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Where do we go now?


If you’re around my age you might recognize the phrase above from the last part of the Guns N’ Roses song “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” one of the classic “hair metal” songs of the late 1980s.

I remember when that song came out, I was already a big G’N’R fan thanks to “Welcome to the Jungle,” so I was pretty excited when it came out. As the song gets to the “Where do we go now?” portion, I wondered what that had to do with the rest of the song’s lyrics (if you’re somehow not familiar with “Sweet Child O’ Mine, it’s basically a love song, sung about a girl with “eyes of the bluest skies, as if they thought of rain”).

It was only many, many years later that I learned that “Where do we go now?” was actually a legitimate question. Singer Axl Rose and the rest of the band weren’t really sure what to do with the rest of the song, so he adlibbed those words with the assumption that something better would come along. Nothing ever did, so they just went with it.

What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, it’s sort of a metaphor for where we are now as a country. We’re still in the throes of coronavirus, but we’re so tired of it. We’ve had race riots and protests, but I can’t really say we’ve made any giant leaps forward in the past month. There’s an election in about four month’s time, but no one seems particularly excited about either candidate.

So, like Guns N’ Roses back in 1988, I’m wondering were, exactly, do we go now?

I don’t imagine it’s anywhere good.

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