We are conditioned for everything it seems, and expecting someone else to save the day is one of them perhaps. We even have a saying ‘a knight in shining armour’ to save you. I never liked that idea, just sitting around and waiting for a hero to swoop in and save the day, whether it be a knight or a maiden. Of course, we like it in movies, it’s predictable and safe, and usually leads to a happy or at least satisfying ending. But what of those stories and the ones in particular I have selected for my usual rundown.
Robin Hood – I would consider this known by most, so goes top of the list. The classic tale of wrongdoing and justice for the people, in the most peasant revoltish kind of way possible. And they won. So we are told that he was a myth, a legend and these days maybe just a money maker.
William Wallace (Braveheart) – again, we are led to believe there was someone so passionate about their beliefs, countrymen and way of life, they managed to rally an army of followers, but ultimately failed. That’s the kind of hero they want you to see, the one who sacrifices themselves, and still loses.
Boudicca – One of our rare female heroes in history that apparently rose up and fought back, only to then be killed, of course.
Guy Fawkes – Another famous one that has been allowed to persist in its telling and in fact commemorated each year still to this day, the same tale over and over. So close, but they too failed.
Those are all apparently real people (maybe not Robin Hood), from our past on this small Island, but the fact we have stories like that leads me to two conclusions.
a) These people did exist and overthrew what was then in place, but after victory time passed and although their names persisted, the stories could be re-written to show they didn’t win. Couldn’t have the peasants getting above their station and believing in themselves.
b) Or they are part truths or perhaps completely fabricated stories to try to instil in our collective psyche that we will always lose if we fight back. Either conclusion ultimately gives the same result.
So I ask myself, what advantage would that give the programmers? Having a people not believing in their own collective power and what they are capable of could be a handy tool if you wanted to hold people down, and decide what they are allowed to know. Knowledge is power as they say.
There are also a number of films, even though many films have been made of most of the above, and there will be countless others I don’t mention.
Terminator Films (John Conner) – The central character of these films being the one to save the day and bring an end to the turmoil.
Poseidon Adventure (The Preacher) – I have only watched the 1972 film for this, but thought it was great. Someone trying so hard to save people, showing courage in the face of adversity, only to die at the end himself, but he did save some. It wasn’t all for nothing in the end.
And there are other movies, where we are led to believe that there is only one who can save everyone. The One.
The Matrix – Neo
Star Wars – Luke Skywalker
Harry Potter – Harry Potter
Lord of the Rings – Frodo, but Tolkien did a switch there, because Frodo wasn’t the one or the hero after all, he failed, and Sam was the hero, not because he was chosen, but because came through when it was needed most.
But in all those films, they didn’t just do it by themselves, they had friends and something to fight for. And it may sound as corny as the films do sometimes, but love, friendship and what is right in this world is worth fighting for and believing in.