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Who was your favorite hero on Lexx?
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Cesare
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 Posted: Sun Jun 5th, 2011 07:53 am

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Be_You_ wrote:Thodin was a bit of an ego, and though we can definitely say he's a hero, I maintain that Zev - perhaps due to her painful life experiences - demonstrated the greatest potential for heroism.
I dunno... Most of Zev/Xev's heroic deeds and sacrifices had to do with the individuals close to her being threatened and she could behave like a downright selfish bitch.
True hero needs to be capable not only of a certain measure of self-denial and empathy, but also of good deal of pragmatism. Thinking in broader context, looking at the larger picture. In his/her heart of hearts, s/he has to be more or less a collectivist.
Zev/Xev seems rather incapable of that. She is a great person, has a lot of courage and empathy and all that - but in my book, she's no hero. (That doesn't make her a bad humanoid being. After all, heroes can be very dangerous, destructive people...)



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Abby1964
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 Posted: Sun Jun 12th, 2011 04:53 pm

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I still cannot see Thodin as a hero. If you take a very close look at his actions he had an agenda. He was out to make his mark. This is borne out by his attempt to make a dying speech (Thank you Kai for making sure he didn't last long enough for that)

If you are talking about having nothing to gain, then the only choice would be Kai. No matter what he does, no matter how hard he tries he can never truly 'gain' anything, but he is constantly 'saving' (Or attempting to save) others. Going up against Vlad is a lost cause but he does it anyway because he knows what Vlad is capable of. He does it to protect a world full of strangers he has never met; and most of those he has met, don't make much of a case for the world's continued existence.

His only 'selfish' act in 4000 years is the chess game he plays against Prince to get back his life.

And in the last episode he seals his place as the hero. After 6000 years being dead, he gets his life back, at this point he has everything to lose. He finally gets his life back, but instead of keeping himself alive he gives up his newly won life for a world full of strangers.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 01:06 am

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Yes it is true that Thodin's dying soliloquy brings into focus his own ambition to be a great heroic figure. On the other hand, it became well established that the big bug's key could only be trasfered at the point of death or ecstasy: Thodin passed it to his lieutenant just before he went into battle with Kai right? Case closed. Thodin was a hero.

(In your comment about Thodin I think you tangentially refer to Lord Acton's oft-repeated maxim that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." I'd say that is a good point. Thodin might have turned out to be a bad fellow for the Light Zone if he'd succeeded in taking out the Divine Assassin.)

Now as to Kai's heroic acts, remember in the first event of his death his planet was being destroyed. Did he have the capability to fly away in his little insect warship and evade his Divine Shadow's onslaught? Probably not. So what did he have to lose by his Kamikaze flight into the bridge - which, by the way, his one remaining confederate joined him in? Likewise, in the penultimate scene of the final episode when Kai flew into the opening in the side of the bad carrots' mother ship with the Higgs-Bosun collider in tow, did he absolutely know his fate was sealed? Did he know the opening was going to close up trapping him? Might Kai have actually craved death after so many thousands of years of suffering and becoming wakened to fully appreciate it? I say it is an enigma and it can be interpreted in more than one way... as is his behavior with regard to "The Game."

Remember in that episode of "selfishness" he actually offered up the lives of Xev and Stan to get what he wanted. Was he really so good he could know that Prince would make a mistake? ... or was he being quite flawed and decidedly not hero-like? I say: maybe.

Perhaps the ultimate heroism is the willingness to throw one's life away when there is nothing to gain and when the life thus sacrificed is eminently worth keeping. Maybe that is an ideal which doesn't exist and never will. When Zev/Xev on more than one occasion bade Stan to destroy the planet that she was on as a means to stymie any possible redux for the Divine Shadow, lizard gal may have been acting out of lingering self-loathing due to issues with respect to her youth and upbringing. Nonetheless her heroic acts are not easily dismissed.







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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 01:07 am

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Somehow the above post was repeated here and now I'm doing what I can to delete it.

Last edited on Tue Jun 14th, 2011 01:10 am by Be_You_

Abby1964
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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 09:03 am

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When watching The Game, this is more a reminder that Kai was human. Over the course of the series that is down played because he displays no human faults. His faults come from 'programming errors' and 'equipment failure'. It is this reminder that makes his willingness to die in Yo Way Yo more impactful.

