Monday, June 8, 2009

Looking for a Hero

I have never been that much into hero worship. Sure, when I was a kid, I thought certain celebrities or athletes looked cool or were worth imitating at some level. But, as I grew up and passed through my teenage years, these kind of thoughts dissolved away. However, I have friends who are still into a bit of hero worship. I have never felt it my place or my responsibility to talk them out of this. I sense that they are kind of living vicariously through these others. After all, heroes can do things that we never could. By talking about them, or following them, or watching them, maybe we are that much closer to being able to dunk a basketball, or hit that monster home run, or be seen with those beautiful women. Funny that folks look past the deep flaws in their heroes. Funny that they see only a manufactured image. Funny that the reality can be much different than the persona or the reputation.

Kobe Bryant betrayed his wife. Alex Rodriquez is an admitted cheater. Elvis Presley was a drug addict. Rock Hudson was gay. I suspect that the hero worshippers or groupies are immune to the truth at times. They might be aware of the facts, but they find a way to look past them or gloss them over. Does following someone or emulating them or making a big deal of their talent or accomplishments somehow amount to tacit approval of their behavior? On one level I think it does. On another, probably not. After all, hero worship is just fantasy. Isn't it?