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Old 10-09-2007, 02:57 AM   #1
Web Rider
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A World Without Superman

Being a comic book fan and watching the "Superman: Doomsday" movie for the nth time, the line "It's easy to lose sight of your ideals in world without Superman." got me wondering.

We see the effects of negative role models every day, from Britteny Spears, to *insert rapper name here*. We see how it affects adults, children, our society, and everyone in between, from skanky clothes on little girls to impressing ideas that telling the cops about a crime is a sin against your race.

Kids and adults from generations past to present day will often tell you that some of their first role models were Superman, Green Lantern, Optimus Prime, Wonder Woman, and so on... Role models that teach people anything from pro-government, anti-government, pro-rights, more freedom and justice for all.

So my question, albeit hypothetical, if these kind of negative effects are so prevalent in modern society, do superheroes and the like truly have a positive influence? When Britteny loses her kids, it makes news, when Kennedy died, it made news, when Superman died, it was news too, heck, I remember reading the articles all over the net and in my newspaper(Bakersfield Californian), when Captain America and James Doohan died.

So I guess my question is two fold: Sure these role models are made up, but what they represent is more than just lines on paper, why, if you think so, or why not, do we find it more compelling to idolize Tupac and Britteny over Superman and Wonder Woman? We can't really say their concepts are out of date, that's like saying freedom and justice are out of date ideas(to which I'm sure you can make a compelling argument for). And secondly: do the many people who do aspire to these positive(but "fake") heroes, have a positive impact on society, or do they merely slow the rampant flood of negative role models?

Do people simply prefer a role model who can *bleep* Kevin every day instead of one who can fly? Is it no more than just the media's obsession with dark news?(which, since the media is an extension of us, would be an extension of our desire for tragedy.) Do superheroes simply make us feel bad that we're not trying harder to be better people, while news about Britteny and Kevin make us revel in our mediocrity?

and yes, I realize I raised more than two questions.


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Old 10-09-2007, 03:57 AM   #2
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A world without positive role models does not bear thinking about, and a world where people looked up to negative role models would be even worse.
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Old 10-09-2007, 04:54 AM   #3
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Because Superman is a terrible Superhero? I mean, his powers are totally improbable. Now, Spiderman or Batman, or Iron Man, maybe, those are good superheroes.

More seriously, it's only natural no one uses Superman as their role model. He's not human. He never loses control, never fails, never makes mistakes. Of course, he's ink.

Actually seriously this time. I agree with your real points. The people who are idolized nowadays is nauseating. We spend more time on Paris Hilton going to prison than we do honoring the fallen on 9/11. We barely even acknowledge others. When was the last time you heard somebody, especially in the news, say, "Take a minute and reflect back to June 6, 1944. D-Day." I doubt any of you have. Maybe some of you, the older folks.

I can't think of the last time I heard a genuinely good man or woman actually given the respect he or she deserves. The only one that comes to mind is Martin Luther King Jr.. The priorities of the world are completely out of whack. I'm sure people from abroad can see my points beyond the American symbolism. We have only two days that honor the Military, Memorial Day and Veteran's Day, which is, incidentally, Armistice Day elsewhere in the world, and both of them are JOKES of a Holiday. Memorial Day is pretty much just a Sales Event for Used Car Dealerships, and Memorial Day is usually ignored because of it's proximity to Thanksgiving.

Anyway, I'm rambling. People don't like heroes, I think. Good men remind them of their own failings, they'd rather look at degenerate people than virtuous people, as the degenerates reassure them of their own successes, inflating their mighty ego, while the virtuous deflates it, making them feel 'less'. Damaging their self esteem, if you like the PC talk. Or maybe I'm just out of touch with the average mind and they actually find this degeneration of human morality pleasing. I could try to explain it by using religion, but frankly, I'm not interested in another religious debate.

