Who are your heroes?

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Jennifer Steadman
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Who are your heroes?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:19 pm

Who, why and since when? 0 points for anyone who says that Jon Corby is their Moral Hero.

(I've just been reading about Judit Polgar and she seems like an absolute badass, so she's my new life hero.)
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by M. George Quinn » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:29 pm

They were until the whole Townsend debacle.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Feb 10, 2016 6:31 pm

M. George Quinn wrote:They were until the whole Townsend debacle.
:)
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by JimBentley » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:08 pm

Great question. It's difficult to have heroes these days as somehow - from somewhere or someone - you'll learn of something vaguely unsavoury about even the most seemingly sound-seeming characters. I think once you get past a certain age you can't really have heroes any more, more just people whose behaviour you (in the main) admire. That might seem a bit cynical but I just can't see anyone as 100% perfect, no matter how sound they seem to be.

However, in my younger days I remember thinking James Hunt was the coolest man on the planet.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:25 pm

JimBentley wrote:It's difficult to have heroes these days as somehow - from somewhere or someone - you'll learn of something vaguely unsavoury about even the most seemingly sound-seeming characters.
This is definitely true. One of the more tiring aspects of the internet/social media is that every single person of renown will at some point say something which can then be interpreted as a huge slur against someone or other - while sometimes it's a good thing because it inspires debate, it's also pretty exhausting to watch celebs be routinely ripped to shreds for phrasing something imperfectly or making a generalisation. Of course, sometimes these things are worthy of contempt, but having such frequent storms in teacups over this sort of thing does tend to blur the line between genuinely unpleasant attitudes and genuine mistakes.

But I wouldn't say a hero has to be flawless. I've always found Cleopatra enormously inspirational, despite the fact that she had an empire and was responsible for loads of military deaths and all the gruesome bits that come with imperialism, but as a little kid I thought the fact that a woman - especially back in the days of the hardly-renowned-for-equal-opportunities Roman Empire - was such a capable leader under difficult circumstances was pretty awesome. Especially one who was prodigiously intelligent and charismatic rather than attractive (by all accounts).
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Mark James
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Mark James » Thu Feb 11, 2016 2:24 am

Tricky one this. I have tons of people I admire greatly but would be reluctant to go as far as calling them a hero and questions like this often tend to boil down to people with a certain amount of celebrity status (and I mean in the proper sense, not just people who are in that famous for being famous way that's so prevalent today). In that sense and on a very personal level I would probably count George Carlin as a kind of hero but again, I probably just admire him greatly. He's not a true hero really even though he may have stuck his neck out in a principled way at times. A true hero would be someone like the guy who stood up to the tanks on Tianenmen Square. Or proper explorers who crossed the threshold without knowing what lies beyond. Astronauts and cosmonauts who risk their lives just to further the human experience are amazing to me. I'll go with that. People who risk their lives purely for knowledge are my true heroes.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Mark Deeks » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:55 am

Eh, don't overthink this. David Seaman.
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:59 pm

I'm pretty iconoclastic where people are concerned. If I was forced to pick someone though, it might be Brian Blessed.
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by JimBentley » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:31 pm

Ian Volante wrote:I'm pretty iconoclastic where people are concerned. If I was forced to pick someone though, it might be Brian Blessed.
Quick quiz: Which have the following has Brian Blessed actually done or claimed to have done?

1. Climbed Mount Everest
2. Punched a polar bear
3. Had sex with Princess Margaret
4. Eaten a tree
5. Won gold twice in a row at the Olympics at rhythmic gymnastics
6. Single-handedly sailed around the world six times in a car tyre
7. Delivered a baby in Hyde Park
8. Swam the English Channel
9. Was cast as James Bond but had to refuse because of his commitment at the time to "Z Cars"
10. Improvised all his dialogue in the Flash Gordon film

etc. etc.

I think Brian Blessed is fucking brilliant but he does have something of a flair for "misremembering" things that have happened to him. Actually, maybe that makes him even better. Good call, Ian!

