It’s the day/night before the election and I am restless and worried and sitting up late again.
It’s been a trying couple of days as we race into the maelstrom that is the US election. Every day I drive home past the Trump signs and blue lives matter flags and the NRA flags and the other symbols of conservative rural America. Then there are the yards with nothing next to the road and you have to wonder, what their thoughts are and what their hopes are and what they want to say but don’t.
I’ve been driving home listening to OK Computer, the strange unearthly album adding a soundtrack to the political signs and flags. The cityscape turning to the rural lands of horses, cows, the stands selling flowers, berries and eggs. The strange insistence on organic next to the signs for the great enabler of pollution. I listen to the detached vocals and somehow this most difficult of albums for me has become an old friend as I feel alienated in my own skin in the land I have come to love. The foreboding bass and textures of the album are almost comforting in this alien landscape. The lyrics are fragile and difficult to discern, the music at times discordant and beautiful.
It’s not an album I have been attached to until this year. I have heard it countless times and nodded off to it on many a flight as I tried to come to terms with it. I have arguments with people who claim it is it’s generations Darkside of the Moon, I have agreed with them saying like that album it is overrated. Then things clicked and it all makes sense and it becomes the album to play. I can at times hear Queen, the Kinks and all those other great British bands, cynicism and story telling and complaining over a cup of tea, “this is what you’ll get” after all.
Of course Electioneering is perhaps resonating strongly in this melange of thought I am having, “I will stop, I will stop at nothing.” Prescient maybe or just a reflection of the times, who knows but you make what you will when you make it at the end of the day. So 2020 was the year I finally got the album, Luke will be happy and hopefully tomorrow we will all wake up to something better.
On some level I want normal back. I am however after 12 years of this not really remembering what normal is. I say 12 years because this really all began with the election of a black man and the opposition from the Tea Party, this led to birtherism and then we got Trump. I never really believed that racism was so deep that parts of this country could not accept that a black man was president.
I now however know that racism is so ingrained that in our society it will take work to reduce it. Fox, Limbaugh, McConnell and Graham, Tucker Carlson, the Republican Party and their ilk are desperately holding on to power as much as they can. We keep being pushed into the position that we are attempting to convince these people they are wrong. The truth is we can’t do that, we have to confront them day in and day out and be relentless, the fight is worthwhile. They won’t agree but we can force them into silence and make them irrelevant.
I am with Noam Chomsky about Trump, he is the worst criminal the world has seen. https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/noam-chomsky-believes-trump-is-the-worst-criminal-in-human-history
In short it took a pandemic that is almost endless it seems, a constant state of anxiety, wildfires, windstorms and riots to make me sit still long enough to listen, go figure.