No more heroes anymore

Posted by Ian

When I was young, I’d have no trouble reeling off a list of all the famous people I respected and admired. There were dozens of them. Politicians, writers, musicians, actors… yup, I wore my heroes on my sleeve. I enjoyed listing them to anybody who would listen (and those who would not). And I tried to get others to appreciate them in the same way. When they didn’t, I invariably got annoyed. Can’t you see, I raged, how these people have changed the world?

I defined myself through those I looked up to: nothing wrong there, I suppose; after all, everybody needs somebody to look up to. Trouble is, now that I’m older, I can’t seem to find those heroes anymore. Or rather, I still value those people, but I don’t cherish them. They’re not heroes now. They’re…well, human beings. With all the faults and compromising factors and weaknesses of all of us.

Who should take their place? Maybe nobody. Maybe it’s healthy to keep people off pedestals. I’ve certainly lost all admiration for (mainstream, at any rate) British politicians – last week’s Budget sealed their fate. I can’t think of any actors I would drop everything to watch. And the musicians and writers I enjoy are all old and definitely not cutting edge.

Perhaps it’s also to do with the changing nature of celebrity. Michael Parkinson always used to go on about how, back in the 70s, he’d have incredible Hollywood big shots and legends on his show, but come the last few years he was reduced to chatting with reality show nobodies and ITV stars desperate to plug a programme.

We know too much about people nowadays. If somebody famous kept their mouth shut and went out of their way not to get their photo in the press, well: maybe that would be heroic.

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61 Responses to No more heroes anymore

  1. Peter says:

    you\’re naive then, in the past the press did not manage to dig up as much about the private the lives of famous people as they do today so it gave the wrong impression that celebrities, politicians of the past were classy and moral and legendary. But really celebrities have always been immoral trash, now the press find story after story so we can now all see just what immoral trash they are. Also, many celebrities in the 1960\’s, early 70\’s were quite radical, as society was breaking down the establishment, however, radicalism has now been replaced by hedonism, so celebrities today reflect that too.

  2. Daniel says:

    Sorry, but no. The above author has only began to state the problems that have arisen over the past decades due to the slow corruption of human morals within society. You\’re basically claiming that there is no difference between celebrities today and celebrities past, which is nonsense. I don\’t think you can compare kate moss to Martin Luther King? People in the past years have become celebrities due to their actions, which back then, had profound consequences. None of this crap about this affair or that booze-up. Rebecca Loos is classified as a celebrity. Posh Spice is declared an "icon of our times". I\’m afraid you\’ve completed missed the point the author was trying to bring across, or maybe you\’re just too afraid to admit the problem of today, sugarcoating todays societies woes, a corruption due to mass materialism and conceitedness.
    Unfortunately, the only naive person here is you.

  3. Russell says:

    I think there are fewer well known heroes today because it is the likes of Oliver Cromwell, Winston Churchill, Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and all the freedom fighters won their battles.  We take democracy, freedom of speech, ideals of equality as the norm because they made it the norm.  Many of the causes they battled for were obviously right, while the problems of today, global warming, economic equality etc. are more elusive.  There is no clear consensus on the right way forward.

  4. peter says:

    haha, Martin Luther King? you are so naive, dont you know about the secret recorded washington tapes of Martin Luther King where he talks about sex orgies with white women? you are so naive. next you will probably talk about Nelson mandela, hes almost from the same generation as Martin Luther King…and then you probably don\’t know his violent past and his wife Winnie Mandela\’s criminal past either. so naive.

  5. Dan says:

    I think the person who said that admiring people like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King was naive is pretty pathetic. Whatever they allegedly said or did does not hide the fact they made a big difference and fighting for something they believed. This should be admired! For a start, these things as far as i can tell are just speculative or rumored and even if they are true they should not make someone naive for looking up to them (people make mistakes). Get a grip. When you do something that is remembered for years to come and changes a world view on things, then you can criticize. Seriously, grow up.

  6. Tony says:


  7. Jack says:

    There are heroes out in the world, doing great things for society and the world, but the British media will never talk about them, they don\’t want the masses to have heroes, it\’s too dangerous, so they give us people like Posh spice, Lilly Allen, dumb football players.

