Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The lively conversation over Christmas brunch was about books in general and protagonists in particular. I allowed as how I was old school and preferred my protags to be characters I could look up to and aspire to be like but that, disappointingly for me, the trend has been, for some time now, toward principal characters who have clay feet. In fact, the official designation of protagonist, as the ‘good’ guy, is no longer applicable, by the old standards, in most fictional stories. 

The unanimous conclusion was that, nowadays, people prefer the concept of ‘relatable’. In other words, we don’t need heroes that we can look up to, we need stories to unfold with folks who are flawed, like us, so we can feel as good as instead of in need of being as good as. Does that make sense?

Well, as usual I had to let all that foam around in my skull for a couple days. I felt there were dots to be connected. I thought about books I read and movies I watched as a child and I could not think of a single ‘flawed’ hero of fiction from my youth. The first full length chapter book I read, as a nine year old, was Robinson Crusoe. Master of survival, he proved there’s always a way if you never give up. Superman, Nancy Drew, Cinderella, I worked through a list.

The closest I could come to recalling a somewhat unpolished hero was Huck Finn but even he was a strong influence in many positive ways, especially considering his rough beginnings. 

Then a handful of recent headlines recalibrated my focus to how much easier it is to designate the title of Most Influential, now that our heroes no longer have to be individuals of, shall we say, highly enviable character. All one has to do now, to be hailed as outstanding (since ‘hero’ has been redefined to mean ‘anyone who has performed in front of many people and made lots of money’) is to perform and make lots of money. It matters not that the person of interest has no honor, has been caught in immoral or illegal activities multiple times, has been arrested, is a cheater, liar or complete failure in every way except on stage, a sport field or the silver screen, and would never be someone any caring parent would want their child to grow up to be.

The new word for hero or protagonist apparently is now - celebrity. 

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating as we round the corner to a new year, holding our collective breath - when anything goes, and in this case I mean when no one has anyone or anything truly worth looking up to, then everything does go. Right down the drain - taking what is civil about civilization with it.

Call me old-fashioned - I still need real heroes - those who set the bar high and are truly worth admiring and striving to be like. 

For Him,



  1. Some of this may be a symptom of the same "condition" by which we have the word "Post-Truth" as the 2016 selection for word of the year by the Oxford dictionary.
    That's what's "foaming" in my skull today.

    1. Post-truth - yes. What is difficult to say in other forums, I feel somewhat empowered to say in my own space, i.e., the sum total of all the things visible is attributable to that which is invisible - the war with dark principalities. Everything that is counter to the Spirit of Christ is anti and working overtime to undermine. The cold spot in my gut continues to remind me that a day comes when those who refuse to see are blinded lest they see. Are we there yet? That moment when truth is no longer relevant in an evolved society?

  2. A few Bible verses come to mind:

    Isaiah 5:20
    Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

    Proverbs 24:24
    He who says to the wicked, "You are righteous," peoples will curse him, nations will abhor him;

    Proverbs 17:15
    He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the LORD.

    I remember when the bar was set high, people worked hard to reach it. Now the bar is just lowered for all to reach. How low can it go? I pray we never have that answer.

    I like the idea that God has high standards and when I fall short Jesus is there to help me. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand why so many can't see the simple beauty in that.

    1. We started the slow slide awhile back as we clamored to embrace the egalitarian view that - you’re okay, I’m okay, we’re all okay. Sounds so good doesn’t it? Such a subtle snare all dressed up in glittery positivity. Classic satan - “you surely will not die” he cooed in the garden.

      I don’t know what the timeframe is, nor does anyone else except our Father in heaven, but I see the signs, the analogies, in personal issues as well as on the grander worldly scale, the clear line drawn in the sand. There is right and there is wrong. Right raises up - wrong destroys. It is indeed simple. Every time.