On 9/11 Todd Beamer led several ordinary citizens to thwart the objective of the hijackers of United Airlines Flight 93. Last Wednesday, two jihadists hacked to death
Drummer Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers - and stayed at the scene for 20 minutes as passers-by stood around and did nothing.
How did British citizens become such a passive lot? How can they rediscover their inner Todd Beamer? Changing a culture is a long drawn-out process, but I have one idea that might contribute a little spark.
Television can be a powerful tool. Somebody could create a program that celebrates the virtues associated with heroism. Make its protagonist a technologically-savvy eccentric
who travels in a conveyance
not registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. He would find himself constantly stumbling into all sorts of nefarious intrigues, fighting racial supremacists
, totalitarian regimes
, organized crime syndicates
, ferocious wildlife
, mad scientists
, megalomaniac mad scientists
, and even a broadcasting executive
He would attract a wide array of associates, most with ordinary backgrounds: a school teacher
, freelance journalist
, flight attendant
, juvenile delinquent
, department store clerk
. The protagonist would attract these companions, knowing that most lack any formal training that could prepare them to face the dangers he faces, but trusting that they, like himself, can improvise solutions. They would contact the authorities when possible, but then the authorities are not around, or find themselves at a disadvantage
, the protagonist and his companions would take up the fight themselves. Like Todd Beamer.
What would such a show look like? And how would one get such a show past the BBC brass?