Heroes. This term in particular fuels the imagination, churning up a plethora of figures that are all but familiar to each individual. These enigmas can generally be grouped into two vastly differing categories; those that exist as tangible forms and those that dwell only in parallel worlds. Although the two genres of heroes are like chalk and cheese, the fact of the matter remains that they have similar traits that each of us found endearing at any particular point of time. It is their drive to perform to the epitome of their abilities, the unwillingness to throw in the towel even when faced with the bleakest circumstances that we based our morals upon. It can be said that the most fervent worshippers attempt to emulate the legacy that their heroes left behind, even to the minutest detail.
I must admit that merely two standouts from the myriad of heroes have come off as impressionable to me, at least. One of them exists on a virtual plane; perhaps I may begin with this fictional character? It is known as “Kamen Rider”, which translates loosely to “Masked Rider” in the Queen’s English. This vigilante was featured originally in a Japanese television that spanned a remarkable ninety-eight episodes. Such was its popularity that it was even brought onto the silver screen in the visage of full-length movies. The titular character is a homosapien that employs the use of a mundane accessory, the belt, to transform into an armored alter-ego. The purpose? To fend off malicious threats to the Earth’s inhabitants, as in any typical superhero franchise.
There exists a multitude of such animated superheroes, leading one to wonder- why Kamen Rider? I suppose the clear reason would be that it was one of the first television programs introduced to me when I was still in the stage of early adolescence. Although it might strike us as immature when we see Kamen Rider on the television nowadays, possibly due to the change in our tastes in proportion to the progression of our lives; Kamen Rider was the undisputable definition of “epic” in the good days of old. Even today, the sight of Wushu practitioners flailing their tasteless swords conjured out of flimsy aluminum foil around is reminiscent of how Kamen Rider handled his cumbersome blade, if you could call it that. What actually captivates you in the series is not the lackadaisical fight sequences; those come across as stiff and unrealistic, with bright sparks whizzing about every instant of contact and blinking blue lights flashing as Kamen Rider invoked some glitzy gadgetry in an attempt to pimp his ride, or in colloquial Singaporean terms, “zhng his car”. It was more of watching the actors portray their characters, developing their emotions and bonds to respective characters as the story progressed. A rather heartwarming series, if I may say so. Kudos to the Land of the Rising Sun for coming up with a Japanese He-Man.
Of course, Kamen Rider is not the only entity that resembles a sliver of a hero. Any down-to-earth working class hero would be expected to consider a larger than life, modern-day mortal as a hero, for that is politically correct as well as socially acceptable. After all, you don’t just proclaim the one you look up to to be a fictional character as you climb the social ladder; it makes you look like an oxymoron, which is what you’ll be if couldn’t grow out of the diapers.
Therefore, let us settle on Barack Obama, the Democrat currently gunning for the top seat in the White House. Off the bat, let us note that this fellow is an African-American. This single fact would, with a high probability, draw a string of protests, most of which stating his incapability due to his racial backgrounds. In my opinion, that borders on the edge of shallowness. America’s voting for a President, a charismatic and competent leader, not a Prom King. His attempt to be the first black elected into Presidency is a bold move, one that demands nerves of steel which is crucial in warding off the naysayers and diehard racists. It is a boundary that most would not deign to traverse. Originally trailing behind the pack leader, Hilary Clinton, Obama eventually managed to garner sufficient votes to throw a spanner into Clinton’s campaign through his beguiling speeches. His own campaign is based on the concept of change, one that promises a restructured America. It is no surprise that many have accepted his ideals and given him their utmost support, for they are disgruntled with the ineptness of the incumbent President, George Bush. Evidence of this can be found even in the media, as seen punk rock band Green Day’s political bashing song, Holiday.
“Hear the dogs howling out of key, to a hymn called ‘Faith and Misery’. And bleed, the company lost the war today.”
The verses refer to Bush’s botching of the war in Iraq. This is basically saying that no matter what happens in this war with Iraq, America loses. Many people died and are still dying, both American and Iraqi. It’s saying that war is hell and regardless of the outcome, there is no winner. The main reason why Obama will triumph over the current adversary, McCain, is that McCain spells another four years of Bush. McCain promises change, but he probably won’t give it to you. All the more reason for Obama to clinch the title. After all, America needs a fresh start. Hero? Yes, without a doubt. Sieg Heil!
Sometimes, the deeds of various so-called heroes transcend what can be expressed on a sheet of paper. We have to experience their acts, whether beneficial or detrimental to a particular issue, in order to pass fair and unequivocal judgment as to whether he or she is deserving of the honorific.
Perhaps there is a hero in all of us. We just need to look.
The essay that I finally completed yesterday night. Before I go, here’s a picture.