Friday, September 21, 2007

No more heroes anymore

Ah, Oscar Wilde.

After long and fruitless waiting, here he is again in my sidebar, and in my gratuitous uncredited quotings. Once upon a time this would have reminded me of sunflowers, Gilbert and Sullivan, and Ruskin. Nowadays, it reminds me, instead of The Smiths' Cemetery Gates -
"Keats and Yeats are on your side/While Wilde is on mine"
More than of the Smiths, it reminds me of one of the best opening lines in pop music:
"What ever happened to Leon Trotsky?"
The song is, of course, the Stranglers No More Heroes*. It is, as songs go, pretty amusing, though hardly inspired; I am comparing it to Billy Bragg's songs. Billy Bragg is my favourite lyricist, and the comparison is a little unfair. My meandering point here is that I wonder what ever happened to Oscar Wilde. Not the actual Oscar, I know in a great amount of detail what happened to him. I mean I used to be so fervent about him, what ever happened to that? I know, that was ten years ago, but while I still listen to Billy Bragg and the Smiths, I don't open Oscar's books anymore. Maybe it's time - except that my mum is visiting and I really won't have time, and my books as 4000 miles from here, but you get my point. I'm sure the internet has De Profundis somewhere.

So, the question to ponder before I am off to the weekend is this - who are your heroes? Why? I'm not looking for stories about how your mother is really your hero. Sorry. I love my mother too, and I think she's pretty cool; but I want to hear about famous people here.

*Although I knew the Stranglers as a teenager, I found out about No More Heroes because the most random of post-post-New-Wave bands, Elastica, who were sued over bringing out a thinly veiled cover and calling it Waking Up. While musically fairly uniteresting, Elastica was important in my teenage universe because I was sort of smitten with Justine Frishmann, their frontperson, who was then dating Blur**'s singer Damon Albarn, having previously dated Brett Anderson, Suede's singer and all round object of my undying love***. What can I say? Surely you have been young and embarassing at some point?
**Co-favourite band of all times when I was seventeen; the other favourite band being Suede.
***Of course there was also - no, I'll spare you all the rest of that. Enough teenage confessions already.


Cha Cha Lopez said...

Elizabeth Tudor.
She overcame an utterly ghastly, misogynistically driven childhood of fear and sexual molestation to successfully rule England more capably than any man before her, inspiring Shakespeare, condoning pirates and defeating the Spanish Armada. On top of all that, she found time to learn 6 languages, write poetry and produce some of the most intriguing political writings of the Modern age. Though once young and lovely, she never married, defying convention because she was one of the first famous female control freaks and wouldn't give up a single inch of her power.
And, she was a redhead.
PS I totally named my dog after her.

TDEC said...

Well, er, Cha Cha, personally I think, well, time to throw a party as an excuse to dress up, you would make a splendid Elizabeth, and then you should send pictures.

But yes, she must have been a particularly astonishing woman - like a successful version of Woolf's Shakespeare's sister.