Brian Eno: Great Musician, Also Glad That Donald Trump Gave Us a “Kick Up The Arse”
What are your favorite Brian Eno albums? Mine are probably Before and After Science and Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics, but I also, of course, love Another Green World and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. It’s hard to choose just one, but it’s pretty easy to pick my least favorite thing that Brian Eno has ever said: It was published today in a new Guardian profile of the British multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer.
Less than a year after arguing against the destructive Brexit law in his home country, the politically-outspoken Eno told journalist Simon Hattenstone that not only was he “pleased” about the UK’s abdication of the EU, but about the election of Donald Trump. Here’s his statement in full:
“Actually, in retrospect, I’ve started to think I’m pleased about Trump and I’m pleased about Brexit because it gives us a kick up the arse and we needed it because we weren’t going to change anything. Just imagine if Hillary Clinton had won and we’d been business as usual, the whole structure she’d inherited, the whole Clinton family myth. I don’t know that’s a future I would particularly want. It just seems that was grinding slowly to a halt, whereas now, with Trump, there’s a chance of a proper crash, and a chance to really rethink.”
Earlier in the piece, he explains his change in position a bit further, without making it any better:
“Most people I know felt that 2016 was the beginning of a long decline with Brexit, then Trump and all these nationalist movements in Europe. It looked like things were going to get worse and worse. I said: ‘Well, what about thinking about it in a different way?’ Actually, it’s the end of a long decline. We’ve been in decline for about 40 years since Thatcher and Reagan and the Ayn Rand infection spread through the political class, and perhaps we’ve bottomed out. My feeling about Brexit was not anger at anybody else, it was anger at myself for not realising what was going on. I thought that all those Ukip people and those National Fronty people were in a little bubble. Then I thought: ‘Fuck, it was us, we were in the bubble, we didn’t notice it.’ There was a revolution brewing and we didn’t spot it because we didn’t make it. We expected we were going to be the revolution.”
Eno now threatens to dethrone Kate Bush as the biggest British musical genius with worst Brexit-related take, and considering his use of the phrase “Clinton family myth,” he may have the worst Trump opinion, too. Congratulations, Brian.