The ritual of mourning takes on new meaning in America whenever a hero has fallen. Heath Ledger may have merely played heroes on the big screen but when it comes to the sanctity of celebrity, how he lived his ‘real’ life doesn’t matter much. In America a pedestal is always preserved for celebrity, and our celebrities serve as role models, heroes — even gods. When news broke of his death, New York’s never-stop work world froze, as strangers weighed in on the tragedy as if he were a close cousin. Even I couldn’t resist a text or two. Camera crews swarmed his NYC residences, providing weeklong coverage of every nailbiting detail from authorities finding him nude, to phone calls made to Mary-Kate Olsen and Michelle Williams’ grim return home. Meanwhile deli workers, neighbors and passerbys cashed in on 15 seconds of fame, claiming to have ties to the famous family. Coverage didn’t quite compare to Princess Di or Kurt Cobain’s death but remained ubiquitous nonetheless. What it is it about these mythic celebrities that we simply cannot resist? Perhaps the excesses of celebrity culture make the ordinary feel more in control or could it be the romanticized notion of being unordinary that lures us into a life we viracariously aim to be a part of?