Saturday, November 4, 2006


How epic are or can be the daily lives of ordinary people in our times?

"King Arthur", "Troy", "Alexander (the Great)", three epic films on historical epics. Alexander's achievements are part of history, for the Trojan War (and Odyssey) as well as King Arthur, we rely on Homer and (for the latter, mostly to) legend.

"The Gladiator", a few years ago, opened the way for a return of epic films. In response to some need perceived by Hollywood?

The "Matrix", "Lord of the Rings" and other films, popular, too, in recent years, are of a different type.

How about Leonidas and his 300 Spartans at Thermopylae or Themistocles and the naval battle of Salamis? Or the wars between Ancient Athens and Sparta, the clash of two very different types of Polities? Are they compatible with Hollywood's analysis of US and global audiences' needs or wants?

Back to the future or onwards to the past?

Many people think history repeats itself, others not. I am one of the latter. But one can draw many lessons from history. Yet these cannot linearly extrapolated to the present or to the future, in my humble view.

How epic are or can be the daily lives of ordinary people in our times? Whether covered by the news (newsworthy) or not, deeds and achievements by ordinary people are, I think, as epic as "epic" can be.

Life as a movie (home movie, vlog, etc.)?

Ordinary men and women live epic lives every day all over the world. They raise children, they overcome illness, they reach personal achievements or contribute to the well being.

There is a hero inside the spirit of every man and woman nowadays in the streets of Rome, Athens, Sparta, Boston, Buenos Eires, Lisbon, Madrid, LA, Chicago, etc., all over the world (see the "Kingdom of Heaven" film, directed by the same man who directed "Gladiator"). In Ancient Rome, "gladiators" traded life as slaves to risk their lives in the Colosseum and, in return, ensure prosperity for their families.

Today's epic deeds lie in raising children, dealing with the downturns in personal lives, balancing family and work life, overcoming age or sex or other biases or exclusion in the job market, remaining "employable", starting up a new venture, identifying new needs and wants to be satisfied by new or newly defined products or services, taking control over one's personal life. By being mobile, either in terms of professions or geography.

Various dynamics ("winds") and events ("constraints") affect our lives and our decisions (of various kinds). The challenge is to stay on course, survive and prosper. Provide added value and gain personally as well as produce, at the same time, positive "externalities" for others.

Unlike what many believe, there do not have to be losers in order for winners to exist. The meaning/point of competition is often missed. Plus, there are many lessons to be learned in "failure" and a loss today can help produce a win tomorrow, in spite of what some say or imply.

Being a hero

The best way to be a hero is to be (or remain) human in the midst of all the jungle, dog eat dog, envy thy neighbor, got a mortgage to pay, bills to pay, dreams to fulfill, deadlines to meet, profit to make, etc, dynamics.

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