The argument for Kai is based on consistency in his actions. One slip in 4000 years does not wipe out the track record. Just as random heroic acts does not truly establish someone as a hero.

As far as offering up Stan and Xev Kai had gone up against Prince in a contest of strategy and before and won (Battle). He also possessed the memory of HSD and all the Precessors, The Divine Order did not rise to power without incredible talent in planning, strategy, battle tactics and patience. Kai went into the Game knowing his opponent and his opponents weakness. Prince assumes Kai is an easy victory because of his lack of experience playing chess. Prince did not know Kai's strengths, he only saw what he thought was a weakness.


In all honesty Kai had every reason going into The Game to be totally confident of winning; he had knowledge way beyond what Prince had in the needed areas, He was familiar with the moves of the game and the power of the pieces, and it was similar to a game played on Brunnis 2.

Kai also had the ability to look at the board coldly and without emotion, while Prince gave in to his emotions. If you look at how the two 'Kings' reacted, you can see this. Prince's king was constantly talking trash and taunting Kai's pieces, while Kai's king remains fairly quiet during the game.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 14th, 2011 11:30 pm

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Well Abby, I'm pretty sure we could go back and forth on this. Perhaps we'll have to agree to disagree. I remain unconvinced as to why you'd describe Xev's acts of heroism as random, but not Kai's. I think they numerically match up - or even work out in Xev's favor - if you discount all the events where Kai was actually dead and presumably ambivalent or desireous of death.

If a person commits a single act of heroism and loses their life doing so, would that make them ineligible for hero status?

I think you might have made a stronger point if you had questioned my statement about Thodin. After I posted that, I remembered in Season 4 where Kai referred to some other means for transmitting the key besides the two which we saw in the various episodes. Perhaps Thodin actually  believed he was going to defeat the dead man with his invisibility bomb and transferred the key to his lieutenant as a means to solidify his heroic aura.


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 Posted: Wed Jun 15th, 2011 12:55 am

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I didn't question Thodin because Thodin was the glory hound, not the hero. Thodin had an agenda

I question Xev's acts because they are random and in many cases she, like Stanley causes the situation through self interest. To me that is not heroism, it's cleaning up your mess. I'm not saying she is a bad person I'm saying that she is taking personal responsibility, that is not heroism.

You keep saying that Kai is ambivalent etc which simply reinforces my point. Kai has no reason to pull anyone's butt out of the fire and yet he does again and again. He does not have any personal ulterior motive for doing what he does.

A true hero does not act for glory, to get the girl or any of the dozens of other reason's people want to be a 'hero'. A true hero does what they do with no thought to personal gain.

And in answer to your question "If a person commits a single act of heroism and loses their life doing so, would that make them ineligible for hero status?"


That depends on why they committed the 'act of heroism. If they do it with the thought of some gain then no, they are not a hero. If they were responsible for the situation that brought on their act of heroism then no they are not a hero. If it is truly a selfless act, they acted without thought to what it would gain them (Or their family), then yes they would be eligible for hero status.



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 Posted: Sat Jun 25th, 2011 06:28 pm

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I hope I am not beating a dead horse here, but while I applaud your serious consideration of what it means to be a hero - a term which recently has been applied to the point of clownishness - there are some significant concepts surrounding heroism which remain to be explored.

The dictionary definition of hero is (in part) one who does something - often in some martial endeavor - with an admirable level of competence and/or courage. I think we agree that when a hero takes risky action for the benefit of others whom the hero does not even know when the hero has no thought of seeking reward or favor, that that represents the acme of heroism. Such a hero acts simply because of the sense within himself (herself) that "it just ain't right" to let events transpire without acting. Such a hero will with equal willingness act anonymously.


On the other hand, I think your position of disallowing hero-status unless motives are absolutely pure is extreme. Kai is just a character in a T.V. show - and our debate as to whether his being already dead makes his heroism more or less valid notwithstanding, I maintain that there are cases of heroism where some thought to future acclaim or reward - or conversely, the fear of being called a coward - can be a factor and such complexities do not provide an occasion for the such acts to be dismissed out of hand as un-heroic.


