Heroes, Unlikely, Unsung and No Longer Celebrated


“Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.”  Brodi Ashton – Everneath.

There sure is a lot of commotion about so-called heroes lately.

Hollywood keeps resurrecting them. And the image keeps changing.

Batman, who I actually wanted to marry when I was about, hmm, well, about nine years old, has gone from ker-pow, ker-blam, ouchies, etched boldly on my TV set to The Dark Knight. Hollywood has turned my super hero into a vigilante. And they’ve taken away his humour, and his side kick and replaced it with something….dark.

Superman, no longer in a Speedo, just a bullied vigilante with a shady past and a bad attitude.

When I was a kid, watching my favorite superheroes on TV, they gave me hope, I actually had that child-like belief that they really could save the world.

I felt a lot safer back then knowing they were in it, whether real or not, they represented something good, back when crime didn’t pay…

I’m not sure I would want to run into either one of them in a dark alley nowadays…

This all smacks of a rather pink shade of ‘political correctness’ to me….oooohhh, noooo can’t have super heroes, people might go out and try to imitate them. Better to make them into vigilantes’ and give them a rather shady past and a bad attitude.

The heroes of my childhood are now no longer appealing to a young audience. These movies are for adults. Very intense, lots of action, brutality and way too much noise. I think most kids would be terrified of them now. You, know, the ‘coddled generation’, the ones who still wear diapers in kindergarten and pretty much run the house while the parents, however well-meaning, think they really just want to be their kids’ very bestest friend….

But this is not what I want to talk about now. I want to talk about real heroes. There must be some around somewhere….pardon me while I scan the horizon….

There has been a shift and I’ll admit I wasn’t paying attention. I missed it. There are more everyday heroes than ever, but you have to look harder to find them. And there is likely to be an inquest, a trial, some drug testing perhaps and a passed sentence before anyone comes forward.

In the good old days, heroes were brave and bold and got the job done. No red tape, ever, justice was always served and no one questioned the heroes. Of course not.

But like my opening quote, it’s not what powers you possess, it’s how you use them. Like when a firefighter rescues a kitten from a burning building, Or someone who fights for their country. Cancer survivors. Those who overcame a difficult childhood. Or my Grade Two teacher who inspired me to excel in all things creative. These are the types that give and ask for no recognition. They want nothing in return. They are happy to have just been there. Those are my ideas of real heroes.

So what’s changed? Our definition of a hero has changed.

No longer a caped or masked crusader, they are more likely to be social trollopes’ with a megaphone blocking traffic on a downtown street. Heroes are much more self-centered, self-serving, and just plain selfish. The more noise the better. They want to save the world alright, and turn it into something unrecognizable. Look at me, I’m a hero, coz I say so! Our martyrs have become heroes and our heroes have  become vigilantes…

Well, I say sheeeesh.

I like my heroes alright. The strong silent type. The ones that have chosen the right path. The higher one, the one that helps us all along our way. Unlikely, unsung and no longer celebrated…Still, deep down, they make us all want to be heroes.

Well, we could be, if only the traffic wasn’t so damn heavy these days…

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