Showing posts with label heroes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label heroes. Show all posts

Monday, September 1, 2014

Deceit Among Heroes and Villains

Roland often tells this joke about Satan entering a congregation of worshipers.  Frightened with his presence, the parishioners begin to flee the church except for one man.  Satan sits next to him on the pew and after trying a few more scare tactics finally says to the man, “Why is it that you are not frightened of me.”

The man just looks at him and shakes his head and says, “Nothing you can do will frighten me.  After all, I’ve been married to your sister for the last twenty years”
Roland’s marriage to his last wife did not make it to twenty years however.  But I think that is who he thinks about when he tells the joke.
            When I saw the advertisements for Disney’s Maleficent, I thought to myself:  “How quaint.  A movie about Roland’s ex-wife”

            For those of you who have read my blog from the beginning, you will know that Maleficent is the name I assigned Roland’s ex.  WARNING:  I am now about to reveal some spoilers from the movie itself.  To distinguish Roland’s ex and the movie character, I will refer to Disney’s maleficent creature as “mal A” and Roland’s ex as “mal B”

            The movie starts out revealing mal A as a youth – though quite young, she appears to be the ruler.  She cares about the other creatures within the moors where they all live.  She has a sense of humor.  She flies with large black wings.  She is happy.

            I had once heard that mal B had a heart at one time – must have been many years before I crossed paths with her.  I had heard that she would give the shirt off her back to one who was in need.  I find that hard to believe.

            Mal A meets Stefan – a young pauper who has a desire to be a king one day so that he can live in the grand Castle and rule over the humans.  Mal A lets Stefan know that humans are not welcome in the moors. Stefan is the first to make a sacrifice to save their friendship when he tosses his iron ring so that he may never hurt mal A and she is truly touched by his sacrifice. It seems like an unrealistic friendship for either one of them to pursue but each does wish to see the other again.
            As the years go by, Stefan comes around less often and seems to disappear altogether.  He had made his way into the human palace and stands a chance of gaining favor with the king.  A king who would like to make the moors part of his kingdom – but not the creatures themselves.  He promises each of his sires that whichever one of them will kill mal A and bring him proof – that sire will get to marry the king’s daughter and rule as king when the current ruler has passed on.

            Stefan goes to the moors to warn mal A that the king has sent out a death threat against her because he wishes for more land.  I found Stefan to be sincere – yet I knew that he desired to rule as king – and according to legend is the father of Aurora.

            Stefan drugs mal A and holds up a knife to stab her, but is unable to do it.  He clips her wings instead.  When mal A wakes up from her sleep, she immediately notices that her wings have been removed and she cries out with so many emotions: sadness, pain, anger, resentment . . .

            I had heard that mal B had been robbed of her innocence when she was younger – though I don’t know how young.  But I heard that it had been by people whom she trusted – those that should have protected her.  She may have felt their presence disappear the way mal A had with Stefan.  At some point she may have felt betrayed, as though her metaphorical wings (whatever that may have been) had been removed.

            Stefan is gone when mal A wakes, so obviously he must be responsible.  Mal A seeks vengeance upon him.  He must pay for doing her harm.

            Because she has no wings, she finds somebody who does.  A raven caught in a snare.  At first I think she saves him just out of habit – but when he asks she decides to make him her servant.  His first assignment is to find Stefan.

            After the raven finds Stefan, he reports back to mal A that Stefan has become king and that a princess has been born and that there will be a celebration.  Mal A, of course, has not been invited, but she shows up nonetheless.  Mal B used people all the time – still uses people I would imagine.  And ALWAYS inviting herself into positions where she is not welcome. 

            Mal A curses Aurora with a spell that she will prick herself upon the spindle of a spinning will and fall into an eternal sleep that only true love’s kiss can wake.  Mal A doesn’t believe in true love.  I would imagine that mal B may have believed in true love at one time, but she doesn’t anymore.  I think any flicker of love that may have been left has gone out from her life. And I wonder if she will ever get it back.

            Stefan is upset that mal A has intruded upon his little family.  He is upset with the very idea that she has cursed his little girl.  But I think that deep down he is more upset with himself – for the price he had paid to become a king.  For once he had betrayed his friendship with mal A, he had lost what once made him happy – never to find it again.  He’d allowed himself to be engulfed in the pain.  But instead of trying to repair the damage, he made things worse for himself and for his kingdom.  He fell into a state of darkness – darker than mal A dressed.

            That made me wonder if mal B was truly the victim or if she had gone after her desires in a way that Stefan had and had betrayed someone she loved and never got over it and allowed the pain to envelop her so much that she’d forgotten what made her angry in the first place.  Her heart needs to be softened.  Problem is that no one can find it.

            Mal A watches over Aurora who constantly smiles at her.  She has a beautiful smile.  Meanwhile Stefan seems to forget about Aurora as he makes plans on how to destroy mal A.  His pride continues to eat at him.  And he is never happy.  But mal A becomes happy as she watches over Aurora – which she had never intended and does try to fight it a first. Aurora finds mal A’s heart – who wishes to undo the curse, but just can’t seem to.

