Above, a makeshift tribute to both the late Heath Ledger and the almighty dollar, found at a Best Buy in San Diego. It's the tip of the bad taste iceberg. Join us on a trip through the void where we once pretended to store the concept of our shared humanity, won't you?
The bad taste started early in the QUICK RESPONSE AIM chats that lit up the New York gossip elite's MacBooks yesterday afternoon. Balk prayed his scoop would hold up. It did! Jessica Coen—tumblring again!—also reposted the harried chatting frenzy. Former Gawker Media Managing Editor Lockhart Steele made the first recorded "Joker crying on the inside" joke at 5 p.m..
Our own inbox last night was full of depressingly unfunny "stalker" sightings. HEATH LEDGER SPOTTED NOT LOOKING SO GREAT ON BROOME STREET—now that's comedy! Because he was dead, you see. And famous. When it bends... (Denton removed an earlier Gawker post referencing those sightings because, he argues, sometimes even being condemnatory of bad taste can be in fairly bad taste. Just like this post you're reading right now!)
The undisputed masters of terrible taste are, of course, the lunatics at Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church. They're the ones who picket the funerals of dead soldiers and run the website about how God doesn't like Carson Kressley. Naturally, they'll be picketing Heath's funeral, because he kissed a boy once, in a moving picture. Per Radar, their announcement:
Oh, the funny videos are already up on YouTube—have you seen the one that couples the video of the body being carried out of the apartment with audio of paparazzi shouting Ledger's name and asking him questions? Classic stuff!
(Given more time and a different venue we'd defend the ancient and venerable practice of gallows humor, especially when faced with the inexplicable surreality of unexpected tragedies, but honestly—"I can't quit you" jokes? Jesus.)