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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Looking at today's New Orleans horror stories... movies are entertainments, sure. But they also show us how heroes are supposed to behave. The typical American movie hero is an ordinary person in an extraordinary circumstance. Movies give us a context in which to be heroes when we're put in extraordinary circumstances. I was reading yesterday about some guy in a motorboat who was out rescuing people during the storm after his gas ran out. He was dragging the boat by the anchor to some people who were stuck in a house with floodwaters rising.

Who told that guy to do that? His parents? I doubt it. Your parents would rather you stay safe. Movies (and to a lesser extent TV) told him to do that. A culture in which we glorify heroes told him to do that.


and what about all the looting? the mayhem? the weapons? the anarchy?

in tough situations, the romantics love to point to the "everyday hero" story, when the actual narrative is the sheer destructive, furious, extreme impulse of humanity.

By Blogger Larry Fouch, at 10:40 AM  


That's why they call them heroes. For every one of them who puts aside their own needs, their own fears, their own problems to help others...

There's a thousand schmoes out there just trying to "get theirs."

By Blogger Bill Cunningham, at 11:42 AM  

I realize that, Bill--all I'm saying is that a culture in which we glorify heroes isn't working 99% of the time. Maybe if our movies and television treated people a little more honestly--humanly--we could see incremental positive progress, as opposed to some outlandish, outlying, and fairly unaffective heart-warming story.

By Blogger Larry Fouch, at 12:28 PM  

It is a tough situation, but I am amazed at what I am seeing from over here.

I never expected looting, rapes, etc. People need to see the good stories to reinforce what they should be doing.

I don't recall this type of looting after the Tsunami. It may have, but I really do not recall it.

Are the people who are looting, the ones who could not afford to leave(most of the ones that stayed could not afford to leave is what I have read over here, so forgive me if that is wrong), if this is correct, are they seeing it as their chance to grab stuff.

If movies depicting heros help eliminate over time, this sort of behaviour, then hey, bring 'em on!

I don't see people lining up to watch bad guys get away with it.


By Blogger Grubber, at 9:31 PM  

Movies told him? Geeesh taking it all a bit too seriously, eh? Maybe it was his internal values, his simple compassion? I don't think people need faux Silver Screen hero's to know what is inate. There were thousands of historical hero's before movies you know. Honor, Decency, Country, Love of Fellowman...these things are universal. Movies only highlight what is already there, inspiring others to tap into such, but movies did not CREATE it. :)

By Blogger Christopher Coulter, at 11:19 AM  

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