Not to be incensitive but...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 3:09 AM GMT

    ... the way we fall apart about a celebrity death and our reasons for mourning them are beyond my relm of comprehention. Can someone explain this to me?

    Celebrities are entertainers. I do not know them in real life and they do not know me. All I know of them is what they protray on the screen. And most importantly, if I died, they could give a rats azz.

    There are alot of celebrities whose craft I am rather fond of. But as a souce of entertainment, I would be as upset about their deaths as I would be if I broke the controller to my playstation.

    My Uncle passed away 30 MINUTES AGO from a painful and discomforting battle with Bone Canser. My family is devestated and I am sitting here. Pissed off because I am not able to do anything to be there to comfort them because I dont have a way to the hospital. And besides that I'm being constantly reminded about how wrapped up we are over Hollywood Hog Wash!

    My Mom has lost her little Brother. My Brother has lost his God Father. I have lost my Uncle.

    This is my personal problem at the moment and I am sorry to lash out like this. But the fact of the matter is, with Celebrity deaths all I have lost is the few more years it will take before I can find Brokeback Mountain in a bargain bin!

    Do you think, that for one moment, if you or one of your family members died that anyone in Hollywood would blink a second eye on your behalf?

    Count your freaking blessings people!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 3:24 AM GMT
    I may be wrong, but its not so much that it was an actor as it is that its a tragedy of our youth, that so many young people with good future prospects are somehow not seeing a reason for hope in life, so they actually feel that death is preferable to their hopelessness. To me this is just another example of what is also happening to our young soldiers having to fight a war not their own, they've watched terrible tradedies and cannot see beyond their temporary hopelessness. The attention over this actors suicide isn't, I don't think, solely because of his status, we just see a loss. everyone has talents, value, love, and as with your uncle right now, is a loss when removed from among us. I hope you can quickly join with your family, bless you and may your family in your loss, and may you find some healing.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 6:48 AM GMT
    I guess what I don't get, and what I don't get everytime someone dies, whether they are close to me or not, is why does everyone get so mounful about it? Yeah, it's sad, I can see that. Yes, you'll miss the person. But the mourning, moping, lingering sadness I don't get. Every time I've buried a loved one, I've said good-bye to them at the graveyard. Death is such an integral and inalienable part of life that it just seems very redunant to me to dwell so much on it. Especially to the point where you are letting someone who is gone affect your life. Maybe I'm callous and insensitive, but I choose to think of it as that tireless old cliche of not mourning the death but celebrating the life. Sure, this person is gone, but they had their life, and it may have been hard, and it may have sucked royally at times, but I'm of the very firm opinion that life is good. Period. No matter what the situation, the fact that a person is alive to think, see, hear, smell, taste and touch is a good and precious thing. So rather than mourn that they no longer have the ability to touch, see, hear, smell, and taste, celebrate that you do, and celebrate that they did. Death is probably the most common thing in the world, so why treat it with such shock and sadness? One of my personal mottos is "Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it." The person who has passed rose up and lived their life. Revel in the glorious moments of their lives as you enrich yours with the benefit of this person's impact that they had on your life. Live on, boldly and courageously, with the cherished memory of the person in your heart, but not the sadness in your soul.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 6:51 AM GMT
    Im not sure, I didn't really care more or less than any other death I hear about. I just realize its another reminder about how precious and fragile life is. Heath Ledger or Keith Jedger....doesn't matter to me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 7:26 AM GMT
    That's awful and I am very sorry for your loss. I walked in to see my mother breath her last breath after a two year battle with brain cancer this last September. She suffered dementia so bad at times she had to be put in four-point restraints as she kicked and screamed and told her mother,siblings, children and friends she was hated them and was going to kill them, and in her mental state, she meant it with every fiber of her being. Within an hour of her death one of my dear friends and coworkers died of Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was only 22 and his husband, parents and sister watched as he slipped quietly from this life to the next.

    Heath Ledger's life was no less valuable because he was celebrity and in the public eye. No less valuable because the media deemed his death news worthy. No less valuable because his death might have been self inflicted. No less valuable because the media and his friends and family did not know your uncle, my mother and my friend.

