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Reflections of a working writer and reader



No More Heroes

Dick Jones on Patteran Pages examines the changing role of the hero in our lives:

I don’t think I’ve ever had any actual heroes. However, when I was 5 or 6 Winston Churchill’s name still struck gold: we kids in playground & street accepted as an article of faith that he was the warrior-god who had delivered us from the Nazi hordes. And the day after my parents took me to see the film Hans Christian Andersen, Danny Kaye sat himself down at a neighbouring table in our favourite Italian restaurant & I got his autograph. For a while, I remember, I felt blessed & touched by greatness. Then there was the time when the Queen smiled at me from her passing car as I struggled at the front of the roadside crowd with the family dog in my arms. For a week or two I speculated about the possibility of a call to the palace so that she might get a closer look.

But somehow, over the years, neither rock-and-roll nor film nor football yielded up the gilded hero for me. Somehow it was always apparent that, however pronounced the talent, the pretender still sat on lavatories, bathed naked & had difficulty with simple sums.

5 Responses to “No More Heroes”

  1. Jim Murdoch says:

    I passed comment on Dick’s blog a few days ago but the one thing I forgot to ask him was, considering the pantheon of superheroes available, why the heck did he pick the Blue Beetle?

    jb says: Hi Jim, Good to see you here. I thought they were all the same guy, superheroes. Sometimes he’s blue and sometimes he’s red (or black, or name your own colour); but he’s there as an assurance of protection and redemption for the little people of the world and he (or she) appears in different colours and different guises to fill a kind of fashionable gap of the time. Before we got the comics and a parody of literacy he would turn up as Jesus or the Bhudda or the Prophet, wearing, in each case, different attire, but always bearing the same message.

  2. Shawn says:

    I’d rather meet Danny Kaye than Jesus any day.

    I don’t have any heroes myself but–and this probably says more about me than I’d care to share–the only living celebrity that I would be excited to meet would be William Shatner, maybe because he takes himself about as seriously as everyone else does.

    jb says: Hi Shawn. Danny Kaye and Jesus have both checked out, I heard. But William Shatner, now, there’s a name to conjure with. Was he the one who played Captain Kirk’s voice and once (or perhaps more than once) figured in an episode of Columbo?

    If so, this is for you: captain kirk

  3. Jim Murdoch says:

    Methinks it’s been a while since you read a comic. Of course the kinds of superheroes you reference still exist but there are far more grey hats these days than anything else. To be honest I have a lot of times for comics. I read them regularly into my thirties.

    There is a nice potted history of comics at
    Have a quick read at the sections referring to the seventies and eighties. The comics I read then were intelligent, well-written, the heroes didn’t always save the day and even when they did they didn’t go home to a nice hot bath and a martini feeling good about themselves. Have a look at the tortured characters in Alan Moore’s ‘Watchmen’ if you want a great example of a comic book punching well above its weight.

    Or were you simply being facetious?

    jb says: There might have been some facetiousness in there, Jim. I couldn’t swear there wasn’t. But my main problem was the usual one, spouting off about something of which I know little. I’ll go visit the website you mention; see if I can drag myself up to speed.

  4. MissWolvie22 says:

    john baker its a nice website.i like it

  5. agila says:

    Heroes still exist but they are too rare, you have to look harder to find them.