Tuesday, August 26, 2003

All the recent talk about the new GWBush action figure and about Ahhhnuld (that's Mr. Freeze to you bat-lovers) running for governor has prompted a couple of nice articles on "faux heroism," one by Mark Morford for The San Francisco Chronicle and the other by Garrison Keillor for Time.

Earlier today I was thinking to myself that, although the name of this blog is "Heroes and Villains," I've written far more about the former here than the latter. And when I first started this journal, I intended to focus primarily on the political (as well as spiritual) dimensions of my erotic fantasies, though I veered fairly quickly into other, vaguely related terrain.

For the record, I pretty much consider GW a villain when you get right down to it. (Lord knows he'd consider me one--since he's vowed to enact legislation that would ensure I could never, ever marry my boyfriend, and since I don't buy his line about how "you're either with us, or you're with the terrorists.") I'm as appalled as Morford and Keillor are by the current cheapening of the concept of heroism. Our understanding of that concept -- and I'm certainly including my own understanding here -- is shaped to a disturbing degree by pop culture, including comics and action-adventure movies, where courage, ethics, and integrity seem less important than physical strength, machismo, and rugged individualism. Costumed crimefighter fantasies aside, my real-life "heroes" include the leaders (and rank-and-file) of the civil rights movement, along with the men and women who fought for rights and representation for women, gay people, and workers, particularly in times when the price for doing so was imprisonment and sometimes death. Give me Abbie Hoffman or one of the Berrigan brothers over Bruce Willis anyday.

'Course, since I'm among friends here I gotta admit I would take Bruce to bed over Abbie anyday if I let my dick make those kinds of decisions for me, and several of the men in GW's administration (including the Prez himself) would totally float my boat if their politics didn't turn my stomach first. The image of Bush in that flight suit was blatantly offensive on every level, but you know how I feel about a man in uniform...

As I've noted here before, lefty pals often ask me how I can reconcile my love of cops with my disdain for their worst behavior. To be honest, it doesn't usually cause me that much angst, since I can still pretty clearly distinguish between fantasy and reality (unlike, say, my fellow citizens who believed the Iraqis engineered the September 11 horrors, or the guy I heard on talk radio today who seemed to think that the leader of North Korea was the last remaining despot on the planet). I'm down with dialectics, and contradictions are my bread and butter. I might think about using that "Elite Force Aviator" action figure as a sex toy, but I'll do anything in my power to oppose the guy it's modelled on.

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