Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke has shared his thoughts on how being constantly online has affected us, admitting he thinks that being disengaged with “reality” has led to the current political climate.
Thom is currently promoting his new solo album ANIMA, which explores the ways in which things like social media and smartphones have affected our mindset.
Speaking to Zane Lowe on Beats 1, Thom noted that we have “started to emulate what our devices say about us and emulate the way we behave from that”.
He continued: “The reason we can watch Boris Johnson lie through his teeth, promise something that we know will never happen is: we don’t have to connect with it directly because it’s a little avatar.
“It’s this little guy with a stupid haircut waving a flag… ‘That’s alright, that’s funny’.
“And the consequences are not real. The consequences of everything we do are not real. We can remain anonymous. We send our avatar out to hurl abuse and poison and then trot back anonymous.”
Referring to the “Punch and Judy show” that American politics has become, and he claims the UK system is becoming, Thom added: “That apparently is what goes for politics these days… and when it breaks, the likes of [US senator Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez will walk in and go, ‘Right. Shall we get started?’ That’s what I think.”
Earlier this month, it was reported that Thom had been targeted by hackers, who attempted to hold 18 hours’ worth of unreleased Radiohead demos ransom.
Rather than giving the hackers what they wanted though, the band instead chose to put the material online and charge fans to hear it, with money going towards the environmental protest group Extinction Rebellion.