Henry Rollins: (Teeing off) How many heroes have lasted very long before they were caught red-handed, dismantled and cast down? Not many and their shelf life seems to be getting shorter and shorter. We go from enamored to enraged to disinterested in little more than a press cycle. Millions of Americans delight in the talent of the next American Idol but have an equally if not better time laughing at the contestants who fail, more miserably the better, and who are then subjected to Judge Simon's queeny verbal evisceration. The Hero being taken down a peg as the scandal of his out of wedlock children, taste for lap dances and cocaine comes to light, the rockstar who loses it all and must ask for his pizza delivery job back, the movie star back in rehab; the stuff of tabloids, endless television and radio host speculation and all because of one reason: it puts our heroes back where they should be — right down here in the middle of all this sh!t, with the rest of us.
We need heroes it seems, we need them to inspire us and then f**k up magnificently so the same cameras that covered their every triumph can also be there for when it all comes crashing down. So, are there any heroes anywhere that will stand the test of time? Absolutely. Heroes are where you find them and they are everywhere, from the man who can't afford to but still contributes his hard earned pay to help the victims of the Katrina disaster, to the hundreds of firefighters who ran without hesitation into the World Trade Center on 9-11, to the men and women of our Armed Forces. Perhaps the problem is that we set our levels too low and our expectations too high so the hero will inevitably fail and maybe some of us like it that way. Not me.
I need heroes in my life because they make me feel like I can strive for something better and be more. So when the hero falls, I don't say 'I told you so,' I say 'human.'
The following appears in the online version of "Teeing Off" for this episode, but is not in the aired version.
"Senator from Virginia Jim Webb United States Marine Corp.: war hero. President Bush: war president. Congressman from Pennsylvania John Murtha United States Marine Corp.: war hero. Vice president Dick Cheney: war profiteer."