Sabby - I understand your point about his friends, and can appreciate how you feel in view of your personal experiences, but the men involved had others who loved them too.
Are their parents to blame and deserving of additional grief? Siblings? Grandparents? Is every friend they had responsible for what they drank that night? Whether they were there or not?
Also, in your situation, you were close to the people involved, and had intimate knowledge of the details of the situation. I also think that your reaction, while understandable, (and probably accurate as far as friends who were actually at the party) was needlessly hurtful and damaging if it happened at a funeral or related gathering, or if any family or friends who were not at the 'party' were present. Your opinions are valid, but being right does not make us judge and jury, nor does it entitle us to stick in the knife and twist it.
I think we can all agree that Roger Ebert did not have personal knowledge of these young men, or any personal relationship
with any of the family, etc. It seems to me that I, my friends and my adult children are some of the people who he is referring to, solely by virtue of being friends of the family or fans of the show or movies. Should we all now be held responsible for the actions of everyone we love, admire or care about? How exactly were his loved ones supposed to monitor his every action?
Bam Margera, Ryan's best friend, co-star, etc, was interviewed this morning on our local morning show. He is absolutely distraught and devastated. He probably leads a very similar lifestyle to the one Ryan led.
Does this make him responsible? Even though he was 3000 miles away when the accident happened? Is his grief less valid because you or Roger Ebert think he is in some way responsible, based solely on what you (general) think you know about his lifestyle?
I have been at parties where friends of mine have had (IMO) too much to drink and drive. Hastings or I always try to take their keys and drive them home.(our group has a much stricter 'policy' for hosting in our homes) One time, I actually took a punch from one of my closest friends who was insisting on driving. We wrestled the keys away and got her home safely, thank deity.
If for whatever reason we had been unable to physically stop her from driving, and the worst had happened, do you truly believe that everyone at the party would have been responsible for her death? This is a well respected professional woman in her 40's who is not an alcoholic, and is a responsible member of society, yet she almost made a horrible mistake. Would that mistake make her or her family any less 'deserving' of support or sympathy?
The blunt fact of the matter is that ultimately, no one is responsible for the actions of another, and intentional infliction of pain based on your (general) or Roger Ebert's judgment is wrong, IMO.
In an additional note, not directed at any one poster directly, I am finding some of the comments in this thread hurtful to me personally as someone who is saddened by Ryan and Zach's death. PPs have also communicated feeling sadness and grief at the tragedy.
You are all correct that sometimes truth hurts, but that doesn't mean we need to use it to hurt each other here.