The Last of Mr Ledger

Bill Weintraub

Bill Weintraub

The Last of Mr Ledger


I'm returning to the case of Heathcliff Ledger, because several pieces of new information have come to light which add, in one case literally, to the portrait we have of this "gay icon" and darling of the anti-masculine cultural left.

As I discussed in The Brokenbacked Beatification of Heathcliff Ledger, following Ledger's death in January, segments of the liberal press, including lead film critic A O Scott of the New York Times, and based on Ledger's role in Brokeback Mountain, declared him to be a secular saint, while his family and PR people conducted a concerted and well-funded campaign to make sure that no untoward fact would mar the memory of the world's first "gay cowboy."

That included quashing a video, which was to be shown on TV by Entertainment Tonight, in which Mr Ledger allegedly admitted to using drugs daily for many years.

So -- different people within the culture, ranging from film critics to family, went on a campaign to insure that Mr Ledger would be remembered as a saintly figure.

And the campaign was a success.

Because even after the NYC medical examiner's office had determined and declared that Ledger died of an overdose of prescription medications, Ledger's treatment by the press was exceptionally gentle.

No truly substantive questions were raised about why he may have been using such a strange mix of prescription drugs, how long he'd been doing so, where and from whom he'd gotten them, etc.

So the basic who, what, when, where, and why's of journalism -- were simply, in the case of Heathcliff Ledger, forgotten.

Finally, on February 17, 2008 -- that is, eleven days after the ME's report had detailed the bizarre mix of drugs Ledger had been using, and after a number of experts had stated that he was probably addicted to those drugs -- the New York Times did run an article -- albeit well concealed in the Fashion section -- titled Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Hounded by The Media, in which it admitted that Ledger and his family and PR people had been given a free pass.

Why was that, according to the Times?

Well, being the New York Times, the first question raised was -- sexism.

In other words, asked the Times, was the mild treatment of bad boy Heath due to the fact that he was a male;

while females like Britney Spears were savaged repeatedly by the celebrity press?

No, the Times more or less concluded, that wasn't what was at work.

Rather, the Times claimed, it was a demographic.

About 80% of the followers of celebrity gossip, the folks who read celebrity magazines and watch and visit celebrity TV and websites, are women, said the Times.

And those women are far more interested in stories about other women -- than they are in stories about men.

And women are particularly interested in other women with whose plight they can identify.

For example, observed the managing editor of People magazine,

...the Britney Spears story continues to flourish precisely because women are fascinated by the challenges facing a young mother.

"If Britney weren't a mother, this story wouldn't be getting a fraction of attention it's getting," Mr. Hackett said. "The fact that the custody of her children is at stake is the fuel of this narrative. If she were a single woman, bombing around in her car with paparazzi following, it wouldn't be the same."

Does that make sense?

Sure and to a point.

But there's no getting past the fact that the Ledger-drug video was quashed because powerful people in the entertainment community demanded that it be quashed.

As the Times admitted:

...some believe the power of a celebrity's publicist has more bearing on coverage than gender. "Entertainment Tonight" reversed its plans to show the video of Mr. Ledger following protests from stars like Natalie Portman and Josh Brolin organized by ID, which represented Mr. Ledger and still represents Ms. Williams [his one-time partner and mother of his daughter].


There's no getting around a plain fact:

That a video in which a major Hollywood star, who'd died under mysterious and highly suspect circumstances, discussed his casual and indeed constant drug use, was suppressed because other Hollywood stars and movers and shakers demanded that it be suppressed.

Which of course was in their own self-interest.

Because these are people who want to have, and indeed often must have, in order to make vast sums of money, control of their public image.

But such control by rich and famous people who so strongly impact the nation's and indeed the world's culture -- is not in the interests of the rest of society.

Fact is, these people manufacture what I call "cultural messages" -- messages about how to behave -- which greatly influence and determine societal norms -- norms, again, which are about behavior; and society therefore has a right to question how these folks are themselves behaving in their own private lives.

And that's particularly true of someone like Ledger, whose most important and influential role was that of a "gay / bisexual cowboy" who buttfucked another "gay / bisexual cowboy" -- and thus sent a message to literally millions of men all over the globe that that's how males should relate sexually to other males:

via buttfuck.

