We’re on a road to nowhere

Tuesday 31st January

Two song titles in a row – the girl must be getting hard up for subjects these days.  This is that famous song by Talking Heads and incidentally one of their few hits and one which might have been more acceptable and mainstream then their earlier efforts such as ‘Take me to the River’ or ‘Psychokiller’.  This was late in their career, and maybe they were getting a bit soft, or just couldn’t help but write themselves a big hit when they were only one album away from that inevitable break-up.  But for whatever reason this one struck an instant chord with the public.  The breezy full-on tune which starts with a minimum of intro, and then we are full-tilt into it, the traditional tinge to the rather dense and heavy sound bringing the familiar into the unusual.  Then David Byrne’s lyrics, with their plaintive refrain “We’re on a road to nowhere” instantly makes a connection with the listener.  As Haruki Marukami says ‘if you can’t understand it without an explanation, then you won’t be able to understand it with one.’  And nobody needs any explanation to that phrase, it is universally understood. It succinctly sums up what so many of us feel about the human race and our headlong plunge into the void.  But it may also be just as much about the personal, and turning the love song on its head, be about a relationship that is also on a road to nowhere.

And are we really on a road to nowhere, is there no salvation for us, mankind?  Does it all have to end in our own and maybe the planet itself’s demise, or are we perchance destined for greater things.  Is our road actually a road to somewhere – could it just be that we will save not only ourselves but the planet itself, and who knows perhaps one day the Universe too. Is it not at least possible that of all the myriad and almost infinite number of planets in the Universe, this one planet, the one we find ourselves on, holds the key to unlocking the secrets of life, the creation and a way to stop the entropy and the eventual end of the Universe too.  Not probable, hardly credible, so unlikely as to be ludicrous in this ‘Approximately Infinite Universe’ as Yoko once described it, but maybe, just maybe we are actually on a road to somewhere.