  8. Unknown says:

    Dear No Name Dude
    i cant believe you have sat there and called this Ian dude naive.
    if you ask me its the other way around chuff.
    what you gonna say next?                You saw Ghandi catch a bus during the great salt march??
    and how do you know about these \’secret recordings\’? its obvious you heard it on the grapevine.. so please take my advice and dont EVER criticise the life-changing works of Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King.
    theres another word for people like you and thats ignorant.
    I am a 15 yr old girl, and i happen to look up to Martin, Nelson, and Ghandi, i pray and remember them everyday, because i know that what they did helped people for the better, and if you want to crush all that with your petty little comment go ahead. but remember, the media recorded and broadcasted their freedom fighting.
    YOU are hearing RUMOURS and broadcasting.

  9. ian says:

    The writer\’s idea of who should be let into the official pantheon is a bit obvious and a bit 2 dimensional, if you ask me.
    As regards music, well, I also think there is a huge amount of utter toss about, and that it is something to be expected from Thatcher\’s children.Underclass thug music leching after p@ssy and money on one hand, one the other dilettante middle class students who seem to be intent on recreating the great days of skiffle.As sung by Dick Van Dyke.Class ridden and moribund and therefore reflecting the state of large parts of our society.
    However, if I was a 15 year old now I\’d be listening to Radiohead.So great and innovative music is around if you look for it.
    As regards your unimpeachable heroes, it may open things up a bit if you remember that Ghandi was considered an enemy of the state by the British government, and Mandela was actually referred to as a \’terrorist\’ by Margaret Thatcher who wanted nothing to do with him.
    There are plenty of heroes.Look at the people standing up against the Chinese in tibet.Look at people like Anna Politkovskaya and Livinenko who spoke out against Russian state fascism and paid for it with their lives.
    People like Greg Dyke who stood up against the very Blair govt that made him head of the BBC because he came to believe the Iraq war was fought for a lie.
    People like George Clooney, perhaps, who pour part of their wealth into making thought provoking, libertarian films like Syriana or Good Night and Good Luck.Films that are paid for by some of the other dross they make.
    People like Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Rafael Correa in South America: fighting to rescue their countries from 500 years of foreign dominance and exploitation whilst the most powerful nation in the world uses all it\’s intelligence, media propaganda and covert warfare capabilities to try to plunge the region into a debilitating chaos in order to stop them.
    People like Iyaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch parliamentarian, who stood up against the very Islamic society that produced her and now lives in hiding.For that matter, Salman Rushdie too.
    People like Morgan Tsvangirai, one of the main opposition leaders in Zimbabwe, who was beaten so badly by Mugabe\’s thugs he needed to go straight from the police cell to the hospital before being arraigned on trumped up charges.
    That\’s off the top of my head.
    This is a time that appears to be increasingly redolent of the 1930s so if none of these heroes grab you, my friend, don\’t worry.I suspect we\’ll be up to our necks in them before long, as times are set to get a lot more interesting all round.

  10. Ted says:

    Someone to look up to?
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world , that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Now there is someone to look up to!

  11. Unknown says:

    I think what we want to look up to in others are characteristics we wish we had ourselves. the JFK\’s and the Martin Luther King\’s are iconic but they were just figure heads. The real heroes are those at the grass-roots of society trying to make their effort count. It is great for pop stars to go to Africa and show the poverty there to set an example but they walk back to there millionaire-living-the- dream-lives. There are people who still make a difference if you just look a little harder!!!

  12. DJ-Harvey-2005 says:

    The reason there\’s no one decent to look up to anymore is because role models these days are crack head, singers and celebs, and people care more about who wins something stupid and pointless like X Factor rather than all the crap that\’s going on in the world today… and there won\’t be any heroes in the future because lets face it, kids of today are well and truly f**ked…

  13. Matt says:

    I think that the real heroes today have humbled themselves and appear differently to the heroes of the past century. Where famous names who inspired many have been overrun with selfish celebrities who have a heart for themselves, real heroes concentrate on the job in hard, leaving behind selfish intention and being the blessing. I think that a great modern hero can be seen at .I believe that anyone who has a servant heart and changes someones life for the better is a hero, and fame can often be a distraction. As a Christian myself, i think that those with a heart for the poor and lost give a greater demonstration with their lives of what Jesus had in mind, and that is far more inspiring. Well done all you heroes out there- you have a gift that\’s really great!