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:38 pm

JimBentley wrote:
Ian Volante wrote:I'm pretty iconoclastic where people are concerned. If I was forced to pick someone though, it might be Brian Blessed.
Quick quiz: Which have the following has Brian Blessed actually done or claimed to have done?

1. Climbed Mount Everest
2. Punched a polar bear
3. Had sex with Princess Margaret
4. Eaten a tree
5. Won gold twice in a row at the Olympics at rhythmic gymnastics
6. Single-handedly sailed around the world six times in a car tyre
7. Delivered a baby in Hyde Park
8. Swam the English Channel
9. Was cast as James Bond but had to refuse because of his commitment at the time to "Z Cars"
10. Improvised all his dialogue in the Flash Gordon film

etc. etc.

I think Brian Blessed is fucking brilliant but he does have something of a flair for "misremembering" things that have happened to him. Actually, maybe that makes him even better. Good call, Ian!
I think you mixed up points 2 and 3 :)
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Feb 11, 2016 6:53 pm

Good thread. Having said that, I'm not sure I've got any heroes. I was massively into motor racing from an early age, so the closest thing I've ever had to a hero is probably Alain Prost, as I chose him as my favourite driver when he was driving a yellow car (yellow being objectively the best colour). I think I chose pretty well, given his career success, even if Senna was arguably better (which I never would have admitted at the time). But you kind of grow out of these things - apart from it seems some football fans who follow their team up and down the country worshipping their team like some sort of God.

Although I don't have any heroes, there are still people I admire, like some stand-up comedians - the ones that seem like good people as well as funny. I think Robin Ince comes across as pretty decent and I like his science-based stuff. And also good principled politicians, but I haven't got one name in particular.

I'm very impressed with scientists and mathematicians over the years who've furthered our knowledge of things. There isn't one in particular though that I'd call a hero. If I was Jen Steadman and could only pick women, I might go for people like Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie or Emmy Noether.

I probably wouldn't pick astronauts because although they're risking their lives in their exploration, there's countless people who would jump at the chance and would probably also do just as good a job if they were selected, so I see it more as right time, right place.

And I admire people like Edward Snowden and Bradley/Chelsea Manning in taking a stand against their government despite great personal risk. But there will be countless people who have done that over the years and paid a bigger price. But having said that, I do think it's a bit pointless to just die for a principle unless you're sure something good is going to come out of it, so I admire Edward Snowden for getting himself (mostly) out of danger before his revelations.
Last edited by Gavin Chipper on Fri Feb 12, 2016 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Feb 11, 2016 7:33 pm

Comedy....Bob Monkhouse
Sporting....Gordon Banks
Film......Dustin Hoffman
Literary.....Philip K Dick
Science...Albert Einstein
Personal.......my dad
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Jennifer Steadman » Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:22 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:If I was Jen Steadman and could only pick women, I might go for people like Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie or Emmy Noether.
;) Good shout re: Ada Lovelace though.

On the men's side of things, my heroes are Didier Drogba (phenomenal example of using fame for good causes - he's done an incredible amount of philanthropic work in his native Ivory Coast and is widely credited with stopping their civil war by using the location of a football game to bring the country together...), Mark Meakin's nephew Danny Dyer (21st century's answer to Shakespeare), and Graeme Cole (obviously).
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Phil Reynolds » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:28 pm

It's pretty hard to read Andrew Hodges' biography and not come out of it viewing Alan Turing as something of a hero. Besides "inventing the computer" and "cracking the Enigma code" (neither of which he actually did by himself, but his contributions in both were significant), his refusal to accept that being gay was in any way something to be ashamed of was virtually unheard of at the time.

In popular culture I would definitely name Armistead Maupin as a hero, and Stephen Sondheim. Tom Lehrer said of the latter: "Sondheim is the greatest lyricist the English language ever produced, and that's a fact, not an opinion." Come to think of it, Lehrer probably ought to be on my heroes list too. Ooh, I have a lot don't I?

