Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Curse of the Joker

A few days ago, I blogged about Wired's story on The Strange Case of the Dead AI Researchers. It's not so strange a case, but it can be spun that way.

This is how media-legends begin. Here's another: The Curse of the Joker.

The NY Daily News, a paragon of journalistic integrity, says about the recent death of actor Heath Ledger:

Heath Ledger thought landing the demanding role of the Joker was a dream come true - but now some think it was a nightmare that led to his tragic death.

Jack Nicholson, who played the Joker in 1989 - and who was furious he wasn't consulted about the creepy role - offered a cryptic comment when told Ledger was dead.

"Well," Nicholson told reporters in London early Wednesday, "I warned him."

Though the remark was ambiguous, there's no question the role in the movie earmarked as this summer's blockbuster took a frightening toll.

Ledger recently told reporters he "slept an average of two hours a night" while playing "a psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy ...

"I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going."

The article then goes on to talk about how creepy the character is, especially Ledger's expected portrayal of him.

What the article doesn't do is note a later development, that Nicholson was referring to was the use of a prescription sleep drug. Not about playing the Joker.

If you were wondering how things like Tutankhamun's "Curse" began, here's a good example.

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