When Heath Ledger died, I heard the shocking newsbrief on the radio. My stream of thought was something like this...
Oh man, the guy from Blackhawk Down died. He was young. No, wait... was he the guy in Training Day? [radio voice mentions Brokeback Mountain] Ohhhh yeahhhh, he's the blond kid from Brokeback Mountain. How sad.
Now, contrast with my reaction this morning on my way to work.
Radio voice: "Congressman Tom Lantos passed away."
Me out loud: Awwww.... (sad puppy dog face and everything - bottom lip comes out, eyebrows narrow.)
And my stream of thought was something like this...
Awww, the Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, the guy from Budapest with the accent, the Holocaust survivor died. He was so great. I heard he had Cancer but I didn't know he was that bad. That's terrible. How sad!
Now I'm thinking of Nate's disgust with women who read People magazine, and I realize why I can't judge them. I don't enjoy the People Weekly, but I have a stack of Newsweek and Reason magazines in my living room. Also in my living room I have a Congressional directory (pictures and everything!) and a pocket Constitution that I don't actually keep in my pocket.
Aside from my total nerdiness, am I really that different? At least celebrity news fans can hold conversations with most people. (Although we're probably both equally boring to one another.)
It was a nice red flag of how uncool I am that I wasn't sure who Heath Ledger was but was moved to grieve when I heard about the old guy. Ledger's death was probably sadder. I've reconciled it with myself though: one survived the Holocaust against all odds and spent the rest of his life fighting for what he thought was right; the other was a young, talented celebrity who took a fistful of pills and ended his life and career in his prime. I'm cool with my uncoolness.
You may all laugh at me now.