Again, as I observed in the Beatification post, it's the power of film.

Brokeback Mountain was one thing when it was a short story -- a literary exercise.

It became quite another when it was made into a movie whose purpose was to put across an analist message.

At that point Brokeback made the leap from literature -- to propaganda.

The same sort of propaganda -- and I don't hesitate to say this -- that Leni Riefenstahl produced for the Nazis with such stunning effect when she made Triumph of the Will.

Propaganda which was designed to influence and dictate -- behavior.

If we, in turn, are opposed to that propaganda, we have a right and in fact an obligation to look into, when possible, the private lives and motivations of those who produced the propaganda, to see what those lives tell us about the validity of the images and ideas they're putting forth.

Now: During the making of the movie, we were told, Heath Ledger became romantically involved with the actress Michelle Wiliams, who'd played his on-screen wife.

This relationship was depicted as idyllic, and as resulting in the birth of a daughter, Matilda.

What about the actor, Jake Gyllenhaal, who was the on-screen bottom to Mr Ledger's top?

They became, we were told repeatedly, friends -- but that's all.

Indeed, when one goes back and reads statements made by both Ledger and Gyllenhaal in 2005, when Brokeback was released, it's striking how anti-male-male love -- these guys publically were.

Ledger, for example, told a gay movie magazine that rumors that he'd ever had a sexual or romantic interest in another man, were "fucking ridiculous."

Gyllenhaal was more circumspect, but no less, in his way, damning.

Regarding the scenes where he kissed Ledger's character, Gyllenhaal said, "As an actor, I think we need to embrace the times we feel most uncomfortable."


As in ewwww, yuck, someone's paying me a lot of money so I have to kiss a man.

As to the on-screen sex, he said, it was like "doing a love scene with a woman I'm not particularly attracted to."


Was it?

The analogy doesn't quite hold.

In reality, in those sex scenes, he wasn't doing a love scene with a woman to whom he wasn't attracted;

rather, he was playing the part of a pseudo-woman who gets anally penetrated by another man.

That's quite a bit different.

Gyllenhaal also claimed that he'd "never really been attracted to men sexually," but that he wouldn't be "afraid of it if it happened."


Because after Ledger's death Gyllenhaal went into seclusion, issuing no public statement whatsoever.

Of course it's possible that he said something privately to Williams and to the Ledger family -- but he said nothing publically.

Why not?

It would have been so easy for him to issue the following sort of statement:

"Heath Ledger was a great actor and a good friend.

"Like the rest of the entertainment community, I'm devastated by his loss.

"My heart goes out to Michelle, Matilda, and Heath's family."


That wasn't hard.

But he didn't do it.

If there was, between him and Ledger, no there there -- then why could he not say something?

Let's get back to Ledger and his female co-star, Michelle Williams.

Once again, we were told that they'd fallen in love, and had a daughter, and moved to Brooklyn together, where they'd set up house in a suitably expensive brownstone.

And this was the public image of Ledger which his family and publicists wished us to have:

the Brooklyn dad who doted on his daughter.

But, as it turned out, this was not to be the last image of Ledger which would be put before the public.

For there was another.

A portrait -- quite literally -- for which he'd sat and planned when he was home in Perth at Christmas, 2007 -- less than a month before he died:

Heath Ledger makes striking image for Archibald Prize

By Elizabeth Fortescue

February 21, 2008

Ledger helped develop concept for Archibald portrait

Striking triple image shows star haunted and intense

WHEN artist Vincent Fantauzzo arrived at Heath Ledger's family home in Perth last December, Ledger's mother made coffee and pikelets to fuel the portrait session between the men.

Ledger was relaxed and happy and a homely vibe was in the air as actor and artist became absorbed in their sitting.

But Fantauzzo's resultant painting of the late actor projects an entirely different feel.

Ledger appears three times in the painting, which is titled Heath. In the central figure, he looks haunted and intense. On either side, he whispers secretively to himself from behind a shielding hand.

It is a dark painting in which the actor, who died in New York just weeks after the sitting, appears to be assailed by mischievous mind-spirits.

Fantauzzo yesterday delivered the painting to the Art Gallery of NSW as an entry in the Archibald Prize.

He said Ledger had been excited about the portrait, had known it was to be an Archibald entry and had thrown himself into the sittings.

