Tag Archives: Heroes

Heroes

Who is a hero? The one who saves the day, right? <BTW, what is with the capes? Glory Be! Like having something around your neck is not an invitation to a villain to grab it and strangle you with it? And, d’uh, why don’t they, the villains I mean?>  But I digress. Again, who is a hero? Is it enough to save the day? Today it seems like they have to save the world, no the Galaxy.  And then do what? Retire? Are all the criminals and the villains gone? I get that a story, be it a movie or series, must end. We need to know <although there is the ending to The Giver (Lowery)and the ending in Peachtree Road (Siddons)>  we are at the end of the story.

Grimm’s last show was THE END. They were honest. Give them points for that. But they tricked us. <spoiler>  Everyone dies and then everyone comes back because we have this cool magical object that says we can do that. But they went a step further–sort of like JK with Harry. They showed the next generation of Grimm’s fighting the Wessen. So, they saved the planet, well, all humans, but no one is ever really saved. So there was a smidgeon of truth.

We don’t even suspend disbelief anymore. We know there will be something to bring them back. Ironic. In the 21st century, when we say that science is fact, we all believe in magic.

There was a book I read a long time ago, [can’t remember the title]  back in the 1970s, a sci-fi/fantasy book. It was about good triumphing over evil. Evil was powerful, huge armies, lots of people participating. Good was small, a boy, if I remember correctly. And maybe an old man and not much else. The upshot is <was> that good will always triumph even with the full force of evil against it. But like with Grimm, the battle is never over. Maybe the major one is one and done, but there will always be brushfires.

I am a child of the post-war. Not the war to end all wars. That was a silly way to identify it, because the treaty of Versailles only exacerbated the problem and set the world up for a second war. I am a baby boomer. The stories I read were of the men and women who resisted the evils of totalitarianism, oppression, genocide, and communism. Primary text, I think they are called. These individuals did what they could to limit the devastation, to eliminate the threat of an over-class rule. They were common people; maybe bankers, housewives, farmers, shopkeepers, or they were not, perhaps they were earls, counts, government officials. They did not think of their lives as forfeit, but in many cases they were. There was no coming back. There was no magic.

What I read in the 50s were the original memories, the heroic stories of their realization that no one else would stand. They knew literally they had no choice. Today we say we always have a choice. What we mean is you can say yes, or you can say no. Everything we read and see brings this mixed message. The truth is no, no you can’t say no. You can’t.

At an SCBWI conference one of the speakers, Tony Horowitz, I think, said that if nothing else we should be truthful to our children, we should terrify them with the truth. And so, we are back to heroes; those who recognize there is no choice, that saying yes is the only thing, and that doing what you must, even though you are terrified is the right thing.

I call that bravery.

Margaret

Margaret, as in Thatcher, or, the Iron Lady, or, the last conservative Prime Minister of England. But still, Margaret. A grocer’s daughter, a university educated, mother of twins, because they said, leave it to Margaret, how efficient to have two at the same time!

When women were burning bras, there was Margaret. When women were marching for equal rights, there was Margaret. When women were listening to Gloria Steinem, there was Margaret. Margaret in university. Margaret standing for election. Margaret working her way up the political ladder. Margaret changing the face of the UK. While women were protesting for more equality, Margaret just strode into the room smiled, and grabbed it, moving on. And, always looking like a lady, suit or dress and jacket, hat on her head and nylons and heels. Well, it was the eighties.

I don’t have women role models. Personally I think role models are a bunch of nonsense. You’re asking someone to be ‘on’, the best they can be all the time. Not possible. TV and movies have ruined it for most. They take what people do on the screen as real. Well, hell, I’d have better statements and thoughts and career moves if someone was setting up the dialogue, planning the scenes and stabilizing the plot. But no! It just doesn’t work that way.

Margaret Thatcher was a hero. So was Marion Kellogg, the first woman vice president at General Electric, in Human Resources. I have others. And for all of them, they didn’t make a scene, they didn’t flail against the current, the established order. The niggled their way inside it, they stood tall, they walked tall and they conquered.

So. Rest in Peace. Here’s to you, Margaret!