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09 September 2007 @ 08:58 pm
Theatrical Muse: Week 195: Question 195  
Name: Dr. Sid Hammerback

Fandom: CSI: New York

Word Count: 1265


What makes someone a hero? What makes someone a villain?


If you use the word hero or villain to denote the acts, attitudes or nature of someone else, then really you are just using imaginative elaborations on the words good and bad. Heroic or villainous acts, though, are more memorable than just simple acts of kindness or rudeness, I think. Were the fireman, ambulance workers and all other associated people involved in the managing of the aftermath of the collapse of the Twin Towers, good people? Yes, yes they were, but because of the nature of what they did, all those good deeds that they performed, which really, outstrip even the most basic notion of being good and beneficial, they are considered heroes. Some of the things they did that day, and all the days afterwards, went beyond the call and requirements of duty, and I saw that firsthand when I worked alongside them. Even now, when all these facts and actions are compiled and relegated to documentaries and thick books, an amalgamation of memories and proven occurrences, it doesn’t really lessen any heroic act, just puts it down so it can be stored somewhere, reviewed when needed, ad infinitum.

Heroic acts, as they are, often triumph the accepted sense of normality, common sense and politeness. To be polite is to hold open the door for someone else, or to let them go before you in a line if they are in an especial hurry, but these are things that ought to be unconscious and selfless. They are not considered heroic, simply because they are an act or deed that is done very often, that should be done very often, under normal situations, without extreme duress involved. Tragedy, though, people’s response to tragedy, this is what can create heroic acts, situations that bring about heroism in otherwise normal, everyday people. As the emotions of one people swell and rumble as they become aware of a horrible situation, there stirs within those who can help, or who will try to help, the potential to do all that they can do, and more. They don’t walk away from it all, they dive in, they try their best.

We have everyday heroes, too, people who are dedicated to a good cause, and who do it, for so long, so very long, that they really do make a difference in the corner of society that they are working in. When we think of everyday heroes, we commonly think of people who are in a professional role, such as the typical, fire, police and ambulance service role. But, I think, leaving heroic acts aside, and just looking at everyday heroes, people who are heroic in their nature, over a long period of time, then almost everyone really has a potential to be that great. From librarians to gas station workers, there are people like this, within our society, who are simply heroes to us because they do their job well, they manage wonderfully with what they set out to do, and we appreciate them because of this.

What makes someone a hero? To be a hero, you don’t have to conform to the dictionary definition of such a word. A heroic person does not denote someone who is simply, just, good. You can’t specify what event or service creates a heroic person or brings about a heroic deed, all I can simply try to say is that a hero is someone who does something, who is a certain way, who has a certain something within them, that causes them to be the best that they can be, and sometimes, it calls on them to go above and beyond the call of duty, to do something truly inspiring and wonderful.


A villain, though, ah, that slipped my mind. Sadly, in my line of work, villains occur more often than they do heroes. Mine is not a job where I see heroic deeds as often as I do villainous ones, but because I myself, am doing good work, I try not to let all this outreaching of evil get to me. A villain, in many ways, is someone who represents everything a heroic person or deed strives to go against and defeat. A heroic person may help to put out an intentionally lit fire, but it is a villainous person, is it not, who has lit the fire in the first place?

A villain is someone who defies social norms of good behaviour, and who twists and warps the possibilities of the world for his or her own nefarious intentions. While I am not a supporter of lethal injections as a form of punishment, people who commit crimes, by our legal system, ought to be punished. If their crime is severe enough, if it is murder or intentional harm, if it is things as serious as that, then they are put in jail. I have no qualms with this, because I see families destroyed every day, I see results of the acts of people who have killed someone else, painted vibrantly in strangulation marks, in stabbings, in gunshot wounds.

To harm someone else, to cause death, to me, is one of the most ultimate evil acts that can occur. We are, after all, people with a free moral will and free moral choice, and with the intelligence we have been gifted with, we should use it wisely and justly. People who intentionally harm others in such a drastic way, they are villains in the most extreme sense, because it is them who have put normal reasoning and acceptable actions aside, it is the, who have plotted, who have drawn weapons, to harm. I am an intelligent man, I can grasp the concept of accidental death, of accidents, slippery roads, mechanical faults, that cause the death of someone, through means that, in the moment, couldn’t be avoided, but, to harm with intention, to cause death with intention, it is wrong.

A villain defies the norm of society, aiming to destroy, to wreck, to cause havoc. A hero, often arises out of the results of the acts of a villain, but not always, because, really, accidents do happen, the world is not perfect, and sometimes a situation just happens, that calls for heroic actions.


That day, everyday heroes happened in the tens and hundreds as the Towers fell, and destruction of the most extreme kind arose within my home, within New York City. People dove into the fray of things, they called on an unsurpassable reservoir of strength, to rescue and protect anyone and everything they could. Heroic people died that day, normal people died that day, on a day that no one really, at large, expected to be any different form the day before, or the day that would come after. Villains arose that day, too, they caused it to become fragmented and tortured, they caused the fire, the destruction, the pain.

Now, though? After all these years, those people that are left, all those people who were heroes that day and who survived, they continue, they simply continue. The world ensures, in its own brand of infinite and not always just wisdom, that heroes are given the chance to continue their lives, and that villains, hopefully, are caught and punished. While this is not always so, with heroic people falling ill, and villains getting away, I would like to think that good people, heroic people, succeed in the good things that they set out to do, more often than not. In the end, we all die, so it is our actions done, while we are alive, that end up mattering the most.
 
 
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