Brian Eno 'Pleased' Trump Is President: 'It Gives Us a Kick Up the Arse'

Brian Eno photographed in Rome on May 20, 2016.
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Brian Eno photographed in Rome on May 20, 2016. 

Brian Eno has something to say. The legendary musician and record producer, whose credits include U2, Talking Heads and David Bowie, says in a new Guardian interview that he's taking a different look at the various political earthquakes from 2016, namely Brexit in his native U.K. and the election of Donald Trump in the States. Rather than see these events as the beginning of "long decline," as he puts it, he actually believes the worst is over. 

"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," he says, adding that he initially believed -- like many people -- that the movements that brought Brexit, Trump and others were contained in their own bubble. "Then I thought: 'F-ck, 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."

According to Eno, he now prefers the fact that Brexit and Trump happened, because it gives ample opportunity for a "proper crash," followed by a chance at lasting change. If Hillary Clinton had won, Eno opines, the status quo would have been cemented for years to come.

"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," he says. "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."

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