Christian readers will instantly get the reference.
At this stage we actually do not know how and why Heath Ledger died. It may turn out to have been a tragic accident, or a mixing of prescription drugs with fatal consequences, rather than anything that can remotely be said to resemble your archetypal sex, drugs and rock and roll exit from life. Repeat, we just don’t know.
People who improve on the shining hour, then, by sermonising on his death tell us more about themselves than they do about Heath Ledger, life, God, religion, or Jesus Christ.
What prompts this thought is a sanctimonious post, by no means I hasten to add the worst of its kind, called Heath Ledger And The Consequences Of Unrepentant Sin. It is as I said mild compared with some, but is nonetheless obtuse and serves the writer’s faith very badly, in my humble opinion. You of course may have a different view. "What a jerk" suggests itself to me as a response more likely than repentance.
UPDATE 7 February
Heath Ledger’s family says the official finding that the 28-year-old actor died of an accidental drug overdose should put an end to speculation about his death.
A New York Medical Examiner’s toxicology report released overnight found that the Australian actor died from acute intoxication from prescription drugs.
Among the drugs found in his body were painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications.
Ledger’s father Kim issued a statement saying the results "put an end to the speculation".
He said while no medications were taken in excess, his son’s death "serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage. While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy."
Yes, the lifestyle clearly cost Heath Ledger in the end, but in a manner much more mundane than the excited versions that have fed our perverted celebrity voyeurism — if you want to look for sin, or for a really sad side of human imperfection, that is as good a place as any to start. It occurs to me that if ever I died in my sleep I too would be found naked, especially in summer, but the media wouldn’t care in my case. So? Imagine: STAR BORN NAKED! as a headline…
Yes, do read the Bible, but also make sure you read the warning labels on prescription medication!
UPDATE 17 March
All the links to this post at the moment come from Without Politicians, the blog I referred to — by no means I hasten to add the worst of its kind you will remember — in fact it is rather interesting, if not always to my taste. The writer seems to have been stung by what I said, doesn’t he? Please keep in mind my real issue, aside from "judge not" and all that, was that the Heath Ledger post was a tad premature. I did feel "what a jerk!" when I read it, and that was the reason. None of us really knew what we were talking about at that stage.