Category: My Hero


Ok, so I read this today. It’s from Penn Jillette’s new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales, and I’m putting it here because a lot of it is very close to the thinking of my Gaslight character, Newton. He is a huge proponent of the claim that he doesn’t know, and gets very upset when people suggest that he’s trying to answer everything. This is not to change people’s RP as I enjoy trying to explain the difference IC and his struggle to get people to stop seeing, as he views it, ignorance as a virtue.

Either way, if you feel it will inform future interactions in a way that would ruin the IC nature of the struggle, I’ve put the quote behind a cut. Also, hey, look, I figured out how to do cuts in WordPress.

From the introduction, titled “The Humility of Loudmouth Know-it-all Asshole Atheists”

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My Hero: Congressman Barney Frank

So, this is probably not the most expected of choices, but I’ve gotta say that I wish more Democrats would show the same kind of attitude as Congressman Barney Frank from the 4th District Massachusetts. While he’s been elected by huge margins time and time again since he first got into the House in 1982 (which means he was elected about three weeks before I was born), he’s really made a name for himself on the national stage since this banking crisis because he’s Chairman of the House Financial Services committee.

Now, let’s look at the virtues of this particular elected official:

1. This man is the second openly gay member of the House ever (the first being Gerry Studds who was outed rather than coming out himself). While it probably wasn’t as hard as Rep. Studds’s effort, it still takes a lot to come out publically in a political office. This is even more impressive when you consider the viciousness with which he was pursued during the 1990 Steve Gobie scandal which, ironically, was lead by an opponent who was later involved in his own gay sex scandal.

2. The man is just a badass when it comes to using the power of the majority. I loved watching him talking to the CEO of AIG who said he would only provide Congress the names of their executives that received unearned bonuses if they would be kept confidential and Frank refused. More to the point, he then threatened to subpoena the names. He’s been a strong voice throughout this crisis, he continues to press hard and make a point of representing the outrage of the American people.

3. The guy interviews like a fiend. He’s as entertaining in interviews as he is on the House floor grilling business executives. He’s intelligent, well-spoken, well-read, and aware of the situations he’s facing. I really enjoy seeing him speak, and his voice is so distinctive. It’s actually somewhat comforting to hear Barney Frank calling company CEOs names. I feel like the government actually wants to make sure these guys don’t get away with this stuff.

4. I agree with most of his politics. He was one of three Representatives to oppose the Respect for America’s Fallen Heroes Act which, while I like the sentiment, restricts free speech because we’re annoyed by what people have to say. He is a staunch supporter of First Amendment Rights. He’s, of course, behind LGBT issues. He believes in medical marijuana and online gambling rights. He’s pro-choice and agrees with the military that their budget needs to get cut and that other elements of government should be doing some of the foreign relations work.

There are many reasons to like this particular Congressman. I’d like to see more Democrats exhibit the same level of sheer gumption that he’s been exhibiting in the past couple of weeks alone. Let’s face it, Barney Frank has balls. He’s aware that his party is in power and gaining popularity by the day and has absolutely no fear of doing exactly what the country wants him to do. Part of this stems from basically having a safe seat, but that wasn’t always the case and his career shows a genuine lack of political caution. Top that off with the time he spent as a teacher, and you have a recipe for heroism the likes of which I rarely see.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like you to meet my hero, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA).

My Hero: Archie Andrews

I’ve been meaning to do this series for quite some time. I’d like to do several posts on my personal heroes, both real and fictional. Since this is the person that originally prompted this idea, I’m going to start here.

So, please let me introduce you to my personal hero, Archie Andrews.

Ok, I know some of you are thinking, “Why Archie?” Those are the kinder ones among you. But seriously, there are some wonderful things to love and respect about that rascal of a teen from Riverdale, MO. Let’s make a list:

1. He’s a really good kid when it comes down to it. Most of the trouble he gets into is related to his clumsiness, which actually makes him more endearing. But there’s something to be said for a good guy trying to do the best for his friends and neighbors. It’s not often that this sort of character makes and retains popularity in any culture, yet for some reason we like stories that might revolve around preventing an old lady from losing her fortune to a local con man, assisting in an understaffed nursery, or planting trees in a deforested area.

