Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Poor Old Heath

Friendly Fire's post has some interesting discussion (that I haven't looked into) that indicates that Heath Ledger's death may have been due to a self-medication mishap. It will all come out in the next few days I'm sure.
Days?!? Who am I kidding? Exactly two hours after I first read the supremely distasteful Age website headline "Dead in Bed" pasted tabloid-style over his smiling face (they've changed it now be in line with SMH's slightly more tasteful "Ledger Dies In New York: Pills found near star's naked body"), Mele reported that TMZ.com had posted the actual footage of his dead body being removed from the building in which he died.

I always liked Heath Ledger. Everyone did. I think the reason is because he wasn't a spoof or a character like your Gibsons, your Crowes or tabloid fodder. He appeared to be a professional actor who did his job well and that was about it. No weird churches, no awful publicity stunts and a respectable little body of work behind him. I believe the true measure of a celebrity's popularity is the amount of jokes that are made about their deaths. I'm betting on a score of zero for Heath.

I also have a little story about Heath that may or may not be true because it has been on to me second hand (which isn't bad, really): a few years ago two girls that Mele tutored went to Sydney. While they were there they decided to go to the movies during the day. While they were standing there, trying to pick what movie they wanted to see, one of them looks over and sees a scruffy looking young guy wearing a baseball cap and dark glasses doing the same thing.
"Excuse me," says the girl. "Are you Heath Ledger?"
Heath looks a bit sheepish and quietly admits that he is.
"Are you just here to see a movie by yourself?" she asks. Heath says yes.
"Do you want to come and see one with us?" asks the girl. Heath thinks about it and agrees. So they all buy tickets and troop into the movie theatre together and watch the movie. Afterwards he thanks them for their company and they go their separate ways. Heath didn't have to go to the movies by himself and the girls got a little celebrity story to dine out on for the next few years. I bet they're telling it as I type it.


  1. Votive candles. Pretty. Sad about Heath Ledger. It's always the good ones that go too early.

  2. Agree with you and River both. I think I'm still in shock because I've loved him since 'Ten things I hate about you,' his small-but-strong part in 'Monsters Ball' and naturally, 'Brokeback....'

    Drugs, demons, depression, excess. Whatever it was, it's sad that the man who hated publicity and paparazzi ended up as a prize photo opp as a dead body wrapped in black plastic being taken to the morgue.

  3. River - but where? WHERE?

    Milly - Everywhere I turned on the news tonight I had to keep seeing his poor poor Dad having to make that awful statement to the media. Imagine having to do that on the day your son dies. It's just awful that that's the world we live in. WOE! WOE!

  4. Yeah. This is going to sound corny, but I really felt genuinely sad yesterday and today. I never knew the guy, but am addicted enough to Perez and co to know that he hated the paps and certainly looked as though he didn't quite fit in anywhere.

    As for his poor family - parents, daughter, ex-partner....

  5. I think it's also a testament to how much people genuinely liked him that no one has said anything public, not even those bloody awful celebrity sites (sorry, but I genuinely dislike Perez et al), about the fact that he naked in the middle of the day awaiting an appointment with a "masseuse".

    I mean, come on - am I the only bastard who noticed that bit?

  6. Where? Oh gosh, I don't know. Some church somewhere? That's the only thing I know about votives. They are in catholic churches and people light them to pray for something or someone.

    I'm hoping Heath's death was accidental, suicide just doesn't seem right for him.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32