Why are Americans holding out for a hero?

It’s time to stop outsourcing our civic responsibility to some faceless political hero who may never arrive

In a traditional hero narrative there’s very little gray space for us to get morally lost in… but we don’t live in that kind of narrative.

I mean, in the movies, everyone who isn’t some kind of evil villain is cheering for Superman, or Spiderman, or Thor, etc., in unison. It isn’t partisan — literally everyone who isn’t a baddie wants the dude/ette to succeed and save them from disaster! But that’s because (most of the time) the hero and the villain are clearly delineated, making it much easier to tell good from bad, black from white…

Can we all just agree that this video is amazing AND weird AF at the same time?
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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash
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The condensed version…
  1. Beauty and the Beast
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
  4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
  5. It
  6. Thor: Ragnarok
  7. Despicable Me 3
  8. Logan
  9. The Fate of the Furious
  1. Armageddon
  2. There’s Something About Mary
  3. A Bug’s Life
  4. The Waterboy
  5. Doctor Dolittle
  6. Rush Hour
  7. Deep Impact
  8. Godzilla
  9. Patch Adams

It’s actually easier to die a hero, than to live as one.

Howard Suber, author of The Power of Film, explains the mythic quality of the hero’s sacrifice, as such:

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\Both things can’t be true…
  • Non-Trump-loving Republicans hope he’ll turn into one (but how when he hasn’t gone anywhere on Campbell’s map)…
  • Everyone else is hoping for a hero to come along that will defeat Trump.
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Photo by tom coe on Unsplash

“The hero doesn’t become a hero simply because he takes a stand against the villain; he becomes a hero because he stands for something. This can be justice, a cause, his family, friends, community, or nation. Invariably, while the villain stands for himself, the hero stands for something beyond himself.” — Howard Suber, The Power of Film

Even though we may disagree about what our hero needs to look like and who s/he needs to fight, I think most of us expect our heroes to possess some agreed upon qualities. A hero should be:

  • Honorable
  • Brave
  • Willing to make a sacrifice in the name of what’s “Right”
  • Just
  • Determined
  • Admirable
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Photo by Joey Nicotra on Unsplash
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Photo by Karim MANJRA on Unsplash
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Photo by TK Hammonds on Unsplash
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Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

Thinking thoughts, writing them down… trying not to scream in the interim. Also: Playwright. Professor. Mom. Wife. Cat-Servant. Follow @LadyPlaywright

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