            I love the twist of events as the end when Phillip kisses Aurora and what follows when she doesn’t wake up from his kiss.  I would hope that perhaps one day mal B’s heart can be found and that she may go from hero (Stefan) to Villain (mal A) the way that this movie has depicted.

            Often we may label what makes a hero and what makes a villain.  But there is always deception.  Maybe not always, but often enough.  We read about it in history.  We live with it in the court rooms.  We’ve seen corrupt rulers and governments and we have seen true heroes that wish to remain silent.  For that’s what true heroes are.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Silent Heroes

There are several variations of what may come to one’s mind when visualizing his or her perception of a hero.  There are comic book heroes such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, or even Word Girl.

Many people have benefitted from the heroic actions of the police, firefighters, soldiers, etc.  It is the uniformed men or women whom they see as heroes.  And they are, and deserve to be recognized.
          There are “heroes” who do it for the glory – just to be recognized as heroes.  And there are the silent heroes who work behind the scenes, who don’t ask for recognition, many who would prefer not to bask in the glory.  These are the true heroes.

          Roland is one of those heroes.  He does things out of nature – not because he’s seeking a reward or glory.  He just does things because they need to be done.
          For example, he’s really not mechanically minded, but he will stop to give people a lift or assist where able – whether he actually knows the person (or people) or not.

          One time (many years ago) he noticed an acquaintance waiting at the bus stop.  He offered her a lift just because of his nature.  But for her, it was a heroic act of rescue.  Neither of us knows all the details and so it is only speculation as to whether she woke up late, her car wasn’t running, she had barely missed the bus . . . whatever. 

She  has been grateful to Roland for his actions all this time – and it really wasn’t a recent thing.  Maybe 30 years ago?  Maybe longer.  An incident that Roland probably thought nothing about even in that moment, but in that moment he had become her hero.  And she has never forgotten.

My dad was a hero just by his example – supporting each of us in our dreams – supporting us from “behind the curtains” never feeling the need to set foot upon the stage himself.  And really not wanting to.  He didn’t have a desire for the praise. 

He was wise with money and knew how to budget and provide.  We may not have been financially wealthy, but daddy kept the family together and saw to it that we would take a family vacation each year. Daddy was a silent hero.

I remember being stranded on the road myself.  Kayla and Corey were with me.  Kayla was maybe about five or six.  We didn’t have cell phones then – and payphones were only a dime.  With the car (I believe I was driving the one that belonged to my grandmother, actually) pulled over to the side, I took each of the kids’ hands and started walking.  A man pulled over to see if we needed a lift.

As I pushed Kayla and Corey into the car, I thought: “What am I doing?  I don’t know this man.  He could just try to steal us and hold us for ransom”

But this “grandpa” who had picked us up became my hero for a moment.  As it turned out he really didn’t live too far from my grandma. 

And there’s another time when my neighbor was stranded on the freeway – with at least six kids in the car.  It was the “hippy era” and those long haired freaks had earned a reputation among the older generation which was less than flattering.  But it was two of those long haired “freaks” that helped us to move along.

And then there are the occasional customer service representatives who are serious about resolving my concerns.  Those are true heroes for making me feel like I am more important than a paycheck.

Strange how such little actions on our part can have such a huge impact on somebody else’s.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Superhero Birthday

          Roland and Jenna have birthdays exactly 50 ½ years apart.

          Roland enjoys comics.  He has read DC, Marvel, Black Horse, Gold Key.  He enjoys Hulk, Batman, Green Lantern, Green Hornet, He will watch programs that feature superheroes, Justice League, Dark Knight, Iron Man.  His absolute favorite is Superman. 
He has collected comic books, posters, George Reeve tapes, Christopher Reeves, and more recent than that.  He has watched Lois & Clark, Smallville, cartoons and whatever else might be Superman related.  And Jenna has watched some of his programs with him.

For her birthday this year, she decided to have a cake with Superman.  Oh, really? We talked about doing a superhero themed birthday party.  She had watched Justice League with Roland and was aware of Wonder Woman and decided to go as her.  Now she would like ALL the superheroes on her cake and not JUST Superman.

I have yet to attend a children’s birthday party where 50% - 80% of the cake does NOT end up in the trash can. I wasn’t about to fork over an added expense for such a luxurious cake – not that Jenna doesn’t deserve it – but I could really find other ways to “waste” my money.

Roland decided that we would do cupcakes.  He said that we had all the ingredients and made the cakes from scratch – but as they rose higher than anticipated, they actually turned out to be very ugly cake. 

Now, in Roland’s mind, it’s all about presentation.  Food has to look good – even to an eight year old. Embarrassed by the cupcake mutilation (they did lose form as we have tried to pry them out of the tins) he didn’t even bother to try to hide their deformation with frosting but went out and bought store bought cupcakes instead.  12 for our guests and a special one for Jenna.

We ended up with eight children and a sib, two moms (well three with me) and my oldest son – who took the pictures as I engaged the children in games and such.  They had fun.  And Biff got some really cute pictures.  After Corey returns and teaches me how to insert pictures, I will share some.