  14. Peter says:

    oh yes great heroes of the legendary past 60s and 70s….
    Martin luther King..womaniser who had sex orgies with white women
    JFK ..another womaniser who had sex with lots of women including marilyn monroe outside of his marriage.
    marilyn Monroe…crackhead junkie who slept around for fun.
    George Best…another drunken womaniser.
    Jonh Profumo..very proud and civil english politician who epitomises the political elites shambolic private lives of tobacco, alcohol and promiscuous sex with hookers.
     I pity those who derive their entire knowledge from a key stage 3/4 textbook that only portrays their public lives. The only people who need heroes are the poorly educated simpletons since theyre the ones who easily become fanatical… Michael jackson is innocent, why? because i said so and he is my hero and I\’m going to marry him one day….Pathetic deaf fools who wont hear a bad word said about their idol.   

  15. peter says:

    heroes, myths and legends often go together. As such heroes are often products of mythical fables and stories that are retold with a certain bias. whether they are actually a genuine reflection of the events in question is often determined by how far the myth spreads and how good the storytellers/reporters/writers are retelling it. Religions and Greek mythology are good examples. John smeaton is a modern example, the press retold and spread his story as a heroic one and he will be remembered for some time for his (dubious) heroism.

  16. Ema says:

    Heroes are necessary to give the people who crave leadership and direction some semblance of self belief. They represent hope in a better tomorrow. Regardless of whatever they got up to in their private lives (Im guessing thats why its called private) it is what they represented, stood up for and some died for… There is this notion that all aspects of the lives of those who are in the public eye be made public. People look for ways to discredit rather than commend any efforts made to change the reality of our time… The blogger (no name) seems rather focused on bringing negative information about people who fought for a struggle that goes beyond their individual sexual proclivities. it seems like someone has hurt this no name to a point where the world seems like a place of deciet rather than a place where actions are a reflection of ones true character. How will you want the world to remember you? People like Matin Luther King and Nelson Mandela fought for ideas that have produced some of the freedoms and civil liberties that we see prevalent in modern society. They changed perceptions with their notions and intentions… even if he had orgies with who or whatever, what does that really have to do with hi accomplishments and what he stood for..? I dont care for your derailing rhetoric; I choose to remember and celebrate these greats for bringing to light that which many were too frightened to stand up for. Maybe if we can see ourselves in servitude, for our collective prosperity, rather than just for our personal recognition, we too can be as influential; we too can make a difference… too many labels, too much spite. All we need is an appreciation for who and what we represent and we all can become heroes too.

  17. Eriwold says:

    Hi to all good and bad, but more so to the good….
    To understand what I will write you need to study my CV on my homepage, so you know my background.
    There are no heroes to be known, because the media surpresses them at all costs. As Plato wrote almost 3,000 years ago: "The champion of justice can only operate from a private station lest the masses destroy him." And so it is. As one wrote here before, heroes must be vetted by this "arsisiety" because they are feared for being able to upset the apploe cart. \’Nuff said there.
    Then comes an argument many won\’t like at all. Remember Darwin? Its all down to evolution. We have reached a dispensation in time where we are all "forced" by the media into a sort of equality to conform to the bullshit we are being fed on. "Step into the pit but don\’t make any waves." Its down to breeding (sorry) but so it is! More and more wrong people (read ignorants, marionettes and wet blankets) breed, and they are on the increase; male and female!
    Blaise Pascal said: "When all are aboard ship no one sees the movement, but when one steps off he sees where the others are going." Civil courage for heroes to come forward has been quenched long ago. As Robert Nugent stated:
    "Better to tread alone a fairer way than with the multitudes to stray,
    but we rather mingle with the erring throng than boldly speak ten million wrong"
    As long as people support the media, so long will there be no change. Instead it will get worse. They all change history daily so we cannot learn from it. Instead a whole people are deliberately made stupid with "panem et circenses".
    Its actually a very sad topic raised here.
    I am glad that I will have to hand in my membership card for homo sapiens in the not too distant future. The race is run and no one has gained fulfilment any more; or will reach any sort of happiness. So I shed a tear for humankind. Only heroes weep said the Greeks. 

  18. Eriwold says:

    …..sorry should read apple cart in my contribution below….

