About the song “Where do we go?”

Illustration by DonkeyHotey on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/FzxTiS
Illustration by DonkeyHotey on Flickr, Creative Commons License. https://flic.kr/p/FzxTiS

These lazy summer days I’m reading Naomi Klein’s “No is not enough – Defeating the New Shock Politics”. Klein’s book opens with a description of where and how she got the news that Donald Trump had won the election.

She was in a meeting on the other side of the globe, in Australia. And she describes the quietness and the eerie mood which spread as more and more people left the meeting they were in, everyone quiet and numb, trying to find a TV to see the news.

After reading this, I remembered the morning I found out that Trump had won the election and I felt an urge to write a little bit about what the song “Where Do We Go?” is about.

My birthday last year happened to fall on election night, November the 8th. We had been out celebrating and joked that because of the time difference, we would not know if Trump would be president until the next morning. Let’s celebrate tonight, tomorrow the world as we know it, ends.

The joke was not funny the day after when we woke up to the victory speech of Trump. We got quiet. As if no words could describe this absurd situation. Everything sounded banal and insufficient.

I flipped through newspaper after newspaper, channel after channel the whole day. Theories were thrown around on how this could happen and who was to blame. It was the angry and neglected white man, it was the DC elite, it was Hillary Clinton being the wrong candidate, it was echo chambers and social media, it was Fox news, Breitbart and Russia.

Whatever the cause, Donald Trump was going to be President of the United States of America. It was like an important mark, before and after. The past all of a sudden felt so shiny, naive and full of opportunities, while the future darkened. I tried to gather my thoughts by writing down some words which became the lyrics for “Where do we go?”.

Our dreams have turned bitter
Are we close to the end?
Even tedious days shine and glitter,
when we’re close to the end

Where do we go,
where do we go from here?

Let’s all just point our fingers
let’s find someone to blame
Our memories are more precious
when we’re close to the end

A bit gloomy and disillusioned, I know. To read Klein’s book is therefore both sad and uplifting. It is a book about how Trump could become president by outlining several factors. But it is also a book about how to fix this so that this can never happen again. Like a guide book to where we go from here, and we need it.

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