Where’s the Street-Wise Hercules?

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

With the office closed over the holidays, I have a lot of free time on my hand, and I’ve been watching a lot of movies.  In the past couple of years, I’ve been noticing a trend, and I’m sure this has been a topic of conversation for a lot of people:  There are a lot of movies about superheros.  A friend last night mentioned they’re only doing it so they can make an Avengers movie.  Well, they are, and I’m excited, but that’s beside the point. Not only are there comic book (or graphic novel) reincarnations, there are several depictions of ordinary people, living in the real world (no radioactive spiders – thank God), putting on a form of costume and fighting the bad guys.  I have two movies in mind: Kick-Ass and Defendor.  Now, Kick-Ass is a comedy, and it’s meant to be, but that doesn’t mean it also doesn’t have a point.  Defendor is billed as a dark comedy, but I felt it was something more than that.  I don’t want to get into it, because I’m afraid I’ll ruin the movie, and even if you hate Woody Harrelson, it’s well worth to watch it.  It’s one of his greatest movies I’ve watched.

What I think these movies are indicative of is that we are noticing the crap that’s going on in our world.  I would hazard a guess and say a lot of us don’t think much of the police.  I’m not sure I fall into that category, but sometimes I do feel they are fighting a losing battle, and opposition from us, the good guys, aren’t helping.  The police in general aren’t infallible, but they’re helping hold back a tide of chaos.  At any rate, whatever you feel about the police, they were put in place to help us.

But that isn’t my point.  My point is we’re all seeing how bad guys seem to be winning.  And a large part of us are just sitting back thinking we’re helpless to do anything about it.

We’re not helpless.  We can be braver for five minutes longer.  I can be braver for five minutes longer.

Perhaps these thoughts are idealistic, and you can just sluff it off as ravings of an eternal optimist.  But let me ask you this:  don’t we need ideals?  Can civilization survive without ideals?  Without hope?


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