My Favorite Fictional American Heroes

In honor of the 4th of July I want to tell everyone about my All-American Heroes, people that honor the American Spirit in their own special way. This list ranges from the serious to the silly but all of these people are heroes in their own way. 

1. Atticus Finch, “To Kill a Mockingbird”

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There is a reason why Atticus Finch is number one on AFI’s top 100 heroes, actually there are about 100 reasons! I can sum it up in one quote (very hard to do mind you because he was so full of wisdom!); “Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.” The courage to do what was right by Tom Robinson was the backbone of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and the example that he set for Scout and Jem was the heart of the story. If any of you haven’t read this story go pick up a copy yesterday and read it and be prepared to cry. 

2. Batman/Bruce Wayne

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Batman is an All-American badass! His character was able to take his childhood trauma and turn it into an incentive to rid Gotham City of injustice. The way that he was willing to give up his life for his city, a city that hunted him like a dog, is the selfless sacrifice that our country was built on. 

3. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully “The X-Files”

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Teaching us that “the truth is out there” and to “trust no one” by chasing down aliens and government conspiracies all while keeping us entertained with their witty banter and intense sexual chemistry. 

4. Charlotte York/Goldenblatt “Sex and the City”

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Never has there ever been a more blindly optimistic person on television then Charlotte York-Goldenblatt from “Sex and the City”. Her faith and knowledge that love conquers all and that everything will be alright was something so admirable that someone as optimistic as me is just a little jealous. 

5. Scarlet O’Hara “Gone with the Wind”

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Say what you want but there are very few women who could have done what she did to survive the Civil War. Yes, she manipulated and used her feminine wiles to get what she wanted but technically isn’t that what our nation was founded on? People using their strengths to get ahead in the world.

6. Sam Witwicky “Transformers” 

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Say what you want but the boy made friends with the Autobots, became best friends with Bumble Bee (another Autobot), and helped save the world from the Decepticons he is a true American Hero. Side Note: Geico doesn’t cover Decepticon attacks so when you’re shopping for insurance you may want to take that into consideration.

7. Ricky Bobby “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”

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Ricky Bobby is another example of how someone who grows up in a less than ideal situation becoming a successful NASCAR driver. Ricky was raised solely by his mother because his father was “out racing cars, and, well, dipping his wick in anything that moves,” according to her. He took that childhood experience and became a famous NASCAR driver with his best friend and, really is there anything more American then that?

8. Holly Golightly “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 

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Only in America could a small-town girl named Lula Mae Barnes from Texas reinvent herself and become Holly Golightly toast of New York City. She is the American dream personified.

9. Bryan Mills “Taken”

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He’s the badass American father every girl hopes her daddy becomes if she’s ever kidnapped and sold into white slavery. The lengths Bryan Mills went to for his daughter are the lengths we like to think that every father would go to, to save his little girl.

10. Forrest Gump “Forrest Gump”

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Football hero, war hero, ping pong hero, shrimp boat captain, only in America! Forrest Gump took what most would call a handicap and turned it into an invaluable asset. He is what is right about America. 

And so there you have it, my favorite All-American fictional heroes. Feel free to comment with your own heroes! 

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My Problem With “Iron Man 3”

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  First off in the interest of full disclosure there will be spoilers so if you haven’t seen “Iron Man 3” I would suggest that you stop reading here. 

If you have seen it then keep on reading but be aware as a hardcore DC fangirl I have a few bones to pick with this movie. 

I really felt like “Iron Man 3” pulled quite a bit from “The Dark Knight Rises” from complex plot points like breaking the hero down and building him back up to simple things like the villain sounding strange (I’m sorry, I loved Bane but his voice was just a little distracting as was the Mandarin’s voice) to Tony Stark telling JARVIS to initiate “Clean Slate Protocol” to destroy all of the Iron Man suits. I mean really?! Clean Slate?! Could they not have come up with anything else? For any of you who haven’t seen “The Dark Knight Rises”, and really if you haven’t seen it get it together, the Clean Slate was the software that Selena Kyle was fighting so hard to get. 

Watching Tony Stark’s Malibu home collapse into the Pacific Ocean taking Tony Stark (in the Iron Man suit) down with it only to blast him out of the water and crash-land him in the hills of Tennessee, where JARVIS crashed and the suit promptly died was the Marvel equivalent of Bane breaking Batman’s back and sending him to the Lazarus Pit (because let’s face it that’s what Nolan was trying to represent), however as a current resident of the state of Tennessee I’m regretting that comparison. 

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 I will say that “Iron Man 3” was an epic movie and for those hardcore Marvel fanboys and fangirls out there I know it delivered. I mainly know this because the boyfriend came out of the theater more excited then I have ever seen him after a superhero movie. He loved it but I really just came out of the theater thinking about how good Robert Downey Jr. looked when he was dancing at the beginning of the movie, and I don’t think that was the director’s intention. 

Getting Caught Up…

So I’m very behind on my 30 Day Blogging Challenge so here I go with my next topic…

Think of me… (things I’d like to be remembered for)

1. Remember me as an eternal nerd. From Batman to Doctor Who I love the things most people would consider very nerdy and even though it took me some time to accept it myself  being nerdy is totally ok. 