"He was looking forward to everything to come," Fantauzzo said.

Ledger and Fantauzzo worked together on the portrait's concept. One of the secondary figures was originally going to be screaming, but Fantauzzo scrapped the idea as being too dominating for the central figure.

He said the whispering in the painting represented Ledger's inner thoughts which, as a private man, he was inclined to withhold.

"I guess it's the whispering, the voices, the frustration or something comical -- all the different ways that we might be thinking in our own mind," Fantauzzo said.

Like all Archibald subjects, Ledger signed Fantauzzo's entry form to vouch that he had been painted from life.


The Art Gallery of NSW said 2008 is so far a bumper year for Archibald portraits, with 249 delivered already. Entries close on Friday and the winner is announced on March 7.

Here are a couple more, very brief, stories about the Ledger portrait

Weeks before his death, Heath Ledger traveled home to Australia, and agreed to let artist Vincent Fantauzzo paint a portrait of him.

Ironically, the picture is about death. Many are saying Heath's depression is eminent in this painting, while many say it was part of the artist's vision.

Fantauzzo explains, "It was about how we all have different consciences and voices in our head that tell us what to do and how to react. They're not good or bad, they're just voices that we hear, telling us how to behave. That's what the other figures are in the painting."

Here's a last look of Heath Ledger through the eyes of Melbourne based artist Vincent Fantauzzo.

Fantauzzo visited the late Brokeback Mountain star at his family home in Perth last December, a short time before his death from an 'accidental overdose' in New York last month.

According to the painter the actor disturbingly helped come up with the portrait concept wanting it to be about 'voices' in his head.

The artist completed the haunting image of the topless actor with shabby hair shortly after Ledger's death and now intends to enter it into the Archibald art prize.

Fantauzzo told the New York Post newspaper: 'Before we did the painting we talked to all hours.'

'The night before, we talked about the painting and about art, and about all sorts of things.'

He says Ledger helped him come up with the concept adding, it 'was an idea we discussed together and came up with ... it was about how we all have different consciences and voices in our head that tell us what to do and how to react.'

'They're not good or bad, they're just voices that we hear, telling us how to behave. That's what the other figures are in the painting.'

'Heath was really serious and focused and almost in a meditation. He's quite serious' says Fantauzzo about the sitting.

So: one article says that Ledger looks "haunted";

another says the portrait is about "depression" and "death";

and all agree it's about the "voices" in Ledger's head -- "voices" telling him how to behave.

The artist also insists that the content of the portrait was in large part Ledger's idea, and that Ledger "was really serious and focused" during the discussions and sittings.

Which means that this was how he saw himself and wanted to be seen.

Now, Ledger's family hasn't disavowed the portrait, nor sought to have it suppressed.

Indeed, while the portrait of Ledger didn't win the prize, it's still on display on the Archibald site.

So presumably the artist is telling the truth:

that Ledger agreed to sit for the picture;

that the concept was Ledger's;

that Ledger signed an entry form to confirm he'd been painted from life;

and that this is what Ledger looked like in December of 2007:

In which case, we have to ask:

Who was the real Heath Ledger?

Because the figure in this portrait is neither the contented son described by the Ledger family, nor the doting Brooklyn dad described by most of the press.

Rather, he's a drug addict, who might as well be homeless.

And who's hearing voices, albeit his own, in his head.

Remember that the artist repeatedly stated and stressed, in every interview, that the concept for the portrait was Ledger's.

And that, to some degree, the artist had to restrain Ledger's vision:

One of the secondary figures was originally going to be screaming, but Fantauzzo scrapped the idea as being too dominating for the central figure.


And although the family has insisted, again repeatedly. that Ledger was happy and relaxed during his Perth visit, that's not what the painting shows.

It shows, as Robert Loring has said, A male who's condemned his own self:

Not only do men condemn men but many a man condemns his own self and this too is a result of the upside down values we have in society. A man condemns himself for his own innate masculinity because society says natural masculinity is to be shamed not prized. Self condemnation is the gateway to Hell and that Hell exists in our own minds. Self condemnation leads to a whole host of ills including addictions, suicide, and psychotic murderous rage. There is nothing worse than a man who has condemned his own self publicly or secretively. For, such a man has chosen to defy his own nature and stand in the ranks of the unnatural. That is what many males have done as they have locked themselves into the dis-ease of heterosexism.

