Sunday, December 30, 2007

Gyros, Hiros, Heroes

Hello peeps. It's Sunday and I'm-a-blogging my brain and I think you'll like this one...
The topic is hidden in the title, "heroes". I'm talking about all things in the genre; Superfriends-in-tights, personal heroes in your life, tasty Greek sandwiches.

Much more to the point, after watching the DVD TV series "Heroes" while taking care of my brand new Piper Grace Campbell, I realized something. There's a character, Nathan Petrelli, that is labelled by another character Hiro Nakamura as a "villain". That got me thinking. Okay, I was already in the throes of thinking, but it got me thinking about one idea in particular: we should get rid of our villains and become our own heroes.

You already know that I'm no fan of our current president (or his father) George Bush. I think he might not be evil per se, but he seems to be acting in many intentionally and unintentionally "bad" ways. Bad meaning greedy, bad meaning ignorant, bad meaning hypocritical, bad meaning harmful. Again, could be that he's a "good person inside", but he's acting like a bad one. A villain. While watching Nathan-Hiro interaction on "Heroes" I discovered a huge problem with TV/DVD/Movies:

The stuff we see in movies and on TV is almost immediately dismissed as fantastical. The ideas generated are way too kooky to be possible in the "real world". Reality TV aside, the great ideas that the "Heroes" series comes up with are bittersweet to me. Sure, people are not going to be injecting themselves with serums in order to fly or read minds (at the moment...), but they certainly can do HUGE things with their current real-world gifts in their own lifetimes.

When we see characters like Hiro reciting the code of the Bushido, we are excited, but in the end we are often stopped from the very act of actually discovering what the Bushido code might mean if we applied it to our real lives. We often see things on the screens we watch and immediately tag it, bag it and forget it as "unreal". Even things we know damn well to be real.

People really do amazing, nay, heroic, things all the time. We are currently splitting atoms down to their basic components, looking deep into the history of the Universe, building medical nanorobots that get their power from the pressure of the flow of blood in our veins, jumping off mountains and floating gently to the ground. Sure, they do some of these things with the aid of technology, but so did a great number of SuperHeroes. That's the lesson of comic books: that in reality you can actually do many awesome feats all by yourself (or with some help) if you'd just believe in your abilities. Even better, once your find and believe in your abilities, you practice them day and night and apply them to your life and the lives of others.

Specifically regarding present-day events, the "villain" in the show was the President, and he's been sub-ethical in most of his dealings. The crew in Heroes might or might not be plotting to depose the fellow (only on the first season right now), but it's clear that the planet in the show would be better of with a different POTUS. Who's going to save the planet from this bad president? It's up to the Heroes, not the general population, not the voters (they've been disenfranchised by a villain's plot), not an activist or dedicated citizen.

This is my point: it's essential that we watchers of stuff on screens realize that we can do astonishing things if we have faith in ourselves. No joke. We've got huge untapped skills and networks and power that we don't use yet. We've all got it, and we rarely tap it. It's not just a metaphor to read about in comic books and watch as fantasy films. Obviously, we don't have real dragons around to slay, but we do have a Vice President who's a real life villain and we should impeach him as well as the President. We should get together and reduce our global environmental footprint far beyond (currently unsigned by the USA) the Kyoto Protocol.

I challenge anyone who reads this to think about the fantastical superheroes in their lives, and to put together a plan to do some of your own heroics. Do it! Seriously, DO IT NOW.

Now playing: Chris Whitley - Big Sky Country
via FoxyTunes

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