THE LAST DAYS OF MANKIND ACT I SCENE 30
Vienna. Night on Graben.  The Begrudger walks the dark, empty street. As the sound of guns from the previous scene fades, the sound of voices singing.
TWO RACKETEERS (with girlfriends, all arm in arm and cheerfully drunk, trilling away): Stargazer – stargazer – you’d better take care -
NEWSPAPER VENDOR: Extra – forty thousand Russians die at Przemysl!
RACKETEER 1: - stargazer – stargazer -
RACKETEER 2: - you’d better beware - (off.)
END OF ACT I
 Graben is now a pedestrianised area in the old city, in the Hofburg quarter; a major shopping street.
 The German Kettenhandler, literally ‘chain seller’, refers to a chain of middlemen; from the New York Times, 25 April 1920: ‘In its attempts to keep German profiteers somewhere within bounds the German government has made considerable use of an ordinance forbidding ‘Kettenhandel’, i.e. the purchase and resale to each other of articles by members of the same business category in mere speculative trade’.
 A song from the operetta ‘Die Sterngucker’, ‘The Stargazer’ (1916), by Franz Lehár, libretto by Fritz Löhner and Alfred Maria Willner; reviewing it Alfred Polgar (1873-1955) wrote: ‘The living beings who communicate by song in operetta… are a secret sect over whose actions a veil is cast similar to the one that sits over the emotional life of the goldfish’. Kraus would have approved of the sentiments but it is hard now not to echo Noël Coward’s words from ‘Private Lives’ (1930): ‘Extraordinary how potent cheap music is’.