Thursday, October 11, 2012

No More Heroes Anymore

That loud splintering crack is the shattering of illusions in case you were wondering, and that tinkling pit-a-pat? That's the broken bits falling through the cold autumnal air like so many leaves to lie upon the damp ground. Why did we need these heroes - Jimmy Saville and Lance Armstrong? Why did we need to build them up and gawp and wonder at them? Why did we need to believe so hard? Did they tell their own story or did we tell it for them? The amiable, kindly eccentric who raised millions for charity. A knight of the realm but a knight humble enough to act as a hospital porter. And the cyclist winning against all odds again and again, beating his competition, beating cancer, beating down suspicion - a legend of his sport. Armstrong outrages not only so much because of his cycling wins, but because he faced down death and we loved him for that bravery, that derring-do, that gingerbread-man attitude of "you can't catch me". We are responsible for our own heartbreak are we not, by building them into men they could never be because no-one could be that selfless, that noble, that perfect. And when they are revealed - Savile the monster who boasted even in death that it was good while it lasted, and Armstrong labelled a "serial" drug cheat - is it all the worse because they expose us in turn as naive, as fools of our own making.

5 comments:

alljoy said...

Armstrong is a disappointment.

Savile was a disgusting, degenerate, devilling, disgrace. My heart goes out to all of his abused. May they finally find peace.

SueBee said...

I don't think we're to blame for naivete. We thought these people were wonderful and they've proven to have feet of clay. It's not good to be too cynical about 'heroes', we have to have some to look up to! Savile's doings are far worse than Armstrong's though - he (Lance) only hurt himself really.

Tina Robson said...

I think you are right, we have all placed these people on such high pedestals and it has given them a lot of power.

It's awful that some did report them and haven't been believed, and awful that others were too afraid to speak out against Saville while he was alive or while still working along side Armstrong, for fear of not being believed.

Time to think of celebrities as human being, with all the strength and weakness that the rest of us have.

MsCaroline said...

It's hard to find a sensible place between outright skepticism and hero worship, isn't it? As far as Lance goes, my husband is an avid amateur cyclist (rides on a team) and he maintains that most people in the cycling community were not much surprised. I don't know if that makes them cynics or realists...

nicolaavery said...

Yes, it is awful to hear this and your points about heroes ring very true. We're conditioned to believe in heroes throughout stories being told.