Robert: "Self condemnation is the gateway to Hell and that Hell exists in our own minds. Self condemnation leads to a whole host of ills including addictions, suicide, and psychotic murderous rage. There is nothing worse than a man who has condemned his own self publicly or secretively. For, such a man has chosen to defy his own nature and stand in the ranks of the unnatural."

Had Ledger condemned his own self?

So it would appear.

He was living in and experiencing a Hell which was entirely within his own mind:

Remember, this was NOT a man who'd soldiered in Iraq and was experiencing PTSD.

Rather, this was a male, as A O Scott was so pleased to report, who'd rejected the heroic role, and chosen instead to play "troubled, brooding, self-destructive young men."


In his appraisal of Ledger, Scott kept insisting that we should not interpolate from the screen to Ledger's personal life.


In point of fact, Ledger was playing himself:

A "troubled, brooding, self-destructive young man."

That, once we get past all the PR lies, is the truth about Heath Ledger.

A truth which NO ONE wants to face, because of its implications for the culture's embrace of "gorgeous gay cowboys" who, it just so happens, buttfuck their way to Hell.

The reason this image was so popular

was that it suggested that a straight-identified guy could "play" at buttfucking his best buddy, and then go right back to being the All-American, or All-Australian, dad.

The truth is a lot harsher.

That for males who reject Masculinity, what awaits is a Hell of their own making.

A Hell of self condemnation which includes, as Robert said, addiction, suicide, and murderous psychotic rage.

Yet it's the public image which has prevailed.

The portrait, though it got some play in the press, has by and large been forgotten, while the Brooklyn dad is still put before the public.

This disparity between the public image -- and the private Ledger -- brings to mind these well-known lines by Gilbert -- of Gilbert and Sullivan -- from HMS Pinafore:

Things are seldom what they seem;
Skim milk masquerades as cream.

This is the Ledger story -- and the story of Brokeback:

Things are seldom what they seem,
Skim milk masquerades as cream;
Highlows pass as patent leathers;
Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers.

Black sheep dwell in every fold;
All that glitters is not gold;
Storks turn out to be but logs;
Bulls are but inflated frogs.

"Bulls are but inflated frogs."


Who was the inflated frog in Heath Ledger's story?

Well, one possible and very likely candidate was Heath Ledger's own dad, Kim Ledger -- who also appears to have been something of a black sheep within his own family's fold.

Because, just a couple weeks after the portrait appeared, we got a new look at the Ledger family -- and Heath as a doting father -- when it developed that Heath Ledger's will, made in 2003, made no mention of his daughter, but instead left everything to his parents and sisters.

Of course, in 2003, Ledger hadn't yet met Michelle Williams, let alone conceived Matilda.

But he had plenty of time -- two years -- after Matilda was born -- to get around to calling his attorney and having the will redrawn.

Why didn't he do that?

It's been said, in his defense, that Michelle Williams has her own money.

And that's true.

All three of the principals in this story are children of privilege.

The money in Ledger's family comes from engineering and ownership of a foundry; Jake Gyllenhaal's parents were part of the Hollywood elite; while Michelle Williams' father made a killing on the US stock market.

But Williams' father also got in some trouble along the way, and is currently living in Australia and fighting extradition back to the US, where he's been charged with tax evasion.

Charges which could well cost him his fortune.

While Kim Ledger, Heath's father, was accused by his own brothers of looting their grandfather's -- Heath's great-grandfather's -- estate in the 1990s.

Looting the estate of $2.5 million.

Heath's uncles had to take Heath's dad to court to get him to stop.

And they've warned that little Matilda won't find it so easy to get money from Kim Ledger.

Might that be true?


In which case Heath's neglect of Matilda -- isn't so innocent or without consequences.

And Heath had to know that -- because he certainly knew that his father had been taken to court over his grandfather's estate.

Heath Ledger had good reason to know, in other words, that estates can be troublesome -- and that his father might not be reliable with money.

What is Heath Ledger's estate worth by the way?

Well, we're told that Ledger was paid $3,000,000 per movie and that he'd sold his beachfront house in Australia for $7,000,000;

and that his estate was estimated to be worth, after Batman is released, at least $30,000,000.

