Sunday, July 25, 2010


When I was doing some forward thinking a while back, I came up the person whom I figured would be today's hero. After all, he was born today, and I had just started his autobiography. I had heard good things about his work, had even read a bit of it, and he did eventually win the Nobel Prize for literature. But, then it all ended in tears, as these things sometimes do, I read the REST of his autobiography. I found that he was a bit of a snide, lying, jackass who liked to blow his own horn A LOT. I even researched a bit more, and found a collection of his letters to his brother, and to his wife, and between his wife and his brother. Needless to say, I was disappointed in my choice for a hero. It seems he was a bit of a womanizer, now in and of itself that is not going to lose you hero status. Quite a few of my heroes have been, erm shall we say freethinkers when it comes to love. Both men and women can still be heroes even if they like to spread the joy so to speak. However, my candidate glossed over ever bit of that in his autobiography, there is a brief mention of a couple of other women, but nothing that would lead the reader to think that the author was having an affair (in some cases years long) with the woman in question.

Of course, he was married during all of this philandering, but like I said sometimes personal morals can be overcome if the talent is there. This guy had talent of that there is no question, and I am far from being the moral majority, but I figure if you cannot be honest in your own autobiography then you lose hero status. Sure we all want to be the "good guy" in every story that is told about us, we all want to be our own "hero of the day," but in that small place inside of each of us where our true being lies we must be honest with ourselves. We must be able to tell ourselves that perhaps we could have handled a situation better, or maybe I was wrong and I am the villain of the piece after all. Perhaps next time I will try to do better, and maybe I can become a better person if I learn from this experience. My candidate did not seem to be interested in doing that in his book, and I doubt he would have been too thrilled with the publication of his letters that show him to be such a bastard, but he is dead and lying in a pine grove, and can't do much about it.

So, this was an object lesson for me I suppose. A "don't count your heroes before they are anointed" moment in the march of the hero brigade. And I guess that is the problem with some heroes, they just can't be heroic all the time. The hero pose gets a bit tiring I suppose, and maybe a few of them buckle under the weight of all those heroic expectations. My guy certainly did, and I suppose, in some ways that is as much my fault as it is his. Either way, it is a slightly bitter disappointment to realize that you had his place all picked out and polished up for him on the hero podium, only for him to fall at the final hurdle, and turn non-heroic. To quote my boss "I am disappointed."

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