I think it's the nature of Humanity to be drawn to the degenerate. We find the virtuous distasteful, because deep down we know our actions to be wrong, but we hate that little voice and we silence it by burying ourselves in moral decay. Over the last century, humanity...I wouldn't say we've gone beyond what we were before, but we've taken our wickedness out of the closet. Moral relativity replaces moral objectivity, sex leaves the bedroom and goes to the TV sets, vulgarity has become as normal, frowning on it is a joke. The Ten Commandments have largely been thrown out the window. People like Paris Hilton act as blinders. She's popular, she's on TV, I envy her fame and wealth, and she's fairly degenerate. So, degenerate is the way to roll.
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:25 AM   #4
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In some ways unrealistic people can be harmful. Whoever heard of a real life Kim Possible? No one can live up to being like that. Blue Heelers, Law & Order, Heartbeat, they are fallible, human, and yet in a lot of ways are better for it. But to some people prefer those who, to borrow a line from one of my mates, get off on controversy, doing harm, ect, because they see it as cool.
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Old 10-09-2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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Quote:
So I guess my question is two fold: Sure these role models are made up, but what they represent is more than just lines on paper, why, if you think so, or why not, do we find it more compelling to idolize Tupac and Britteny over Superman and Wonder Woman?
Because Superman and Wonder Woman aren't real. Tupac and Britteny, despite all their flaws, have actual real talent that weren't given to them by a comic book artist. Britteny can actually sing a tune (sure, she can't sing it well, and she's sometimes get drunk...but at least she can sing, in real life). Superman is a figminet of our imagination.

And imagination is, well, cheap. I can create tons of superheroes in my head, idealized versions of myself that I want to chase. Perfect ones, ones without sin, ones with superpowers. Not only would I prefer my own imagnation (which is fine-tuned to my own wants), I don't have to pay real-life cash for using it. I don't have to read comic books about how Superman defeats the bad guy when I can just think in my head "I am cool, and I can defeat the bad guy." Honestly, heroic fanasty has only been hidden within the depths of our minds and in our dreams, it IS not gone. It will never be gone.

But Brittney NEVER got the help of imagination. She actually went out and got things done. She is successful, she is famous. And that is due to inborn talent, assistance from agents, and pure luck. This is why she is better than Superman.

Prehaps we might want to take heroic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., but I'd rather that we have no rolemodels whatsoever. Human beings aren't idealized, everyone got faults. Even the 'good guys' have faults, and if you peer down hard enough, you'll find them. We might as well rely on the only people we know the best, ourselves. (I'd rather take the 'anti-role model', see people that you don't LIKE.)


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Because Superman and Wonder Woman aren't real. Tupac and Britteny, despite all their flaws, have actual real talent that weren't given to them by a comic book artist. Britteny can actually sing a tune (sure, she can't sing it well, and she's sometimes get drunk...but at least she can sing, in real life). Superman is a figminet of our imagination.

And imagination is, well, cheap. I can create tons of superheroes in my head, idealized versions of myself that I want to chase. Perfect ones, ones without sin, ones with superpowers. Not only would I prefer my own imagnation (which is fine-tuned to my own wants), I don't have to pay real-life cash for using it. I don't have to read comic books about how Superman defeats the bad guy when I can just think in my head "I am cool, and I can defeat the bad guy." Honestly, heroic fanasty has only been hidden within the depths of our minds and in our dreams, it IS not gone. It will never be gone.

But Brittney NEVER got the help of imagination. She actually went out and got things done. She is successful, she is famous. And that is due to inborn talent, assistance from agents, and pure luck. This is why she is better than Superman.

Prehaps we might want to take heroic leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., but I'd rather that we have no rolemodels whatsoever. Human beings aren't idealized, everyone got faults. Even the 'good guys' have faults, and if you peer down hard enough, you'll find them. We might as well rely on the only people we know the best, ourselves. (I'd rather take the 'anti-role model', see people that you don't LIKE.)
As I went to lengths to point out, it's not the character on a peice of paper, the shape, the form, that's no more than art, and while pretty to look at, is simply a picture. It's the things they represent, Britteny works the same way, if I idolize Superman as my hero, I'm more than likly going to want to do good things, be a good person, and justice and freedom and all that. While if I idolize Britteny, I'm going to want to dress like a whore, show off my body, and have ramapant sex with every guy I can find.

Britteny does not have talent, Britteny has an attractive body, that's why she's popular, because she's f(bleep)able. She's not a good singer, she's not a good dancer, but she's popular because the media says so and she's hot.

Even IF you want to discount superheroes as role models because they're "fake", where is the love for people like MLK, how many people put him down a childhood hero? How about Ghandi? Mother Teresa? These are by no means "perfect people", but they're certainly real and far better people than Tupac or 50cent. Comic book heroes are as "real" or "fake" as you want to make them, they're not even so much as drawings because they're the ideas they represent. If you want to ya know, read between my lines, interpret "Superman" as "freedom and equality", and "Britteny" as "Sex and drugs".