While Michelle Williams' father, from Australia, has already complained that the assets of the estate aren't being fully accounted for.

Once again, there will be consequences to Heath's neglect of Matilda.

As there have been and will be to Heath's popularization of anal penetration in Brokeback.

Is he the sole person responsible for the romanticization and popularization of anal penetration?

Of course not.

But he played, literally and figuratively, a prominent role in a buttfuck romance.

Translation: he helped validate, in a very major way, anal -- validate it for millions of people who might otherwise never have been exposed to it.

Does that sort of validation lead to an increase in anally-transmitted infections and diseases?

Of course.

Just looking at Ledger's native Australia, we can see a very high HIV prevalence among "men who have sex with men," which is accompanied by periodic "surges" in incidence not just of new HIV infections, but of other sexually transmitted -- in the case of MSM usually anally-transmitted -- infections like syphilis:

New HIV Cases Among MSM Expected To Increase By Almost 75% In Australian State By 2015, Report Finds

05 Mar 2008

New HIV cases among men who have sex with men are expected to increase by 73.5% by 2015 in the Australian state Victoria if current trends continue, according to a report released Monday by the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, The Australian reports.

The report analyzed a 44% annual increase in the number of new HIV cases nationally among MSM. It found that the number of new HIV cases among MSM in Victoria increased by 96% between 1999 and 2006. New cases in Victoria among MSM likely will increase by another 73.5% by 2015, according to the report. The report predicted a 20% increase in new HIV cases among MSM in Queensland, which has reported a 68% increase in new cases among MSM since 1999. The report also found that new cases increased by 7.3% in New South Wales since 1999 (Cresswell, The Australian, 3/3). Despite the increase in New South Wales, the report predicted that the number of new cases among MSM in the state is expected to decrease by 12% by 2015. The number of new HIV cases nationwide will increase by 8.5% if current trends continue, according to the report (Medew, The Age, 3/3).

Nearly one in five MSM who were newly diagnosed with HIV contracted the virus from people in the early stages of infection, the report said (Alexander, Sydney Morning Herald, 3/3). In addition, the report found that one in three new cases were transmitted by men who did not know their HIV-positive status. About 13% of men nationwide are unaware they are living with HIV (AAP/Brisbane Times, 3/3).

Reduced condom use among MSM and an increase in other sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and syphilis, are contributing to the increase in HIV cases, according to David Wilson, lead author of the report and head of the infectious diseases modeling unit at NCHECR (The Australian, 3/3).


What's the reality of the relationship between anal penetration and sexually-transmitted infections like HIV and syphilis?

As I've discussed in many, many posts and articles on this Man2Man Alliance site, anal penetration is an extremely efficient means of infection.

In the case of HIV, the efficiency appears to be one on one.

In other words, where it might take ten acts, on average, of vaginal penetration to transmit HIV, only one act is required to transmit HIV anally.

Anal is very efficient.

And that's because of course both the anus and rectum are comparatively delicate, "exit-only" mechanisms which neither evolved nor were designed to be penetrated.

During penetration, they're damaged immediately, vascular tissue -- that is, blood -- is exposed, and any pathogen either in the insertive partner's semen or on the surface of his penis, gains entrance to the receptive partner's bloodstream.

These facts do not constitute some form of secret or esoteric knowledge.

Every study conducted since the discovery of HIV in 1984 has confirmed that anal penetration is the leading and almost only means of sexual transmission of HIV among gay males.

Indeed, the most recent study of HIV transmission and HIV prevalence among gay males, which appeared in September 2007, and then seemed to sink without a trace --

Goodreau, SM and Golden, MR. Biological and demographic causes of high HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevalence in men who have sex with men. STI 2007; 83: 458-462 --

argued that the efficiency of anal is so high, that even were gay-identified men significantly less promiscuous than straight-identified guys, there would still be an MSM HIV epidemic.

Let's repeat that:

Goodreau and Golden concluded that the efficiency of anal penetration in spreading HIV and other STI is so high, that even were gay-identified men to be significantly less promiscuous than straight-identified guys, there would still be an MSM HIV epidemic.

And epidemics of other STI, like syph.