2. He’s the lead singer in a rock band. I make no secret of the fact that if it weren’t for my blasted and ironic inability to sing, this is really the career I was born for. I have the energy, I have the passion, I have the moves. Archie also has the voice. Not a great voice, mind you, but one passable enough that, while they are nowhere near as popular as Josie and the Pussycats (another Archie Comics property), they still are a fairly in demand entertainment. Thanks to the inclusion of the wealthy Veronica Lodge, trips to places as far flung as Alaska, California, and even India are not uncommon, nor impossible for the Archies. Did I mention that he managed to get the band named after him with no argument?

3. He’s been shamelessly dating two women for almost seven decades. I mean, he doesn’t even hide it. And he randomly dates other girls in between those two, who are not only not upset at him, but fight over him! I’m tempted to agree with Banky in Chasing Amy that Archie is attempting to get both together in a three way. If he hasn’t already. And when Betty or Veronica isn’t available? Well, there’s any of the other girls at Riverdale High, including Cheryl Blossom, the hot red head from upscale Pembrooke. While I freely admit that I prefer Betty Cooper to Veronica Lodge, Cheryl’s in a class by herself. None of which matters, because Archie doesn’t seem to have to make a choice!

4. He’s a letterman in roughly 78 sports. Now, I’m not much of a sports fan, we all know this, but I can at least respect athletic ability, and Archie has it in spades. While not as good as Reggie Mantle or Moose Mason, Archie still holds his own on most competitive fields. I suppose when you spend 67 years in high school, you have the opportunity to get really good at your school sports, but there has to be at least some iota of actual talent there for this to work at all. From hockey to soccer to surfing, Archie knows sports.

5. He has a love/hate relationship with every adult in Riverdale. While being a genuinely good guy helps him quite a bit, his clumsy nature often causes problems for people like Mr. Weatherbee, Miss Grundy, and Hiram Lodge. The interesting thing is that despite his mistakes and foibles, Archie seems to continually gain their goodwill. This is partially attributed to different writers taking different interpretations of the characters (another rant on how Betty in the latest Betty and Veronica is a lot like a Lost character I know), but mostly seems to be that while, for example, the ‘Bee considers Archie the bane of his existence, he still also acts in a protective and almost fatherly manner to the wayward teen, and they seem to enjoy a structured kind of friendship both in and out of school, somewhat related to Weatherbee’s status as a Marine. Archie gets a similar reaction from Mr. Lodge who can’t stand the kid, yet realizes that the awkward boy treats his daughter like the princess that Lodge himself would have her be, and gives him the benefit of the doubt on several occasions because of it. Being able to annoy every person of responsibility and still be liked by them is a huge success in my book.

6. Travel to fabulous destinations. Archie Andrews is far more well-traveled than I am. While, again, we have to understand that he’s had almost 70 years to do this, it’s still quite a bit for the middle-class son of a home maker and a mid-level business executive. Still, Archie has been to places as far away as Japan, Scotland, Italy, and Zambia. He’s traveled all over the United States and North America. He seems to wing it with Veronica to popular travel destinations on a regular basis, often bringing his friends with them. This man knows how to travel, and he does it both frequently and well.

There’s so much more to say about a great man like Archie Andrews (like having a best friend named Forsythe Pendleton “Jughead” Jones), but I think this is more than enough to give a good idea of why I might consider this kid from the comics to be a role model of sorts. He lives a life of fun, but tempers it with responsibility. He doesn’t shrink away from hard work or good deeds, but this is no hindrance to his social life. He tries to make the most of his place in the world, and does so with grace and good will.

Archie Andrews, you are a bro among bros, a gentleman’s gentleman, and one of my personal heroes.