When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?
When I was five years old, Zorro (portrayed by Guy Williams) was my hero. He was a “righter”of injustices and defender of the weak.
I chose to write on this topic because I felt, Zorro, might be a controversial choice of a modern 5-year-old.
Primarily, the complaints would come from those who dislike the idea of violent images offered to our kids. Parents cringe about “armed” heroes, yet, I believe they are missing the message and ought to consider the moral fiber of fictional (and real life heroes ) with, as much, immediate concern. My former blog post “The Blind Eye”, was about apathy and fear in the face of trouble. This topic seems a fitting continuation of my point.
My heart still quickens at the thought of “Zorro to the rescue” and I really have no memory of him ever hurting anyone. He may have…but, my 5-year-old self certainly did not internalize the violence at all. What I remember most is that people “with power” can be good or evil and the good one’s are heroic only when they take action and risks. Zorro was also labeled a “public enemy” by those “evil” powerful folks who feared his interference in their corrupt and greedy agendas.
I believe that the pen is truly “mightier than the sword” and Zorro, if transported to 2014, would probably be a political blogger. A mighty dashing one, at that! lol
More than any time, ever before, there are medias that allow us to “take a stand” and to expose corruption. Fear of labels, cannot hold the bravest of us back, either. Touche’!
The link above is to the recent news article about the tragic killing of an Australian young man by some “punks” who were reportedly bored. The news media has offered many reasons for this atrocity. To name a few:
The US gun culture…
A racial hate crime…
Violence inspired by game playing…
I believe that I stumbled upon the real deeper cause when I commented in a reaction to this horror … “We need a “war on punks”!”
A punk, in my mind, is a young male who is striving for manhood by means of intimidation and violence.
Sadly, and dangerously, our society has lost the traditional definition of manhood.
Some of the reasons are economic but many stem from a “watering down” of the roles men play. Confused? So are our sons.
Back in the day, men were the providers of protection and the essentials for family survival. Since caveman times, the males had a clear role and spent (testosterone inspired) energy to fill that position.
Enter the women’s movement, government assistance, modern conveniences, absentee fathers and unemployment and you have idle time in the hands of males without direction.
Remember, to every action comes an equal and opposite reaction?
The women’s movement was a GOOD thing. This is not a puritanical conservative documentary, in the least. It is, however, a thoughtful wondering about the male experience in an attempt to shed light on a grave predicament in our culture.
“What makes a man?”
Punks seem to believe it is an adrenaline rush inspired by a dangerous act.
How did that happen?
First, we have taken the pointed scissors away from kids. That’s right. This cushioned, ultra-safety oriented, society has had a hand in making boys into sissies. Their confidence and male bravado has no inspiration.
I asked a 10-year-old to help me with lawn mowing, the other day. He said he’d never been asked. There must be a warning label, somewhere, which claims that my suggestion was illegal! (ATVs have labels too. “No one under twelve can operate them.” Funny though, the youth-sized ones are generally too small for most twelve-year-olds.)
Secondly, fatherhood is a duty not a choice. Modern society has lost sight of that in a nutshell. Boys need quality men to show them how to become men of quality.
Thirdly, Idle time and video game playing are not allowing for physical exertion. Scientifically, the lack of physical exertion MUST have an adverse effect upon testosterone fueled adolescents! I’m sure there is a study somewhere which would verify that adrenaline is a necessary drug in a young man’s life.
There must be a way to counteract the poisonous conditions of our sons’ environments.
Sports teams are one way. But many have not the means, nor interest, to take part in sports.
May I suggest, that in dealing with boys who have been expelled from or have dropped out of school, who have had scrapes with the police or are members of gangs, that we seriously entertain a type of boot camp. (Yes, those who have no pre-existing disability, only.)
Of course, the boot camp would be the bottom line but they could be exempt from going if they entered a mentor program or volunteered in community service opportunities.
NOW, the race card would be thrown at this idea. The chances are, the black community would be in high attendance. (Unemployment and absentee fathers the catalyst.) BUT, instead of thinking this was an effort to marginalize minorities…why wouldn’t we consider it helping where the help is most needed?
These are just infant ideas for a possible cause and solution for a deep problem that just won’t be going away. What do you think?
It wasn’t that long ago that I pretended to be Annie Oakley. Okay, 40 years is long in a lifetime but it feels like yesterday. I’d ride my pony, Socksey, at a gallop while balancing my pop gun. I played alone but never felt lonely.
As part of the first generation of kids with all day TV , the Wild West filled our airways and Cowboys were our heroes. From the modern perspective, these shows were violent and raw. How’s that modern perspective working for y’all?
school bullying with apathy from bystanders
random gun violence
To name a few more modern pervasive ailments.
I started looking for videos to attach to this post. My eyes are still filled with tears and my heart with the pride from revisiting my ‘ol pals. Then I found the perfect video. A new movement to instill the virtues that I aspired to from my cowboy heroes. Food for thought people. I’m going to get some old westerns and watch them with my granddaughter.
BTW- I added guns to my title just to make this post “scary” and controversial enough to get you to consider it. 🙂
It has been said many times that in order to thoroughly enjoy the comedy of the The Three Stooges you must be a man. Boy, do I disagree because their slapstick has always been one of my personal favorites!
I added a random clip because choosing my favorite would have been impossible.Not only are they my best remedy for the blues but such a glimpse into a time which I never experienced. References to Nazis and the Depression, make me feel like I am in a time capsule. Shining shoes in order to eat or waiting in job lines are scenes that today’s youth should see.
If I were to choose the single biggest danger to our society today it would be that our youth has very little knowledge of our nation’s history. The saying, “Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.” is absolutely applicable.
I cannot blame the schools entirely for the absence of historical knowledge. Although I do blame them. History class and Geography class became social studies, and since, today’s youth have little idea about where we came from OR where we are in the world.
I remember my parents and grandparents telling stories about their lives. If anyone thinks that life used to be simple and carefree, then they must have had social studies. How many people today?:
mend their clothes because buying new ones is not an option and have to make those clothes last to be handed down to siblings.
really don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
have discrimination for their sex, race and lifestyle the over baring reality in each day, all day.
have to stand in LONG lines for sugar, butter or gasoline.
own only one pair of shoes.
butcher their own meat.
have their prosperity for the whole year count upon the weather and crops.
I’m sure my mother could add many better examples because forgetting the past is something each generation experiences to their own degree. THAT is exactly why American History must play as large a role in our education as Math and English (which from the grammar these days, I assume is no longer being taught.)
Instead of being ridiculously opposed to your kids seeing slapstick and learning to “hit”, I think they might do better to have a glimpse of another time and learn to ask questions.
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