Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

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Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:52 am

Comment on this cartoon from a copy of the 1934 Chicago Tribune (from the book). Have things changed much?

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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:38 pm

Human nature pretty much remains the same from generation to generation, so I think nothing has changed much.

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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby DeboraZane » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:06 pm

Perhaps it means that even though we "know" we shouldn't root for the person breaking the law, we still have admiration for them in a certain respect, particularly given the circumstances of the times (the depression, the inhumanity of the banks, the fact that there were no opportunities available even if one wanted to follow the rules)?
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:56 pm

Hi DeboraZane. :welcome: to ONBC.

I know that I personally feel that sentiment. I probably would have been rooting for JD back then too.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby deppaura » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:58 pm

Boy, we could go all over the place with this one. Oppression of the masses. Disrespect for authority. Mass immaturity. Class struggle. The meek shall inherit the earth. The age old struggle among people. Those that have. Those with power. Human condition? Ego struggles. When life seems or is glaringly unfair we seem to support and admire the people who fight or resist authority. Though a twisted concept, criminals can assume a hero quality.

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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:12 pm

deppaura wrote:Boy, we could go all over the place with this one. Oppression of the masses. Disrespect for authority. Mass immaturity. Class struggle. The meek shall inherit the earth. The age old struggle among people. Those that have. Those with power. Human condition? Ego struggles. When life seems or is glaringly unfair we seem to support and admire the people who fight or resist authority. Though a twisted concept, criminals can assume a hero quality.

All good ones, deppaura. How about this one too -- "do as I say but not as I do"?
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Fri Jul 10, 2009 3:51 pm

deppaura wrote:Boy, we could go all over the place with this one. Oppression of the masses. Disrespect for authority. Mass immaturity. Class struggle. The meek shall inherit the earth. The age old struggle among people. Those that have. Those with power. Human condition? Ego struggles. When life seems or is glaringly unfair we seem to support and admire the people who fight or resist authority. Though a twisted concept, criminals can assume a hero quality.

"It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority." - Benjamin Franklin

I think it's in our very nature, especially as Americans, to admire someone who has the strength and courage to stand up and buck the system, to fight back, to take a stand. Even if you don't agree with everything he/she does, you still tend to admire them.

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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Betty Sue » Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:04 pm

Liz wrote:All good ones, deppaura. How about this one too -- "do as I say but not as I do"?

Yes, we parents can never pass up an opportunity to preach a life lesson, but that library sure contains a lot of books glamorizing law breakers. I think parents are still hoping kids will do as they say and not as they do, but I'm not sure there are any criminals around today as charismatic and well-accepted as John Dillinger. He had the swagger and nerve and brains and operated during the right era. :gangster: So I think things have changed only in that I can't imagine any criminal being that popular today. :perplexed:
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 5:06 pm

Betty Sue wrote: So I think things have changed only in that I can't imagine any criminal being that popular today. :perplexed:

We'll be discussing this topic on Tuesday.

Yep, as a parent, I've done it too. We're all human, I guess.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:49 pm

Society has always been fascinated with the Robin Hoods of the day. The common man just has to root for the underdog. And not all laws are good ones or in the best interest of the people. We all know entire nations of people have been shackled by a bad "law." But the very medium that's lampooning hero worship in this cartoon was guilty of it. Newspapers helped to create the Dillinger myth and benefited from the image. Yet, when the bullets stopped flying, it's return to our senses. This cartoon is just a great example of the hypocrisy of it all. They did get something right though, most outlaws don't have long, terrific lives because if you live by the sword, you die by it.
Last edited by trygirl on Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:53 pm

Excellent points, trygirl.

The cartoon makes me think the Hays Code, which we discussed during I, Fatty--

In 1934 it might have been difficult if not impossible to make a film glamorizing Dillinger.

Do people still glamorize outlaws? You bet they do. Two instances: Do a quick search on narco corridos, the Mexican ballads that glorify drug smugglers. Then think about gangsta-wannabes, and the huge saggy pants that were in style about 10 years ago that were modeled after prison clothes.

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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:06 pm

I agree that it is about hypocrisy, trygirl. And fansmom, interesting example of the times. I had forgotten about the Hays Code. Gangsta wannabes? My kids tell me there's a lot of them. In my mind, it's just about the clothes and the music--surface stuff. But what do I know? I didn't even know there were such things (I mean the wannabes, not the gangstas) until my kids told me recently.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:35 pm

fansmom wrote:Excellent points, trygirl.

The cartoon makes me think the Hays Code, which we discussed during I, Fatty--

In 1934 it might have been difficult if not impossible to make a film glamorizing Dillinger.

Do people still glamorize outlaws? You bet they do. Two instances: Do a quick search on narco corridos, the Mexican ballads that glorify drug smugglers. Then think about gangsta-wannabes, and the huge saggy pants that were in style about 10 years ago that were modeled after prison clothes.


Thank you, fansmom. I had no idea about the Hays Code. You learn new things every day.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby gemini » Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:54 am

deppaura wrote:Boy, we could go all over the place with this one. Oppression of the masses. Disrespect for authority. Mass immaturity. Class struggle. The meek shall inherit the earth. The age old struggle among people. Those that have. Those with power. Human condition? Ego struggles. When life seems or is glaringly unfair we seem to support and admire the people who fight or resist authority. Though a twisted concept, criminals can assume a hero quality.


You make a good point here. In his era Dillinger was a rock star for the average person. It was part of his popularity that drove J Edgar Hoover to kill him. Harry Pierpont made a statement in his trial ( I cant remember the exact words) It was along the lines that he was only doing what everyone else wanted to do if they had the nerve. The poverty of the times had a lot to do with their feelings about JD vs the authorities. The cartoon is probably truer then they meant it to be.
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Re: Dillinger Question #5 ~ Object Lesson in Hero Worship

Unread postby gemini » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:26 pm

Rereading I see I missed the last question. "Have things changed much?"
Funny how history repeats itself. With Americans loosing the equity of their homes with the housing market fiasco, loss of pension 401 Ks with the stock market downturns, and the banking and auto industry becoming a tax payer paid welfare system, and our huge indebtedness to other countries, we might soon be feeling a lot like those poverty sticken Americans of Dillingers era.
Sorry for the downer but the comparison just can't be ignored. The depression era folks had the same opinion of banks and industry as we do now.
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