Heroes, Idols and other Liars...

A few days ago my sister was working a charity auction where they had, among other things, a print of the Marvel Superheroes (Drawn by Michael Golden...I think), but the artist didn't sign the print. Stan Lee did...Beth told the boss I'd worked for Stan and then she told her what I thought of him. 

Stan really didn't write a lot of what we thought he had when we were growing up. The artists actually did the writing and, in some cases, created these superheroes and Stan got all the credit. Anyone who spends more than two minutes with him realizes he didn't create or write most of what he's been credited for...His only outstanding achievement is outliving the artists...But not their families. They've taken the case as to credit, payment, and the return of original art work to the Supreme Court and they've agreed to some 'Better' contracts for their lost family member and the movies, television shows and comics have 'Co-Creator' credits within. Now I'd never met Stan before I showed him my portfolio while he was autographing any and everything put in front of him, including many comics he had nothing to do with. He seemed amiable enough, liked my work and hired me and it didn't take long before I came to understand the way comic politics are run in the industry. 

Of all the editors, artists and writers I'd have the chance to meet on my journey into the world of art, there were only a handful that were confident enough in their work that they would take the time to help out the new guy...Don Newton was one, Archie Goodwin was another...A rarity in a sea of jealous demigods. Maybe most of that was my fault because, I suppose, I had a different idea as to what it would be to achieve my goal and draw comics. It wasn't entirely fun and actually hard work, which I didn't mind...It was all the politics and pettiness that did me in. 

This isn't just about seeing your comic book heroes with all their faults, it's about most people that achieve the top of a profession...Some had secrets that they'd be willing to kill for, religious icons with drug habits, who shout against the 'Sin' of homosexuality only to be caught in the act, and those who took money from the poor which allowed them to live in huge homes with large staffs while the poor continued to lose what the rich guy gained. \

And the entertainment world is filled with stories of those who stood above the ruins they'd made of other people's lives, often being the very thing they told everyone that they hated those types of people. 

It kind of sucks. 

We're human beings, incredibly infallible and we have these ideas as to what kind of a world we'd like to live in but when we're honest we find these little faults and would like to rid us of this or that thing...People will fail you and your image of those you worship will almost always be challenged. I suppose that's why so many religions have 'Prophets and Saviors' from a time before we had mass communication or other means of documenting a life fairly and honestly...We're told it's all about 'Faith'...That we will be rewarded in 'Heaven' or the 'Bosom of Abraham' or whatever the 'Faith' you follow, and we'll continue to suffer on this world because that will make us a better person when we die. 


Every country in the world has had their belief's and they held onto the truth of their 'Gods' just as they do in the 21st century and, yet, we ended up calling those 'Gods' myth and their 'God' the real thing...Without proof, without any real historic documents, and without even investigating the reason why King Jimmy put out the book the world has come to understand as the 'Word of God'...It was to keep the poor and middle class in line, threatening them with eternal damnation and excommunication if they didn't follow the rules the 'Church' made into law. And do not get me onto the whole 'Matter of interpretation' garbage. I'd be willing to bet a large portion of any of the 'Faithful', doesn't matter what your religion, has never completely read the entirety of their training manuals and never bothered learning the dead languages to discover what those words really meant. 

They didn't want anyone to see the false Idols they'd made a fortune out of promoting. 

In George Orwell's '1984' the 'Leader' is never seen in real life, just images and posters and his face everywhere...Maybe that's for the best because to meet these people, to listen to them talk or picking and cleaning up after them when they'd gotten so drunk or stoned that they'd take a golf cart all around their Christian campus and tossing beer bottles here and there until security caught up with him and I did what fixers do...Picked up after and made sure the bar was stocked and the medication bottles filled and keep my mouth shut...

...Okay, I didn't really adhere to that last part.

