The Monopolization of Heroes by the State

Monopolization Television and movies are full of heroes. Drama could hardly exist without them of course, but have you noticed that nearly every hero in modern dramas is associated with the state? Here are dramas playing on TV in my town tonight, with the heroes following: Hawaii Five-0 – Police; Blue Bloods – Police…

The Truth About War Heroes

war heroes For the past dozen years or so, Americans have been deluged with talk about “heroes,” and especially “our brave soldiers.” I was at a funeral recently, and was shocked to see the funeral director conduct a ritual: he had all past or current members of the military line up and touch a flag for the deceased. This is not only stupidly out of proportion, but it is deeply damaging to …

The Recipe for Heroes and Saints

911nyc There is nothing inspiring about rules. While they may produce order, they don’t elevate anyone to heroism and greatness. But I know what does, and I discovered it in the rubble of 9/11. The story began, as such stories do, quite innocently. I was scheduled to be in New York for a convention in early 2002, and I sent an email to my old friend Jack. The text was along …