Thursday, January 24, 2008

Thank you for being such a good example, Heath Ledger

I was at work when the department head came in and told us that Heath Ledger was dead. He had came to deliver other business too, but for two minutes that didn’t matter. He told four twentysomething girls, all familiar with his work. We gasped. We thought. As we were filled in on the story, we tried to fill in details, explanations. Or at least I did: “He recently broke up with Michelle Williams. They have a two year-old daughter. Maybe that had something to do with it.”

I used to think that when people said they wanted to die when a relationship was over they were morons, weak, silly people. Now, though, I get it, which was why when a friend mentioned to me yesterday, also referring to Owen Wilson allegedly attempting suicide because his relationship with Kate Hudson was over, that both men were weak, I didn’t agree with her. Heartbreak’s a bitch.

However, a few minutes after saying the above comment referring to Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams’ relationship (and getting no responses except silence) I mentioned that I wouldn’t be surprised if Britney Spears were to off herself soon. And I did use the term “off herself”. “She’s heading down that road…it’s only a matter of time before she’s dead…she’ll just do something stupid that she won’t realize she has done and then forget it…” I rambled on my point as no one responded again.

I’m practically waiting for that piece of news, and I’m sure I’m not alone. The Associated Press has run into a bit of controversy for thinking like me: Debate rages over prewritten obituaries for young, living stars. (Of course the AP has to comment on their own story and use a boring headline.) Obituaries are traditionally written in advance for distinguished people of a certain age; here, 70 is given as a starting point. Obituary writers fill their days doing the research necessary for these profiles. If you’ve ever wondered how a 5,000 word piece on Ronald Reagan is able to go hours after his death broke, that’s why. All they do is change a few words in the first paragraph or two and are ready to go.

Go ahead. I think creating an obit for Britney would be kind of fun, just because depending upon the outlet the style would change. Struggling to turn the caricature of the events of her life into a serious story requires some skill, and everyone else will be fighting to see how comical and over-the-top they can make that news. I hope Britney gets the help she needs so I don’t have to witness any more Britney-fueled media mania. I did like Britney once, back in 1999 with light brown hair, a cute pink top and adorable glasses. She seemed normal and intelligent. She may not gain any of that back, but she should be able to have a life where she can calm down and try to heal.

(By the way, listing Courtney Love as a celebrity who has gotten her act together is both inaccurate and laughable. )

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