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Why is everyone obsessed with Heath Ledger?

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Why is everyone obsessed with Heath Ledger?

Old 01-26-08, 01:24 AM
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Why is everyone obsessed with Heath Ledger?

I didn't want to ask this in the tread about his death, which is 25+ pages and going strong, because my question is not really about Ledger.

Here's the question: why does everyone care so much? A week ago, if you had said "Who's the biggest 20-something movie star," Ledger's name probably would have come up, but so would a dozen or more other guy's names. He was a guy with one well-known really good performance behind him (Brokeback Mountain) and another anticipated performance ahead of him (Batman) and a string of credits in movies most of us probably never saw.

Then he died, and suddenly, the entire nation is in mourning. People are talking to each other about how many times his masseuse called the Olsen twins, and whether he was a scummy drug addict or a saintly man who worked himself to death. CNN and Foxnews are putting developments in his autopsy (such as they are) on their web page as top stories, the President even rescheduled a speech to kick off an anti-drug program, and it all seems so out of proportion to how much we cared about him when he was alive. I mean, Brad Renfro died a week or two earlier and nobody really gave a shit. And I understand that Ledger was more popular than Renfro, but was he really that much more popular?

I don't mean to be callous, and anyone affected by his passing has my sympathy. I just don't get why so many people seem to be affected.
Old 01-26-08, 01:30 AM
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TMZ, AccessHollywood, Extra, EntertainmentTonight, etc. etc....
Old 01-26-08, 01:56 AM
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It's not like there's a war or an election for the media to cover.
Old 01-26-08, 02:42 AM
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Ok, I'll take a stab at this. I haven't even seen many of Ledger's movies, but I thought him and Michelle Williams were my favorite Hollywood couple. I was really disappointed when I heard they broke up. I really liked them together. I probably am more familiar with her work than his, and I have always found her interesting. I just remember hearing the story of them meeting on Brokeback, falling in love, having the baby, etc. It might be because it was just after I had my baby and I was still hormonal but I remember reading an article about her and I was just amazed that she had just given birth and is breastfeeding and still running around to promote the movie and walkiing the red carpet at the Oscars. I thought their whole situation was interesting. I remember reading in the EW article after Matilda was born and she was talking about Brokeback Mountain and how it is really cool that movie exists, that one day her daughter can look back at that as a document of her parents falling in love. I thought that was so sweet and so profound. (And seems quite bittersweet now in retrospect of what happened to Heath.)

So when I heard they had broken up I was really disappointed. They seemed like soul mates who belonged together. And when I heard he died, my first thought was of Michelle and Matilda and it just broke my heart. Now there is no chance of them getting back together, and that little girl will never know her dad. So even though I was not that huge of a Heath Ledger fan (I still haven't even seen Brokeback), I have been really sad about his death. I admit I have been thinking of it a lot the last few days.

That is my own personal reaction to the whole thing. I admit it is rooted in my girly, emotional, romantic, mommy self. I realize it is completely silly to obsess over the death of someone you didn't even know, but I think occasionally there are these celebs who somehow touch a nerve in us, usually because their life reflected some type of personal experience in our own lives.

Don't even get my started on the Princess Diana thing.
Old 01-26-08, 02:50 AM
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A lot of people just liked Heath Ledger, Jason. At the same time, there's the sadness associated with a young man dying just as he was shedding a generic boy-actor image and becoming a star.

There's always going to be untimely deaths in the public eye that will cause many to mourn, and just as many to wonder what the big deal was. It's understandable. If you feel moved by Ledger's passing, that's fine. If you're indifferent, that's fine too. But there's no need for one side to debase the other.

Originally Posted by NORML54601
It's not like there's a war or an election for the media to cover.
Why are you on a DVD forum? Don't you know there's a war on?

For people like myself who care about where they get their news from, Ledger's death is hardly infringing on coverage of current affairs. Norm, you're obviously annoyed, but you shouldn't be. I'm sure wherever you get your news from has hardly been hampered by Ledger's passing.
Old 01-26-08, 02:55 AM
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Because it's a big deal in our media... the leading story for several days. We're a celeb obsessed culture. At least he seemed like a half-decent guy, and did contribute to the arts... I can't stand when unworthy celebs are propped up when they added nothing meaningful to our world.
Old 01-26-08, 03:08 AM
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Same reason why the media dwelled on Anna Nicole Smith for a year, or however long it was. I think Ledger deserves the attention more than she did.
Old 01-26-08, 03:12 AM
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I think in a place like this forum, it's mainly because most everyone is anticipating so greatly seeing his performance in Dark Knight, and it's just such a shock to think about him all of a sudden being gone. If you think the death thread is long, look at how long the Dark Knight thread became before he even passed away. 53 pages and over 1300 posts, several on the day he passed, before the news even hit. This movie is going to be huge, especially now that he's gone.