  19. peter says:

    people who post their comments on here are so predictable and transparent. EA2 for example wont hear a bad word said about Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King…do you know why know why he picked those two in particular? because EA2 is a black african, so predictable and transparent. And EA2 also wont hear a bad word about heroes or role models …do you know why? because he runs workshops on role modelling and is just selling his business online. see…predictable and transparent.
    "……..even if he had orgies with who or whatever, what does that really have to do with hi accomplishments and what he stood for..?" My god, you seriously need to ask? Immoral and complacent society indeed. Next you will be telling me Gary Glitter is a great musician and inspired a generation, what does his private life have to do with his accomplishments and what he stood for…..simpletons indeed.

  20. Ema says:

    Its is easier to destroy than create… why not stand behind creation, even if its not perfect creation… whats so wrong with holding on to the good other peoples efforts provide? the meaning we give to an event becomes the event to us… if we believe we had and still have heroes that helped change our perceptions and thus our existant reality, then why hold on to their  leisure activities as the determinant of their contributions? the way i see the world is really the way i see myself and my personal world. it is not about right or wrong, but appreciation… to give of yourself to the benefit of others is the ultimate sacrifice… my heroes also include dalai lama, thomas edison, henry ford, albert einstien, bill clinton, winston churchill, shakespare, carl jung, bill gates, quincy jones, jay z, wole soyinka… to name a few… like i said, their lives stood and still stand for a purpose greater than themselves… why shud i pay more attention to what they did after 6pm..? when all that concerns me was their 9-5 contributions that have, in some way or fashion, affected my life, changed the playing field… ?if (no name) believes im predictable, then maybe i am… i  never claimed to know it all, and i dont know a man or woman who does. If you can do better then please, STEP UP!!!

  21. shabba! says:

    at the age of 22 i have 2 heroes. Their not very famous, dont earn termendous amounts of money, or have several cars.
    The (very sadly) recentley deceased Edmond Hillary – the man accomplished an amasing feat with little of the modern wonders (GPS,Light weight rope and breathing equipment).
    Private Johnson Beharry – This young man earned the Victoria Cross in Iraq for nothing short of an amasing feat of determination and courage, despite severe injuries.
    In all honesty in the modern world we live i doubt their are many individuals left outside of public service who have the moral decency, self respect,and uttermost courage to accomplish the feats these gentleman did. No wonder were slowly sinking as a nation.

  22. Mark says:

    "Pity the land that has no heroes""No pity the land that has need of heroes" Bertolt Brecht ("Galileo" – I think!)I believe, sadly, that we do need Heroes today. Both in the wider world and in the western world that seems at times to think it is above the laws that should govern us all. We need people to show us that there are things to stand up and fight for and that we can do that and change the world towards being a better place. Those \’heroes\’ are valid whether contemporary or hstorical – we can learn from the past if we want.I agree that there are heroes already here, but most, as they have always been, are the small quiet people who just get on and do it, not seeking attention and are often shy of being pulled out and shown to the world. These are the real heroes, they are selfless and clearly do what they do because it is right and not for their own self glorification. However we do need those who will stand up and speak loud and clear; who will speak out against the leaders and paymasters and stand up to those who seek to dominate and crush the rights of those who have \’small voices\’. As one commenter rightly points out with their examples, heroes are often vilified as terrorists and criminals as they are challenging the controlling order, that does not make then unsuitable as role models as \’no name suggests\’. However it can sometimes be hard to know which are genuine heroes and which are just thugs and gangsters by another name. It can also be uncomfortable to admit some as heroes when they are challenging our own societies. I would personally suggest that the real heroes are those who use peace and caring actions and words and do not preach violence and retribution. Whatever their culture, faith or political stance.Remember that wonderful poem by Pastor Niemuller written about the time of the Nazis. "first they came for . . . then they came for … ( and finally) they came for me, but there was no one left to speak up for me.". We mustn\’t stay quiet. We must speak up for others when we see injustice.On a different note. Why do the original writer, and others, struggle with the idea of contemporary heroes? Well I too believe the media carries much blame, and more importantly those who control the media, be it the State or \’money men\’. Yes it is partly to keep the activities of those who challenge the status quo (which favours the rich and powerful) quiet or worse still turns them into \’monsters\’ to be afraid of,  like the South American leaders who are only trying to free their states from control by the multi-national companies who take the profits to the west leaving them poor, and their people in a state of poverty. Yes they are not perfect but neither is the West!But the media, and us as people who support it and fail to challenge it, is also to blame by failing to keep the words we use with true meaning. \’Heroes\’, like many other words, no longer carries the weight of meaning it once had and no new words have replaced it which carry that meaning. Many of these people who are called \’heroes\’ are not. They are \’icons\’; \’personalities\’ or people who do \’big thing\’s but they are not heroic. Even sports stars who do fantastic winning actions are not heroes.We need to be careful of how we use the words in our language then maybe the heroes we do have will stand out and become the role models that both the young and old need!

