Heroes. What are they, and why are we so hungry for them? In the wake of Brian Williams’ admission and subsequent ‘self imposed hiatus’ from the NBC Nightly News maybe its time to examine what it is about modern society that drives people to embellish and to make themselves heroes, and apparently allows us to accept them at face value. That is, until they are brought down. Are we wired to create and accept heroes? In Greek Mythology Heroes were actually gods. Some believe society is based on hero worship. Our modern media is a brain; a dream machine that mirrors the human consciousness, whether ‘it’ knows it does this, or not. As Brian Williams falls from his perch, new heroes are being created 24/7 by the ‘Borg’. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes; Entertainers who become demigods; Elvis and Michael Jackson, sports ‘heroes’. Movie stars like Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe who live forever. More dangerously, people who are supposed to tell us ‘the truth’, like Brian Williams and people we choose lead us, like the President. All are flawed, because they are human beings. Yet we think of them – in their glory – as untouchable; Heroes, demigods. Sometimes actual heroes, like Chris Kyle, are built up, and torn down. Other times it’s just this week’s hero, like Brian Williams. The mechanism that raises them up, continually tears them down, blurring the lines of reality and the dream. Are we asking for this? Is it surprising, considering the myth making that ‘makes’ the hero, that a fair degree of embellishment goes into the myth? Is it getting worse? After nearly 8 years of struggle, is it possible Americans have begun to conclude they are on their own and the struggle is internal? If that’s true, how do we slay our dragons? How might that change the hero creation machine? Sponsored by Ryan Plumbing and Heating of Saint Paul and by Depotstar.
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