2. Remember me as always glass half-full. No matter what I can’t ever not be optimistic.

3. Remember me as always being the friend you could call at 3am no matter what.

4. Remember me as the girl who loves her animal babies more then life itself.

5. Remember me as someone who loved history so much that I often felt like I should have born in another time period.

And there you have it, things I’d like to be remembered for.  

Letting My Geek Flag Fly

When I started that last blog I left my music player on shuffle and I started listening to a lot more of my music and I realized how truly geeky I really am. Last night I was totally in the mood for some Batman (because really there’s never a bad time for Batman) so I watched “Batman Begins” for maybe about the millionth time. After getting into a very technical debate (probably too technical for my less geeky friends) on Facebook about who would win in a fight Batman or Iron Man (and say what you want Dorian Batman would kick Iron Man’s ass in a fight) and I think the general agreement was that both Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne have money on their sides so it would be a very gadget filled fight.

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I think we all agreed that this is how the fight would really go down.

But I totally digress from my point (and I do have one I promise), and that is that being a geek is totally awesome! I’m not just a superhero geek, I’m also a huge fan of “Doctor Who” (if you’re not familiar seriously get on my level because it’s awesome!), I’m a total Bond Girl, a Tribute (a fan of the “Hunger Games” series), and I miss “The X-Files” every day. I used to hide the things that would make me geek-out and squeal like a fangirl because I didn’t want people to make fun of me but then I stopped caring what people think about the things I love and I embraced my inner fangirl.

I went to movie marathons (yes even a “Twilight” marathon but that was only because I read the books), the Batman marathon was my favorite because I totally dressed up (not as Batman).

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You can’t really tell from that picture but I even got some temporary tattoos to rock for the event as well.

So this message is for any of you guys out there who keep your geek flag hidden, don’t do it! Let your geek flag fly with pride because you never know you may meet someone with the same geeky loves you have.

Holding Out For a Hero

What is Batman for?

The whole idea is crazy, it always has been. A man dresses up like a bat to scare criminals. Not something that can truly chill the blood — a snake, say, or even a spider — but a bat, the sight of which causes most of us to sigh and reach for a tennis racket to shoo the little guy out the nearest window.

It’s an idea a kid would come up with, which is one reason it’s such an easy target for comedy these days: Pow. Zap. “Holy rusted metal Batman!” (ask Joel Schumacher if you’re unfamiliar with that reference)

After all, a costumed billionaire’s War on Crime is the kind of notion that loses its primal power as soon as it leaves the comic book pages, which is when the mind proceeds to boggle at the real-world logistics it would entail. Christopher Nolan’s films work very hard to create a world of plausible-seeming technology to keep our disbelief suspended, or at least loosely tethered, for those two-plus hours. Even so.

And then there’s the violence. In his every iteration, Batman fights crime by fist-fighting it never with guns and never to kill but still brutal nonetheless.

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Gotham City is a grim, brutal place with a sociopath on every street corner, wreaking senseless havoc, murdering innocent bystanders in cold blood. In a Batman story, this violence exists for a reason: It is the triggering action, the set of conditions that spur our hero into battle. Without it, Batman would spend the whole movie sitting on a rooftop or hanging out in his cave.

Drawing connections between film violence and a staggeringly senseless act like the one that took place in Aurora on Friday morning is easy. It’s almost too easy. We look for reasons where no reason exists; we stare at CNN in abject horror and comfort ourselves by imagining we can crack the case and figure out what causes someone to slip this far into madness.

But madness isn’t so tidy. No reason will satisfy; no reason can, because the act occurred in reason’s absence. We are left in its wake to guess and blame and, finally, to mourn.

Batman didn’t create this act of random violence. In a very real sense, his existence helps us respond to it.

Comic-book heroes are childish notions (I can see my friends shaking their heads at me for saying that!). But this is exactly what gives them their simple, primal purity of meaning. They are a means by which we too can (albeit vicariously) confront — and defeat — the evils that threaten us. Batman is personification that Good exists and that it will always wins out over Evil. On the streets of Gotham he will be met by Fear (The Scarecrow), Greed (The Penguin), Wrath (Bane) and, inevitably, repeatedly, Insanity (The Joker).

But he — and in turn, we — will win. Always. Every time. That knowledge is what he gives us and what we cling to and what Batman is there for.

And how he wins is just as important as that he wins: He doesn’t seek vengeance, but rather justice — which is to say, he refuses to kill his foes. Instead, he incapacitates them. He contains them until the justice system takes over.

And that is his greater symbolic role, to help us contain the horror of senseless violence like this and to  provide a cathartic pressure valve. So, for example, we’re thrilled as we watch him swoop down upon some vile fiend seconds before the killing stroke lands.

“Never again,” he whispers, and for a moment, a tiny second, we’re able to imagine a world where such a ridiculous, childish promise could be kept, where violence never erupts again, and where no more innocent people die.

Of course we all know that world doesn’t exist. Tomorrow a new costumed criminal will plague Gotham, and another act of real-world violence will leave us feeling lost and scared longing for our hero to swoop in and save us from danger again.

Luckily Gotham has Batman to protect it. But we have him too, well, the idea of him, anyway. And on even the worst of days, it’s possible to think about that silly, ridiculous, utterly childish idea, and feel a little less lost and a little less scared.