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Fred Mumford » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:30 pm

Another motorsport obsessive here, so Colin Chapman, Jim Clark, Stirling Moss, Jimmy Bryan and Mike Hailwood for starters.

In other fields, Ray Davies, Richard Feynman, Herge and Alfred Hitchcock are the first that spring to mind.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Zarte Siempre » Fri Feb 12, 2016 11:51 pm

Another voice to the "not heroes, but person I admire most" camp.

But either way, Adam Hills. That man is so fucking awesome. I still get all grinny when I see the photo of him and I :D
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Mark James » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:54 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:I probably wouldn't pick astronauts because although they're risking their lives in their exploration, there's countless people who would jump at the chance and would probably also do just as good a job if they were selected, so I see it more as right time, right place.
I kinda get the argument but I don't see why the number of people who would jump at the chance should diminish the achievement. If there are countless people who would genuinely do it they're all heroes in my book but what you have to consider is how easy it is to say you would want to do it without having been given the opportunity. And I wouldn't count the astronauts of today who make regular trips to the ISS as heroes since they pretty much know what to expect. Similarly I probably wouldn't even count the Apollo 12 (and beyond) astronauts as heroes. I'm talking purely about people willing to cross an unknown threshold. Personally I've thought a lot about how much I'd like to be one of the people to participate in the first one way ticket to Mars mission. Easy to say I'd like to do it but would I pass the psychological evaluation one has to go through? I doubt it. And I'd say most of the, to use your expression, countless people who say they would want to do it wouldn't pass either. The ones who pass the test and actually do it will be the the truly heroic ones afaic.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:46 am

Mark James wrote:
Gavin Chipper wrote:I probably wouldn't pick astronauts because although they're risking their lives in their exploration, there's countless people who would jump at the chance and would probably also do just as good a job if they were selected, so I see it more as right time, right place.
I kinda get the argument but I don't see why the number of people who would jump at the chance should diminish the achievement. If there are countless people who would genuinely do it they're all heroes in my book but what you have to consider is how easy it is to say you would want to do it without having been given the opportunity. And I wouldn't count the astronauts of today who make regular trips to the ISS as heroes since they pretty much know what to expect. Similarly I probably wouldn't even count the Apollo 12 (and beyond) astronauts as heroes. I'm talking purely about people willing to cross an unknown threshold. Personally I've thought a lot about how much I'd like to be one of the people to participate in the first one way ticket to Mars mission. Easy to say I'd like to do it but would I pass the psychological evaluation one has to go through? I doubt it. And I'd say most of the, to use your expression, countless people who say they would want to do it wouldn't pass either. The ones who pass the test and actually do it will be the the truly heroic ones afaic.
Fair enough then. I certainly wouldn't call ISS astronauts heroes either but I'll admit that those who made the first steps into space or onto the moon were doing more than just applying established procedures.

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Mark Deeks » Sun Feb 14, 2016 1:36 am

Michael Buffer. Imagine being so dominant in your profession that your brother gets hired just to be vaguely like you.
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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:17 pm

Jennifer Steadman wrote:Mark Meakin's nephew Danny Dyer (21st century's answer to Shakespeare)
I highly recommend his Who Do You Think You Are (Danny Dyer's, not Marc Meakin's.. that hasn't been on yet).

I bet Meakin's old girl didn't know she was marrying into royalty..

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Re: Who are your heroes?

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:19 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Jennifer Steadman wrote:Mark Meakin's nephew Danny Dyer (21st century's answer to Shakespeare)
I highly recommend his Who Do You Think You Are (Danny Dyer's, not Marc Meakin's.. that hasn't been on yet).

I bet Meakin's old girl didn't know she was marrying into royalty..
When you say old girl, you mean sister.
Though to be fair she is 61.
I wonder if a movie maker is hatching a plan to make King Danny.....loosely based on King Ralph.
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