In his 1977 song about a young Berlin couple, David Bowie said “We can be heroes”. But dare we compare ourselves to the likes of Neil Armstrong, Fred Hollows or Rosa Parks?
The answer is a resounding “Why the hell not?”
Thanks to the recent slew of reality television programmes, the title of Hero can be just as easily bestowed on a piece of fish or a light fitting. No longer is the tuna the main element of the dish, no longer do we consider the chandelier the centrepiece of a room. No, they are the “heroes”.
I suspect it was an expert judge or celebrity chef on what was essentially just a show about people cooking stuff, that first coined the term, but it has infested every example of the genre (Biggest Loser has not yet aired a series since the advent of this bastardisation of the English language, but I would sooner place the tag on some of those people than on a radish or a rug). It has become a buzzword that, consciously or not, contestants feel the need to use in order to fit in with, or pander to, the people who share their passion for food or renovating or clothes, the same people who control their immediate future.
So, go on. Pin a medal on your squid rings, organise a tickertape parade for your curtains. You won’t impress the judges if you don’t.