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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Heroes Have [Not] Always Been Cowboys - ii

Not a singing cowboy
Not a singing cowboy
“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!”
As you probably remember so says Dr. Emmet L. Brown [the character played by Christopher Lloyd] in the closing scene of Part One of the Back to the Future trilogy.
Brown’s replying to the warning from Marty McFly [Michael J. Fox] that there may not be a road long enough ahead of them for the modified DeLorean to reach the required 88-mph speed that will launch them on a fourth-dimensional leap to the year 2015. [Were all this other than a science-fiction movie, their landing should be just a bit over 24 months away.]
Readying to leap back to the past
Readying to leap back... to the past this time.

Though neither one — McFly or Brown — satisfies the requirements of the traditional or classical version of the hero, I think we all agree that they can be considered good examples of the “modern fictional hero.”
And as far as their own relationship in the fictional world of Hill Valley, it would probably be a safe bet to say that for Marty McFly, the scientist had become somebody to look up to... in other words, a hero-like figure.
That’s descriptive, it does not mean that at any time have I ever regarded them as “heroes” of mine.
Seeing Michael J. Fox all dressed up in “cowboy” attire in the beginning scenes of BTTF III made me immediately remember the family portrait that my parents had taken with me and my two younger brothers back in the mid 50s.
Those of you who have read previous posts will remember that I used the crop for this remembrance of my father — Payito was my hero, I said in that series.
In the BTTF III screenshot McFly is getting ready to leap to 1885, so as to rescue Doc Brown [the 1985 Doc Brown, that is, not the one from 1955 with him at the drive-in movie theater] from a certain death.
I chuckled in seeing McFly's attire because that is exactly how we wanted to dress up. We were responding to what the singing cowboy movies portrayed as reality and donning such colorful getup sent us on our way to fantasy-land — no need for roads, dude!
In time, of course, the majority of us all start doing away with heroes. It doesn’t matter when or how it happens, our admiration vanishes. We no longer wish to be the guy in the white hat or the superhero in the comics.
We begin to discern.
David is no more the heroic slayer of a gigantic warrior with just a sling and a stone for weapons. His words, his faith are still worthy of recognition though he is now a flawed human being, plotting for murder so that his victim’s spouse can become his.
In real, contemporary life, the spiritual advisor lauding marriage from the pulpit does his best to destroy one — it doesn’t have to touch us and one doesn’t have to witness such things in person to know and realize that this is not ancient history, it happens all the time.
Now, let me tell you about a hero.

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