Episode 69 — The Hero’s Journey (w/ Jason Sanford)

3 Oct

Jason Sanford, who may be the greatest man with a southern accent to grace the Internet, joins us for an extensive discussion about heroes.  Why do we love them?  How have they changed in our lifetimes?  What is a heroic act?  We answer those questions and more, touching on everything from District 9 to Milk.

The big question for all of you:  Why do you love heroes and what is a heroic act to you?

Note:  If you have iTunes and like this show, please give us a review on our iTunes page, or feel free to email us with your thoughts about the show!

Here’s the episode (show notes are below):
(Note: the WordPress.com audio plugin isn’t working and I don’t have time to fix it. Clicking the link below should allow you to stream from the site, though. RSS subscribers will likely see the little audio thing.)
Episode 69 — Download (MP3)

Intro and Discussion:  The Hero! (0:00 – 1:00:38)

Our new intro music is “Time Flux” by Revolution Void (CC BY 3.0).

That’s all, folks!  Thanks for listening.  See you next week.


2 Responses to “Episode 69 — The Hero’s Journey (w/ Jason Sanford)”

  1. deseano October 7, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    And my comment didn’t show, not show if you moderate these so maybe you’ll have to delete a double enty:

    This was, as usual, an awesome podcast. The slightly anarchistic flow makes it lots of fun to listen to.

    I’d like to start with my own definition of heroism: To be a hero, you have to surmount obstacles that pose either a threat to you, be it risk to life or other dire consequences, or threats to others while still having a choice not to do so. It it the concious choice to do something that makes a hero. If you can just walk away and you still rise up to the occasion, then you are a hero.

    Rising to the occasion is part of this sure, for me though, if you have no other choice then you do what musts be done. That is great but not really heroic. In other words, jumping from a building if you would otherwise die, not heroic. Jumping from a building to save someone and you could have just walked away, heroic.

    This is notably different from the classical definition of heroism in Myth and Legends, these were these golden age people given great advantages (strength, magic whatever) making them more than mere mortals, the risk for them, not so great.

    So it all come down that the image of the hero has changed remarkably in the last 10 years creating several archetypes that are now common:

    – the reluctant hero (not Harry Potter hero because it was his destiny, chosen one)
    – the brooding hero with self doubts
    – the anti hero that has severe flaws or done terrible things but then does something
    good at last
    – the unexpected hero, being thrust in situation where you are not aware of doing good or
    heroic deeds

    There are many more and of course still the classic hero that I mentioned earlier on.

    So why do most of like heroes of varying archetypes so much and how is it, that our personal perception of what constitutes a true hero differs so wildly?

    From my perspective, the is closely aligned to the cultural expose of what it means to be classic hero, to personal experiences, current and classic media influences and of course a personal preference on how much one is willing to do for others without compensation. So to someone from an Asian culture, the classic hero will differ wildly from a western hero. To someone from a economically poor background, the rich, spoiled and privileged hero will be less appealing than the folk hero that comes from a lower social station and either rises up or fights the upper class.

    A hero in a story gives the reader/watcher the chance to either witness the great events or to identify with the hero, thus joining in the experience of being a hero. This is the most appealing part for me. Of course I’d like to kick the ass of bad guys, of course I’d like to rescue people, live a life that I’ll never live in my real live and maybe participate in a sort of escapism Adventure. Maybe I just like to read about it, it doesn’t really matter at this point. This also shows why the classic “chosen one” trope is still popular even today, if the protagonist can be a chosen one, what about me? Maybe I’m a chosen one too.

    And I’ll get back to this on the weeked.


  1. Episode 6.6 — Favoritism (Our 2011 Besties) « The Skiffy and Fanty Show - December 19, 2011

    […] SandF Guest:  Jason Sanford  (See Episodes 14, 4.0a, 4.0b, 5.6, and […]

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