Of course the authors didn't call for a change in prevention techniques -- ie, condoms.

No, no, nothing so radical as that.

Instead, they said,

the level of behavior change [condoms] required to bring the HIV epidemic under control among US MSM is substantially greater than for heterosexuals. This alone does not suggest new public health interventions for MSM, but does reinforce the importance of the existing ones, and emphasizes that they may represent successful efforts even if they do not appear as such when measured against benchmarks derived from other communities.

I love that -- don't you?

Goodreau and Golden argue that we should stick with the *existing* "public health interventions" and recognize that they may be successful -- even when they fail.

Talk about Orwellian.

The folks at the Ministry of Truth couldn't have said it better if they tried.

But that's the prevailing view in what's called the "AIDS Prevention Community" -- but which is actually an AIDS Continuation, or more properly, AIDS Promotion Community.

Since we know how to prevent AIDS and have known for the last twenty-four years -- the only reasonable conclusion one can reach about our prevailing "public health interventions" is that they're not meant to prevent, but rather to promote, HIV.

Now, how many of the gay-identified males who are targeted by these "prevention / promotion" campaigns can expect to get infected with HIV?

The answer, as, again, we've discussed many times, is ALL THOSE WHOSE BEHAVIOR PUTS THEM AT RISK.

That is, all those who engage in anal.

Because anal is very efficient -- as Goodreau and Golden acknowledge.

That's why researchers warn of skyrocketing rates of infection or talk about "increases of 73.5%" as they did in the Medical News article.

Because that's the epidemiological logic of MSM HIV.

So long as gay males engage in anal, they're at enormous risk for HIV.

And over time, all of them who are at risk -- that is, who engage in buttfucking as so attractively modeled by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal -- can expect to get infected.

What does the future hold for guys who, thanks to cultural luminaries like Heath and Jake, get infected with HIV?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, it's not real pleasant:

AIDS Patients Face Downside of Living Longer


Published: January 6, 2008

CHICAGO - John Holloway received a diagnosis of AIDS nearly two decades ago, when the disease was a speedy death sentence and treatment a distant dream.

Yet at 59 he is alive, thanks to a cocktail of drugs that changed the course of an epidemic. But with longevity has come a host of unexpected medical conditions, which challenge the prevailing view of AIDS as a manageable, chronic disease.

Mr. Holloway, who lives in a housing complex designed for the frail elderly, suffers from complex health problems usually associated with advanced age: chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, kidney failure, a bleeding ulcer, severe depression, rectal cancer and the lingering effects of a broken hip.

Those illnesses, more severe than his 84-year-old father's, are not what Mr. Holloway expected when lifesaving antiretroviral drugs became the standard of care in the mid-1990s.

The drugs gave Mr. Holloway back his future.

But at what cost?

That is the question, heretical to some, that is now being voiced by scientists, doctors and patients encountering a constellation of ailments showing up prematurely or in disproportionate numbers among the first wave of AIDS survivors to reach late middle age.


"At what cost?"

If you read the article, you'll note the very high incidence of anal cancer among these guys.

That's not surprising, since the Chin-Hong studies of 2004 - 5 told us that 95% of HIV+ gay men were infected with HPV, the pathogen which causes anal cancer, and fully 50% of those men already had the precursors to that cancer.


Maybe encouraging buttfuck isn't such a brilliant idea.

Yet Mr Ledger and the rest of the crew went ahead and did it anyway.

Why did they do it?

Well, according to Ledger, it was a career move.


I have news for Ledger's fans and family and PR firm and friends:

That is exactly and precisely why Leni Riefenstahl made Triumph of the Will for the Nazis.

It was a career move.


In both cases, the people behind the movie -- Hitler and Goebbels for Leni, Ang Lee et al for Ledger -- understood that film would confer immense power upon their ideas, and would influence the behavior of the public.

That's why they made those movies.

And Leni and Ledger went along with it -- because it advanced their careers.

That's why I'm so critical of Heath Ledger.

And you should be too.

So: Like Heath Ledger's public persona, Brokeback Mountain was a fantasy.

By participating in it, Ledger added to the allure of the fantasy and insured that more men, particularly straight-identified men, would "experiment" with anal penetration.

That was profoundly immoral.

