Hero 

Sunday, June 15, 2014, 04:33 AM - Philosophy


As I watch the news and read through the histories of man, there is a strange word that shows up from time to time. I've yet to find two definitions of the word that match, and it's meaning seems to be wholly at the whim of the person using it. It's been used to describe soldiers, paramedics, cancer survivors, truck drivers, nurses, police, crime victims, athletes... Practically anyone who's at all helpful or navigating any sort of obstacle in life seems to be a "hero" these days.

In history a hero was mainly someone who achieved some sort of distinction on the battlefield, and even then the reasons were fairly vague. St. George was a hero for slaying dragons. The 300 at Thermopylae were heroes for holding back an army of much greater size until the Athenian army had time to mount a defense. Pope Urban II described the people in the first crusading armies who pillaged their way through arab lands and massacred the population of Jerusalem as heroes. So what exactly is a hero?

Is it possible to find heroes among the ranks of your enemy? What if that enemy was the Nazis, or Al-Qaeda? Are heroes only on the winning side? Are they only on the side that is right? Is being a hero more a measure of martial ability, or upright morality?

That's alot of questions but you have to wonder if our overuse of the word "hero" these days is lessening the meaning of the distinction, if the distinction ever had a coherent meaning to begin with. Is everyone who puts on a uniform and carries a weapon a hero? That's the point of view the media and our government is pushing, but what does that make Audie Murphy? He was the most decorated soldier in WWII and undoubtedly a hero by any definition of the word. And the soldier who spent the war in a motor pool repairing vehicles and cleaning up parts? Is he on the same level?

Today, the word has uses well beyond war stories and people who are actively fighting off a disease are also called heroes. Children, fighting to survive against their own bad genetics are given the same honors as a soldier who threw away a perfectly healthy body to shield his comrades from the blast of a grenade. In modern culture both are described as heroic and "courageous". We've become such linguistic extremists that anything remarkable is "awesome", "amazing", and "insane". The sensationalism of the media and entertainment industries has made everyone who faces any sort of adversity a hero. Strange... I narrowly dodged a rabbit in the road today on my way home. Where's my medal?

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Comments

Seven 

Sunday, June 15, 2014, 06:11 AM
First

PGSec 

Sunday, June 15, 2014, 10:41 AM
Second, also I loved reading this.

timetotakeactionisnow 

Monday, June 16, 2014, 05:09 AM
It is my opinion that the word hero was given to all soldiers because of the connotations that come with that word. Hero - someone who fights for justice, protects those that are weak etc. You use this word over and over, get it embedded in our brains, our soldiers are heroes.
Thjis way, when for example it comes to light that Bush Sr, the former CIA director, actually used fake satellite photographs of the Iraqi army poised on the Saudi border as our reason why we had to attack them now, before Iraq swept through the Middle East like the nazis in WWII.
Of course the only problem was it turned out Russia and China also had satellites over the same area and lo and behold - there were no Iraqi troops staged on the border, they were not anywhere near the border.
BUT, by then we are already at war when this story comes out so what happens ? The vast majority of people just shrug their shoulders and then come up with some opther reason to justify the war, and one of the main reasons is because it has to be a just war, our heroes are fighting and dying in it. Our "heroes" could not possibly be in the wrong, Superman and Spiderman never attack the wrong people. If our heroes are fighting and dying in a war, they have to be righteous so it has to be a just war.
Sure Bush then gave a bunch of other reasons why we needed to attack Iraq, even though the transcripts of the meeting between April Glaspie and Hussein were actually online and in that transcript it showed us beyond a shadow of a doubt that Hussein actually asked our permission to attack Kuwait because they were side drilling into Iraq. April Glaspie's response (I paraphrase) " That is an Arab-Arab affair and the U.S. has no interest in it"
But few people hear about this because of course CNN, MSNBC and Fox news sure are not going to talk about how we actually set Hussein up so we could attack him....
But how they do this is a long story and not for this post. The point is, in my opinion, they deliberately use the word hero because it is just another justification in the minds of the average person on why this war, whatever the war is, is justified. It has to be, our heroes are fighting and dying in it. I have no doubt that "those in power" have the best minds in pyschology working on every facet of ptretty much everything we see, hear and read in this country, especially since only 4 corporations control over 90% of that. From the time you wake up until you go to bed, you are bombarded with propaganda.
If you happen to lean to the left, they give you MSNBC, if you are on the right, you have Fox news. People then only listen to the “news” that they agree with and they never fully understand any real issue as they only hear “their” side of it. But in reality, both of those “news” channels are serving their purpose – theyu are driving the debate, they control what gets talked about.
The U.S. ambassador giving permission for Hussein to attack Kuwait, nope, let's not talk about that. Instead, let's talk about weapons of mass destruction as that has a great connotation and is the perfect thing to now drive the debate.
Simple as pie.
And no matter what, it is okay anyway because our “heroes” are fighting in it so it has to be just
Just my opinion of course and I am obviously very cynical

Seven 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 12:32 AM
Yes, sadly we have a bit of a "Hero worship" problem in this country...

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