Why are we so focused on the sex and drugs and not the freedom and equality?


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Old 10-09-2007, 01:07 PM   #7
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Personally I find it hard to believe that anyone would completely follow the lifestyle of someone like Brittney. Unless they like that lifestyle regardless of Brittney. I think that can be applied to any "idol". They just aren't that influential. People will either try to be good persons or they will not. (And I wouldn't say "dressing like a whore" has anything to do with that btw)

I agree with Silentscope, we should rather rely on ourselves for decision-making.
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:18 PM   #8
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Britteny does not have talent, Britteny has an attractive body, that's why she's popular, because she's f(bleep)able. She's not a good singer, she's not a good dancer, but she's popular because the media says so and she's hot.
Why does the media say so? And why is she hot? There are hidden talents you are dismissing here, out of hand, in an attempt to make a point.

Quote:
Even IF you want to discount superheroes as role models because they're "fake", where is the love for people like MLK, how many people put him down a childhood hero? How about Ghandi? Mother Teresa? These are by no means "perfect people", but they're certainly real and far better people than Tupac or 50cent.
Says who? Ghandi tried to break up the British Empire. Mother Teresa was promoting poverty by condemning condoms. (Note that I am being devil's advocate here...)

50 Cent, on the other hand, actually led a dangerous life. He was on the streets of poverty, and luckily dug his way out of it. You can see that he is popular because he actually led a life of danger, and actually was a criminal.

Good culture and bad culture is, well, relative.

Quote:
Comic book heroes are as "real" or "fake" as you want to make them, they're not even so much as drawings because they're the ideas they represent. If you want to ya know, read between my lines, interpret "Superman" as "freedom and equality", and "Britteny" as "Sex and drugs".
Britteny doing drugs? Um. All I know is that she drinks.

Anyway: The people that I know of that idolize Britteny for her looks and her songs. The ideas she represent is Venus (god of love), as well as the abstract concepts of Beauty and Talent. I'd assume that Wonder Woman is also beautiful as well as Superman's girlfriend as well. Do we accuse them of promoting unheathly lifestyles as rolemodels (actually, yes we do, but I was trying to make a point)? This is the idea that I see in Britteny and if people admire that sort of idea, what's the problem? (Especially since those same people don't really like the "drug" aspect, the "sex" aspect they are all for it. But drugs are bad for you, and people know that.)

And people may admire Superman not for freedom and equality but for "Strength and INequality". Superman is all-mighty...everyone else are peons. The bad jokes of Superman using his x-ray vision to peer into the women's lockerrooms come to mind when I type this. Superman is powerful, mighty, and strong...so he can do whatever he so desires. One alternate-history story had Superman landing in the USSR instead of USA, and ending up ruling over the Soviet Union as the "Iron Man". Ubermensch concepts right there.

Basically, don't assume that people see the same role model in the same light. Ideas are fluid, and different. Politicans might admire Ghandi not for liberating India but for his good public relations in getting people on his side and intimidating Great Britian into leaving, without using any sort of violence.

Lastly...I'd assume "freedom and equality" can easily EQUAL "sex and drugs" (or at the least, "sex and drugs" require the idea of "freedom and equality"). They don't have to be seperate. After all, freedom means that you are allowed to do whatever you want (whatever you want in this case meaning having sex and taking drugs). And equality, well, that means you have an equal shot of getting drugs and sex (or an equal share of s&d). You can have it both ways, you know, admire the Ideas of "Virtue" and the Ideas of Vice.

I just don't think that people actually go and promote the "freedom and equality" idea though because we are so brainwashed that this is the right idea that we don't need to start churning out rolemodels in an attempt to get people to believe that Idea again. We don't really question it. It's there, it's hidden, it's so commonplace that we will react to whatever situation we want WITHOUT realizing that we are using that Idea. So, again, I don't think we need rolemodels to promote the ideas of "freedom and equality", because we are already brainwashed to believe them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
Full Article Here
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Old 10-09-2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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I've never understood the point of "bad" and "good" role models.

I can't remember having any role models my self and I really don't think it has a huge impact on our lives. 'Bad' role models are not the reason why some 13 year olds today use 'skanky' clothes as you said. This is just society that's evolving, and changing. Back in the 60's people were shocked when mini-skirt's started to become fashion for example. And it took time for conservative people to accept this. Many still haven't today. But this is way off-topic and has been discussed in another thread If I remember correctly.

And by the way, her name is Britney Spears. Not Britteny.