  23. Sean says:

    Old heroes will die and new ones will be born trust me… That\’s just the way it is… Just give it some time… 

  24. Joy says:

    No heroes Anymore.Well I believe that everything is down to culture. I do have  hereos Hannah Poole from the observer newspaper and the other which is my mother. Back in the days I would of gave you someone famous like Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. But nowadays there is no one to look up to. Politicians used to be for the causes but now I feel that there are just politicains for the titles, just like presidents. Actors, Actresses, musicians. Of course they have great talents but they things they do alongside their profession is shameful, and if i was a mother, an aunty, a grandma, or a friend. I wouldnt want my friends, grandchildren, children, neices or nephews to even acknowledge some of these celebrities. Just for the fact that they are doing something bad, the media is showing it like it is anything and people are not doing nothing to help, or the police. Ie. actresses, actors, muscians, poets that take drugs. Come on. I believe everyone should have an hero, but it doesn\’t have to be someone you see on television. Having an hero does make you grow, and understand situations better. But then people just need to understand that you never know what will happen.

  25. Joy says:

    No heroes Anymore.Well I believe that everything is down to culture. I do have  hereos Hannah Poole from the observer newspaper and the other which is my mother. Back in the days I would of gave you someone famous like Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. But nowadays there is no one to look up to. Politicians used to be for the causes but now I feel that there are just politicains for the titles, just like presidents. Actors, Actresses, musicians. Of course they have great talents but they things they do alongside their profession is shameful, and if i was a mother, an aunty, a grandma, or a friend. I wouldnt want my friends, grandchildren, children, neices or nephews to even acknowledge some of these celebrities. Just for the fact that they are doing something bad, the media is showing it like it is anything and people are not doing nothing to help, or the police. Ie. actresses, actors, muscians, poets that take drugs. Come on. I believe everyone should have an hero, but it doesn\’t have to be someone you see on television. Having an hero does make you grow, and understand situations better. But then people just need to understand that you never know what will happen.

  26. Joy says:

    No heroes Anymore.Well I believe that everything is down to culture. I do have  hereos Hannah Poole from the observer newspaper and the other which is my mother. Back in the days I would of gave you someone famous like Gabrielle Union, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. But nowadays there is no one to look up to. Politicians used to be for the causes but now I feel that there are just politicains for the titles, just like presidents. Actors, Actresses, musicians. Of course they have great talents but they things they do alongside their profession is shameful, and if i was a mother, an aunty, a grandma, or a friend. I wouldnt want my friends, grandchildren, children, neices or nephews to even acknowledge some of these celebrities. Just for the fact that they are doing something bad, the media is showing it like it is anything and people are not doing nothing to help, or the police. Ie. actresses, actors, muscians, poets that take drugs. Come on. I believe everyone should have an hero, but it doesn\’t have to be someone you see on television. Having an hero does make you grow, and understand situations better. But then people just need to understand that you never know what will happen.

  27. justin says:

    i do not need any heroes all the time my dad is alive i will worry about new heroes then……….unfortunately most modern people find their heroes in drug taking alcholic celebrities its the sad state of affairs we live in

  28. Al says:

    For those with eyes to see and ears to hear there will always be heroes. The thing is Ian you have grown up and no longer look through such innocent/naive eyes. Your perspectives have changed. Drugs of various descriptions have been a part of the music seen since the dawn of time. Some actors give a third of their wages towards charity. Priests, parents, older siblings, boxers, athletes, vets, doctors, etc. In any place where there are people you can find heroes.
     Rather than become despondent about the lack of heroes why not take some responsibility for this and become one yourself.
     I am my children\’s hero and respected by friends and colleagues. I am just another guy yet I realise that we all make a diferrence in the world. We effect the behaviour of others on a daily basis. It is simply about the choices we make wether the outcome be positive or negative. Peace to you

  29. Peter says:

    the writer is confusing heroism with fame. As many have said already…you can be a hero without being famous. Tony Benn once said the real heroes are the miners, doctors and nurses and those that empty his rubbish. In terms of the famous…its a red herring to talk about heroes since heroes and villains are the same thing. For example, Osama bin laden is a heroic freedom fighter and defender of the islamic faith…or to others he is a terrorist murdering villain.
    Going back to the original question, I think the writer is suffering from mid life crisis….who has a rose tinted view of the past, looking at the past with nostalgia, that the past is always better than the present…"Oh wasn\’t the past great," "when i were a lad we had real heroes" blah blah "society isn\’t what it used to be" blah blah. "those were the days" blah blah. This is not true of course, and its selective amnesia. You\’re a big boy now, you dont really need heroes in your life.

