Monday, January 24, 2011

World Without Heroes

It seems to me that in times past, it was so much easier to have a hero. In those times, likely heroes included professional athletes, movie stars, racer car drivers, astronauts, military leaders, musicians, artists, and world leaders. Today the world around us makes it harder and harder to claim anyone as a hero. How can anyone be set apart when any veil of illusion is immediately swept away and trampled asunder by every peering eye, every hidden camera, ever pundit's voice on late-night talk shows? Nobody is ever given a moment's peace. Everyone is constantly under the microscope. Illicit affairs, drug use, financial troubles, gambling problems, undocumented staff workers, private tirades, driving under the influence, politically incorrect language, hardball contract negotiations, policy compromise. Nowadays it does not even matter if any of the allegations made are true or are only the truth from a particular point of view. It seems there is an element of our society whose job it is to ensure nobody is set apart as special or exemplary or worthy of praise. It seems like there is a secret gestapo that seeks to destroy the character or the legacy of anyone that might be admired by the younger generation. One blemish. One spot. One mark. That is all it takes to tear everyone and anyone down, to create a world without heroes.