Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I...I Will Be King

Harry Potter: My Literary Hero

This is not an easy post to write. Like Allison, I find heroes hard to find in a culture that celebrates fame for fame's sake, and catapults so many barely talented people into stardom when they've hardly had to lift a finger. I couldn't think of anyone who I really look up to,
every pro had a con.

My mind kept wandering to biblical passages about worshipping false idols, or the heroes of classical civilisation, ancient definitions of heroism and out-dated reasons to respect.

So in a world with no Spartans, where vacuous, talentless individuals are placed on pedestals, where is the heroism? Who is there to respect? Politicians lie, footballers behave like children and celebrities fall apart in spectacular fashion, right in front of your eyes.

But I didn't lose hope, for once, because there are people I respect and look up to. There are people who display traits I'd love to have. They're just not famous. It's the people who have the guts to split up fights they're not involved in. Or who buy homeless people a cuppa rather than awkwardly avoiding their gaze or throwing them some loose change. Journalists who quit their jobs - despite the skin chances of finding a new one - because they disagree with the messages they are paid to put across.

So I've decided to give up trying to find a celeb worthy of my admiration. I'll save it for people who go out of their way for others, or those who face hardship and difficulty but still won't compromise when doing what's right. These are the traits I'd want in a hero, and sadly (or so it seems) traits that are lacking in today's legions of celebrities.

I totally have Bonnie Tyler stuck in my head now.


  1. Good post Tom - but it does put me in a bit of a Radiohead mood.

    There are still people worth looking up to - not all celebrities are Charlie Sheen or Snookie. I get what you're saying, the real heroes are the everyday people who do great things but don't get recognition for it.

    I love your photo!

  2. Awesome post :)

    I always find it disturbing hearing how people like Lady Gaga, Charlie Sheen and Snookie are huge 'heroes' for kids these days. It's heart-breaking to know that that's what they aspire to.

  3. Tabs - I hope people don't actually aspire to be like Charlie Sheen - I think people just love a good trainwreck :S It's really unfortunate.

  4. This is an amazing post. "Culture" has become so devoid of anything resembling its own definition that it is insulting to even use the word. There are people out there worth looking up to, you just have to look harder to find them. It's the working actors (not the famous ones), the grassroots (or high school) politicians, and the activists whose names we don't know, because they're too busy making a difference to stop and talk about it.

    Thanks for reminding everyone of this. You're my hero today, Tom.