RIP Heath Ledger; RIP celebrity adoration

Heath Ledger death reaction

CotB’s mild afternoon was interrupted yesterday when a friend called to announce the sad death of Heath Ledger.
It certainly is a tragic loss to the entertainment world, but it’s also so sadly typical of the entertainment world. While the circumstances of his death aren’t clear just yet, dying face down on your bed surrounded by pills is fairly indicative of someone who needed a reality check.

The celebration of Heath Ledger

A million bloggers today will tell us that Heath was likely surrounded by a band of yes-men who made it their lot in life to give him all he wanted. They pushed too far, gave too much junk to him and cared too little about the consequences. They will blame those yes-men for Heath’s death.
If Heath’s death is pinned on an overdose, blame Heath. He’s the one that gave in to the angst and depression that sets in on so many celebrities.

The value of celebrity

Perhaps the celebrity world is too vast for me to comprehend, but when you’ve got that much money, fame and status, life shouldn’t be too bad. You should humbly thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to worry about the little things in life.
But instead, so many celebrities seem unable to handle fame and fortune. They get angsty and bitter. Their life, in all its glory, is only something to loathe. Somehow all that success is intolerable. Somehow all the gawkers are annoying. Somehow the presence of that photographer is just too much.
Yep, celebrity comes at price, but not one that’s measured in dollars. You get money for nothing when you’re a celebrity. No, the price comes when angst builds up. The depression sets in and the resentment rides high.
Maybe it’s time for us — the little folk who only get to see the Heath Ledgers of the world on the movie screen — to just stop caring about these people. No more watercooler discussions. Cancel “Access Hollywood” and send the the paparazzi home.
We’d all be better for it — even the celebrities.


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1 Comment on RIP Heath Ledger; RIP celebrity adoration

  1. I think everyone is quick to judge on both sides, John. We do assume that celebrities have it good and have it all — but we really don’t have any evidence to support that. For example, we see actresses wear expensive baubles and expensive gowns — yet even though we know the gown’s not theirs or the jewels, we still seem to think they’re rich. And if they are suffering from an eating disorder because they’ve heard countless directors tell them they’re fat, there is no dress or gem they can wear that’s going to make them feel happy.
    They may be famous, but how well they actually live when the camera’s not filming them is entirely different matter.
    Heath’s death seems to be less about the trappings of fame than it was first thought, but none of us know what his life was really like.
    I imagine that life must be difficult — having to perpetually look young and beautiful and abnormally thin or muscular, never knowing who your friends are, stalkers, the trappings of type-casting and being a has-been, public ridicule for opening your mouth or starring in a bad movie (and that role may have been the only one offered to you), having people want to marry you for your money and connections, always having to smile for the camera even when you have nothing to smile about, posing and being forced to attend fake events where vultures loom, and being in a profession where you have to be someone you’re not.
    It’s called Tinsel Town for a reason…

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