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e-flux conversations

A Thing Like You and Me

Whatever happened to Leon Trotsky?
He got an ice pick, that made his ears burn.

Whatever happened to dear old Lenny?
The great Elmyra, and Sancho Panza?
Whatever happened to the heroes?

Whatever happened to all the heroes? All the Shakespearoes?
They watched their Rome burn.

Whatever happened to the heroes?
No more heroes any more.

—The Stranglers, 1977

In 1977, the punk band The Stranglers delivers a crystal clear analysis of the situation by stating the obvious: heroism is over. Trotsky, Lenin, and Shakespeare are dead. In 1977, as leftists flock to the funerals of RAF members Andreas Baader, Gudrun Ensslin, and Jan Carl Raspe, The Stranglers’ album cover delivers its own giant wreath of red carnations and declares: NO MORE HEROES. Any more.

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