  30. Dan says:

    I\’ve already commented on this but i felt the need to comment again. I find it totally pathetic how people (they haven\’t left their names so i am unable to name and shame) are criticizing these role models for things that they have done and, in most cases, there is no evidence to suggest these allegations to be true.Martin Luther King having orgies with white women? Even if it is true, does it really matter. It shouldn\’t take away from the fact that he changed a problem with society. If anyone can find me someone (anyone) who has not done a \’bad\’ or wrong thing i would be very surprised. (BTW, i am a Christian and i mean other than Jesus Christ). I think the people who are slating these debateable role models from the past should grow up. I\’m 16. That should tell you something.Oh, and regards to modern day role models i would agree that the type of people publicized are not the type of role models that i would look up to. I think we need to hear more about the good things people are doing, not the boozing and drug taking and the countless failed attempts at rehab. But at the end of the day we can only blame the media for that.

  31. ian says:

    If you read the article, the guy is saying he wished people of substance conducted themselves with a bit more elan and stayed truer to their talents, keeping themselves out of the public eye unless it was, as it were, work related.A gallery show, a record or a new sitcom, etc.
    So, let\’s ask ourselves what is it he actually does for a living.
    Publicising any old faff and rumour 24 hours a day to fill up space, isn\’t it?Otherwise you\’d have to get a less well paid and more tedious job in an anonymous office somewhere.And that\’d be depriving the world of  the talents of a potential creative high flier with a post graduate degree in journalism, wouldn\’t it?
    It\’s probably no wonder he\’s experiencing a crisis of confidence.People like him are the actual problem.

  32. Alan says:

    I liked the comments Dan made – very sensible thoughts they were – funny i\’m a young man that would have said similar – it is only society that says when you are a man Dan  – you know in your heart and bones when you are. Try placing your hopes in a location -a special place- in a wooded vale, on the shore of a loch or in a greenhouse/ a oak tree for it can be heartbreaking when you find out how sinful people/your hero is on the inside. There is some weight to the argument that the people of the world have become more degenerate – I myself abound with evil but i have a reason but i am still searching but but but…. The mean and lean die keen.
    Jesus wanted us to make the kingdom of god in our own hearts for he knew only then would we be able to make the kingdom of god on earth.

  33. gaz says:

    Well theres Two reasons I think, one is the general media dont show them, Like Ron Paul, the other is they seem to get shot.

  34. Shuli says:

    I personally think that the only reason their is no one to look up to these days is because society is messed up, every one loves their money too much. All the celebrities and even the government  are all doing it for the fame and money they not botherd about people like us, they just want to fill their pockets. However their are some people still around its just that we don\’t open our eye up to see them beacuse of so many things goin on round the globe and plus we got to concentrate on our own life and make a living in this world and stand up on our two feet. If their are people to look up to then either they get murdered or some go against them because of envy and hatred, like i said its a dog eat dog world.