As a hypothetical case, consider a soldier who jumps out of his trench in the face of enemy fire in part because he thinks his own officers will shoot him if he freezes - or that otherwise he will face the opprobrium of his fellows - and then goes on to fight with effectiveness. Such a soldier might have a trace of thought in his mind of receiving a medal and being granted permission to marry the prettiest girl in town - or alternately of dying heroically and being taken into heaven for his heroic behavior despite previously having had led a checkered life. (I am not advocating such a belief system, but simply positing its existence.)


Take the character Thodin. Certainly we can observe that he thought quite highly of himself and that probably he had a great ambition to be the well-respected leader of all the universe, both acclaimed and rewarded for bringing humanity out from under the shadow of the insect overlord. But for the purpose of determining his being a hero,  the only question which must be answered is whether or not he truly believed he was going to die fighting Kai. (That premise is in fact debatable because of the suggestion during an episode in season four (
769?) that there were more ways to transfer the key besides the sense of imminent death or orgasmic satisfaction.) If Thodin did believe he was giving his life for the people of the universe in delaying Kai in his pursuit of the others, then he was certainly a hero - no matter what other thoughts he had in mind - because the putative benefit of posthumous acclaim cannot be said to balance out his heroic sacrifice in that case.

in Giga Shadow, when Zev bade Stan to destroy the Cluster along with herself just to prevent the bug from re-emerging, she had not played any part whatsoever in bringing the situation into being. Zev was a hero.

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 Posted: Sat Jun 25th, 2011 11:33 pm

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The true hero is consistent. In other words random Heroic acts are not the definition of a hero. I can run into a burning building to save a child and I have committed a heroic act yes but I am not a hero because I am not consistent in doing so. The firefighter who does it day in and day out risking himself each time is the hero because what he does is beyond what an ordinary person will do.

That is the problem with the word hero. You said "applied to the point of clownishness." The truth is that the standards for what defines a hero have been lowered to the point of the mundane. A hero is supposed to represent an ideal beyond the average person, that is why they are heroes.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 02:58 pm

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Well, we agree that the term "hero" is overused, but not the specific definition. For instance, if you were to run into a burning building - even just once - to save someone else's child, I'd certainly consider you a hero.

As a matter of fact, I'd tend to rate you above a professional firefighter who is trained, equipped, and often highly paid to do that everyday...  though to be sure they spend most of their time hanging around the fire station eating, sleeping and playing cards until they retire after twenty years (around here) just after being accorded a needless promotion so they can get a bigger pension - this while budget cuts force children into larger public school class sizes and transit fares skyrocket. I think firefighters and police are highly overrated as heroes, though I don't want to diminish the truth of the heroism that takes place among their ranks on a regular basis.

Commercial fishermen have - according to labor statistics - a much higher chance of being killed and maimed on the job than cops or firemen. Day in and day out they go to sea no matter the conditions to bring tasty seafood to our tables. I'm not sure I'd call them heroes though. :)

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 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 05:17 pm

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Firefighters and cops highly paid?? sorry I can't help but laugh at that one knowing firefighters and cops and what their payscale is. Most firefighters in the U.S. are actually volunteers. Paid fire fighters are mostly found in large metropolitan ares.

So these men and women for the most part risk their lives again and again for no pay or a small stipend to maintain their issued gear. Those are heroes in the true sense of the word. Just as cops are heroes in the true sense of the word because every day that they get up and put on their uniform and that badge they are putting their lives on the line for pay that is often right at the poverty limit or an iota above it.

That makes them the heroes because even with the awareness that "today could be the day" they still do it. They walk into situations daily that they know can turn deadly in a split second, but they do it. That is the difference. I may run into a burning and commit a heroic act on the spur of the moment but I am not making a conscious decision on a daily basis to risk my life to save someone from a burning building.



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 Posted: Sun Jun 26th, 2011 06:19 pm

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You are quite right about the majority of firefighters in the U.S. being volunteers. I have known one myself: the fellow fought about three fires in so many years working at his department - hardly a day-in and day-out situation though having the potential, certainly, for providing an opportunity for heroics on occasion. Perhaps I should have made it explicitly clear that I wasn't referring to volunteers.

