For the past two days, everything people are talking about, all over the world, is the election of Donald Trump as the new president of the USA.
I’ve been to Tupelo, Mississippi and Kailua Kona on the Big Island; I’ve ‘taken a bath’ in Hot Springs, Arkansas and talked to a worried waitress in a pizza place who thought Europeans were going to attack her on a planned trip to France, where she would meet her boyfriend, an American soldier fighting in Irak; I’ve visited the city cemetery of Cedar Hill in Vicksburg, Mississippi looking for the rebel graves of the Civil War/War of Secession, and I’ve walked on Hollywood Boulevard in LA, California; I’ve been to a wedding in Galveston, Texas and to a conference in Washington, D.C. I’ve watched the news in Atlanta, Georgia and became dizzy with images of the Sahara desert supposedly showing the Congo rainforests, and with nervous reports on the mystery of the ‘runaway bride’. In Huntsville, Alabama I went to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and started talking to a 9-year old girl who asked if we were from ‘the north’, since we spoke a ‘strange language’ (Dutch). Wherever I went, I’ve met the most wonderful, caring, loving people, who’s only fault seemed to be that they had no clue of what was going on in the rest of the world. I’ve travelled to the U.S. three times in the past years. I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time spent there and I hope to visit it again some day. Just not any time soon I think.
There are some artists, some songs, that I associate with the US, with the complexity of the country, its cultural mix, its opportunities, its wonderful people, and also its problems.
So much has already been written about the US elections, so for Armistice Day here in Belgium I just wanted to share some musical thoughts.