Mike Hammer, disgraced by drug charges. Clark Kent, quits the Daily Planet in disgust over the declining state of Journalism. Batman, is shamelessly turned into a psycho-sexual nutjob by Hollywood. O.J. Simpson, is charged with the double slasher-murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. Pete Rose gets booted from baseball in a gambling scandal. Olympian Michael Phelps is caught smoking grass. Revelations that FDR was just a dirty old man in a wheel chair while Ike fooled around overseas and JFK was in a class all by himself, apparently, except maybe for Bubba Clinton, but who really knows? Have you read or seen “Primary Colors?”
Everybody’s on performance enhancing drugs, including our favorite all-American boy, Lance Armstrong. At the same time, Michael Jackson was doing sleepovers with young house guests at Neverland, dear old Cliff Huxtable, stands accused of drugging and then raping more than 30 women. And then came “deflategate,” ad nauseam.
Through it all we still had Atticus Finch, and he was rock solid. If there was one book that impacted my young life, it was “To Kill a Mockingbird.,” and damn it, I needed Atticus Finch to remain unsullied. But woe is me, the money-grubbing dirt-digging cynics have brought him down too, even though Harper Lee apparently had no intention of publishing “Go Set A Watchman,” which (I have read) puts my former hero and role model Atticus Finch, in the KKK. There is speculation that Harper Lee, would have opposed the publication, were she physically and mentally able to do so. I don’t know, but I like to think that’s the case.
I could care less about those who try and justify the publication of “Watchman” by saying it gives us invaluable insight into the writing process, how an author can take an idea in another direction in the developmental scheme of things, blah, blah, blah. If that’s what you want then take a writing class. I needed Atticus Finch to be left alone.
When all our heroes, both real and fictitious, have been laid low, what will be left to make us feel as though goodness and decency have a chance? Who will be left for kids to look up to and model themselves after now that we’ve been told Atticus Finch was in the Klan? Think societal role models don’t matter? Don’t kid yourself, kiddo. They do.
I am now bracing myself for revelations that the cowboy heroes of my youth were secretly into beastiality.