The San Francisco Firefighters on the other hand - as professional paid firefighters make on average thirty bucks an hour and many take home well in excess of $100,000 per year due to overtime pay. They retire at age 55 on 100% pay according to whatever rank + overtime pay they were making in the final months of their tenure.

http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=7083

The only cops I can think of that I ever heard worked near the poverty line were those in New Orleans. Corruption has been endemic in that department for years.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2011/03/system_of_paid_private_details.html

I can only hope that most cops are like the ones in San Francisco and surrounding areas well paid and similarly somewhat free of corruption.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/24/BA831K1QRF.DTL

Again, I don't mean to disparage the heroism of police and firemen - especially volunteers. I simply believe that according to your own stated criterion - not benefitting from their acts, not benefiting from acclaim... getting the "pretty girl" etc., firefighters and cops are overrated as heroes.

Here's the statistics for deaths per 100k workers:

commercial fishermen: 112
firefighters: 17 ... down around where cops are and below taxi cab drivers... *well* below iron workers, and a whole host of other professions. See what I mean when I say firefighters are overrated as heroes?

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-most-dangerous-jobs-in-america-2010-3


Last edited on Sun Jun 26th, 2011 06:23 pm by Be_You_

Abby1964
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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 12:15 am

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Just the cost of Housing in San Francisco is 175% of the cost of housing in New Orleans. Saying someone is high paid in California when you take into account the cost of living is not proof of being well paid. $100K sounds like a lot to me yeah, but I live in Texas where I can buy a home for a third of what I would pay for a comparable house in California.

Sorry but I have seen what officers make and I spent 12 working for a police department and other than The chief of Police and the Captain all of them were in situations of needing double income. Either their wife worked or they were working security on the side and that was to make ends meet and maybe put $25 to $50 aside for savings.

Commercial fisherman-the majority work seasonally not year round. Most of them are simply following the family tradition. They grow up in the industry and simply continue on just like their father, grandfather etc.

There really is no conscious decision like with police officers or firemen. These are careers fields that you deliberately choose to go into with the expectation of risk. Death by accident is a far cry from going to work each day and having a reasonable expeectation in the back of your mind that you can die and it's not an accident it's because someone is deliberately setting out to kill you or you will be required to walk into a death trap to save someone else.

Sorry Death by misadventure, no matter how common, does not compare with facing the fact that on any given day you may required to go toe to toe with someone who is bent on killing you or you might be required to enter a collapsing building to save a life.



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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 01:48 am

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I think you might be arguing that because cops and firefighters *think* they have the most extremely dangerous jobs that they are actually the most heroic of all. I guess that could be true at that. It certainly doesn't mean they deserve such plaudits nearly as much as commercial fishermen who - believe me - *know* they face great danger from someone who wants to kill them dead (mother nature) when they - say - take their boats out in the dead of winter with zero visibility and 20+ foot seas to pull up some crab pots.

Cops talk about how dangerous their jobs are... over crab salad sandwiches.

(Edit: And SF cops and SF firefighters *rarely* live in the city. The vast majority of them own homes in far cheaper outlying suburbs where housing costs are far more reasonable... and where they are far less available to come and be heroes during their scheduled off-hours to city residents in case of earthquake and other disturbances.)

Last edited on Mon Jun 27th, 2011 01:53 am by Be_You_

Abby1964
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 Posted: Mon Jun 27th, 2011 11:56 pm

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Sorry I just don't see death by industrial accident on a par with deliberately stepping into deadly situations. Most accidents are caused by carelessness, neglect or other contributing factors. A true accident is very rare.

It still a far cry from walking up to a car in the middle of the night not knowing if that driver is going to hand you a license or a bullet. Equipment failure because of sliding on maintenance or thinking I'll get around to it after is a far cry from running into a building you know is unsafe due to structural damage.

And anywhere in the southern half of California outside of a metropolitan area or inside has a cost of living that most people living outside of the state could not afford on the salaries they earn.

Which brings me to your statement about cops living outside of SF. They live outside of SF Because they cannot afford to live IN SF.



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