Poor choices don’t deserve glory

By Saketh Vasamsetti, Columnist

vasamsetti-saketh_cutoutHeath Ledger was immortalized by the Academy Awards after receiving the award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in 2009. His portrayal of the famous villain the Joker in the Batman trilogy is considered to be the best of all time, regardless of what happens in the future.

A majority of his success came from his choice to “method act”; incorporating the character into all aspects of his life and staying in the mindset of the Joker even outside of filming. Ledger turned to substance abuse during the time and it eventually led to a drug overdose. His death was seen as a result of pure commitment to his craft and he is still praised as one of the best actors of his generation.

The question comes up, however, if we should glorify his death or not. Ledger was truly a great actor but his poor choices didn’t reflect the respect he had in the movie industry and around the world. This same question applies to a multitude of celebrities who have passed away as a result of the decisions he or she made.

Although celebrities are not obligated to be positive role models, it is morally correct for them, as well all people, as humans to be of some sort of positive impact on the communities around them. A celebrity can be seen as a great person in the public eye, but if they choose to make bad decisions behind the scenes it shows that they truly aren’t committed to holding their positive merit.

On September 26, the Miami Marlins played their game against the New York Mets where they honored their star pitcher, Jose Fernandez, following his tragic death from a boat crash the day before. The baseball world was shocked from the loss of such a young and talented player.

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Just recently an official autopsy of Fernandez and his two other friends was released. All three of the them had alcohol in their system but Fernandez was the only who was legally drunk with a blood-alcohol concentration of .147. Investigators also revealed that Fernandez and one of his friends had traces of cocaine in their system.

Although there are no reports that Fernandez was the one driving the boat, poor choices were certainly made that night. And after everything that’s happened, it’s fair to question to what degree Fernandez is responsible for his death.

Fernandez was truly a great baseball player and perhaps would have gone on to do amazing things to solidify his place as one of the best of all time. He was known to have been a driven person who works hard at what he does and his choices from that day were said to be uncharacteristic by those who knew him personally.

It is important to understand that Fernandez belonged to many different communities. He had a community between his friends and family, his baseball team and not to mention his appeal to the large Cuban population in Miami. He had a role in all of those communities but his choices on that day truly let down everyone who was rooting for him to succeed.

Now I’m not saying that if a celebrity was under the influence of any type of substance before his or her death, we should just forget about them. People like Jose Fernandez and Heath Ledger were generally thought of as good people and that title shouldn’t be taken away from them. At the same time we shouldn’t be afraid of their faults, we need to learn to embrace them and show them in a way that will be of some sort of help.

Jose Fernandez, as good of a person as people thought he was, was still a victim of drugs and poor choices.

His death was truly sad, but it should be used as a lesson that even the best of us can succumb to bad decisions and our awareness of the repercussions of these decisions should be heightened even more.

Saketh is a freshman in DGS.

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