  35. Luke says:

    Hi all,
    I believe western societies have drifted towards scetpicism and cynism in the last 20-25 years. In my view this has changed the way we feel about the world we live in, and that includes humanity, ourselves and our role in society. Every single person that has a public post either as a polititian, songwriter, celebrity of sorts, actor, etc follows these patterns same as we do projecting a lack of values and ideals.
    The question is: what has caused us to become more cynical and sceptical?
    In my opinion we have to look at the following reasons:
    1)Politics: we have seen a lot of good causes smashed since the 50s. We have seen good people assasined (Malcom x, Kennedy, Luther King, Bobby Kennedy, Lennon,etc), we have seen that democracy hardly ever wins against power (enviromental agendas posponed for ever despite public support, wars started overseas for no reason, weapons sold to third-world countries for private profit despite public rage,etc). We have also seen that political parties in modern day democracies, most of the time, share the same agendas and that change is dictated by power and not by vote (Clinton-Bush, Ford-Carter, Johnson-Nixon, plus several cases in Europe too: Gonzalez-Aznar, Berlusconi-Prodi,etc).
    2)Economics: life before the 80s was based on saving money and spending what you had. This trend has shifted to a credit-based economy where money not-yet-earned can be made available for spending. What this mean is that many of us have to realistically generate cash continuosly to repay said credit. We have to have a job and have to have a montly pay to account for the over-spending. In the past, artists, thinkers (a forgotten profession these days), actors and even polititians would take time out to meditate, create, gather, protest, etc. These patterns are lost nowdays. We go from hard work all-year-round to intense-though-short ryanair-based hoildays…get there quick, make the most of it, come back, work again.
    In this new cycle of life there isn\’t time for much apart from what i have explained above. there isn\’t time to grow outside of this routine either. The consequence is that our values are much poorer compared to those of our ancestors (consider most people\’s attitude when looking at some terrifing news from iraq on TV or on paper)
    3)Population growth and consumerism: This is an issue that will become pivotal in the next decade. Any species increases its productivity as its population grows. These two factors are interlinked actually. We are now consuming at such a high rate (and I\’m talking about "consuming" in a vast sense here, from the number of cars, tvs, computers that we have per household, to how much we travel per year,etc) that the actual time that we have to "explore" one individual thing is so much less than in the past. Take for instance how much we can do with a mobile phone these days that goes well beyond making calls. We have provided nearly every human being on earth with a camera but hardly anyone develops the mastery for photography that we see in people like Ansel Adams who had much lesser means. My conclusion is that tenacy and genious decreases as humans find less time to explore one single tool as they become distructed with excess.
    The above 3 points will help understanding why there\’s a general sense of lack of ideals and values these days. It\’s only obvious to conclude that we are entering an era where we are going to see less and less of it.

  36. Unknown says:

    I think our the deterioration of our basic value system is why there are no "hero\’s" anymore.
    It is human nature to be inquisitive about other people. But \’back in the day\’ there was no twenty-four hour television, internet, camera mobile phones i.e all the things that provide the information about anyone in the public eye that we desire.
    The thing is though, we get this information because we have an appitite for it. We demand, the media provides.
    What if we switched off our televisions, our phones, our computers? These real human beings who also happen to be in the public eye would be reduced to letting their work speak for itself and thus the mystique would be restored.
    But we would believing a myth. Infamy is a myth. We wouldn\’t know everything about these characters but they would still make human errors- the same as any \’hero\’s\’ from way back when. Only back then, the demand was for that myth. The myth that anybody on the silver screen was a hero.
    So again, we get back to supply and demand.
    How about we demand to live our own lives as best as honourable as we can, and let the \’stars\’ get on with theirs?
    None of that stuff matters anyway.
    G.I.M x

  37. Unknown says:

    The way I see it is that each one of us must strive to be our own heroes. How to do that? By trying to live our lives according to our own inner voice; not by what we think others would wish us to do. Have integrity about how we behave in this world. I agree with \’girl with a mask\’ when she states that we should live our own lives as honourable as we can.

  38. Rob says:

    Encouragement towards personal egoism rather than sharing in a community; vapid transient "celebrities"; an intrusive, unscrupulous and scurrilous mass media (allegedly); the idea that "everyone\’s opinion is equally valid". This is why there are no respectable people in society. Not because they no longer exist, but because no-one wants to respect other people for their achievements. "Adults create the world children live in. Juvenile delinquency is always rooted in adult delinquency – when children grow up amongst adults who refuse to recognise anything as fine or good or worthy of respect."

  39. Samual says:

    The fact is that all we see in the media is people famous for being famous, winners of reality TV shows etc. The reason it appears there\’s no heros any more is because stories about celebrities sell newspapers and gossip magazines, these people are not hero\’s. The real heros are people that are tackling the problems that we experience in our society.
    These people do\’nt want to be publicised in glossy column inches! they are solving the problems we actually face and not interested in who\’s wearing what and where, and certainly would not be interested in going to rehab every five minutes.
    The reason we have no heros is because the celebrity culture the media has created is full of people who are just in it for the money.
    If you are interested in finding heros, think to yourself, "what is dear to me?" if you finfd what is really important to you and research and find out about it, then i guarentee you will find a hero, someone to look up to!

