People who are preoccupied with heroes and heroism

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I thought of asking this in the main comics thread but this is bigger than that. I have to say I'm quite skeptical of people like this, they often complain about morally grey characters in storytelling and their idea of heroism often seems superficial and easy. And I bet a ton of them love Trump.

But I do find it kind of interesting when it's integral for people in superhero stories, even when it's as cockeyed as Steve Ditko's ideas about heroism (who sometimes contrives situations to murder people without guilt).

And from reading about J Michael Straczynski's autobiography (which sounds good, even though I'm not really into him), he seems to have developed an obsession with heroism because his father was a monster.

Does this preoccupation set off your alarm bells? How often does it come across sincere?

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 14 March 2020 19:37 (two months ago) link

It's an understandable phase of child development

Psychedics with Rosie Swash (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 March 2020 19:47 (two months ago) link

I don't know that I was ever interested in heroism, I just liked the spectacle and that's mostly still the appeal.

Recently I was particularly excited by the monk in the film Iron Fisted Monk, because he says a quick prayer for each person he murders. I don't know what that says about me that I thought that was so cool. It's my fantasy of being amazingly even-tempered.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 14 March 2020 19:55 (two months ago) link

I was sarkily suggesting it's an infantile frame of mind.

It's made me think tho, yes there are behaviours or aspects of character that we admire as adults, even in fictional characters. And I'm not really interested in monodimensional characters in fiction but I can think of a bunch of exceptions to that.

I'm knackered this evening, can't put my thoughts together at the moment. Good thread tho, gonna chime in when my brain works. Thinking about how the belief in heroism plays out in people's engagement with politics too.

Psychedics with Rosie Swash (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 14 March 2020 20:03 (two months ago) link

yes good thread idea and I'll have more thoughts later. seems to tie in to ideas of romanticism and notions ones gets from storytelling that don't necessarily reflect the real life. values we hope to hold and are partly expected to behold that aren't feasible in most real contexts

doorstep jetski (dog latin), Saturday, 14 March 2020 20:17 (two months ago) link

There was a story about Straczynski running after and tackling a thief to the ground at a convention, people asked him why he did that and then he asked why a Superman writer wouldn't chase a thief.

I don't know if it would be telling whether people prefer stories of lifelong do-gooders or flawed people who manage to do good things despite pressure all around to compromise.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 14 March 2020 21:58 (two months ago) link

I blame Joseph Campbell - especially when Star Wars fans grafted his writing on it.

Elvis Telecom, Saturday, 14 March 2020 22:44 (two months ago) link

Thomas Carlyle to thread! He wrote the book on this.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 14 March 2020 22:47 (two months ago) link

I wonder if this is even more important in china because it's constantly discussed in wuxia and "cultivation novels"

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 14 March 2020 23:02 (two months ago) link

…make up the entirety of Jordan Peterson's readership.

romanesque architect (pomenitul), Saturday, 14 March 2020 23:44 (two months ago) link


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