Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, June 20th, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: activism - Tags:

Good interview on RNZ this morning with the author of a book on the early life of Nelson Mandela. Reminded me that I have been meaning for a while now to try a Sunday occasional post series on heroes. Humanitarians and heroes, past and present, of democracy, the labour movement, or the environment. People like Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, Joe Hill, Jacques Cousteau and so on.

Any interest in such a series? If so, who should such a series include? Who are our heroes?…

9 comments on “Heroes”

  1. Zorr 1

    I would always include Che Guevara in a list of my heroes because I feel a hero should, for better or worse, be someone who believes in their own ideals – even to their own eventual detriment.

    Personally though, a lot of people I would list as heroes are those I have known within family or community circles and who wouldn’t ahve been known outside of them. Part of the problem with the idea of a “hero” is that it requires the kind of mindset that more often leads to fundamentalism/extremism.

  2. Crashcart 2

    It is interesting to see how history portrays different people. Mandela fought against one of the worst forms of government. He suffered horrible degradation and abuse and over came it. He rose to his position by being willing to do what was needed to free his people. This included sanctioning bombing civilian targets. Train stations and other public places were attacked and civilians lost their lives. However it could be reasonably argued that those civilians propped up the government that continued to perpetuate the abuse of indigenous South Africans. I just wonder how different this is from Palestinians fighting the fight they currently have in their home land. In one breath a person could praise the great man who Mandela clearly is yet in the other condemn Palestinians who fight the same fight.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    I do hope you do a post on this man, probably the bravest man I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, and given recent events all the more pertinent to remember him in this country.


  4. Jenny 4

    Jeffrey Wigand who in my opinion meets the criterion of real hero, is in New Zealand this week to talk to the Maori Affairs select committee.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    No where near hero status, but I’ve always liked Al Franken. Really smart, understands both bullshitters and the stakes, and is able to call them on it with humour.

    Here is doing giving a speech on legal and constitutional stuff:


    and here is drawing the US freehand:

  6. cal 6

    Yes include Che on the list so at the very least the people who wear his mug on their t-shirts know who he was (I bet if the man himself knew what had become of his image he’d turn in his grave)
    Gandhi is a definate hero, also Sir Peter Blake, Sir Ed Hillary, MJ Savage (seen as this is a left blog and all), I’ll think of more later

  7. jimmy 7

    Id say William H. Pickering would be a good case of a NZer who flew under the radar of the national hero awards. His feats of heading the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and being one of the central figures of space exploration should put him right up there with Rutherford in my view (even grew up in Havelock so make sure to fill up your kids water bottle next time you pass through). The documentary ‘rocket man’ is worth a look if you can find it, have tried my best to find a streaming video but its probably tucked away in a library somewhere.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    Sir Peter Blake? You’ve got to be joking. He was a good yachtsman who sounded more and more like a pom as time went by. His political utternaces betrayed an alarmingly naivity and an increasing authoritarian tone. [On the off chance that anyone from Blake’s family might ever read this, I’m deleting that last comment. — r0b]

  9. Hilary 9

    New Zealand heroes like those brave ordinary people who stood in the Hamilton rugby ground in 1981 and faced the local and international power and anger of apartheid supporters – and stopped the game.

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