What The Hell Hero: Real Life

  • The infamous Stanford Prison Experiment was supposed to last two weeks, but finished up after six days after one of Dr. Zimbardo's grad students took one look at the project and what it had resulted in and chewed him out over it. Zimbardo later noted that, of all the participants (on the 'guard' side at least) and other observers who had been brought in, she was the first to raise any kind of moral objection about it. The study provided clear evidence for one of the most influential theories of institutional aggression, but still.
    • The grad student who stopped the experiment, Christina Maslach, married Dr. Zimbardo.
    • More concerning is that the original hypothesis of the experiment was that 'Germans are more likely to commit atrocities under the orders of authority.' (to paraphrase). If you suggested this sort of stuff today they'd throw you out of the profession (in large part because this and the infamous Milgram "Obedience to Authority" experiment discredited the idea so thoroughly by showing how easily almost anyone would acquiesce to authority figures or abusively embrace their role as such).
    • To be fair to the other observers they saw it when it was earlier in the experiment when things were only starting to get bad.
  • At the end of The American Revolution, George Washington had to give a What the Hell, Hero? speech to his entire officer corps. The Congress had not paid the army in months, and said officers doubted Congress ever would... unless they marched on Philadelphia and set Washington up as national leader by force. Washington's speech, part Dare to Be Badass, part It Has Been an Honor, and part guilt trip was classic, and the conspiracy to establish a military dictatorship collapsed.
    • This also worked because Washington, a fairly rich man, also sacrificed a lot personally. To put emphasis on We ARE Struggling Together, before he began his speech, he took the time to bring out some glasses in order to be able to see it. Once they saw how much he lost, not just in wealth, but the toll on his health (he also aged visibly due to the stress of leading the American Revolution), they realized that Washington sacrificed just as much, if not more, than they did.
  • Lane Kiffin brought hope to the Tennessee Volunteer football program, only to leave them after one year. The riot on campus was... inspiring...
    • And now he's caught even more flak for using Orange Pride, a TVU School Pride group as a front for his illicit recruiting practices. Or, considering that he apparently used the group as a place to hire... "enthusiastic hostesses" for top recruits, using Orange Pride as an illicit recruiting practice, period.
  • J. Edgar Hoover was against Franklin D. Roosevelt's decision to place Japanese-Americans (most of whom were US citizens) in internment camps without due process. For background, Hoover was a racist.
  • In any county, in any state of these United States, the District Attorney's office will always contest the release of a convicted prisoner (even if due to exoneration by new evidence).
  • The German newspaper Bild and Australian magazine New Idea, among others, reported Prince Harry's military service in Afghanistan. This forced him to end his tour of duty early. The Ministry of Defense pointed out, in remarkably restrained tones, that the publicity endangered everyone around Harry, as well as Harry himself. It probably says something about Britain that those facts were listed in precisely that order.
    "This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier," the statement added.
    • Even before the news got out, the prince's squad had cheerfully nicknamed him "Bullet Magnet"...
  • Barack Obama has gotten this from the Left for quite a few things, including his handling of the War On Terror, health care, and the budget crisis. Perhaps the worst thing he's done is signing a law which would eliminate due process for anyone suspected of terrorism. One thing that can get you on the list is having more than 7 days worth of food in your home.
  • Ice Cube was crestfallen when he finally got on Soul Train, then was told to his face on live TV by Don Cornelius that he neither liked nor understood hip hop. This started a long-time feud between the rapper and the host.

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