Of Heroes and Maggots

By Bastian Florian Rohr
February 18, 2023

Last month, I wrote a note about how being a father (it works for motherhood just as well, don’t worry) didn’t make you a goddamn superhero.

Since then, I have wondered why so many of my contemporaries believe such horse shit in the first place. A few days ago, I got a glimpse at a possible answer thanks to a ridiculous piece written on medium.com by a certain Jon Cheung.

Please don’t get the wrong idea: I have no clue who this guy is, nor do I care. I also don’t generally keep up with any tech news crap. The only reason why this particular article even showed on my radar is that my dear online friend Manuel Moreale mentioned it on his excellent blog.

Long story short, Chung’s article describes a man who got so lonely after his divorce that he had to hire “professional huggers” to address his depressive state. The dude ends up sleeping in his car so that he can keep paying for an ever-increasing number of hugging sessions. And, of course, he is a software developer: you cannot make that stuff up!

As most leftists would, Chung concludes that capitalism and modern convenience are to blame. Except that cannot be the answer every freaking time such a social absurdity arises. Chung even goes as far as to use the word “tragedy” to describe our lonely programming genius predicament.

But this giant a-hole isn’t a tragic figure at all! His “descent into hell” reads like a joke. His story would make a perfect Jonathan Swift-style satire if it weren't real. By the by, if you haven’t read A Modest Proposal yet, drop everything and do it now. I guarantee much laughter and perhaps a little vomiting as well.

Back from the privy yet? Let’s get back to fatherhood and superheroes. Because if this pathetic excuse for a father, who, by the way, wouldn’t be so lonely if hadn’t divorced in the first place, is the average modern dad, then we, the regular ones, are all supermen.

Can the West possibly sink any lower? I am sure Mr. Chung would say yes in a doctoral tone because of modern convenience and capitalism! Perhaps he is right, and I am crazy, but I at least still know that tragedy is found in the Iliad, not with a guy sleeping in his car to pay for hugs.

So I have to make amends: mea maxima culpa!

All fathers are heroes… compared to maggots.