We Need A Hero.

by jsdraven on May 2nd, 2014

Television, film, books–really all human entertainment has been a form of escapism. It’s what it comes down to. And we all knew this. It’s why we go to the movies, why we fall in love with television and romanticize to the point of wild fandom. We want that escape and the reason for that escape can say a lot about us.

Call it cultural tracking, but if you examine the overall theme of a culture’s entertainment you come out with their collective mental state. It’s the cultural sigh, be it of elation or desperation.

With the recent rise of super hero (Captain America, X-Men, The Avengers, Batman, etc) and fairy tale (Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, etc) movies, I can’t help but analyze and dissect. What is this return to innocence? What super hero are we hoping will come save us and provideĀ our happily ever after?

You go back to the 60’s and 70’s and immediately get a sense of the space race with Star Trek, Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many many more. The theme in entertainment was space exploration and it was in full force.

A documentary a while back analyzed the reason why we love superheroes so much. As they studied the very first superhero, Superman, they cover the many versions from film directors to comic book authors. In the end they conclude that he is the embodiment of what we all hope to be; stand for justice and truth. I wish I could remember the name of the documentary but I found a TIME article that wrapped things up nicely. (You can find it here).

As these superhero movies began to pop up I couldn’t help but tell myself, “It’s like we’re all crying out, collectively, asking to be saved.” Which led to what I suspected would be the next phase, Biblical movies.

Some say it’s a call out in the dark, and the atheist in me can’t help but answer this call with, “We’re all we’ve got.” And that’s not such a terrible thing. The pragmatic brain says we’re all responsible for our own misery and therefore within reach of real solutions.

To play devil’s advocate (there’s a pun somewhere here), one can argue that God Himself bestowed upon us the wisdom to do better, to right the wrong. So really, it still comes down to “We’re all we’ve got.”

And yet, either scenario can benefit from a hero.

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