And it now turns out that Ledger, far from being the model of contented anti-masculinity which his handlers presented, was a brooding, tormented, self-destructive young male who resorted to drugs to dull his pain --

and who was killed by those drugs.

Once again, the private life of Heath Ledger was far from good; while the life the public was permitted to see -- was a fantasy.

Curiously -- of perhaps appropriately -- the last serious journalistic work I saw about Ledger was a complete fantasy.

This was a piece in Esquire in which a female journalist *imagined* what Ledger's last days would have looked like had he kept a journal.

Which he didn't.

In this fictitious journal, Ledger has coffee here and a drink there, hooks-up with a woman in a bar but then can't get it up in bed; and then ends --

ends with the fictional Ledger saying that "I'm not really sure I did too much that you personally should remember, beyond make a beautiful little girl, the one thing every guy wants to be able to say he did."

Is that true?

Is that what every guy wants?

The way it's phrased, it's a bit smutty, but ignoring that, and assuming that the author means "make" as in "create a baby" -- is it true?

Well, it's certainly true that fathers often dote on their daughters, and want to have daughters.

But what every guy wants, traditionally, is to have a son, at least in addition to a daughter, who will carry on his name and his bloodline.

Specifically, his Y chromosome.

It's striking that the author of the Esquire fantasy, who of course is a woman, leaves that out.

As though it's enough for males today to father daughters;

that SONS don't count.

That is, in fact, the heterosexualized world view.

As my foreign friend says, "the heterosexual society cares only for women; it sees men as a problematic group who get in the way of women's rights."

And maybe that's true.

Because, after all, Heath's gone, but Michelle and Matilda are still here.

I titled this post "The Last of Mr Ledger" -- but of course it's not truly the last.

I just saw a theatrical trailer for the new Batman movie in which Ledger plays the Joker.

The trailer is virtually ALL Ledger.

You barely see the hapless soul who plays Batman.

And isn't that the way A O Scott would want it?

Ledger-as-the-Joker, by the way, looks like a petulant child:

And you can expect to see a lot of that petulant, pill-popping, daughter-disinheriting child over the next few months because Warner Bros and a lot of other people have a lot invested in the movie and its dead "star."

I saw the Batman trailer because it was bargain night at the movies here and I'd gotten someone to stay with Patrick and gone to see "10,000 BC" -- a sort of caveman / warrior fantasy by the guy who made Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day.

Why did I go see 10,000 BC?

Because I'd read a review by A O Scott -- that's right, the same A O Scott who reviled 300 and who led the charge to beatify Heathcliff Ledger -- in which Scott made clear that he hated the movie.

Hated 10,000 BC.


At first glance, there's nothing there to hate.

The worst you can say about the movie is that it's inoffensive.


It's not a great movie, it's not great art, it's not War and Peace or King Lear -- but within its genre, the worst you can say about it is -- that it's inoffensive.

The protagonist of the movie is a muscular, mastodon-hunting cro-magnon type whose features are vaguely caucasoid,

and who links up with some Black Africans to free a bunch of slaves.

And the spiritual leader of his tribe -- is a woman.

So the film promotes racial harmony and has a without-question positive view of women.

Yet A O Scott went berserk, once again, in his review --

and in literally childish ways.

For example, he called the computer-generated images of mastodons -- "snuffleupagus."


The movie is basically a quest-fantasy aimed at boys.

And that's all it is.

A quest-fantasy for boys.

Yes, there's a legend, yes, there's a battle, and yes, there's a hero.

More than one actually.

And we all know that Mr Scott doesn't approve of heroes.

At one point the (female) spiritual leader tells the boys -- you've been hunters, now you have to become warriors.

So they take the spears which they've used to hunt mastodon and turn them into weapons of war against the slave-traders.

Scott doesn't like that.


Well, maybe Robert Loring gave us a clue in his recent post, Nature and the Soldier:

Hunting, and to some extent fishing, have traditionally and historically been ways in which societies have taught their young men to be warriors and soldiers. Many of the necessary skills and expertise for war can be acquired through hunting and fishing. In many tribal societies the men who are hunters and fishers are also the men who serve as warriors and soldiers. Getting out in nature makes a man reconnect with his roots of natural manhood. The more time he spends in nature the more he reconnects with his own innate masculinity and the more time he has to actually think. And the more time a man of any age spends in nature the better he's able to see through the sham of urbanization and heterosexualization.

