Wednesday, February 06, 2013

On Heroes and Such



Lance Armstrong - All American Cheat, Liar and Bully 

I've always felt odd because I was never on to this hero adulation that the media always hypes.  I never "got" the whole Lance Armstrong thing, even before he was revealed to be nothing but a liar, cheat and a bully.

I was slammed by some because I dared to criticize Beyonce for lip synching at President Obama's inauguration.  "Why Ron, everyone does it."  So that makes it right?  Well no, actually.  It was fake, just like her hair extensions.


Beyonce - lip synching or not? Only her manager knows for sure.

Then there is the story of Manti T'eo who "dated" a beautiful college coed for three years until she sadly died of leukemia after surviving a terrible car wreck.  She died the same day as his grandmother.  Then it turns out Manti never actually met his "girlfriend" in person, only through the Internet.  The "girlfriend" was fake, a hoax. So this story, all geared to gain sympathy for the "hero" Manti T'eo was fake.  


Manti Te'o - another Hall of Fame Liar

Then we go down the line of other fallen heroes like Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, ad infinitum.  See where I'm going here?  

Then there was the ultimate "hero" - Lance Armstrong (great name for a hero no?) - a cancer survivor who went on to wing seven Tour de France titles.  It seemed to good to be true.  And, sadly, of course, we now know it was.  

CNN has a series of programs called "Heroes" or something like that.  That just makes me feel icky. Real heroes don't need to be celebrated.  To me having a program celebrating heroes just doesn't seem right.  Well I'm glad to find out that it isn't just me.

Mark McKinnon, the former Republican strategist who worked for George Bush (of all people, see how "balanced" I am) came out with an excellent op ed yesterday on heroes (from which I have borrowed excerpts for this posting).  See here for his full op ed.

This quote from Mark's op ed says it all for me:

"The lesson we should pass along to our children is that the real measure of heroism should be the deeds we do when no one is watching. It's the things we do for others without any expectation of compensation, recognition, or reward. It's the small, quiet footprints we leave behind."

I see real heroes almost every day. 

The "hero" that volunteers their time at an animal shelter to make the life of an abused animal a little better.  

The "hero" that finds homes for abandoned and stray cats and dogs.

The "hero" who is helping the victims of Hurricane Sandy clean up their homes so they can live in them again.  

The "hero" that spends their own money and time to help bring together family members to heal old hurts and renew loving relationships.

The "hero" that volunteers their time to pick up the litter and trash along our public highways. 

No, you won't see Anderson Cooper celebrating these "heroes" on his TV show for high ratings.  

As Mark McKinnon said in his op ed:

"I think we've got it all wrong. Athletes and entertainers aren't heroes. They are mere mortals with talent and ambition. In a hyper-competitive world, they are driven to almost always bend the rules in the pursuit of all that fame brings with it. And then when they achieve fame, they think they are no longer subject to the boundaries that apply to the rest of society."





25 comments:

  1. I think society is so desperate to latch onto something positive that we take average people and call them heroes just to makes ourselves feel better.
    Armstrong wasn't a hero, he was a cyclist who proved to be a doper.
    Manti T'eo is just a liar.

    You wanna real hero, look back to Rosa Parks, a Black woman in the 1960s--Black AND female--who stayed seated and took a stand. That's a hero.

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    1. Well said Bob. A woman like Rosa Parks is a real hero. There are many like Rosa whose names will never be known. They don't need the fame and fortune to be recognized, they just do the right thing.

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  2. YESSSSSSSSSSSSS! my own personal hero is my maternal grandmother who "made do" during the depression with 3 kids to feed and my grandfather taking any job just to feed the family.

    my grandmother could sew and knit and cook all without patterns/recipes. she never went to high school or college; she never learned how to drive a car; she never had a bank account (she paid for everything in cash). THAT'S a hero, not these fake "celebrities".

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    1. Yes Anne Marie, people like your grandmother are the real heroes. My Mother kept our family together during many hard times when a lessor person would have given up. She is my all time hero.

      These celebrity 'heroes", give me a break.

      Ron

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    2. My grandmother only had a couple of years of education also, but she read the Saturday Evening Post cover to cover each week and she did beautiful crochets and embroidery. Anne Marie, did your grandmother teach you to knit? What kind of items do you knit and for what purposes other than relaxation?

