Heroes and Villains

One of the top 5 most-viewed stories on our site today has been the sad tale of the complete wackjob who glued a cat to the local interstate. The idea that the person who did this likely lives within 100 miles of me is a very unpleasant one, and remembering that it was probably around 5 degrees outside when someone decided to do this just makes it worse.

Obviously, the poor cat died.

Now, I’m not a cat person (despite having plans to become a Crazy Cat Lady someday), but it takes a special kind of person to do something so cruel to any animal. For one thing, animal cruelty is part of the Macdonald Triad, also known as the Triad of Sociopathy. That was the first thing I thought of when I first read the story of the cat, whose name, by the way, was Timothy.

Whoever did that definitely qualifies as a villain, and not in a cool "I bwahahahaa in the shower and try to take over the world" kind of way.

There is a reward for catching this person, offered by a generous Yankton resident.

I greatly prefer movie villains, who are (mostly) safely fictional. Hannibal Lecter is scary, but I don’t have to worry about having him for dinner (or rather, him having me for dinner). Here’s a list of the 50 best movie villains for your entertainment.

Even better than movie villains are real-life heroes, such as the Yankton guy who offered up his $1,000 to get justice for a mere animal — an animal who had already died. Or what about the men and women (yes, there were a few) who served in World War II? If you’ve missed our Honor Flight coverage, check it out.

If you like reading accounts of World War II from the veterans who were actually there, check out this blog entry.

Norman Borlaug might be the biggest hero you’ve never heard of. He was just an agronomist at the University of Minnesota, but his work earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, a Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Why? Well, he’s credited with saving more than a billion people from starvation.

But if you ask somebody on the street who Norman Borlaug was (he died last year), you’ll get nothing but blank looks.

I’m not even sure Superman saved a billion people, and he’s fictional.

Sometimes you can become a hero accidentally.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima on a business trip for his shipbuilding company on Aug. 6, 1945, when a U.S. B-29 dropped an atomic bomb on the city. He suffered serious burns to his upper body and spent the night in the city.(Washington Post)

Then he went home.

Unfortunately, in his case, "home" was Nagasaki, which was hit by the atomic bomb three days later.

He wrote books and songs about the experience and determinedly educated people about being an atom bomb survivor, and hoped atom bombs would be abolished.

So I’m going to try this week to be a hero, not a villain. Maybe I won’t save any cats or even reward those who bring them justice, and I’m sure I won’t save a billion lives or survive two atomic blasts. But at least I’ll be on the right side.

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