I don't like lies. I don't like to be lied to and I won't lie to anyone. Sometimes I would remain silent to stop from having an argument with family, but that went out the window when my sister finally got so tired of our dad making comments about the gay community and wondered why I was always getting angry at him...She kind of exploded, told him, and the rest of the family kind of discovered I had no problems with dating either gender...Never have, but society, that's a whole different story.

We aren't allowed to live in a perfect world. Men continue to demand women are inferior to them, one race hates the other, black people are shot by white cops who have no fear of 'Justice' because real justice doesn't exist anymore that equality does. Rumors and lies told to keep everyone in check, to take the people back to a time where the rich ruled and the poor supplied and all the heroes are probably dicks. 

It's a hard world, a tough decision to make when one discovers their heroes or idols are really creatures with feet of clay and the spine of a jelly fish and will toss out all the right 'Scriptures' that 'Proves' they were forgiven by their 'God' so we have to forgive 'em also. Or they give a weak explanation about the temptation in their world and, well, everybody falls so it was only a matter of time before they did the same. They'll pick themselves up, dust off their tainted image and most people continue to watch, read or listen to them. I can't blame anyone because we have to take our heroes the way they are, not as how we'd like them to be. In private they'll tell their politically incorrect stories, they'll spend the money we've given them on stupid things like gold toilets and we'll continue to believe in them even if we don't fully believe their words or actions like we'd done before.

We need our heroes. We need our beliefs. It would be refreshing to discover someone who stood there and said, 'Hey, I fucked up. I did what I'm accused of so how do we work this out?' Time will pass, they'll do some great stuff, give money to charities and say all the right things in public and it'll all be secret until someone they trusted, someone they hurt, steps forth and exposes the truth.

Again and again and again.

I wish we didn't have to stand for this kind of behavior. There was a time when I once believed we were possible of being the idea instead of the reality...And I know I'll die knowing change isn't going to happen. The rich don't care, those who actually made it to the top will continue being assholes, and there will be a lone voice here and there calling for justice, for mercy, for help, not for themselves but for those yet to come. Our time is almost over and it'll be up to the next generation to try and make all the things we fucked up right again and that isn't going to happen...Or, perhaps, I just don't understand or see how it could happen.

Most folks aren't going to go out into the 'Real' world and see what it's truly like. They like being in the comfort of their homes, hiding behind the safety of their computers and comments under a name that isn't any more real than their 'Facts' when they decide to run rampant against some minority or another. I saw the real world back in Bible School and not just with the teachers and televangelists and (Then) radio stars...I was asked to speak at a place in Missouri, a military town on the far side of the state and my brother in law and I left ORU late at night and drove through Oklahoma and Missouri and as the sun broke we took what we thought would be a short cut and we ended up in a town with a three story Nazi flag hanging from the first building we came to, and everyone we saw had a similar patch on their shirts. Both he and I had long hair so he put his up in his cap and I stuffed mine down my shirt, but he was more afraid than me because he wasn't white...It seemed like it took us hours to find our way out of that town and the looks we got were really, really scary. 

The real world is a scary place and I understand, I really do, why people try not to venture outside and run into all these terrifying sights, these scary people, and the dangers they represent to minorities...But we have to if we ever want to see real change in our country. Yes, more blood will be spilled, hearts will be broken and families split apart...Or we can do nothing until we really are a dictatorship and firing squads become as regular here as they are in other third world countries. Wishing won't change this world, praying is a waste of time and exactly what the 'Church' want you to do because it keeps you from seeing the truth, just as the Mosque's do the same thing for Muslims and so forth. Actions are needed and we simply don't seem to have the numbers of those willing to stand up and say enough.

It would be nice to have a figurehead, but history has taught us those people who are put up to represent a people become victims of their own stories...Stories that can be checked out in this modern world if someone only could get away from their chosen websites, places that promote bigotry and racism and lies that we've been told to simply believe and never challenge.  Well, I challenge those words.

And I'd be willing to die for the truth...More importantly, I'd be willing to live for the truth.

Truth will never set us free, but it's a start.


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