When I was younger, subconsciously I'd find myself selecting actors and actresses from TV and movies as heroes -- men I thought I wanted to be like, and women I thought I wanted to marry.
Unfortunately time and again I would discover that my heroes were mostly dirtbags in real life. For example, remember Fred Savage from the Wonder Years? I happened to catch a trailer for his latest series on HBO*, which appears to be mostly a series of sex scenes interrupted by bad acting.
But Fred's not an anomaly, Hollywood does this to people. Anne Hathaway, Lindsay Lohan, and Macaulay Culkin come to mind at the moment -- beautiful people coerced off into dark places and imprisoned in their own personal hell.
"It's beautiful art! The glamour and the glitz and the money aren't the only benefits -- there's plenty of alcohol, drugs, and flings too!"
Get ready for the truth: some guy writes out his fantasies and finds sad beautiful people to act them out. Then they are paid for it. And guess what it's called when someone has sex with someone else and gets paid for it?
I still catch myself looking for role models in the movies, but memory and experience soon bring me back to the real world.
I still have heroes, but you won't see them in the movies. They're the older ones who've stayed strong year after year, doing what they know is right and smiling all the while. Grandma Jones, my parents, Neal A. Maxwell, and a few others I won't mention -- beautiful happy people whose lives seem to say, "Hang in there, you can do it!"
* Note, I don't have cable.