Hero Fatigue Syndrome

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Watching the crew of US Airways Flight 1549 make their rounds on all the different TV shows and stand on all those different platforms created by selfish politicians trying to get in on the party of hero-hood makes me wonder how tiring that process must be for these nice people. One moment on 60 Minutes, the next on the CBS Morning Show and later in the same day receiving the key to New York City with the mayor. Quite the hero marathon to get through for any normal person.

However, our American Heroes are anything but normal. Or are they? Maybe normal is just what they really are. Maybe we should realize that when we bestow this hero mantra upon people who in the end might just be as fallible as the next guy, things could go wrong. Captain Sullenberger clearly grabbed our attention and has been quickly thrust into the American realm of hero worship for obvious reasons. His cool demeanor under incredible pressure reminds us that America, as always, produces people who carry the water for the rest of us when the well is dry.

His modesty was refreshing and the fact that at first, he was reluctant to say many words on this, acting like, “Hey, I just did my job” was something we respected. Later, Captain Sullenberger said he was aware that America is in a funk and needed some good news and he wasn’t going to take that away from us now when we needed it so bad as a country. Let’s just hope the captain does not stay in the limelight too long. Someone needs to tell him that America has made a hobby of building people up just to break them down later. If the captain has any skeletons in his closet or any unpaid taxes or even some nanny problem, he better get off the hero stage as soon as possible. That is one man I wouldn’t want to see end up in the hero graveyard.

Just watching Alex Rodriguez’s grave being dug right next to Michael Phelps’ grave in this hero graveyard reminds me that Captain Sullenberger doesn’t have much time to fly off into the sunset before the second part of America’s Hero Fatigue Syndrome kicks in, “The teardown.”

The teardown is almost unavoidable when we get tired of our worship of these talented people. After all, who do they think they are being some famous hero when we still have to go to work and pay our bills. We’ll put Michael Phelps on the cover of a Wheaties’s box smoking a bong if we feel like it. They’re our heroes and we’ll do whatever we want with them. After all, it is never our fault when our heroes get torn down, they did it, not us. We are just innocent Americans minding our own business when these heroes come along. Their takedown has nothing to do with us.

Captain Sullenberger should retire from flying and move to an island nation and soon. America’s Hero Fatigue Syndrome knows no mercy.

C. Rich

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