Our Problem Today is We Just Don’t Have Heroes Anymore

Duane Gundrum
5 min readJan 21, 2022

Just recently, I ended up with one of those birthdays that you can divide by 10. When this happens, usually two things are supposed to occur. First, one is supposed to examine his life and his surroundings to determine if things are going the way they should. Secondly, someone with education in political science, like me, realizes dividing by 10 is a lot harder than one thinks if you don’t have access to a calculator or a statistical package like STATA. I’m either 30, 40, 50, or the letter J. Man, I hate long division.

But mathematics aside, I have started to wonder if there might be something I’ve been missing. And when I mean “me,” I mean everyone but me. Otherwise, I’d be writing this on my blog or dictating it to my stuffed animals at home. No, by “me,” I mean I want to tell everyone what I have discovered seems to be the problem with the world and everything else. After all, that’s what turning the letter J is supposed to cause you to do.

To explain these problems, I intend to do so using the 1–3–1 style of compositional English 101 papers. I was thinking of using the 1–2–2–1 style, but I figured the distancing that is used in the more advanced style might cause people to think I was trying to put something over on them. I would never do that. I care way too much about you to ever want to do something like that. So, we’ll stay with the 1–3–1 style and use as few allusions as possible so that we all end up feeling good about the conclusion that will come forth as we beat down the strawman arguments that seem to be placed in our path.

To begin, I thought I would point out that in Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo,” the student Andrea makes a statement of “Pity the nation that has no heroes,” to which Galileo responds: “No, pity the nation that needs heroes.” After that, I would then make some great linkage of how there seem to be few heroes today that fit the needs of our nation, and therefore we should pity ourselves for not having heroes, and at the same time finding ourselves needing them. Yes, this is what I would do if I was following my 1–3–1 style. But I’ve decided I’m not following it anymore. I’m breaking the grammatical constraints that force me into following dogmatic barriers that attempt to chain me down. No, I refuse to follow conventionality, and I’m just come out and…

Duane Gundrum

Author of Innocent Until Proven Guilty and 15 other novels. Writer, college professor and computer game designer.