I was wondering how long it would take for a social networking memorial to Heath Ledger to surface. It looks like it started immediately. This really shows some same qualities that spontaneous shrines have:
- Lots of media or objects related to the person that died. Here on Facebook, there's movies, news media, images, user created media, sentiments from people ("I still can't believe it..."). There's a wide range of expressions from disbelief to claims about the validity of a suicide attempt. It is absolutely fascinating how rapidly this amount of information has been put into one place based on one tragic event.
- Mourning in protest. There's some interesting discussion around random bits of media saying that Ledger is in hell because of his portrayal of a gay man in Brokeback Mountain. There are so many expressions of outrage at this claim made by some evangelicals, that it almost seems like the discussion thread on the memorial page has become a space for supporting gay rights. Take a look at this:
"Are people so ignorant these days that they will allow a person to be typecast for a character he portrayed and not the man he truly was? This man was a wonderful father and caring human being. He most certainly is headed nowhere near hell. Shame on these awful people for printing and saying such blasphemy. His sexual orientation (which was heterosexual by the way) should not determine his value as a human being. Have some respect for his family during this difficult time."