Monday, September 22, 2014

My Heroes Have Always Been Human

Dirk Benedict (born March 1, 1945) is a television actor who played the characters Lieutenant Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica and Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck in The A-Team. I vividly remember watching both shows as a kid. I remember the excitement I felt as I watched him blast the feldercarb out of the bad guys, first in space, the as part of the Los Angeles underground.

Photo courtesy of Amazon's Affiliate Program.

This weekend I had a chance to meet one of my childhood heroes at Rose City Comic-Con. While giddy as my 12 year old self, I carefully prepped for the convention by writing my question for Mr. Benedict, wording it just right, and packing my Battlestar Galactica cast photo, which had already been signed by Herbert Jefferson, Jr. (Lt. Boomer).

I arrived at the Oregon Convention Center at 12:30 pm, with Mr. Benedict’s public address scheduled for 1:00 pm. After getting through the ticket line, making sense of the floor map, and finding an elevator that worked, I was afraid I’d be late and locked out. Luckily, I met Star Trek: Voyager’s Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim) in the elevator on the way to Mr. Benedict’s address. Mr. Wang, being the moderator for the address, was kind enough to escort me through the staff only hallway to make sure I wouldn’t be late. Oddly enough, even though I’m a huge Star Trek fan, I’d been so focused on Mr. Benedict that it didn’t dawn on me that Mr. Wang had played the Voyager character until I returned home.

I sat for the better part of an hour listening to Mr. Benedict speak about a variety of topics. Among his reminisces of working on Battlestar Galactica and The A-Team, the man I’d come to see dropped a series of ideological bombshells, including:
  • All liberals need to grow up,
  • One should eat brown rice & veggies, avoiding all red meat, dairy, sugar, cola, and too much water, and
  • Social media is society’s new cocaine.

  • I was heartbroken. Being a liberal blogger who loves steak, cheese, chocolate, and cola, Mr. Benedict and I apparently didn’t agree on ANYTHING.

    Out in the hallway, I sat and watched the endless parade of costumed fans hurrying from one exhibit to the next and posing for pictures. Superman was photographing Wolverine, Darth Vader was posing alongside a female version of The 10th Doctor, and a Viking was exchanging notes with the Lannisters, from Game of Thrones.

    As I viewed the array of mock characters hob knobbing with one another, I asked myself why I was upset. Just like the people mingling before me, Mr. Benedict was a man with his own beliefs and quirks, who happened to have played parts I’d liked. With that in mind, I made my way to his booth, had him sign the photo I’d brought, and thanked him for his body of work.

    In the end, we’ll never share a rare steak and a Coke, or campaign for the same candidate. That’s OK though. Thirty years ago, he spent one night a week entertaining & inspiring a young boy, which is really all I can ask for.

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