Our Hero, Average Joey!

Big boyish smile.

Huge, vacant, reassuringly idiotic eyes.


Joey Tribbiani is the harbinger of our destruction.

Last week I stared up in horror at his fifteen foot head grinning and beaming above a four storey building. He is still there, lording over the corner of Pape and Danforth, like some demi-godly emperor. Luckily he is still two dimensional and plastered on a billboard, otherwise our might arrive immediately in a blinding flashy of hunky destruction.

Other cultures have represented their gods and heroes larger than life in their art and repeated their heroic actions in countless plays and dances. They have served as moral examples for the people.



Although our society is increasingly "objective" and "secular," and perhaps we could settle on no religious icons, we still need better heroes than this. How are we to be inspired by countless re-runs of the same saccharine jokes and comedic situations? How are we to look up to some that is glorified for being able to pretend to be harmlessly stupid and puckish? Do we have any heroes or role models at all? Sports stars seem to all be thugs and criminals. Politicians really are all thugs and criminals. TV stars and musicians are only skin-deep simulacra.

The cult of celebrity is going to sink us all. It is hero worship without a trace of heroism. One needs no worthiness at all to become a celebrity these days. Jessica Simpson's sister is going to become a music star because she is the sister of a stupid pretty girl who is already famous. This is not necessarily a criticism of Matt Le Blanc. He is being paid handsomely for his ability to pretend to be stupid and womanizing. Who knows, he might have turned out to be a wonderful human being if our society did not glorify the worst of our characteristics.

We follow these peoples lives in the papers, entire television shows are devoted to analyzing the choices made by the faceless people that dress our peculiar heroes. What is most interesting though is that people recognize that celebrities are not heroes, despite all their supposed star power, celebrities have virtually no sway on politics. They can speak out all they want, but no one changes their vote because of what Eminem or the Dixie Chicks say. We have seen these people's strengths and foibles and we recognize that they are not better people than us, they are simply richer and better looking. We have no trouble at all declaring that they "suck" or joking about their drug problems.

We are the first culture to have a set of heroes and heroines who we love and glorify, but do not respect in the least. The result is that we are completely devoid of positive moral influence. We alleviate our guilt about our constant moral failings, by glorifying heroes who are as weak, worthless and purposeless as we are. There are good people out there, but our culture is too close to the brink to recognize them.

What would happen if our television waves were saturated with broadcasts about the heroic volunteers at Doctors without Borders, risking their lives and sanity in foreign and dangerous lands to give people the gift of health?

Would it seem like such a huge sacrifice to volunteer at the local kindergarten then?

What if our tabloids were full of exposees on social workers working with street kids twelve hours a day because the job needs to get done and no one else is willing to do it for such low pay?

Would it seem so natural to be too lazy to sort garbage and recycling then?

We live in a society that consistently champions sloth, decadence and immorality in our media. Our heroes are actually some of the worst people in our society and this bizarre inversion weakens us all. We need real heroes and we need them quickly if we are to revive the sweet and sickly sludge that our consciences have devolved into.

Joey Tribbiani you are the grinning ghoulish face of our doom!


Blogger me said...

Matt, please take a break from watching TV. You're scaring us all, and perhaps yourself most of all.

8:46 p.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

It is my solemn duty to watch a great deal of television -- total media immersion gives me the greatest possible chance of catching all 812 signs of the apocalypseMatteus Von Mustard has no fear of death or torture of the terrors of beyond. If you are of too small a character to read about the adventures which I have partaken in from the comfort of your own home, then it is a dark day indeed, for we will need many brave men and women if we are to avert the inevitable (averting the inevitable is very very difficult, what with the inevitability and all).

2:30 p.m.  
Blogger me said...

Oh, dear Von Mustard, it is for you that I weep. Your easy submission to the belief in the near-inevitability of the inevitable is indeed a sign that the Inevitable, Chief Advisor to the Apocalypse, has you duped. To think that the signs of the Apocalypse number 812! Ha! A mere chubby cherub’s fancy! You may as well lick Lilliputian lollipops to the rhythm of the atonal anarchist anthem that heralds the Apocalypse!

Don’t you see that the Inevitable has created the very source of your apocalyptic information?!! The Inevitable seeks to confound. You may very well lead your brave army into a battle with nothing but cumulus cloud corporals! Beware the seductive trap into which you have immersed yourself!

But I sense there is hope for you yet, and so, I leave you with this: Listen to the almost imperceptible silences between the crushed leaves’ cries beneath your feet. They sigh the secret…

11:26 p.m.  
Blogger Matthew Lie - Paehlke said...

What is this nonsense? Not only do you display a glaring lack of education and erudition on eschatological matters, but you're arguments are considerably less than coherent even if you are granted you're ludicrous assumptions. I can not make head nor tails of your comment.

As an aside though, I do plan to lick Lilliputian lollipops to the rhythm of the atonal anarchist anthem that heralds the Apocalypse. How that has any bearings on my commentary on this site though escapes me at this moment.

1:05 p.m.  

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