a real hero


'How is it possible to repent after arrest, and repent profoundly, turning in your companions, whereas you didn't repent at the moment when you were firing a couple of bullets into the nape of a helpless man? Why, because there was the impulse to kill and, once that was satisfied, the game was over; so why not repent? Ideology has nothing to do with it: It was a pretext.
I am fully aware that this kind of talk risks sound reactionary. The problem is to know, to understand, that not all sacrifices, not all bloodshed, is carried out for fun. But it is a difficult matter of rational discriminations; and to articulate them, you must first of all be unrelentingly suspicious of the mystique of sacrifice and blood. I don't mean to suggest that there is no difference between those whom society recognizes as heroes and those whom society recognizes as bloodthirsty madmen, even it the difference is much less than our schoolbooks would have us believe. I don't want to suggest that all ideologies and all ideals are transitory pretexts for impulses of violence that spring from the depths of the species. Perhaps there is a distinction, a very simple one.
Real heroes, those who sacrifice themselves for the collective good, and whom society recognizes as such (maybe some time later, whereas at the time they are branded as irresponsible outlaws), are always people who act reluctantly. They die, but they would rather not die; they kill, but they would rather not kill; and in fact afterwards they refuse to boast having killed in a condition of necessity.
Real heroes are always impelled by circumstances; they never choose because, if they could, they would chose not to be heroes. For example – Salvo D'Acquisto, or one of the many partisans who fled to the mountains, was captured and tortured, and never talked, in order to lessen the tribute of blood, not to encourage it.
The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else. If it had been possible, he would have settled the matter otherwise, and without bloodshed. He does' boast of his own death or of others'. But he doesn't repent. He suffers and keeps his mouth shut; if anything, others then exploit him, making him a myth, while he, the man worth of esteem, was only a poor creature who reacted with dignity and courage in an event bigger than he was.
But we know at once and without hesitation that we must be wary of those who set out, fired (and firing), moved by an ideal of purification through blood, their own and others', but more often, others'. We must not let it amaze us, or shock us too much. But we mustn't ignore the existence of these phenomena, either.'


Travels in Hyperreality
(The Gods of the Underworld
Sub-chapter: Why are they Laughing in Those Cages?)
(Pages 121-123)




A mini Irn Bru
Sneakers without socks
...and the sun hiding from me
...
Scotland, you almost did me proud.
Almost.




Ps. Shelfari is down, yet again. The normal links will be added once it gets its drunken ass together.