An unlikely hero

By Jackie Jennings-Bates

I am ghost writing for my husband as he is otherwise occupied in Bermuda.

It would be very hard to concentrate on writing an article while surrounded by white sand beaches and palm trees, I'm sure.

He assures me he is working very hard….

I asked if I could contribute because I have been mulling over an issue and I wanted to think it through in public.

You may remember a few weeks ago there was a nasty car crash in the Lower Mainland when a vehicle, driving very fast and erratically, went out of control, ran into a lamppost and, according to witnesses, barrel rolled down the embankment and exploded.

Two members of a heavy metal rock band, who were driving home from a gig, witnessed the incident and leapt into action to pull the occupants from the fiery wreckage.

It’s a great story of heroism. The drummer, Chris Lang, of the metal band Utility Provider, was quoted as saying "I don't see myself as a hero, just doing what needed to be done to help fellow humans.”

That being said not everybody may have acted so courageously. According to fellow band member Dan Wakefield, “he just got right in there and was yelling 'Get out, get out!' and pulling them out.'”

Seconds later, the car was engulfed in flames 20 feet high.

It's a heartwarming story with a happy ending, yet somehow the media still managed to upset me.

I first heard about it on the CBC radio news, with the headline “An unlikely hero."

Here is another case of discrimination courtesy of the Langley Times. “It's unlikely that someone in a fiery crash would pray for the arrival of a heavy metal band for their survival, but that's exactly who extracted a young couple from a roadside inferno last weekend.”

Why it is unlikely that a strong, healthy young man would do “what needed to be done to help fellow humans.”

The only conclusion I can reach is that by implication belonging  to a heavy metal band would make it thus unlikely.

How come in this day and age of political correctness can we still be so mean, for want of a better word?

Why do we categorize people, judge them as an indiscriminate group and draw conclusions about them without even knowing them?

Could we say Mr. Lang was an unlikely hero if he were gay or black or even Jewish? I don’t think so. So how come we can still bash individuals of other genres. 

This touches a nerve because my son and his wife own a business in town where heavy metal bands get the chance to play their music.

I know some of them. They may look intimidating. They may sound loud. However, the ones I have met are  polite, often shy and loyal to their music and their venue.

In fact, a recent scientific study backs this up. Research by scientist at Herriot Watt University found a great similarity between fans of heavy metal and classical music.

"The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and a danger to themselves and society in general," said Adrian North, the professor who led the study.v"But they are quite delicate things."

The Guardian newspaper drew similar conclusions in 2008. "Metal fans, like classical listeners, tend to be creative, gentle people, at ease with themselves. 

I am just glad that the gentle soul of Chris Lang was brave enough to react quickly and save two young people’s lives and he should be congratulated, not stigmatized.

If he had been the driver who was speeding erratically and driven into a pole, everyone would have said oh just another metal drummer who crashed and burned. 


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About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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