Last edited by The_Infidel; 01-26-08 at 03:29 AM.
Old 01-26-08, 04:49 AM
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The media is always obsessed with death. The bigger the better.
Old 01-26-08, 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Living Dead
The media is always obsessed with death. The bigger the better.
You can't blame just the media. Just read some of the thread in the Movie area. It would seem a certain segment of the public is obsessed, for whatever reason.
Old 01-26-08, 06:28 AM
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Isn't the public obsession created by the media? Jadzia has his sex life memorized. She didn't just pick that up in a vacuum. Someone has been telling her that Ledger was important, and should be watched.
Old 01-26-08, 07:36 AM
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I think it is because it was just so unexpected. I mean, Brad Renfro did the same thing a week prior, but he wasn't as big of a star, and he had a long, well established, documented history of drug abuse... so when it gets reported that Renfro is dead, it elicits a "uh, yeah... ho hum, was only a matter of time I guess" response. But with Ledger, as far as the general population knew, he was a clean cut guy.........
Old 01-26-08, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Nick Danger
,b>Isn't the public obsession created by the media? Jadzia has his sex life memorized. She didn't just pick that up in a vacuum. Someone has been telling her that Ledger was important, and should be watched.
Good point. The Media will have us believe that if they stopped over-reporting stuff about Heath and Brittney, "the Public" would rise up and storm their offices and studios demanding more. Obviously that's utter bullshit. People would simply go on with their lives.

The Media has no choice. It must maintain this so called "public obsession" or it will put itself out of business. It must tell us what -they think- we should be obsessed with and what -they think- we should like, want, and need.

Last edited by Giantrobo; 01-26-08 at 09:19 AM.
Old 01-26-08, 08:50 AM
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I really enjoyed all the posts in the Heath Dead Thread that said:

Its so sad Did he finish his work on Dark Knight? Is it already in post production? Did he finish all of his voice over?
It really told you what those posters would REALLY be sad about.
Old 01-26-08, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
I really enjoyed all the posts in the Heath Dead Thread that said:



It really told you what those posters would REALLY be sad about.
Not to be callous, but why is this bad? I'd be worried about them if they were posting that his death has broken them up personally. They knew Ledger though movies.
Old 01-26-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin



It really told you what those posters would REALLY be sad about.
Well, to be fair, it's not like any of us are his family.
Old 01-26-08, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Not to be callous, but why is this bad? I'd be worried about them if they were posting that his death has broken them up personally. They knew Ledger though movies.
The only reason I would be sad is that I wasn't informed on his personal life enough to put him on my dead pool list.

<---callous prick.
Old 01-26-08, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Good point. The Media will have us believe that if they stopped over-reporting stuff about Heath and Brittney, "the Public" would rise up and storm their offices and studios demanding more. Obviously that's utter bullshit. People would simply go on with their lives.

The Media has no choice. It must maintain this so called "public obsession" or it will put itself out of business. It must tell us what -they think- we should be obsessed with and what -they think- we should like, want, and need.

Yeah, it's a chicken-egg thing. Obviously there's a market for celeb info, or certain magazines and TV shows wouldn't exist. But by the same token, a lot of the information that gets put out on these sources doesn't seem to be of real interest to people. It's almost like they're being told what to talk about, rather than the shows and such responding to what the public wants. I have a hard time believeing people really cared that much about Heath Ledger. I liked him and all, but I doubt most people could name more than a movie or two he's been in. This outpouring on buzz on him after his death seems a bit disingenuous.
Old 01-26-08, 09:50 AM
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I never saw anything he was in - at least that I'm aware, so I couldn't care less.

I guess it all comes down to how familiar you are with the celeb. I remember being 'obsessed' when Len Bias died of an overdose. Granted I was a teenager in Maryland at the time.
Old 01-26-08, 10:23 AM
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My only problem, and I alluded to this in the death thread, is how I just don't understand the reactions of some people. There are people in that thread that act like they lost a close personal friend.

Thousands of people die everyday in circumstances much more tragic than Heath Ledger's. I just don't think that the presence of some acting talent should elevate someone to the status that his passing causes personal "devastation".
Old 01-26-08, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyronin
callous prick.
Sorry to hear. Maybe a better lotion might help.
Old 01-26-08, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Not to be callous, but why is this bad? I'd be worried about them if they were posting that his death has broken them up personally. They knew Ledger though movies.
My ex-girlfriend is actually taking it hard. Not so much that it was him exactly, but the whole thing has put her in a contemplative / compassionate for the family mood.

I work in an ER, see death every day for the last 20 years, so death does not bother me at all. You have to numb yourself to it, or feeling it everyday will mess you up.

What does bother me is the attention that a celebrity death gets over equally sad stories of not-famous people.
Old 01-26-08, 11:57 AM
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Why do I find it ironic that you could care less about his passing and you started another thread about it....?
Old 01-26-08, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by JasonF
....
I don't mean to be callous, and anyone affected by his passing has my sympathy. I just don't get why so many people seem to be affected.
It is the only way people can cope with the hopelessness and/or emptiness of their own lives so they try to live vicariously through the accomplishments and lives of others?

They think that if they follow the lives of the rich and famous that they are somehow connected to their fame, fortune, and power, and that it is or will be transferred to them if they are "faithful" to follow them?
Old 01-26-08, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Red Dog
I never saw anything he was in - at least that I'm aware, so I couldn't care less.

I guess it all comes down to how familiar you are with the celeb. I remember being 'obsessed' when Len Bias died of an overdose. Granted I was a teenager in Maryland at the time.

Now that I think about it...It must have been a teen thing because after Sean Taylor's (big Redskins fan here) murder (which was even more startling), I didn't find myself obsessed with his death.

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