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Heath Ledger and Congo

The news of Heath Ledger's passing is very sad indeed. His role as the Jocker in the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight" was said to rival Jack Nichalson's.  As someone who is a cinephile, one could tell that He was truly on the cusp of a great film career.  He was one of my favorite actors and another actor of my generation who tragically died in a week.

Yet, any sadness was put in perspective by other news that came out today. The International Rescue Committee reported that 45,000 people are dying every month in Congo (mostly children). Whats more, is 5.4 million have died so far as a direct result of the conflict. This is equivalent to the entire population of Denmark.

"The vast majority of deaths were from nonviolent causes, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia or malnutrition'

I just don't know how to bridge these two pieces of news and the attention they will each get. All I can say is I wish humans had more humanity. If we are working at this kind of deficit in morality, I don't know if there is any use in trying to raise "awareness".


  • Every life lost is a tragedy and its hard to try and put everything in perspective. Ledger was young and very talented— he definitely left a legacy behind. As for the children, wow.. those stats are staggering. Everywhere that there is conflict children suffer most, and in our own ways we can raise awareness and do what we can. And this blog is great medium for this!

  • beautifully expressed beve. a more balanced state of humanity is what we need to achieve in this world, and i agree, will it ever happen. my heart aches for heath and his family and friends, as it does for every person who has died on this day and any day by injustice. What to do, I don’t know, as people really do believe that one persons life is more valuable than anothers. It is that reality of today which makes my heart bleed.

    pia jane bijkerk
  • Dear Beve, thanks for reminding us about Congo. I feel so helpless.
    I was wondering if you had read Wangari Maathai’s memoir? I hear her on NPR and now I want to read her book.


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