It’s been said there are no longer heroes. This presupposes all heroism to be resident in times past; days of yesteryear. Fond recollection, now absent.
Growing up, my heroes were individuals who set goals, aspired to them and surpassed them. Harry Houdini, Thomas Jefferson, and Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali). All these men lived up to their egos and surpassed their goals. And stood for something.
I remember a story about Alexander Hamilton visiting Jefferson at Monticello, and noting the three portraits in the foyer: Sir Issac Newton, John Locke and Francis Bacon. Hamilton asked Jefferson who the portraits were. He proudly identified them as the three greatest men who ever lived. Hamilton responded, “I thought Julius Caesar was the greatest man who ever lived!” We all have our heroes.
Today, heroism seems to be populated with military folk – many of whom ARE heroes, and sports or Hollywood figures. And that’s fine, such as it is.
But, see what The Art of Manliness came up with:
Manvotional: There Is Always a Time for Heroism
by BRETT & KATE MCKAY
“There Is Always a Time for Heroism”
By GR Jordan
From The Emerging Revival, 1946
Once Wendell Phillips and a young friend were sitting by the fire. It was a memorable evening. Recollections had flushed the cheeks of the veteran campaigner. Memories of former heroic days had loosened his tongue. He had completely lost himself in the thrilling recital of the past. The young visitor sat enthralled. At last, when he recognized that the evening was far gone, he rose with a start. “Mr. Phillips,” he exclaimed, as he grasped the older man’s hand, “if I had lived in your time, I think I would have been heroic too!” The veteran, who had accompanied his young visitor to the door, was noticeably aroused. As he pointed down the street, he drew the attention of his companion to flaunting indications of audacious vice. His voice was tremulous with indignation as he exclaimed: “Young man, you are living in my time, and in God’s time! Be sure of this: No man could have been heroic then who is not heroic now.”
Be heroic now.
Well, the Nation has re-elected the incumbent. In spite of allegations of
stealing tampering irregularities of votes (e.g. some voting districts in Ohio reportedly had 0% Republican turn out!) we got what we deserve.
Americans historically don’t like politics, and this time around is no different. We suffered through 18 months of vile political attack ads, then went into the booth, held our respective noses and pulled the lever.
And what did we get for our trouble? COOL.
After all, American Tradition shows us we vote for the coolest guy. How many generals, admirals, war heroes and other military folk have run for President or Vice President, because for most of this country’s history such people were thought of as cool? Does this mean they are qualified civilian administrators and policy makers? Not necessarily.
The advent of modern telecommunication, computers, the Internet and email, coupled with the anti- (fill-in-the-blank) movement, another dimension has been added. Just like cinema of the late 60s/early 70s reflected the counter-culture, so did politics. And cool took on another facet.
Suddenly, the cool guy wasn’t the former Army General or the guy whose PT boat was sliced in half by a Japanese destroyer, it was the guy who reluctant served, or the guy who didn’t even serve at all.
Suddenly, it’s Dustin Hoffman instead of Audie Murphy; Peter Fonda instead of John Wayne. William Jefferson Clinton and Barack Hussein Obama instead of George Bush (either one).
There was a time that American ideals meant a Norman Rockwell painting, not a poster from Mother Jones. Suddenly it was okay to hold high office having admittedly done marijuana and cocaine in one’s youth. Instead of just drinking.
And we got what we deserve. The anti-hero.
Lazlo Bane’s song I’m no Superman was the theme song to the television series Scrubs, a comic farce about doctors’ training in residency.
I wasn’t a big fan, but, those I did catch were pretty funny. But it’s the theme of the title that caught my attention, today.
Roomie Judy and I were out for
blood breakfast then went to Wally World. (The Walmart I wrote about previously.) The good part is it’s a smaller one, and, being in a smaller community isn’t as congested as my previous one experienced in Metro-Phoenix. Of course, this was lunch time and not rush hour, either.
Upon walking across the parking lot to enter, we encountered two ‘security guards’ (presumably for the store) in a heated discussion with an individual whom it appeared was being asked to leave. He was the the main bringer of the heat.
I immediately noticed two things: 1) the guards were unarmed, and 2) the subject appeared to be unarmed. Of course, he was getting into his vehicle, so I couldn’t see everything. And the guards appeared fit, one especially. But there was a belligerent exchange of words.
Fortunately, this didn’t last long, and he had backed out by the time we arrived at the store proper. None of the participants were around when we left the store 20 minutes later.
‘I’m no Superman’. There was a time, not that many years ago, that my ego would have taken charge, and the former, experienced security guy - me (complete with concealed weapon) would have approached the scene, offering my assistance. (translation: trying to get in on the action!)
Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and we shopped without incident, or inclusion.
Remember, if you are carrying-concealed, you are NOT wearing a mask and cape, and there is no big red S on your chest! If you are not a sworn peace officer you have no requirement or duty to assist anyone. The law doesn’t always protect good Samaritans, but it does protect (usually) those who do nothing.
Especially if they are not invited!
Pay attention and watch your own back, Jack!
PS – I awakened to the Aurora, Colorado shooting story. If only someone had been carrying and took action instead of waiting for the authorities. We’re not supermen, but we’re not uncaring robots, either. – Guffaw
…and the maroons who say ‘Happy Memorial Day’ on TV and Radio.
…and Brigid said it best! It’s Not About a Day Off from Work
No reason to be maudlin. Solemn would be nice. Remembrance.
I used to spend Memorial Day watching Uncommon Valor, but I can’t anymore. It’s just a movie.
I miss you brother. Thank you for your service.
(click on the photo to see what I previously wrote about my friend – Guffaw)
h/t Tin Can Assassin, Cathy Bell, Brigid, and all who gave all
The Oldest and Youngest living Medal of Honor recipients, together…
h/t Facebook, Judy
STORMBRINGER tells us of a true hero. CW2 Ed Cantrell, who successfully served 5 TOURS in Afghanistan and 1 in Iraq, returned home to die in a house fire attempting to rescue his two daughters.
h/t Sean Linneane