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Old 10-09-2007, 03:03 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Why does the media say so? And why is she hot? There are hidden talents you are dismissing here, out of hand, in an attempt to make a point.
no, the way your genetics causes you're breasts to develop is not a "talent". Nor is the ability to starve yourself to fit a certain image.

Quote:
Says who? Ghandi tried to break up the British Empire. Mother Teresa was promoting poverty by condemning condoms. (Note that I am being devil's advocate here...)
yes yes, a previous poster already addressed that all "good" role models have another side.

Quote:
50 Cent, on the other hand, actually led a dangerous life. He was on the streets of poverty, and luckily dug his way out of it. You can see that he is popular because he actually led a life of danger, and actually was a criminal.

Good culture and bad culture is, well, relative.
That's what I'm talking about, why do we look up to somebody who was a criminal and acted like a criminal even when he wasn't one? Why do idoloze the "life of crime"?

Quote:
Britteny doing drugs? Um. All I know is that she drinks.
perhaps I misread the news, in any case, you get the idea.

Quote:
Anyway: The people that I know of that idolize Britteny for her looks and her songs. The ideas she represent is Venus (god of love), as well as the abstract concepts of Beauty and Talent. I'd assume that Wonder Woman is also beautiful as well as Superman's girlfriend as well. Do we accuse them of promoting unheathly lifestyles as rolemodels (actually, yes we do, but I was trying to make a point)?
Yes, in fact the female-lead comics I've read(Batgirl+Supergirl) are constantly condemmed for promoting "bat lifestyles" and making girls think they need to be skinny and hot to accomplish anything. Which is completly missing the grander points, but....

Quote:
This is the idea that I see in Britteny and if people admire that sort of idea, what's the problem? (Especially since those same people don't really like the "drug" aspect, the "sex" aspect they are all for it. But drugs are bad for you, and people know that.)
I would in turn question: "do they really?" Look at all the people doing drugs, look at all the teens and college students doing drugs, getting drunk every night, look at Fox "news" banning Matt Groening from doing "fake news" on the Simpsons because Fox viewers couldn't tell the difference between animated characters making dumb joke news and real news. I would answer my question with: no they don't.

Quote:
And people may admire Superman not for freedom and equality but for "Strength and INequality". Superman is all-mighty...everyone else are peons. The bad jokes of Superman using his x-ray vision to peer into the women's lockerrooms come to mind when I type this.
People have always respected, feared and loved those with power. The point is, when so many people have their eyes turned to a character with power, be them real or fake, it's what that character does that then goes into their minds. If Superman has all this power, and uses it for good, well that makes people think that if you've got power, you should use it for good. Okay, you can slip a little fun in on the side, but as long as keep you head you're gonna be on the right track.

Quote:
Superman is powerful, mighty, and strong...so he can do whatever he so desires. One alternate-history story had Superman landing in the USSR instead of USA, and ending up ruling over the Soviet Union as the "Iron Man". Ubermensch concepts right there.
indeed. And Stalin's name translates into "Man of Steel". This only furthers my point that role models are important, and you will imitate yours. Superman's role models in that were the oppressive Soviet government, they taught him to do likewise. Britteny and 50Cent have the same effect.

Quote:
Basically, don't assume that people see the same role model in the same light. Ideas are fluid, and different. Politicans might admire Ghandi not for liberating India but for his good public relations in getting people on his side and intimidating Great Britian into leaving, without using any sort of violence.
Ah, but there's the catch. Okay, they admire Ghandi for getting Britain to leave "peacefully". Even though they're looking at a different aspect of that person's achievements, the fact that Ghandi did that peacefully is ever-present. You can't look at what Ghandi did, or any part of what Ghandi did, without the "peacefully" message.

Quote:
Lastly...I'd assume "freedom and equality" can easily EQUAL "sex and drugs" (or at the least, "sex and drugs" require the idea of "freedom and equality"). They don't have to be seperate. After all, freedom means that you are allowed to do whatever you want (whatever you want in this case meaning having sex and taking drugs). And equality, well, that means you have an equal shot of getting drugs and sex (or an equal share of s&d). You can have it both ways, you know, admire the Ideas of "Virtue" and the Ideas of Vice.
of course. You can have it both ways, I would encourage people to have such a balance in their life. Too much freedom creates destructive anarchy, and too much vice will kill you. While absolute law is just as frightening.

