Yesterday at about 4:30pm, it seemed like the entire internet got taken over by Heath Ledger’s death. It was only an hour after he was found dead, yet almost every site had something about it. The message board that I post on everyday became pretty consumed by it. There were about a dozen threads. Some were serious discussions about it. Some were discussions about the upcoming Batman movie, Dark Knight, in which Heath Ledger plays the Joker. And then there were the parodies and jokes. CNN.com and MSNBC.com had huge banners at the top of their home pages with the headline.
Honestly, Heath Ledger dying is the most important news from yesterday?!? Nothing else happened? Nothing that might actually affect more than a few people? Anytime someone dies–well, unless they’re a douche–it’s sad and I feel for his family and friends, especially his two year old daughter, but really, he’s just a dude. His death means nothing more or less than anyone else’s death. Being famous shouldn’t mean that everything else stops when you die.
Unfortunately, in America, this is the news that sells. Americans care much more about celebrities’ lives than things that actually matter and affect them and other people around the world. We, as a population, would much rather be entertained than know what’s going on.