Tuesday, January 22, 2008

News: Heath Ledger, 1979-2008

Heath Ledger was found dead today. It's pretty big news, since he was a promising young actor who'd already been nominated for an Oscar two years ago for his performance in "Brokeback Mountain" (I remember him from his role as Mel Gibson's oldest son in "The Patriot"). Whatever the circumstances surrounding his tragic death, it's safe to say he will be missed by many.

Unfortunately, Heath Ledger also indirectly provided an object lesson on human nature today. Several major news sources, including CNN, show Ledger's body being taken from his SoHo apartment to a waiting ambulance. During the span of twenty yards, literally hundreds of pictures were taken by eager paparazzi - the event looked more like a red carpet premiere than anything else. I suspect we'll be seeing some exploitative "remembrances" of Mr. Ledger for weeks to come.

One of my friends surmised that Heath Ledger will be enshrined as an icon, much like Aaliyah or James Dean. Death at a young age may make you a legend, but it's still hollow recompense for his family and especially his daughter.

"Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality."

- Emily Dickinson


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