I have said before that I don't have many heroes, but I think that I should actually define that. It's a stone fact that no one person is completely heroic or completely villainous, we all have aspects of both and everything in between. People commit heroic actions that I admire all the time, but it's the action that is heroic, not the person. I have too much respect for my fellow human beings to tag them with one defining label and expect them to be that label all the time.
After some thinking about heroes, I realized that mine are all a very roguish lot. Henri Charriere, who wrote Papillon, is my greatest and he was a criminal, convicted of murder from what I understand. That was certainly not the action I admire, it was all that came after on Devil's Island that inspired me so. General Nasser is on my list, he was arguably the hottest world leader in history and a person I wish I could have had dinner with at least once. My daughter is pretty heroic to me too, she is a veterinary technician and anyone who tends to the sick and abused animals of the world is a genuine hero in my book. (To anyone who knows her and is now thinking that sweet Shortening does not belong in a rogue's gallery, I humbly submit that you don't know her all that well!)
And then there's Eminem. Yep, that misogynistic, violent and angry voice of the f**k you generation, he is endlessly heroic to me. Marshall Mathers is not afraid of his fear, he confronts it head on and his rage spews out into some of the rawest poetry ever written. It is NOT pretty, it is NOT easy, but it IS his truth and he is unafraid to say so.
That is a hero to me.
From what I see, Eminem's anger is his closest ally and fiercest enemy. It motivates him to try and be better while simultaneously clouding his emotions into preventing that from happening. Such a seething personal dynamic is a rare, vicious beauty from which I cannot look away. I don't know what he will say next, but I'm pretty sure it will provoke a visceral response of some kind inside me, which is his goal as an artist.
I have a lot of anger that I embrace too - nowhere near the Eminem scale mind you - because anger is a great motivator. Making people angry makes them think, sometimes their anger is ONLY because you made them think and that is fine by me. Get angry, some of the best things were born of ill temper so let it flow; don't be scared at finding new depths of your anger, instead embrace the fact that you are deeper than you know.
Em isn't for everyone and this is not me saying go out and buy his music, this is me saying that the messages are valuable regardless of the source.
So will the real Slim Shady please stand up
And put one of those fingers on each hand up
And be proud to be outta your mind and outta control
One more time, loud as you can, how does it go?