They call it post-truth, don’t they? “They” who occupy both sides of the debate, “they” who – and I use this in the loosest possible sense – masterminded four election/referendum results which sent the left (me included) into a spiral of self-doubt, self-loathing and schism. The 2015 general election, the Scottish referendum on independence, FUCKING BREXIT and now Trump’s win in the US. A series of results which broke hearts, minds and the Labour party, possibly irreparably.
In the words of Father John Misty, let’s call it what it is. It’s lying. Professional lying by those in power, rank amateur lying by internet warriors conned by the likes of Gove, Farage, Johnson, May….I mean the list goes on. I can’t remember a time when I last looked up, without qualification, to a politician. Even sainted Nicola Sturgeon has let me down with the SNP’s stance on the third runway at Heathrow. Nothing’s sacred anymore. Abhorrent behaviour becomes normalised along the way.
We all take part in post-truth, though. From our internet personas – the magnified, out of proportion parts of our personalities we allow to roam unleashed on Twitter and Facebook – where we bend the truth with ourselves and each other on a daily basis, to the music we listen to… we’re lying to ourselves. I mentioned Father John Misty earlier – we’re not going to find truth in his embellished stories and heavy irony, but he’s not the only one. Pop music’s apparent escapism through tales of love, and partying til the sun comes up simply starts to feel cold when everything we surround ourselves with is a house of cards.
That’s why cries of “just think of the music we’ll get out of four years of Trump” are empty, nonsensical utterances. Sometimes retreating to the records we love just doesn’t work when we’re looking for some kind of ship-steadying comfort. I could listen to Sufjan, Wilco, Jenny Hval and Grouper for days on end and it’s not going to make the horror of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon et al disappear.
Now more than ever we need to take ourselves away from the online world, from those who whisper lies into our ears while we lie in a darkened room with only a record for company. We have to speak out, take action, move, motivate ourselves, protect those who need protection the most. Now is the time that we have to make sure we don’t give up.
The world’s in danger. Let’s try and fucking save it.