Once you slap the label of hero onto someone, they ostensibly become beyond reproach. That’s it! They’re a hero, and everything they do is heroic, and if you dare say anything, well, then you either hate heroes, are a bigot, a racist, a xenophobe, or some heretofore unseen evil such as a herophobe.
By the very definition of the word, heroes are selfless, can have no hidden motives, no selfish intentions, no vested interests, or anything of the sort. Heroes don’t get hemorrhoids or irritable bowel; they always have a cheery sunshiny disposition and are the helpers of humanity. They are all younger, less wrinkly Mother Theresas, whose selfless heroism put your selfish motivations like earning a living to shame.
If you dare point out the obvious holes in the narrative, or that hospitals are empty, or that the overworked and underappreciated heroes of the hour have enough time to put out synchronized dance Tic Toc videos with troubling regularity, you’re just trying to impugn the character of heroes, and that just makes you evil. Evil, and jealous, and callous to boot.
How dare you complain about not having any money to buy food for your kids, or verbalize your concerns about being homeless once the non-eviction order is lifted? Any attempt to inject reason into the conversation is just you keeping heroes from doing heroic things like bashing someone’s head in with a nightstick for being two inches shy of six feet apart in a public space or arresting moms for letting their kids go outside and draw with chalk on the sidewalk.
The next time you get fined a few hundred bucks for just being outside, remember to thank the hero citing you! They’re doing God’s work by golly, and if not for their making sure you don’t feel the sun on your face, why the whole world would go to ruin.
Instead of being appreciative of your constitutional rights being trampled, and your civil liberties being abused, you’ve turned into this ungrateful curmudgeon who keeps blathering on about needing to go back to work to feed your family. How dare you? How dare you put your family’s needs above the arbitrary power trips of elected officials with a Napoleon complex?
How dare you try to make sense or employ reason? Why next you’ll tell me that you’re starting to question how much of an expert the experts really are, or the wisdom of attaching a monetary incentive for declaring a particular cause of death as opposed to another. That would just be the straw that broke the camel’s back, now wouldn’t it?
There’s a reason saints are rare. Even with the libertine definition, the Catholic Church has adopted as to what makes a saint; they’re still few and far between. If we take the Biblical view of it all, then we realize even those we’ve branded saints really aren’t because the heart of man is exceedingly wicked, none is righteous, no not one, and all have fallen short of the glory of God, but what do I know, I’ve never been a hero. Apparently, the two are interchangeable, and if you’re branded a hero, you’re also a saint by default.
What if, and stick with me here, we’ve mistaken villains for heroes, and heroes for villains. What if the real hero is the dad trying to keep his kids fed and a roof over their heads, that is being called an outright murderer for wanting to go back to work?
What if the real heroes aren’t the people doing choreographed dance numbers with fake corpses while on the clock, or the tin badge that sees this as the perfect opportunity to harass and demean people already on edge, but the mom that’s trying to juggle three kids, a part-time job, an empty bank account, and a husband who crawled into a bottle a month ago when he got laid off, and never crawled back out?
What if the experts aren’t as pure as the driven snow? What if certain people trying to drive a narrative do have ulterior motives? What if our supposed heroes aren’t heroes after all, but individuals who saw an opportunity to use this pandemic to further their own ends? What if our heroes are just people, with all the baggage, self-serving tendencies, and vested interests people tend to have?