Monthly Archives: June 2015
Crafting a brand that truly resembled you would require telling stories that don’t end happily. It would mean sharing the scenes where you might not be the hero—you might even be the villain.
I am guilty of letting my care and attention wander with the public eye. I am easily distracted by sensationalist headlines about the latest political debacle. But as Christians, we must struggle against this attention deficit.
The great lie of our lives is that we are the main subject. The great villainy is the idea that we are the heroes. We have a debilitating hero complex.
But what else? What more can we say about heroes and villains? I don’t think it requires much life experience to realize that our heroes are often not so heroic, and our villains hold some goodness somewhere in themselves.
It is nigh impossible to neither seek nor desire our own justice, to remove the impulse for vengeance, to love utter mercy. But so too is it impossible to be holy as He is holy, and still that is our aim.
We’re immersed in an rapidly evolving environment, demanding from individuals more entrepreneurial energy rather than trusting an institution like a company, academy, or government, to carry us from cradle to grave.
We need to remember, Stokes says, that sometimes, we are someone else’s hero. Sometimes, we are someone else’s mentor. Sometimes, we are simply a minor character. Sometimes, we are someone else’s villain.
In the majority of cases, this is because I feel that I have been inaccurately assessed: that my abilities, knowledge, and effort were not reflected by the grade I had received.
So what are we to do? We can’t go back to the original garden, where all was good and very good, now that we’ve eaten the fruit and know the direction of evil is also an option.
Do you want a more progressive tax code or a carbon emissions cap on businesses or increased education spending or better care for the homeless? All that takes legislation.
There is security in thinking that I don’t own a gun or make prejudicial proclamations to my friends or have a backwoods-y bowl-cut. If I can see a villain, I can know I’m not one.
I think I spent my whole childhood waiting in anticipation of 6th grade. In kindergarten, we got 6th grade buddies who would read to us once a week and play with us on the playground.
I pictured my wife going into labor right there on the grass. I tried not to think of how small our son would look in this, his 24th week of gestation.
A few paper sacks on the wrong truck inflicted environmental and physiological damage that Michiganders are still trying to sort out three generations later. God–what else are we doing to ourselves?
Halfway through the month, if there’s a Post Calvin consensus on the “Heroes and Villains” theme, it is this: Humans are neither heroes nor villains, but complex beings who are at once good and evil, redemptive and destructive.
In any drama, after the curtain falls, the heroes are left to stare at stage makeup without the lights. They are left to create their own stories without ornate settings and scripted climaxes.
I can’t stand Chuck,” he told me, “I don’t even like being in the same room as him. I’ve tried being nice, but I find everything about him…repugnant. It’s been a struggle for me. I try to love everyone. He makes it hard to love him.”
The moment brought me back to reality: I know nothing about these people. I was more bothered by this development than I should have been. While I knew these people didn’t live in the little box I had created for them, couldn’t they at least wait until I left the beach to step out of it?
It can feel like us vs. them, heroes vs. villains, teachers vs. everyone who doesn’t understand how hard it is to explain the present participle to kids who can barely read.
I’m carrying around the symbol of someone’s desire to be with me the rest of his life. That’s awkward, especially since there’s no protocol for me reciprocating the gesture.
My analysis and rebuke of them or others does not preclude me from the same sins. Pointing fingers at someone else’s misogyny does not excuse my own sexism.
…Now what?, we wondered. Do you buy a bumper sticker or put a note up on Facebook? (Not that those are bad things, but they sure seem to fall short.)
I am always frustrated because at the end of every episode they catch the killer. Everything gets wrapped up nicely. No loose ends. Fly home, see family, roll credits.
The kids at school refer to the local corner stores by their owners’ names, and I’m starting to think bodega owners are the true heroes of New York.
And Amazon, for all its bullying and undercutting, holds no monopoly. It is, in fact, the opposite: a monopsonist, a beloved monster reversing the grapes of wrath, in a sense, so product flows like honey while the sellers rot.
No human is purely hero or purely villain, and I think most of us would agree that the very best stories reflect this complexity, this beautiful mess.
While Superman is out saving the world and dating incredibly attractive women, I’m covered in grime, decidedly without any lingerie models throwing themselves at my feet.
The people whom we admire immensely, whom we rely on earnestly, turn out to be merely people. They don’t know everything; they can’t do everything; They let us down.
I show you a hero and someone can find a fault; I show you an anti-hero and we see resemblance, some shared condition, a double bind that binds us yet. And yet.
It’s kind of odd to think about, actually. In the original Star Wars movies, the rebel forces are outnumbered and scrappy. They don’t have much hope or much of a chance.