August 22, 2007


Leela: "Fry, this isn't TV. It's real life. Can't you tell the difference?"
Fry: "Sure. I just like TV better.

I'm always fascinated by our modern-day tales and legends, by the fictional characters we hold up as our inspiration for greatness. Sadly when I write about this, I often get insulted by people who think that I can't tell the difference between a TV character and a real person. But apparently a Serbian village is looking for inspiration in our modern-day heroes as well:

A Serbian village is hoping to channel some of Rocky Balboa’s fighting spirit with a 10-foot-tall statue of the fictional boxer portrayed by actor Sylvester Stallone.
Zitiste has repeatedly suffered flooding and landslides, gaining a disaster-prone reputation. Fed up, the locals contemplated how to change that image and revive the village — one of the poorest in northern Serbia — and came up with the idea of a statue of the tenacious fictional fighter.

I think that's pretty cool. If we have to be a cultural hegemon, at least we're exporting Rocky.

Posted by Sarah at August 22, 2007 09:42 AM | TrackBack

IIRC, there's a statue honoring Gojira in a park in Tokyo.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at August 22, 2007 06:56 PM

I personally like exporting Elvis. He WAS the king, you know.

Posted by: airforcewife at August 22, 2007 09:31 PM

Maybe it's because we don't seem actively to value a life of character as much as we did in the past that we don't have quite as many "real-life 'heros' "? That said, though, I think we've always had TALES of heroic deeds and lives of great character that we've told and re-told, just to give us something to shoot for. . . to aspire to.

I love the scene in the Lord of the Rings where Frodo and Sam are walking along, having a light moment imagining the other in subsequent folklore and the kids clamoring for Dad to tell it one more time - about Frodo the brave, and Sam-wise the faithful. . . .

I guess we take what inspiration we can find, wherever we find it. And I hope you're not insulted for what you wrote this time, Sarah! For all you nay-sayers, I look up to Sam-wise, the non-existent, mythical Hobbit. So there. For courage, perseverence, faithfulness, selflessness, and getting the job done, he's hard to beat.

Maybe that's a more important question: WHAT do we admire in our heroes? (real or fictional) And why?

Posted by: prophet at August 22, 2007 11:31 PM