    If you are going to be hurt and angry, be hurt and angry. But do not discount or dismiss the loss of another life or the grief of his loved ones because you're in pain yourself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 7:42 AM GMT
    My heart goes out to the original poster.

    I think you will find most people are not falling apart but are showing their signes of respect pretty much as people would do for another person they dont know closely. Granted their are those that are emotionally imature who will be weeping into their pillows, many a young gay boy no doubt with visions of their hero cowboy coming to save them from their life that doesnt fit the norm. But thats escapism and less a reflection of a loss at the person more of what they symbolise to them personally.

    I personally couldnt fathom the way people fell apart over the death of Diana, all that mass hysteria that followed. When you have lost someone close it puts life more in perspective.

    Mind you I dont get grown men crying when their sports team loses! I guess we are all different and we should celebrate our diversity rather than taking issue at it
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 8:14 AM GMT
    I'm sorry for your loss, MikeAlva.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 8:17 AM GMT
    My condolences, MikeAva. x
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 9:00 AM GMT
    First... MikeAlva, my sincere condolences.

    Since the question was posed, I'll answer. Yes, a few people in Hollywood and in many other places would take notice at my death as I know people from many places, including Hollywood.

    No one's death is any more or less important or relevant than any other. All life is connected, all life is sacred. That is what I have been taught and that is what I believe. I've lost many relatives, in the early 80s I lost many, many friends to AIDS... some of whom died in my arms. I lost my lover 11 years ago and he also died in my arms.

    Speaking for myself, it is not that he was a "celebrity"... it is that he was a brilliant artist and a fellow human being. Celebrities are entertainers... but they are just as human as anyone else. Because I believe that all life is connected and sacred, I also believe that any death of any person diminishes us all.

    I do understand your anger and you have every right to be angry. Likewise, those who feel grief or sadness at the passing of Heath have just as much right to their feelings, regardless of whether they knew him or not. We are all human. Every life, or death, counts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 9:23 AM GMT
    Hey Mike:

    I am very sorry for your loss and your family's loss.

    Jim
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 11:52 AM GMT
    With celebrities, it isn't the person itself, I think, it's what they represent that we mourn. Princess Diana brought beauty, glamour and fun to the stodgy old Windsors, and the reaction to her death was partly about that. When a talented, good looking young man like Ledger dies, a part of it is the feeling that those things were supposed to insulate him from the pains and fears and annoyances we all have in life---AND THEY DIDN'T. We mourn Heath Ledger because we realize that there is nothing to save us from life's troubles except ourselves. Money doesn't do it. Celebrity doesn't do it. Being hot doesn't do it---look at the death this year of Brett Mycles...or my friend Colin, a drop-dead gorgeous bodybuilder who died at age 29. Looking amazing didn't save him either.

    I am very sorry for your loss, MikeAlva. In 2007, I lost five of my dearest friends. FIVE. It's been the worst year for me since the height of the AIDS epidemic.
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Jan 23, 2008 12:46 PM GMT
    Sorry for your loss. I loss my parents . My bf leave me. I am alone . Nobody mourn my loss , well I am not a celebrities. It fact of life.

    I love Heath Ledger because he have a gut to play closetted gay men in Brokeback. Regardless you agree or not, he and Jake G brought faces to those men who are force to enter Brokeback marriage because he are expected to. Eventhough just acting he bring the issue of injustice toward gay men to mainstream audience. Now probably straight people will understand the hell we go thru. Gay men like me living in gay oppress country, outback Australia, Bible Belt USA and some many countries where homosexuality is a crime. That why I love Heath Ledger, just like I be sad if James Wilby or Hugh Grant die (they do Maurice in the 80's, same topic as Brokeback).