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    3. David,
      My mom was my hero.

      Ron

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    4. she did indeed. I knit sweaters, blankies, hats, scarves, shawls mostly. yes, I do knit to relax. but some of my knitting is given to charity causes, other items I keep for myself. I may have a few on me at the spo-a-rama-lama-ding-dong in march!

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    5. Anne Marie,

      You know what would be a really cool gift for Dr. Spo? A knitted jock strap or what has also been referred to as a "c_ck cozy". I have a gag gift plus two regular gifts to present to him as well as one to Someone. Let's make this fun!

      Ron

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    6. I doubt if Anne Marie has a pattern for one of those, and she would have to contact Someone to find out how big (or little) to make it!

      It must be a rule however, that every garment presented as a gift must be modeled. LOL.

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    7. David,

      Correct me if I'm wrong but I think your tongue was in your cheek with this comment. Hmmmmm?

      Ron

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    8. I wish I could help out with this matter, but truth be told I am on a deadline right now for a friend who has paid me to knit him something AND I have a charity project due the end of this month.

      as david said, I would have to contact someone for "measurements"; I don't think I would feel comfortable doing that.

      but we will all have a great time! :)

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    9. Anne Marie,

      Maybe you'll get an opportunity to take measurements at the Spotacular in March. Just saying.

      Ron

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  3. Americans have long been hero-obsessed, without knowing the true meaning of the word. "Hero" is only one of many words in our culture that is sorely misused and abused. You've said it all in this eloquent post, Ron. I have nothing to add.

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    1. Jon,

      Our culture is hero obsessed. Too many people think entertainers and sports stars are heroes. Not so.

      Ron

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  4. How many of these celebrities make a grab for the "hero" status, and how many are pushed into the role? I don't know enough about Lance Armstrong (never was a big fan, either) to know if he sought the Hero thing. He sure has fallen, though. I think part of the problem is that the culture, the media, "they", expect heroism from celebrities who are not adequate to the task. Sports celebrities seem to fall victim to this phenomenon. I suspect that these guys don't know how to handle the expectations, and do stupid stuff while in the limelight. For some, it's a no win situation. It's important to remember that all these "heroes" are first of all human. That does not, however, excuse Lance Armstrong's behavior. Not in the least!

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    1. Java,

      I never bought into the whole hero worship thing anyway of celebrities and sports stars especially Olympic stars. My heroes are everyday, unsung heroes.

      Ron

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  5. I agree 100% here. Totally. You're my hero, Ron!

    Peace <3
    Jay

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    1. Thanks Jay but not me. I'm way too cynical.

      Ron

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  6. You are very right Ron and so are the top commenters. Today, it is all about selling hats and shoes and
    jackets... True heroes are in the shadow and instead of being celebrated, we forget about them very fast but we will never forget the cheaters and liars...

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    1. You're absolutely right Nadege. Not for a minute did I think Michael Phelps was a "hero", the way the media tried to portray him. The real heroes are in the shadows and u heralded for the most part and that is as it should be

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  7. Ron: I took a few days media break and didn't post anything per my last blog post. (It was a short break!) I made reference to the fact that I don't watch much commercial TV, and am sensitized to it now, especially the commercials. I think you, and Nadege have touched on what triggers my aversion to modern advertisements and TV in general. This whole "hero" thing is part of a larger bunch of lies we're being fed, mostly in the name of selling things. I thing Bob is right too. We're so desperate to "worship" something that we'll fabricate our own "idols" when we can't find any.

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    1. Sean,

      I take those "media breaks" every now and then too. Commercial TV, I almost never watch it. "Judge Judy" is the only exception. Not only the commercials but the writing isn't funny or interesting. TV is generally for the lowest common denominator.

      Ron

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  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBmJay_qdNc rather interesting !

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  9. Dr. Spo,

    I watched this rationalization cheating video, it was very enlightening. This brings something to my mind immediately, and that is that every gay person who remains in the closet is cheating. They are lying. Of course they rationalize it by saying "I can't come out, I would lose my job." or "I can't come out, no one would respect me." So they rationalize their cheating that they are only protecting themselves and insuring their survival.

    Thanks for sending the link. It gave me several new insights into the human condition which I always find interesting and fascinating.

    Ron

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