Friday, June 22, 2007

Why we love idealistic freaks

THE LEAST YOU NEED TO KNOW: Heros are cool. Now go read some Joseph Campbell. It'll blow your mind.
Check out this badass. This is a pic from the new Batman film The Dark Night coming out next year. He's black, he's bad, and he hiding in the shadows ready to attack. Why are heros so appealing, even to adults who know Superman can't fly and Wonder Woman's lasso can't make you tell the truth?

We live in very complicated times. News comes at us fast, and thanks to the "if it bleeds it leads" media, it's usually bad news. Evil seems everywhere. People have less and less to believe in. Politicians are utterly compromised by corporate power. Priests are routinely arrested for sodomizing children. Everyone seems on the take, and covering their tracks with spin and public relations campaigns. Hell even Philip Morris has commercials telling you they want to help you quit smoking! It is a world full of uncertainty and grey.

In this grey world, heros are black and white. Superman never takes a bribe, never lies, and never uses his x-ray vision to look at boobies. Batman uses his vast wealth to do good in and out of the suit. Luke Skywalker turned down ruling the Empire with his daddy and freed it instead. If only George W was so noble.

Since humans began telling stories, heros have been there doing good deeds. They are pure, like we all want to be, and they protect us from what we fear. And look damn cool doing it, like Harrison Ford ready to go it again as Indiana Jones (above).

But I'm just a blogger. You want to really blow your mind on this topic, Joseph Campbell, famed American writer, orator and inspiration-giver, has written at length on this in The Hero with a Thousand Faces among other great books. If think print is dead, you can listen to it for 12 bucks here.

Now check out this picture of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman and ask yourself why we shouldn't fight to make a world worthy of this uber-babe. Riddle me that.

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