Wednesday, May 18, 2005

WHO ARE THE HEROES

INFLATION MEANS A DOLLAR DOESN'T HAVE AS MUCH VALUE AS IT DID IN THE PAST; IT TAKES MORE DOLLARS TO PURCHASE ALMOST ANYTHING TODAY THAN IT USED TO.
WE HAVE ANOTHER, NON-MONETARY TYPE OF INFLATION GOING ON.
IT DEALS WITH WORDS... WITH DEFINITIONS.
DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN SAID THAT AMERICA WAS, 'DEFINING DEVIENCY DOWN'.
TODAY, IT SEEMS, WE'RE DEFINING ACHIEVEMENT UP.
THINK OF IT AS A HYPERBOLIC SOCIETY. WHERE PEOPLE GIVE 110%.
A BIG GULP, SUPER-SIZED PLACE, WHERE UNIVERSITIES INFLATE GRADES. WHERE AVERAGE HAS BEEN REPACKAGED INTO ABOVE AVERAGE. A PLACE WHERE SCHOOLS HAVE GIFTED PROGRAMS WHICH INCLUDE EVERY STUDENT. EVERYONE IS GIFTED.
MODELS HAVE BECOME SUPER-MODELS.
ACTORS HAVE BECOME STARS.
ATHLETES HAVE BECOME SUPER-STARS.
LIMMOS HAVE STRETCHED.
McADJECTIVES ARE THE NEW NOUNS.
MEDIOCORE IS UPGRADED TO GOOD, AND GOOD MEANS AWESOME.
THINGS HAVE BEEN RENAMED, INFLATED, AND PUFFED UP. IF IT'S SMALL, PUMP IN THE SILICONE AND ADD THE EXTENSIONS.
THIS INCLUDES OUR NATIONAL EGO. WE ARE A COUNTRY ON EMOTIONAL STEROIDS. MORE IS MORE. E PLURIBUS UBER.
SO WHAT HAS THIS DONE TO OUR CONCEPT OF HEROS AND HEROISM; WORDS WE OFTEN USE.
DO WE HAVE HERO INFLATION? IS IT PART OF THIS CULTURAL BLOAT?
WE SEEM QUICK TO CALL PEOPLE HEROS.
IS HITTING A HOMERUN HEROIC?
ARE ALL OUR SOLDIERS HEROES?
WAS CHRISTOPHER REEVES A HERO?
WERE THE PEOPLE KILLED IN THE TWIN TOWERS HEROES?
SO, THE QUESTION IS, THROUGH ALL THIS EXAGGERATED FOG, WHO ARE THE HEROES?

9 comments:

quicksand said...

THE FOLLOWING WAS SENT BY AN ANONYMOUS AUTHOR

what i find amazing about people today is there inclination to define themselves by titles, which are generally words with no substance, no meaning, and which are not earned or deserved. patriotic, un-american, anti-semetic, hero, honor student, super-mom, world's greatest dad. its meaningless rhetoric...a designation to make a person feel better about themselves, or differentiate oneself from another. a 'hero' has become any person who finds themselves in a job or position where their lives are on the line, or where they must risk there lives for another. well, lets see then. a fireman is a hero by virtue of the fact that he or she has the potential to help another. if, in fact, this person does save or help another, he or she must then be designated a super-hero. well, then by logical deduction, a person working in a factory which has not met health or safety standards, and who is working 14 hour days making below minimum wage, for the benefit of the CEO's bank account and his wife's weekly botox treatments, must be a hero.... see, person in a potentially dangerous job, helping others. what's the difference?
my question is, why do we feel the need or maybe the obligation to determine who is a hero and who isnt? we take comfort in knowing that we are surrounded by heroes, so we can feel safe that others will sacrifice their safety, or health or even lives so that we can go about our normal routines. those people in the twin towers were heroes, because their lives were sacrificed, so that ours didnt need to be. if no one was actually in the twin towers when it was hit, and no one was killed, would the actual towers be the heroes?

MilesDavis said...

I agree with your idea of society's inflation of language and quickness to cannonize individuals as "Heroes". I recently came across a "Time" magazine from 1969. The magazine had a graphic on the cover of a piece sign and a story about the Moratorium. I was amazed at the amount of words there were on a page! More than double the amount that "Time" publishes in its articles and on it's page now.(I held both magazines side by side for a comparison) I also read the article written in 1969 and I must admit to you...I was unaccustomed to many of the words used in it. (Have I been "Dumbed down" over the years?) Or have I alway's been Dumb! (Please don't agree fellas!..LOL) As far as heroes go, I believe any rightious individual (Not Self Rightious mind you) but GOOD. And who has a will and a strength to survive the "Slings and Arrows" of this sometimes shitful world we live in and can do so with head held high..and is an inspiration to me personally..That person IS my HERO. (Guess I'm a Liberal Hero worshippper!...Well, there are worse things to be I guess.)

quicksand said...

THIS WAS SENT TO ME. IT WAS NOT WRITTEN BY QUICKSAND.

I did read your blog on Heroes and have read and heard similar thoughts in the news and on TV. I'd be more interested in why you think the nation has taken this direction. Why is everything so homogenized and why do we lower standards instead of requiring them? Now I'm not saying that this is the result of "Liberalism" cause I wouldn't want them religious right maniacs deciding the countries fate either. Com'on baby, K-Y my brain cells. You and I could run this country. We would call it Alan's & Bruce's country.
Heard a great report about China and how we are feeding them to become the next economic and military might (or threat).
Your buddy in thought and crime,
AUU

quicksand said...

DEAR AW,

CURIOUS THAT YOU SAY THAT YOU WOULDN'T WANT TO BLAME THIS ON LIBERALISM...SOUNDS LIKE A HINT TO ME.
SOMETHING IS HAPPENING TO AMERICANS. CAN PEOPLE HIGH-FIVE THEMSELVES?

hans blix said...

The disappearance of standards in many parts of life is due to the fact that we want to believe that we live in a less divided society and that everyone has the chance to be a somebody. It reflects a hyper-individualism that is endemic to both the right and the left today. We operate on the premise that every individual arrives in this world with no historical or cultural baggage and that every onen of us can write our own story. Class, race, ethnicity...do not matter. All of us can become super-sized in our life so long as we remain free of all that baggage. Of course, the reality might be entirely different, especially class in America which is the sleeping bear in the corner everyone ignores. But forgetting about the baggage might not be such a bad thing, given that race, religion and ethnicity tends to lead to pretty nasty conflicts. On the other hand, it also means we have empty lives because we never know how to give meaning to them except by telling ourselves that those lives are super-sized, outstanding, surrounded by heroes and superstars like no other time in history. But Tocquevile said this is what would happen to America nearly two hundred years so we shouldn't be surprised and Nietsche said this is was the fate of all modern societies. We can choose to be miserable human beings (trying to make sense of all the baggae we carry with us) or happy pigs. The people have spoken. Oink. Oink.

quicksand said...

WELL MR. BLIX,
ONCE AGAIN YOU OFFER UNORTHODOX ANALYSIS.YOU ARE NEVER A BOAR.
IT'S NOT EASY BEING A POST-MODERN MAMMAL. THE NY TIMES SERIES ON 'CLASS' SUGGESTS THAT CLASS HAS BECOME LESS CONSPICUOUS, BUT IS AS POTENT AS EVER.
ANY CHANCE THAT WE MIGHT APPROACH THIS CHALLENGE OF LIFE WITH NO BAGGAGE OTHER THAN, MAYBE, ONE CARRY-ON AND A HAM SANDWICH?

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