There's a trend toward dividing us all up into these two categories. But there's a large shadowy middle ground where Heroic Villains hang out. Vin Diesel in Pitch Black was the perfect heroic villain. I believe we all know instinctively what group we fall into. Do you? I am definitely not a straight up hero but also not a died in the wool villain. But who is these days? It's complicated.
Was Hitler a true villain? Most of the world would say yes. But would his mother? Could some steady Jungian therapy have changed his course? If having homosexual tendencies hadn't been so severely frowned upon (while being as rampantly prevalent as it is today) would he have happily come out of the closet and danced around in his mama's dresses like Alexis Arquette and eventually starred in the dinner theater production of "Mein Kampf" which would have been about his struggle with eternal pudginess rather than his bid for world domination? But I digress.
I think we are all born as inherent heroes and our experiences shape some of us into villains. I was apparently an adventurous spirit from the get-go. When I was 3 and the youngest kid on my block in Toronto, I used to take off regularly to "go to school", crossing big streets, stopping at the store to pick up school supplies and inevitably getting picked up by the cops and returned to my parents. So, is it really a surprise that my first husband was a gangster? Or that I've always had a problem with authority figures? Is it any wonder I've always seen situations differently than pretty much everyone I know?
Here's a good quiz to see where you stand on the Hero-meter:
1. Would you help your best friend hide a body?
2. Would you accept an expensive item that you know "fell off a truck?"
3. Would you purger yourself for someone you love?
4. Would you pull the plug on a a loved one to end their suffering? To make things easier?
5. Would you drive drunk?
On first read, you may think it's black & white and that your answers are NO. But if you stop to think about what the circumstances might be and who else is involved...it's complicated right?
John McCain is considered a hero. He fought for his country, he survived POW camp, he never gave up any secrets. On the flip side of that, it turns out his capture and imprisonment is what catapulted him to hero status. He was a terrible pilot - crashed several jets before going down over Veit Nam. It's possible he didn't have any secrets and therefore couldn't give any up. He cheated on his disfigured wife, dumped her and married Cindy a month later. Hmmm. Doesn't sound too heroic to me. He made no secret of his bitterness at being forced to toe the party line and support Bush's reelection bid back in 2004. But he did it, to serve his own end. You don't run for president unless you have a huge ego. And he is obviously willing to do whatever it takes.
Hillary Clinton's design was all over the Vince Foster "suicide." How many dead guys do you know that can roll themselves up in a carpet and drop themselves off at the park? She did what she had to do to protect her legacy.
The Queen of England was more than likely involved in the death of Princess Diana. My mother argues that the Queen would never do such a thing. But that's how the Monarchy has survived for all of these centuries. Diana was a loose canon who was becoming more and more difficult to control. I gotta tell you, if I had been bearing the burden of the Monarchy since I was born and found myself with a problem in- law on my hands....
Well...would you help me hide the body?