Anyway, heroes, eh? When I was little, I couldn't stand the term. Kind of went through my 'goth phase' back in kindergarten, and I'm fairly sure my first crush was Scar from "The Lion King". Not inclined towards heroes, you know? I never really looked up to anyone, either. Near the closest thing I had to a hero was a huge celebrity crush on Jeff Goldblum. That started with Jurassic Park, moved on to his horror works (The Fly, in particular), and culminated in a Goosebumps computer game. In that game, you need to go to Dracula's castle and steal something from his cloak and - in FMV glory - Jeff Goldblum was Dracula! My little crush couldn't handle the amount of amazing that came from that one.
In retrospect, the closest thing to a role model I had as a child was Steve Irwin. Paleontology - which was my ambition at the time - can potentially land one in a place with a lot of snakes. I may have hated the heat (still do), but goodness knows I'd sooner dig up bones in Colorado than learn the scientific know how to do the same thing with a giant ice breaker in the Arctic, you know? Mostly it was the snakes, though. I wanted a snake as a kid, and a guy who just picked up venomous ones and treated them with as much kindness as most treat a kitten? He was radical.
I can't think of anyone I idolized in the middle years, now, the early high school and junior high period of time in my life. I was absorbed in my media at that point, just dedicated to the next Harry Potter books and spending 10 hours on the phone with my best friend at the time discussing the latest episode of Yu-Gi-Oh!. If I were asked, I'd have probably said something like Marik Ishtar or Lucius Malfoy.
Eleventh grade was probably the first time I ever met somebody who inspired me, genuinely. That would have been my science fiction/AP English (I had him for both classes) teacher, Mr. Sorrentino. He was a hoot. Old gentlemen, I'm willing to admit I probably had a bit of a thing for him, who really helped me come into my political views. Didn't agree with everything he said, of course. Bit of a conspiracy theorist, in that regard, particularly when it came to the Egyptians and the aliens. But he helped show me how far the left side of politics could go. I really didn't know until him, you know. I knew about abortion, gay marriage, the big issues, but economic matters, privatization, things like that never really phased me. I'm probably a socialist because of Sorrentino, and I'm happy for it. Not to mention, he had a great taste in literature. He taught a sci-fi class, after all. Even introduced me to a few great shows: Firefly, Stargate SG-1, Harsh Realm. And we watched Equilibrium in school, so how couldn't I think highly of the guy?
As an adult, out of school, married, etc., I again am inclined to say I don't have a hero. I don't think of people that way. I have influences, certainly, but they are very tied to my beliefs and profession. People like Mario Batali (a chef) and China Mieville (an author). Even those people are practically chosen because of shared tendencies. Mario Batali always reaches for the same herbs as I do, you know? I read his cook books because I want to cook like him, but outside of the kitchen, I have no particular interest in him
Erm, yeah. I think that about covers it. I definitely never 'looked up' to my parents. I can't honestly say that I think I've ever even loved them. I have a... disconnect, I guess, between blood and love. I genuinely despised my brother until quite recently, and that only because he's evolved into something of a miniature me, with a wide array of the same interests and a bit of a brain on him, too. I've liked a fair few teachers, but mostly in the same way I like my friends, not really as figures to look up to. When I like a teacher, I don't put them up on a pedestel, I tend to bring them down to my level. I call them by their first name and we talk about the most recent episode of Game of Thrones and make penis jokes. So, Sorrentino aside, celebrities and fictional characters are about the only place I'll find my role models, and even then, I tend to only think of them in regards to one or two aspects of my life.