COVID-19 Update: Not Everyone is a Hero
(originally posted 5/23/2020… and in desperate need of repeating as the Delta variant is creating a whole new slew of ‘heroes.’)
Went to my local grocery store yesterday and outside was a huge banner that read “Heroes Work Here”.
No they don’t. Just stop it.
Teenagers and people who have made terrible career decisions work there.
One of the many casualties of this coronavirus debacle has been the English language.
he·ro /ˈhirō/ a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
Marines and SEALs are heroes. Cops and firemen are heroes. A checkout girl swiping baked beans over a scanner is not.
The same goes with mailmen. They put mail in a mailbox. There is nothing heroic about it. Maybe back in the Pony Express days, riding through dangerous territory with their mailbags full to bursting and bloodthirsty savages lurking around every bluff, maybe then you could call them heroes.
Today? No. Coronavirus or not. An emphatic no.
em·phat·ic /əmˈfadik/ showing or giving emphasis; expressing something forcibly and clearly.
Even if they are delivering mail to an Indian reservation. Much different scenario these days. Indians are no longer savage and most haven’t even sobered up by the time the mailman has dropped off their mail. The days of cowboys and Indians are long over.
Perhaps the game can be re-invented as Tyrannical Governors and Indians. Because Indians live on reserves of land where they have complete sovereignty, the government can’t enforce any of the COVID regulations on them. If they want to start opening up the casinos there is squat that the local officials can do about it. This pisses off a lot of people. Which works out as I find pissed off people hilarious. Not extraneous to this train of thought, across the globe where the losers of a conflict have been given small areas of land to do with as they like, it has never worked out particularly well for anyone involved. There is something to be said for either forcing the losers to assimilate or just chucking the malcontents into the ocean.
The question I have to ask myself is why I usually end up mentioning Native Americans every time I try to address the coronavirus situation. Is it because I believe that these once-noble peoples would have handled it much better than we did? I just feel like any self-respecting Apache who contracted COVID would just walk off into the woods and die, in consideration for the rest of the tribe. I also feel that Aborigines would share this can-do attitude.
The question you have to be asking yourself is why I referred to Indians as both bloodthirsty savages and once-noble people in the same update. Or, even more relevant, what do either have to do with COVID-19 in the first place?
Perhaps cognitive dissonance is a symptom of COVID-19. Like how bats are terrifying and yet they also keep insect populations under control and pollinate plants. Or how Batman breaks a lot of laws and yet is dedicated to bringing to justice people who prey on others. Not extraneous to this train of thought, it’s possible that Batman would feel that the coronavirus was just nature trying to keep human population under control.
One thing is clear… Batman is a hero.
Trash collectors are not. They do a difficult job and are usually under-appreciated, but they are not heroes. It’s the same people doing the same job as this time last year. Given the unemployment rates, if they don’t want to do it anymore it would take about ten minutes to find another “hero” to pick up our trash.
Teachers are not heroes. I’m going to say that again; teachers are not heroes. As Norm McDonald once observed, they have the same vacation time as children. And now with online learning… could it get much easier? They can do their job without wearing pants.
Musicians who do concerts in their living room are much appreciated, but not in any way behaving heroically.
I recently read an article that said tattoo artists and dog-walkers are heroes. They are most certainly not.
Which means that some people who write articles are complete dipshits. Stop pandering and have some respect for the language. The word ‘hero’ means something. Don’t fuck with that because you want to look like a warmer and more compassionate human being than you really are.
If you say that politicians are heroes I swear I’m going to rent a Batman costume, hunt you down like the dog you are and deliver some good old-fashioned justice.
Which, I guess, would make me a hero. Not the hero we need, but the hero we deserve.