Monday, February 4, 2008

Heath Ledger Drug Video A Bright Line for Gossipetiquette

Photo of Heath Ledger courtesy of celebrities-pictures.comWhile my family and I were off sunning ourselves in the luxuriously warm Southern Hemisphere, the stunning news of Oscar nominated actor Heath Ledger's death was the one bit of celebrity gossip our snobby intellectual friends failed to greet with a pensive "Who?" Even our normally blase eighteen year old was blown away by the shocking real life ending.

Although I'm so past the expiration date of jumping on this bandwagon, the controversy lingers. Show the drug laden video; no, no, showing it would be reprehensible and disgusting (see comments). I'm inclined to agree with the latter. Then I began thinking (much to the chagrin of nearby family members detesting the smell of gingko biloba in the morning), at what point does tabloid gossip cross the line of anything goes into the netherworld of the verbotten?

Certainly, nothing is off limits for besieged Britney. That mixed-up not-a-woman-not-a-girl is so hounded by the press, any day now I half expect Congress to pass a celebrity privacy law forbidding paps to camp within a mile of private residences. Let 'em randomly find their prey on the streets like everyone else. Do we really need another senseless waste of life to do what's right?

If I had to propose any kind of gossipetiquette here, I'd say the beacon of star power is inversely proportionate to the appropriateness of tabloid scandal. Which essentially means, the less talented and/or critically acclaimed they come, the more leeway and/or tolerance for smutty gossip. A tribute of sorts to the respect and admiration Heath Ledger commanded in el Lay.

R.I.P., Heath.