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WTF: Stop the Heathgasms!

I know I’m stepping into a bear trap with this, but someone has to say it… Enough with the overblown Heath Ledger tribute bandwagon!

I don’t mind giving honor and respect for the recently departed, but things are getting out of hand. The whole thing sent me over the edge when Daniel Day-Lewis dedicated his SAG award to Heath Ledger.

What the fuck?

I’m making a new term for the deification of a celebrity upon their untimely death: the Heathgasm.

Look, I have nothing against Heath Ledger, and I truly feel sorry for him and the family he left behind. This is a terrible time for them and must be painful beyond belief.

But I really find it hard to feel sad for people – whether they be directors, actors or just rabid fans – who didn’t know the guy and are having a massive freak-out on the scale of Britney Spears on an alcohol-filled binge.

The sad fact is that Heath Ledger had some serious problems. The guy was on six kinds of prescription medication. The only person I know who has that many drugs prescribed to them is my grandmother… and she’s in her 80s.

It’s too bad that all these people who are fawning over his dead celebrity status didn’t give a hoot about his problems before last week. That is something that could have made a difference.

Recently, a colleague of mine suggested a tribute to Heath Ledger in the form of his top ten films. The problem is, the guy has been in only 14 films since his debut in 1999’s 10 Things I Hate About You – and those include flops like The Four Feathers, The Brothers Grimm, Lords of Dogtown, Casanova and The Order.

There’s a reason why individuals in Hollywood and the studios themselves eulogize dead celebrities, and it’s not out of honor or compassion. It’s about profit and making themselves look good. Look what happened to Anna Nicole Smith when she died from a drug overdose that could have felled a rhino. This is the woman who made a career out of being the butt of people’s jokes. After she died, she was considered a saint.

It’s chic right now to dote on Ledger after his untimely demise, but Hollywood is fickle – and ultimately selfish. Like Shannen Doherty’s character in the 80s classic Heathers, this seems to be more about drawing attention to themselves than to the poor guy’s life.

Would Daniel Day Lewis have garnered as much front-page coverage this week if he hadn’t dedicated his award to Ledger? After all, Julie Christie, Javier Bardem and Ruby Dee (another special WTF for Ruby Dee winning, by the way) all won acting awards, didn’t dedicate anything to anyone and they were buried in the stories.

Enough with the Heathgasms, people!

Not Offended Yet? Read Part Two of this Article Here.

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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