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View Diary: Villains and Heroes -- More Myth than Reality? (16 comments)

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  •  are there real political heroes as much as there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, a2nite

    are heroic social movements or institutions

    "Heroes" are best identified posthumously in terms of medals and perhaps fit mediated cultural recognition in terms of sporting figures seen on media but are less real in person

    "Villains" are more of a 19th C construct ( think John Mortimer's Rumpole of the Bailey )

    "all our heroes are dead" -- Magnum Force

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 08:42:08 PM PDT

    •  what about during (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis, Darwinian Detrius, annieli

      the days of serfs and lords?

      didn't villains abound in those extreme days?


      If not, from where did Shakespeare draw his inspiration?

      •  that's the problem of romanticizing Robin Hood (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, jamess

        as a kind of heroic redistribution of income resisting the King's hegemony / manorial rule and it would seem that social banditry was not a matter of individual villainous agency but rather the structures of groups and events as in Politics and Poetics of Transgression [Peter Stallybrass, Allon White]

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

        by annieli on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:31:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jaynestown (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jamess, annieli

          There was an episode of the TV series Firefly in which the crew visits a planet where Jayne, the thuggish brawler and mayhem specialist of the crew, is regarded as a hero who gave to the poor.  Actually, he was forced to jettison the loot he had stolen in a robbery gone bad, and the local townsfolk were the beneficiaries of his bad fortune.  They built a statue of him in the middle of town.  A statue made of mud, granted, but still a decent likeness.

          For a while, Jayne basks in the glory of being regarded as a hero for once; but a former confederate shows up and reveals the truth.  Despite this, a young man sacrifices his life, taking a bullet, to save Jayne's.

          Furious at the boy's senseless death, he tells the town that he isn't a hero and he knocks down the statue.  But if anything, the incident has burnished his legend, and only added a couple new verses to the Ballad of Jayne Cobb that the people sing to their children.

          "It ain't about you, Jayne;" Mal, the Firefly's captain, tells him later,  "it's about what they need".

          Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at http://www.kurtoonsonline.com/

          by quarkstomper on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 06:42:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          annieli

          do you assigning the "roles" of hero and villain

          are useful social constructs, or not?

          •  they remain useful constructs just as (0+ / 0-)

            "Love is a social construct" which is the first line of a Country-Western song I have yet to write
            but
            there is a song "Just another roadkill on the highway of life, just another critter that wasn't fast enough"

            Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

            by annieli on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 11:52:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  historicizing Shakespearean analysis is an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess

        important feature although who would be an actual villain (Lady Macbeth?) but even his abstracting historical agency as the biographies of monarchs is less accurate than the actual events

        Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

        by annieli on Sat Aug 10, 2013 at 10:35:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Villain comes from "villein," those peasant (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jamess, annieli

        villagers who didn't appreciate the nobles and their courage.



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Sun Aug 11, 2013 at 06:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting Etymology (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama

          thanks Wee Mama


          villein (n.)

             early 14c., spelling variant of villain, referring to a feudal class of half-free peasants.

          hero (n.1)
             late 14c., "man of superhuman strength or physical courage," from Latin heros "hero," from Greek heros "demi-god" (a variant singular of which was heroe), originally "defender, protector," from PIE root *ser- "to watch over, protect" (cf. Latin servare "to save, deliver, preserve, protect;" see observe). Meaning "man who exhibits great bravery" in any course of action is from 1660s.

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