Monday, May 14, 2007


If the word "hero" could sue for defamation of character, it would.

If it walked into a lawyer's office and said, "that's it, I've had enough!" I wouldn't blame it. Have you seen how people are defining heroism these days?

A trash-mouthed idiot in the NFL whose fame and skill in selling overpriced sneakers are the only things keeping him out of jail will be called a "hero" for scoring the winning touchdown. A has-been ex-actor selling his new sitcom will blubber to Oprah about his "heroism" in surviving three bad marriages, a drug overdose and a weekend spent in jail. Eat a big, steaming bowl of bugs on “Survivor” and your mother will call you "heroic". Hell, I heard the H-word more than once when President Bush borrowed Tom Cruise’s costume from Top Gun and smirked, “Mission Accomplished.”

With so much slander going on is it any wonder people are confused? It's a good thing there are people like Jessica Lynch to show us what real heroes are. Testifying during a congressional hearing investigating the death of Pat Tillman by “friendly fire”, Lynch became a real hero because she refused to go along with the bullshit.

“They made me out to be this little girl Rambo from the hills of West Virginia who went down fighting,” the former POW told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. “It was just not true.” Joined by Pat Tillman’s mother and brother, she urged Congress to hold the government accountable for its “deliberate and calculated lies.”

That's what heroism is. In this celebrity-obsessed culture, singers, athletes and movie stars are elevated to the status of heroes for simply doing their jobs. But entertaining us doesn't mean they're making a difference in our lives. All they're doing is taking our minds away from the problems that are still there after the song or game or movie is over.

Jessica Lynch is a hero. A gutless punk like George Tenet getting rich pimping his book At the Center of the Storm isn’t. I remember seeing a poster that read, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”

So, to paraphrase one of my favorite songs, Tenet’s bullshit is so bright, I got to wear shades.