Robert is right.

Scott doesn't like 10,000 BC because it's about a tribe of males who hunt, and as Robert says:

"Hunting, and to some extent fishing, have traditionally and historically been ways in which societies have taught their young men to be warriors and soldiers. Many of the necessary skills and expertise for war can be acquired through hunting and fishing. In many tribal societies the men who are hunters and fishers are also the men who serve as warriors and soldiers."


Scott doesn't like 10,000 BC because it's about a tribe of males who hunt, and then become WARRIORS.

Heroic Warriors.

And, they're out in Nature.


"Getting out in nature makes a man reconnect with his roots of natural manhood. The more time he spends in nature the more he reconnects with his own innate masculinity and the more time he has to actually think. And the more time a man of any age spends in nature the better he's able to see through the sham of urbanization and heterosexualization."


So: Scott doesn't like the movie because it's about a bunch of guys who are in nature, hunting for their living, and who discover their innate masculinity -- their WARRIORHOOD -- when they're attacked.

Watching the movie, you have to wonder what Scott wants these Men to do after they've been attacked and their fellow tribesmen -- and women -- carried off by slavers.

Lie passively on the ground while the slave-traders trample them with their horses?

No, that couldn't be right.

How about this one:

Offer their butts to the slave-traders for fucking?

I think that's closer.

Please oh great and masterful Slavetrader, please fuck me.


Then I'll be your good little slave.


And of course Scott would like it if after the hunters had been buttfucked by the slavers, they started buttfucking -- and effeminizing -- each other.

Thus bringing the peaceful benefits of the sexual revolution to 10,000 BC.

When you read someone like Scott, you really wonder what he wants the male half of the human race to do.

Presumably get fucked up and fucked over -- literally, metaphorically, or both -- and disappear.

Mr Ledger did what Mr Scott wanted him to do -- he rejected the heroic in his life and embraced the troubled, tormented, and self-destructive.

And then he died.

But Mr Scott, and the legion of cultural critics like him, have yet to demonstrate that their way -- which rejects Masculinity -- is in any way superior to the Warrior Way -- to those Homeric ideals of Excellence and Honor which underlie our Western civilization.

In a recent email, Frances said to me,

Your life seems to have been about struggling for something of worth, something of eternal value in a world that has little respect for that kind of thing.

"Eternal Value."

That's right.

Except it's not just my life.

It's the lives of all the people -- Men and Women -- who are core to this Alliance.

Eternal Value.

I see nothing of Eternal Value in the sloppy hedonism of buttfuck and analism.


But I do see Eternal Value in the Masculine Rigor of Phallus Against Phallus.

Man Against Man.

Manhood Against Manhood.

So long as it's in the context of the True and Natural Love of Man for Man.


You made same sex love seem natural and organic to me, and it didn't take a lot of reading to see where you were coming from. It seems natural for men to love one another as men, and women to love one another as women, and for men and women to love one another for their differences. Apples and oranges.


Same-sex Love, like ALL LOVE, is meant to be "natural and organic."

Men are designed and meant to "to love one another as men, and women to love one another as women, and for men and women to love one another for their differences."

Love between Men is "natural and organic" -- and MUST be expressed in a way which is "natural and organic."

Men must Love one another as Men.

When they do not, and when their love is FALSELY depicted as other than natural and organic -- it's a betrayal of ALL of the Human Race.

And those who betray the Human Race -- ultimately betray themselves.


This is the last true portrait of Mr Ledger:

Not manipulated by PR people, not fictionalized by a "men's" magazine, and not controlled by his family.

A true portrait, and the way Ledger saw himself:

Remember it.

It's an image of a male betrayed by himself, an image, as Robert said, of a male who's living in a Hell of his own making.

It's an image, as Danielou has said, of a male who degraded and debased his own masculinity, was pushed from the divine reality, and was abandoned to die.

Remember it.

In all the ballyho about the Joker -- and the Warner Bros publicity machine has already moved into high gear --

remember what Ledger was really like.

Who he really was.

And what he actually did.

Bill Weintraub

April 5, 2008

© All material Copyright 2008 by Bill Weintraub. All rights reserved.

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