Social Question

Charles's avatar

Was Michael Jackson a hero?

Asked by Charles (4815points) January 7th, 2012

Some sources have reported Micheal Jackson as a Hero ; should he be considered as such?

Michael Jackson, an American Hero?

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23 Answers

Ayesha's avatar

I like ‘Genius’ better.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Nope. Heros do heroic things.

SavoirFaire's avatar

A hero courageously overcomes challenges in a way that can be admired and presented as a model for emulation. Heroes don’t have to be perfect, of course, but they need to have done something out of the ordinary. Michael Jackson had to face various difficulties in his life, and he certainly managed to keep most of his troubles at bay long enough to achieve what he did throughout his career. Many people face the same problems, however, with the same mixed results. That he did it in the public eye doesn’t really change anything. One can be a hero in secret, and one can fail to be a hero despite being known the world over.

filmfann's avatar

Reminds me of a Simpsons episode, where Homer calls a boy a hero.
“How so?” asks Lisa.
“Well, he fell down a well, and he can’t get out!”

marinelife's avatar

Certainly not.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Just realized it might not be clear that my answer is “no.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

No. I think he did a lot of humanitarian good, but I wouldn’t consider him a hero.

Brian1946's avatar

Yes, because he single-handedly rescued pop-dancing from the disco-clutches of John Revolta and the Bun Gees (or was it the Bee Cheese?)!

It was his liberation of that dance from those clutches that earned him the self-coronated title, The King of Pop. Anyway, how can you appoint yourself to the KoPop throne, and not be some kind of freakin’ forkin’ hero?!

TheIntern55's avatar

Yes. I would define a hero as someone people look up to and I know people who look up to him. My friend has been the biggest Michael Jackson fan for as long as I can remember and she looks up to him. Sure, he did some bad things, but hasn’t everybody? Real heroes aren’t all like Superman. They make mistakes; they’re human.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@TheIntern55 Well, by that definition Brittney Spears is a hero. Being famous doesn’t automatically make one a “hero.” They have to DO something heroic to earn the title. He never did anything heroic.

TheIntern55's avatar

^Britney Spears is different. She has not and will never make as big an impact on the world as Jackson. And I didn’t say he was a hero because he was famous. I’m saying a hero is someone people look up to. I look up to my brother and he’s not famous.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@TheIntern55 I think the argument, though, is that there’s a difference between “my brother is my hero” and “my brother is a hero.” The first just means “my role model” or “the person I look up to” whereas the second requires more than that.

Kayak8's avatar

Michael Jackson was a fruit basket. He will never be a hero in my estimation (nor will he ever be MY hero).

Dutchess_III's avatar

You tell ‘em Rin Tin Tin!! You’re my hero!

@TheIntern55 So, the more people who “look up” to a person, the more that makes him or her a hero? That equates to The more Famous a person is, the more of a hero he or she is. By that, Frank Sinatra and the Beatles, Boyz 2 Men were “heroes.” What about the NYFD?

Harold's avatar

Hero is the most abused term in English. Michael Jackson never saved anybody’s life. He never did anything that was remotely heroic. In my opinion, he didn’t even have any talent. Sure, he was popular, but that never made a hero of anyone.

Berserker's avatar

He certainly was revolutionary, but a hero, I don’t know, at least not in the technical sense of the word. I guess he was a hero for zombie haters, by making every zombie movie that came out after Thriller not want to mention the word zombie. But I don’t think that was his intention.

TheIntern55's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m sure that just as many people look up to the NYFD as to Michael Jackson. Besides, just because someone is famous doesn’t mean people look up to them. Bin Laden was famous, technically, and noone looked up to him.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Um…. @TheIntern55, Bin Laden was considered a hero and looked up to by a huge number of people. That was part of the problem.

TheIntern55's avatar

^Well, yes on an international scale. And you’re right. But in America, which is the point of view I’m taking, he wasn’t, just as I’m sure Bin Laden followers don’t see the NYFD as heroes like we do.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@TheIntern55 So being a hero is a relative property? Bin Laden both is and is not a hero in that he’s not a hero in some places of the world but he is in other places of the world? Is that what you are suggesting?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Actually, @SavoirFaire , yes, I would say that being a hero is a “relative property”. The ideologies differ from one part of the world to another, depending on if one is the attacking party or the target. We in the US would of course not consider Bin Laden a hero, but to many who feel that 9/11 was a justifiable attack on an oppressive world authority, yes, he was a hero. Heroism can be an entirely subjective concept. Obviously not so much in the more individual cases: “Man jumps into freezing river, risks life to save toddler”, but on much larger scales, if the actions are perceived to benefit one group at the expense of another, then heroism is indeed more about perception than any absolute definition.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@JilltheTooth I’m not criticizing. It was an actual clarificatory question. Still, there’s a difference between heroism being relative and recognition of heroism being relative. No one is going to deny that who someone considers to be a hero might vary by context. Still, that does not entail that who really is a hero varies by context. Hume actually discusses this quite a bit in A Treatise of Human Nature.

One thing he considers is how we are all capable of taking on what he calls “the general point of view” wherein we neutrally recognize that people who we dislike because they are our rivals or opponents have qualities that we consider positive. That is, he notes that we can actually recognize something like heroism in people who are against us when we stop focusing on our personal conflicts.

This ability, one might argue, is needed to formulate relativism in the first place—yet it might also undermine relativism by emphasizing the distinction with which I opened this comment. I’m not necessarily endorsing either side of the argument, but I think it’s something interesting to consider.

Dutchess_III's avatar

For those of you who would argue that MJ was a hero, please tell me of one heroic thing he did.

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