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 Your Heroes

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PostSubject: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:34 pm

I was actually thinking of this thread last night and Audi reminded me of it today.

Someone asked my who my hero was the other day and I flippantly replied Ruth Benedict, for no reason other than she was better looking than Margaret Mead. I don't have a hero; I regard it as a silly notion along the lines of the question, 'where do you see yourself in five year's time?'

But is it really expected of me? I've already been browbeaten into having a favourite band and a favourite novelist. So I ask, does anyone here, have a hero? Fictional or otherwise. And don't say that pilot in America.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:03 pm

My father.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:22 pm

If pushed - the brunette from Abba.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:25 pm

That pilot in America, he has given me direction in life.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:29 pm

No really I would say my grandfather on my mother's side. He was the son of a coal miner in the North of England who achieved a scholarship to a really good school and that was the start of his future success, part of the reason I believe that investment in education is so important. He went on to become a pharmacist eventually being the president of the pharmacutical society of Great Britain before he moved to establish the body of the Council of Europe which approved the substances which can go into medicine across Europe, similar to the FDA in some ways. In between it all he was nearly jailed during WW2 as a consciencious objector to his enlistment in the army based on his religious belief. Perhaps most importantly he never once forgot where he came from or his obligation to give back to a society which gave to him. This led him to continue as a hospital chaplain, driving up to London every week, even at the age of 85.

Not bad for the son of a coal miner from Yorkshire.


Last edited by johnfás on Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:32 pm

johnfás wrote:
That pilot in America, he has given me direction in life.

Into the Hudson river?
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:43 pm

905 wrote:
I was actually thinking of this thread last night and Audi reminded me of it today.

Someone asked my who my hero was the other day and I flippantly replied Ruth Benedict, for no reason other than she was better looking than Margaret Mead. I don't have a hero; I regard it as a silly notion along the lines of the question, 'where do you see yourself in five year's time?'

But is it really expected of me? I've already been browbeaten into having a favourite band and a favourite novelist. So I ask, does anyone here, have a hero? Fictional or otherwise. And don't say that pilot in America.

I presume all it means is "is there someone whose behaviour / character / achievements you particularly admire and would like to emulate?".
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:45 pm

Mrs. *** across the road from me. She has 23 grandchildren who all visit her every Sunday. She is a friend to everyone in the street, including those ostracised for their criminal records, and comes out fishing with me, even though she's in her seventies.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:56 pm

Well, I'd go Sulla and Themistocles, but that's what a classical education does to you.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:03 pm

ibis wrote:
Well, I'd go Sulla and Themistocles, but that's what a classical education does to you.

I'd agree with you on the latter(except for when he shamefully medised at the end of his days) but Sulla? Lucius Proscription lists, blood on the streets, destroyer of the sacred pomoerium Cornelius Sulla?

My heroes would be, in no particular order;

Thomas Jefferson
Adam Smith
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Augustus Caesar
John D Rockefeller
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Wolfe Tone
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:13 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, I'd go Sulla and Themistocles, but that's what a classical education does to you.

I'd agree with you on the latter(except for when he shamefully medised at the end of his days) but Sulla? Lucius Proscription lists, blood on the streets, destroyer of the sacred pomoerium Cornelius Sulla?

I didn't say I was a good person...
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:15 pm

ibis wrote:
Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, I'd go Sulla and Themistocles, but that's what a classical education does to you.

I'd agree with you on the latter(except for when he shamefully medised at the end of his days) but Sulla? Lucius Proscription lists, blood on the streets, destroyer of the sacred pomoerium Cornelius Sulla?

I didn't say I was a good person...

Well I thought you were, all noble and righteous.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:16 pm

905 - I can understand our intellectual objection to the concept of favourites. It is nonsensical false relativism as far as I am concerned. However, the concept of heroes is different altogether. A few of mine:
Muhammad Ali, Eamon De Valera, Michael Collins, Ghandi, Bertrand Russell, John Mortimer (recently deceased), Shakespeare, Milan Kundera, Thomas Pynchon, Louis Le Brocquy, Jacques Ellul, Van Gogh, JR Kelly, Isaac Newton, Einstein, Euclid, Pythagoras, Archimedes,Heraclitcus, Colm Toibin, Nell McCafferty, Susan Faludi, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, Charles Stuart Parnell, Daniel O'Connell, James Connolly, Roger Casement, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Lord Wilberforce and the list goes on....
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:16 pm

Olympe de Gouges
Eleanor Roosevelt
Hilda Tweedy
Simone de Beauvoir
Mary Robinson
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:18 pm

Ard-Taoiseach wrote:
ibis wrote:
Well, I'd go Sulla and Themistocles, but that's what a classical education does to you.

I'd agree with you on the latter(except for when he shamefully medised at the end of his days) but Sulla? Lucius Proscription lists, blood on the streets, destroyer of the sacred pomoerium Cornelius Sulla?