  40. Braam says:

    So how many of you knows the Father? I don\’t know Him as well as I want to, but isn\’t that what matters?

  41. al says:

    One of my heroes has passed on.
    Mother Theresa, came into the world with nothing, worked for nothing and died with no material posessions. Yet she left the world with the upmost admiration and respect from over half the world. Thats the stuff real hroes are made of…….In my eyes.

  42. Harry says:

    Theres a couple of ways to look at it.
    a) Maybe people are just.. well…. aren\’t as heroic as they used to be.
    b) Maybe we\’ve develo[ped enough that we don\’t think we need people to look up at anymore, because we have other things.
    c) Just in our modern society there isn\’t a place for heroes, thrown into a world of drugs, violence and crime.
    I have a whole list of heroes, and most of them aren\’t that famous really, probably about 50% of my heroes most of these people wouldn\’t know about. I respect these people for who they are, maybe we dont need a superman/woman to be pointed out to us, because we know theyre there already, we just don\’t acknowledge it.

  43. susan says:

    There are heroes, they\’re just not as public anymore.
                             i know of many heroes, who are there, such as our servicemen and women, doctors, nurses, comedians (yes they are heroes before someone says they\’re not – someone has to stop people from crying) and so many others.
    maybe what we need to do is to stop looking for them, and let our imagination create heroes from books and films and life, and live with them judging us instead of a wasteland of non-carers
    heroes are there, it\’s just we need to dig a little deeper to find them than before…

  44. Unknown says:

    U urself can become that HERO!!
    Others await u 🙂

  45. Maria says:

    I totally agree and sympathize with you….! Those days are long gone….shame….real shame. We\’ve lost the value of all things in our cheap, throwaway society. As for heroes,…well, there aren\’t any. Everybody just wants fame at any price these days, only to crave privacy once they obtain it. What a paradox…
    Another example are our Religious Holidays, which are only acknowledged for their time-off from work,presents and treats, but not for their true meaning anymore. I don\’t suppose I\’m any different, although I try to be…anyway…I would like to wish you all a very Happy Easter Holiday week-end (…easy on the chocolate! Kind regards, Maria

  46. peter says:

    hi, im from the valleys in wales, my hero is steffy the sheep, i have a good rumble in the field with my sexy sheep every tuesday in the valleys behind the ridge, my wife doesnt know.

  47. furby says:

    I don\’t think everyone needs heroes – I have a kind of model me that I aspire to be, but no heroes.
    The problem with heroes is that no one can be \’perfect\’ in the common use of the term – there are surely positive and negative sides to everyone.
    I think it\’s however possible to admire particular actions taken by people, and hail them as \’heroic\’, but I think that realistically, it\’s difficult to be really consistent with \’heroic\’ actions.
    Perhaps we could admire character traits such as:
    * Justice * Fairness * Equality * Democracy * Consideration

  48. Gaylie says:

    Ian – Im amazed that anyone would admire British politicians nevermind admit to it in public!
    To be a hero by definition is to have great strength and courage, display feats of courage or nobility, to be noted for special achievement in a particular field and undoubtedly when life is risked or sacrificed. There are many heros among us! Firefighters, police, doctors and nurses, teachers, Air Sea and Mountain rescue. . . the list is endless.
    We fail to see the small things and only see the big. Headline news would be made if a doctor successfully pulled off a risky operation saving a childs life, but the news wouldnt report that the cleaning team in a hospital worked tirelessly to keep it MRSA free for a year which also saved lives.
    Everyone of us has the potential to do something heroic everyday. Like the man who holds back a child at a road crossing preventing an accident, or the woman who takes the time to pass a few words with someone at say a bus stop who because of this kindness does not go home and take their own life. Or the people who visit the elderly, volunteer on suicide, rape, domestic violence helplines, look after there families etc.
    The problem is that people today dont recognise and acknowledge these things as "heroic" or ordinary people as being heroic! Heroes are everywhere you just don\’t or can\’t see them!
    As for the comment "the musicians and writers I enjoy are all old and definitely not cutting edge" all I can say is so freaken what! Listen to what you like and read what you love, dont dictate to yourself to choose something else to listen to or read because its supposed to be vanguard, especially when the opinion of whether its cutting edge or not is decided by the very people who you state you have no admiration for!

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