedy of someone's death (whether it's self-inflicted or accidental) and the pain their loved ones are enduring, to you I say:

Remind me to think that way when you die.


Jake Bright said...

Powerful words Kev, I'm glad you brought this up. I've been studying celebrities (more like observing), and I'm realizing more and more that their lives aren't cheesecake. It's a horrible shame that they HAVE to become slaves to society. As if their jobs weren't causing enough pressure. Does that excuse everything that they do? Hell no, but are we any different?

Fortunately you and i have the gospel, and we were taught not only right and wrong but also good and better. Only a few percent of the world has that knowledge. A celebrity deserves kindness and respect just like everyone else. I don't know Heath Ledger that well on or off the stage, but he was a person, and that was enough! People expect perfection in an actor's looks, behavior, speech, etc ALL THE TIME! No wonder they get depressed, the tabloids knowing every time you kiss, gain a pound, or just trying to relax. I'm sick of it

Anonymous said...

I applaud you.

Mister T. said...

YAY! Awesome words there Kev! I totally agree!

Adam Borg said...

I totally agree with all this. I was standing next to you when that guy at work said "Are you guys still talking about Heath Ledger? It's over, he's dead" and that pissed me off as well.