Quote:
I just don't think that people actually go and promote the "freedom and equality" idea though because we are so brainwashed that this is the right idea that we don't need to start churning out rolemodels in an attempt to get people to believe that Idea again.
Again I ask: do we? or do we merely give it lip service? Knowing an idea is one thing, meaning it is another. Like the Pledge of Allegience. It means nothing because people only say it. People rarely mean it any more.

Quote:
We don't really question it. It's there, it's hidden, it's so commonplace that we will react to whatever situation we want WITHOUT realizing that we are using that Idea. So, again, I don't think we need rolemodels to promote the ideas of "freedom and equality", because we are already brainwashed to believe them.
I think we are only brainwashed to know they exist. I don't think most people believe in them. I know my belief in "freedom and equality" only extends so far, to so many kinds of people.


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Old 10-09-2007, 04:57 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Kids and adults from generations past to present day will often tell you that some of their first role models were Superman, Green Lantern, Optimus Prime, Wonder Woman, and so on... Role models that teach people anything from pro-government, anti-government, pro-rights, more freedom and justice for all.
Mine were Earl Campbell, Pete Rose and O.J. Simpson. All were sports heroes that did it the right way on the field. On the imaginary side, my role models were Ultra Man and Steve Austin. I see any role model as being good or bad depending on how the child sees that person. To me a role model is someone that has an admiral quality that you want to emulate, you do not want to emulate that persons entire personality just the part you admire.
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Originally Posted by Web Rider
So my question, albeit hypothetical, if these kind of negative effects are so prevalent in modern society, do superheroes and the like truly have a positive influence
To someone that is into comic book and are not rooting for the villains then yes they do have a positive influence. However let us not forget that most of these superheroes have been updated from their nostalgic past and most do have flaws that should not be emulated. Even in the past most of the superheroes had trust and commitment issues as character flaws.
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Originally Posted by Web Rider
why, if you think so, or why not, do we find it more compelling to idolize Tupac and Britteny over Superman and Wonder Woman?
I think this has more to do with technology more than the values that either side represent. Most kids I know would rather set in front of the television, computer or the stereo watching programs, playing games or listening to music then reading a comic book (that is if their parents would let them).

I know Britney Spears music isnít to your taste (she isnít to mine either), but I have four young cousin that love her music. When one asked me why Britney shaved her head and could she still listen to her music. I explain not everyone she will like as an artist will always do the right or sane thing, but that does not mean you canít enjoy their music.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Is it no more than just the media's obsession with dark news?(which, since the media is an extension of us, would be an extension of our desire for tragedy.)
No, as a society we love to build people up and then tear them down. It makes us feel better about our own pathetic existence.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Web Rider
Do superheroes simply make us feel bad that we're not trying harder to be better people, while news about Britteny and Kevin make us revel in our mediocrity?
No to the first and yes to the second.
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Old 10-09-2007, 07:56 PM   #12
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Superman is not real first of all. However I do think that the world really does need positive leaders and role models. Especially ones that are famous and are very public because they can help shape society. The thing is we need people who really want to change the world for the better. They should do what they do because they want to, not because somebody told them to.

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Old 10-10-2007, 01:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rev7
Superman is not real first of all.
I think we're aware of that, though Fox viewers may not be.
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However I do think that the world really does need positive leaders and role models.
yes.
Quote:
Especially ones that are famous and are very public because they can help shape society.
no. Well publicized and popular, yes, perhaps that was the context you meant, then yes, but generally superstars are not the people to look up to.
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The thing is we need people who really want to change the world for the better. They should do what they do because they want to, not because somebody told them to.
exactly. People should want to change the world because they feel it's the right thing to do. If Superman helps them do this, real or not, I'm all for it.


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Old 10-10-2007, 02:00 AM   #14
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I never said that the person was a "superstar". I honestly don't look up to superstars. What I meant was someone that are well known Leaders that may be famous or well known in our society. (even the president). Generally what I am trying to say is that everyone needs a "hero".

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Old 10-21-2007, 03:32 PM   #15
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It's really sad that society has become so pathetic that people now look to cartoon characters( even movie characters) as heros .However everybody needs a hero and nowadays it's hard to find that in real flesh and blood people so whereever somebody can find a hero to believe in then let them.


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Old 10-23-2007, 09:12 PM   #16
SilentScope001
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This youtube video shows that now even Superman may be seen as a bad role model.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytqV6GEHW24


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Originally Posted by The Onion
"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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