    If Heath Ledger just do The Joker, I dont think I really give it much thought.
  • BlackJock79

    Posts: 437

    Jan 23, 2008 3:19 PM GMT
    I fall apart about death in general. Loss of life is just so sad to me, I lost 3 important people to me last year, my best friend, my aunt and my great uncle. I'm not getting teary eyed about him JUST because he's a celeb, but just thinking about all the lives he's touched... I think I'm sad for those that actually knew him. And he always seemed like such a great guy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 3:31 PM GMT
    I am sorry for your loss MikeAlva...
    Death is just something inevitable, sooner or later we will all die, but when someone you really cared about dies, you just don't think about it racionaly. I lost my grandfather recently, everytime I think of him I get teary-eyed, because he raised me, and showed me things my parents couldn't, so there are moments when I think that death is unfair, but then again, I live knowing that he wouldn't like me to be depressed about it...But there are memories on all good things that help you not to forget the persons that were part of your life once...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 3:32 PM GMT
    Im sorry zachariazol, I dont mean to make light of the situation or disrespect you in anyway as your English is a million miles better than any feeble attempt I could make at Malaysian, but I had to laugh as I found myself reading yourself in the style of Borat. Sorry it just made me chuckle in the midst of a bleak thread
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 4:29 PM GMT
    I am very sorry to hear about the death of your beloved uncle, MikeAlva. May you and your family get through this difficult period with as much ease as possible.

    On the topic of your question, I don't think people are lamenting the loss of a specific individual but rather the idea of the person. Brad Renfro and Heath Ledger are stand ins for the promise of youth. And I think we identify with them on some level. I lived in Seattle in the early 90s and saw Nirvana. Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains before they were even famous, so that grunge scene was a part of my life. When I heard that Kurt Cobain had died I felt like I had lost a cousin.

    It is no more tragic when these people die. I thought everyone went overboard with JFK, Jr. myself, but that grieving was from older people who remembered the days of Camelot. To me he was a son of privilege who really never shared his father's vision of bringing opportunity to the masses. I was sorry for his family but not for our nation.

    I think Heath Ledger is special to the gay community simply because he played a role that few straight actors would in "Brokeback." He and Jake Gyllenhal will always have a place in my heart for bringing such beautiful performances to that great story.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 4:30 PM GMT
    MikeAlva: Thanks for opening up on here. Sometimes blogs and forums are a great way to let a little something out and be reminded that you're not alone, or even just that things will be okay eventually.

    I'm very sorry about your uncle. I've been in the cancer club too (by proxy...too many of us are), and it's nearly, or likely, impossible to find anything good in it. Hang in there and be sure, at some point, to pay attention to yourself as much as you are paying attention to the ones you love.

    My next reply is not about you, so don't take personally what I have say.

    Regards.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 4:42 PM GMT
    MikeAlva,

    My sincere condolences to you & your family! It is a harsh reality to see people in pain, no matter who they are and whether we know them or not, look at the numerous responses for support you've rallied for yourself here; people are genuinely good & don't want to know that others are suffering in any way. You know just as the rest of us that yours and your family's mourning will pass, however never forgetting your Uncle, so hang in there as best as you can and do not be afraid to show your pain to those closest to you, you'll need them.

    As for mourning a celebrity, it's just taking someone at our level & magnifying it; a young person with so much to offer and could possibly do, yet the life, the energy, the spirit was cut short for whatever reason. Again, as humans who tend to be compassionate, we don't want to see others in pain, period.

    MikeAlva, thank you for sharing! Take care!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 4:57 PM GMT
    Mike, celebrities may be normal people, but they have a larger than life job. As, Julia Roberts (love her) said, I am an ordinary person with an extraordinary job. She's right, she gets a script, portrays the words on it as emotional and real to life as she can and then she goes home, doesn't sound so extraordinary , right? However, it becomes extraordinary after millions of people SEE it, what she's done is packaged and sold to people all over the globe and they view her emotional portrayal of the script and they identify with her character's feelings, they compare it to their own, thus a connection is made. In short, they know her, maybe not in the traditional sense, but they've seen her down and out (Pretty Woman), they've seen her afraid (Sleeping with the Enemy), they've seen her overcome great odds, (Erin Brokavich), and they've seen her cry, (every movie she's been in.) They know her.
    Naturally, if she dies, people feel sad. I can personally say that if she died, I would wear black for weeks and i'd mourn her the same way these queens are mourning Heith ledger. Let them have it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 5:07 PM GMT
    When a death occurs, people feel angry, sad, and depressed because the relationship is being terminated. The absence causes the grief...this is one level of it.

    On a deeper level, when people feel "traumatized" by a death it is not so much the person they are mourning, but the confrontation with thier own mortality. Unlike other societies in other times, the US has yet to properly deal with death and that's why it's seen as something disrupting the flow of time rather than a continuation of it.

