Tags: Hollywood | Media Bias | heroism | recognition | status

Truly Good People, Real Heroes Transcend Time

a fire department tribute to first responder heroes

(Erin Alexis Randolph/Dreamstime)

Monday, 26 August 2019 10:36 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Remember when pretty much most all Americans seemed to think of each other as good guys – and yes, good gals also?

That was before we divided each other into two warring tribes, we conservative deplorables, and those other liberal loonies.

I am painfully reminded of this polarization when Nancy warns me not to open up "sensitive" political topics because the wife or husband of the couple we are meeting for dinner is reportedly very "progressive."

By "painfully" reminded, I am referring to the feeling in my leg after being repeatedly kicked under the table.

Nancy also gives me a hard time when she catches me sneak-savoring a rerun of an old cowboy movie . . . the sort we saw for 25 cents at a small town neighborhood Saturday afternoon matinee which she regards as entirely mindless and trite.

She might ask, for example in a condescendingly superior tone,"What satisfaction can you possibly get out watching that simplistic stuff?"

But then, how can she possibly understand? She’s from Chicago.

In any case, I’ll give it my best shot in trying to explain.

Sure, so maybe those "good old days" were really never quite the way they appeared to my generation as kids. Those black-and-white film and moral code portrayals made it immediately apparent whom to cheer for.

They were the ones wearing white hats so that you always knew who they were.

Those white hats somehow never appeared to get dirty: not even on dusty trail rides or bandit chases. And our cowboy heroes also never seemed to sweat much; neither heat of gunfight nor desert ever phased them.

Invariably and enviably, that bravery won the hearts of the best looking gals. It obviously also helped in this female adoration department that some of them, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry for example, sang tolerably well.

Overall, these characters were straight shooters in more ways than one. They didn’t talk dirty, use dope, take even so much as their boots off in public, or do much of anything else that attracts movie audiences today.

Yeah, they shot or beat up lots of those bad guys, including native Indians who were all-to-often caricatured as "savage redskins." That prevalent 1800s’ -era stereotype had truly provoked egregious maltreatment of peaceful tribes — including my Winnebago ancestors  — who were driven from their lands to subsist on reservations.

And yes, the movie plots and dialogs were simplistic, with unfailingly predictable sunset sky-illuminated happy endings.

But it’s certainly not a matter of contemporary television plots becoming any less simplistic or violent. Lucrative adolescent markets for ruthlessly barbaric and stupefyingly graphic movies and video games clearly indicate otherwise.

Nevertheless, important core values represented even in those superficial models of heroism of my previously un-"woke" generation continue to remain salient.

One timeless heroic value is a universal desire for rules of ethical fairness and equal justice. Another respects those who demonstrate courage of conviction to worthwhile and generous purposes, often at significant cost, and sometimes leading to mortal sacrifice.

We are surrounded by ageless real-life evidence of such heroism.

Real heroes, for example, include military personnel and police officers who put themselves in harm’s way to protect all of us irrespective of individual economic status, race, and ethnicity, partisan ideology, or inadequate public recognition.

Heroes include hospice workers and other medical professionals who tirelessly devote their own lives to attending our physical and emotional needs under desperate personal and family circumstances.

Heroic qualities are evident in teachers who inspire young people as intellectual, motivational and character role models to pursue and attain loftier achievements; and to avoid dangerous and destructive life pathways.

Countless heroes among us are parents who struggle through major health, employment, and marital status setbacks to provide uninterrupted necessities, including constructive moral guidance, for their children.

Not-to-be forgotten heroes diligently and proudly perform low-wage, labor-intensive services in pursuit of hard-earned, yet unbounded prosperity and life quality afforded by American free market opportunities.

Still, both for better or worse, many contemporary culture heroes have also changed a lot from the examples we once cheered and dreamed to emulate in now-ancient days of romantic memory.

In that nostalgic past, it was those good guys in the white hats that rescued banks and stage coaches from robbers.

Even the legendary Robin Hood and his merry band of good fellows have now gone rogue.

They became wealthy robber barons masquerading in propeller-topped green beanies and brandishing weaponized climate guilt to steal from our kiddies’ piggy banks.

And no question, I’m unabashedly and unrepentantly political. Most recently I find myself rooting for guy with a red Make America Great Again cap.

I don’t really know how well he can sing, but the catchy music makes me want to hum along.

Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports Click Here Now.

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One timeless heroic value is a universal desire for rules of ethical fairness and equal justice. Another respects those who demonstrate courage of conviction to worthwhile and generous purposes,
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Monday, 26 August 2019 10:36 AM
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