Heroes, we all have them even if we refuse to admit it. Some of us like to say “people we admire”. I’ve spoken at length on this subject with friends and coworkers and it amazes me that quite a few people don’t like to admit to even a degree of hero worship, iconism, idolism, idolatry, whatever one chooses to call it. There are just some folks whose ego will not be surmounted by the admission that there are or were human beings that they hold in such high esteem as to fashion a code of ethics or values around. Some people say, “Oh yeah. I admire thus and such a person, but I wouldn’t call them a hero.” Why not? Whatever.
I definitely have heroes. People who have influenced my life and moral code even if I don’t have the balls to truly emulate them. At the top of this list is, oddly enough, Wyatt Earpe because he was as real as it gets. He was an opportunist for sure and he lived on both sides of the law, which at the time was a blurry delineation at best. But he had nerves of steel and knew what to do to get the job done and made no apologies for same. I don’t ask my heroes to be idealistically potent. Just real. And forthright. Earpe had the integrity to pit himself against odds that in retrospect must have seemed foolhardy but while in the act, that never came into question because the options where weighed and subsequently immediately acted upon. This takes a firmly set code of ethics, right or wrong. And I’m not just talking about the infamous OK Corral incident either. In his lifetime and career as a lawman, miner, businessman and sports event controller he often backed down groups of irate individuals with sheer guts and resolve, and personal safety-be-damned.
This is the kind of behavior that inspires me. My father, who I’m sad to say, died when I was seventeen of cancer, had those qualities and, if truth be told, it is he, Arnold Christoffer Yesthal, that heads up this list. We didn’t always see eye to eye, in fact we seldom did. But I like to think we had a mutual respect and certainly love. I miss him.
Others on my list are:
Hunter S. Thompson
Leif Ericson (And by the way, he was Norwegian so it would have been EricsEn)
Frank Zappa and George Carlin (both because they were committed enough to speak their minds and to hell with who didn’t like it all while being super-humanly clever)
Ian Anderson(for being the first man that got respect for saying “Snot running down his nose.”
Thomas E. Woods
Mdme. Marie Currie
Yngwei Malmsteen (just because human beings aren’t supposed to be able to do that on the guitar)
Cheff (from Southpark)
And of course Batman.