    Celebrities have replaced the gods and goddesses of old in a culture which worships avarice, competition, and conformative individualism --- it's a wonder more famous folks don't knock off from the pressure.

    2 cents.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 5:10 PM GMT
    "the US has yet to properly deal with death and that's why it's seen as something disrupting the flow of time rather than a continuation of it."

    I completely agree!!!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 5:13 PM GMT
    My sorrows to you MikeAlva. It's always hard to lose someone you know and love and I think even harder to watch those around suffer in grief. The best you can do is to be there for them, for yourself and for the rest of those who cared. Cry, hug and share in the memories. It's all a part of the grieving process and it can take years to get over...nothing wrong with that.

    As for celebrities, yes...we get caught up in a fantasy world. It's sad when anyone dies but you're right, it's not the same as losing the one you know, love and will miss forever.

    God's strength my friend.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 5:14 PM GMT
    Again, much respect to MikeAlva (see previous reply).

    ==========

    I think it is ridiculous to obsess over celebrity. I tend to shy away from everything Hollywood. But on occasion you get an artist with integrity, and even more rarely someone who puts their career on the line for something they believe in. Heath Ledger was one of those guys, and there are so many in the gay community, especially in rural areas, who definitely benefited from Brokeback Mountain and his work in portraying his character. He touched a community, and so even a cynical, anti-Hollywood guy like myself feels the need to say something out of respect for him.

    We obsess about our bodies, our looks, our music, our love or hate of Abercrombie, what is cute and fuzzy and worth saving and what is dinner, who above us on the glowing screen we’d like to bang, etc. But when we hear about someone influential who felt so desperate about life that he either decided to indulge in a fatal level of drugs, or simply killed himself intentionally, that puts our aforementioned little problems into perspective. So many of us pause, reflect, maybe mourn a little, and then (sometimes quickly, sometimes not) we find our own perspective and get back to the larger problems the world, our society, and our community faces.

    I watched a lot of TV last night, but I did not spend a single second watching the TV news, because I know that the media will focus on this 24/7 for far too long. Why? It sells ads. Heath Ledger needs to be remembered. Please do, gay men. But don’t get too caught up in the hoopla. There’s little else left to do but get on with our lives and tackle the bigger problems out there.

    This being said, it is immoral and disrespectful to try and take away someone’s mourning before they’re ready. I lost my Dad two years ago, suddenly. The death of someone who influenced us, whether in our own families, or to a lesser extent on the big screen (for better or for worse, an important influence in our culture), is something we feel we need to stop and acknowledge. Respect is due. Anyone who tries to take that away from those of us who have felt loss, all in the name of “there are worse tragedies in this world” has obviously never delivered a eulogy. Anyone who tries to diminish how we feel, right at that moment that we internalize the loss of someone who touched us, has no sense of timing or tact, and is one of those “ends justify the means” people. It is characteristic of an adolescent mind.

    Side story: The Sunday after 9/11/01 I went to the local Austin church to mourn and get the metaphorical “group hug”. But that’s not what we got. I was disappointed at the minister. Instead of delivering a gentle sermon on the tragedy, he went into a litany of political and cultural reasons why we were attacked. Were his words correct? Eventually, yes. But his actions, in the context of that week, were dead wrong. It was way too soon. As my minister (same denomination) back home in Mass. said “your [Austin] minister screwed up.” His adolescent mind failed to realize tact and timing, and the needs of the congregation. I walked away from that Sunday service in 2001 disappointed, confused, and as rattled as ever. The minister failed. I am still looking for a church here in Austin.

    Anyway back to today and to our community. Although this is a few weeks late, I look at my age and life experience and resolve in this new year to never again argue with an adolescent. After all, few things impact a teenage mind quite as profoundly as being ignored.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 5:19 PM GMT
    Since you brought it up, I still say the US didn't pause long enough after 9/11 to really let the mourning process begin. Our Commander in Chief encouraging people to shop and all of that or bomb Afghanistan, well, that was NOT what needed to happen after such a trauma. Anyway...back to the regularly scheduled program.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jan 23, 2008 11:50 PM GMT
    Yeah. This administration's choreography after 9/11 was shocking.