Tuesday, October 11, 2011

where have all the Giants gone?

     I think one of the hardest lessons learned while growing up is that your idols are flawed people. The geniuses of the world are just human. My father always talks about the 1940s, 50s and 60s as a time “when giants walked the earth.” He talks about baseball players, musicians, writers and actors that were exceptional. That no one will ever compare to those people. They were, essentially, gods to him. I marveled at the things they accomplished. I wondered about all of these lost giants whom we’ll never see equal to again. Yet, now I can’t help but notice that they were all regular old flawed people.
            A friend of mine grew up when Ozzy Osbourne was considered a scary person. He was a god of Heavy Metal music. He was dangerous. He was crazy. He was something really cool to a teenager. This was all shattered when my friend saw behind the veil years later. The Osbournes debuted on MTV and showed the world how mundane, goofball and seemingly feeble Ozzy had become. It made light of it in nearly every episode. Now, it’s difficult for my friend to listen to the same rock music of his youth and not think about Ozzy spending an hour feebly trying to use a remote to turn on his television. The Hero-Myth completely busted.

            Today the internet has made it very easy to debunk any Hero-mythology that might start. People relish in tearing down any person that might get hoisted onto a pedestal. In fact, sometimes it seems like they intentionally put people on pedestals just to tear them down I can’t help but get in on a lot of it myself.. Children, who are ruthless and mean, are in on it more often than not. When I say children, I mean everyone under the age of 18. Message boards, Comment threads, blog posts, Facebook status’, Twitter feeds are all rife with kids potty-mouthing people. They are picking apart everything anyone does. No one is safe from crimination.

            Lately, I’ve thought about it more and more. I liked having idols and heroes while growing up. I liked the thought that there were once “giants” who walked this earth. I like to believe that “giants” may again walk this earth someday. I understand that these pedestals that we place them on are bound to be toppled over at some point in our lives, but can we try and keep it from happening to children at such a young age? 

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