My heroes would be, in no particular order;

Thomas Jefferson
Adam Smith
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Augustus Caesar
John D Rockefeller
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Wolfe Tone

As bloody dictators go I like Sulla - though "like" is probably not the right word. The way he just carried on the war with Mithradates for ten years, while being condemned by Rome as a traitor speaks volumes. A lessor man would have led his army back to finish off the civil war, but he fixed the external enemies in his sights first before dealing with the scumbags back in Rome. He also captured Jugurtha single handed "in his own camp" and came from an impoverished background. Apart from that he was too cruel to be on my list, though we should remember that as a supporter of the senate he was bound to get a bad press by the people who followed him like Julius Caesar and Augustus.

Those folks you've got there AT are pretty top-notch as great people go, but I dont see them as being that heroic (well Tone and Cicero at the end were I suppose).

For me the great Roman hero was Poplicola in the early republic. Theres a part in plutarch which describes him as consul building a grand palace for himself and then hearing about how the people grumbled so he knocked it down and continued dwelling in his humbler abode. Mightened sound impressive but it was one of a number example of a humble man learning about the meaning of popular governance, admitting his mistakes and moving on.

I think Martin Luther is a hero for doing what he did, and in our own country theres Michael Collins.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 7:54 pm

Adam Smith
Ronald Reagan
Ayn Rand
John F Kennedy
Michael Collins
Charlemagne
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:07 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
Adam Smith
Ronald Reagan
Ayn Rand
John F Kennedy
Michael Collins
Charlemagne

Well done on including a woman, Cookie. But look at the ISEQ thread just now will show that her theory of rational self-interest is being sorely tested. Rolling Eyes
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:12 pm

candide wrote:


Well done on including a woman, Cookie.

I didn't include her because she's a woman, which would be silly grounds on which to include somebody and were I to do that I'd have put my Granny or my Mammy in there. I included her because I admire her strength of character, creativity, clarity of thought, her promotion of what she believed to be a meritable philosophy which has influenced many similarly great and able people and also because she was the owner of one of the sharpest minds of her age.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:17 pm

No Declan ?
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:20 pm

cookiemonster wrote:
candide wrote:


Well done on including a woman, Cookie.

I didn't include her because she's a woman, which would be silly grounds on which to include somebody and were I to do that I'd have put my Granny or my Mammy in there. I included her because I admire her strength of character, creativity, clarity of thought, her promotion of what she believed to be a meritable philosophy which has influenced many similarly great and able people and also because she was the owner of one of the sharpest minds of her age.

Good reasons, so I will add


Simone de Beauvoir,
Hannan Arendt
Mary Wollstonecraft
and Hypatia
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:22 pm

cactus flower wrote:
No Declan ?

He's a decent honourable bloke and is somebody I respect and admire, but he's a long way off one of my heros.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:26 pm

[quote="Zhou_Enlai"]905 - I can understand our intellectual objection to the concept of favourites. It is nonsensical false relativism as far as I am concerned. However, the concept of heroes is different altogether. A few of mine:
Muhammad Ali, Eamon De Valera, Michael Collins, Ghandi, Bertrand Russell, John Mortimer (recently deceased), Shakespeare, Milan Kundera, Thomas Pynchon, Louis Le Brocquy, Jacques Ellul, Van Gogh, JR Kelly, Isaac Newton, Einstein, Euclid, Pythagoras, Archimedes,Heraclitcus, Colm Toibin, Nell McCafferty, Susan Faludi, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, Charles Stuart Parnell, Daniel O'Connell, James Connolly, Roger Casement, Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Lord Wilberforce and the list goes on....[/quote



I'd argue Nuala over Nell, the Birmingham Six trial coverage being the best journalism I've ever read in the Irish times. Ali and Pynchon... no contest. Ghandi looks a bit alone so let's add Mandela. Dylan and Williams... in tune though missing Mr Cohen and Horses Patti Smith.
Neil Sheehan for the 16 years he devoted to "A Bright Shining Lie." The Gonzo Tight Rope Walker in Man on Wire. And me Da.
Newton?? Don't know about that. I find gravity just holds me down.
And e e cummings.


Last edited by Kev Bar on Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:30 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:29 pm

Yeah, I'll add Hannah. And on the subject of evil ... relax Cookie even I take a minute off ... Gitta Sereny.
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:29 pm

candide wrote:
cookiemonster wrote:
candide wrote:


Well done on including a woman, Cookie.

I didn't include her because she's a woman, which would be silly grounds on which to include somebody and were I to do that I'd have put my Granny or my Mammy in there. I included her because I admire her strength of character, creativity, clarity of thought, her promotion of what she believed to be a meritable philosophy which has influenced many similarly great and able people and also because she was the owner of one of the sharpest minds of her age.

Good reasons, so I will add


Simone de Beauvoir,
Hannan Arendt
Mary Wollstonecraft
and Hypatia

Rosa Luxembourg
Christine Pankhurst
Colette
Constance Markieviescz
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PostSubject: Re: Your Heroes   Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:35 pm

And Perhaps the Saint Patrick Heroism Award for the ongoing fight against Snake Oil Salesmen should go to:
Frightened Albanian
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