It is always interesting how illness or death can remind people of how great someone was. When Heath Ledger died, I went to Hastings and saw a giant display of his movies on an end aisle. There were a number of movies that I have not heard people talk about in a long time. The Patriot. A Knight’s Tale. Monster’s Ball. People were even grabbing up the shitty movies like The Order. I understand that his death really put him in the spotlight, but why were these movies more important for people to own now than when he was alive? Maybe, they felt it was their way to show tribute to him.

The biggest way to know there was a tragedy is to pay attention to the IMDb STARmeter. Sure enough Brad Renfro was number one for a couple of weeks after his death. I’m sure many people were trying to figure out where they heard his name at. Right now, Heath Ledger is still ranked 14th on this list. His role as The Joker plays a large part in that, I am sure, but had he ever ranked that high before? I would doubt it.

I bring all this up because I have noticed something interesting on Amazon.com today. Amazon has a listing for “Movers and Shakers” on DVD. It tracks the biggest gainers in movie sales over the last 24 hours. Here is what I noticed:

2. Road House +616%
3. Dirty Dancing: 20th Anniversary +341%
4. Dirty Dancing: Ultimate Edition +254%

This is right after it was announced Patrick Swayze was being treated for pancreatic cancer. I guess in the next few days, Swayze will skyrocket to the top of the IMDb STARmeter, replacing Oscar winner Daniel Day Lewis. Disease and death is always more interesting than success.

Poison released a song on their “Crack a Smile” CD called Tragically Unhip.  In that song are the following lines:

My record company says
Blow my brains out my head
I make the cover of every magazine


Or at least contract cancer. Everyone loves a tragedy.